Re: [CR] Were Campy brakes so superior?

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Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2008 12:28:29 -0500
From: "Daniel Artley" <>
To: "Classic Rendezvous" <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Were Campy brakes so superior?

Before I had my first set of Campy sidepulls, I'd optimized a set of Weinman 500 calipers from the sixties with the thin brass washers, a quick release w/ barrel adjuster from a later model, and Mathauser pads. I still think they stop and modulate as well as Campy, but right out of the box, don't. I didn't even care for the Campy cable that was so stiff a pebble under the tire would make the brake grab and tire skip, flexible braided cable soaked that up without diminishing braking. But for direct feel right out of the box, great modulation, just being able to keep it right at the limit of tire adhesion without locking up, the easy centering with a cone wrench, comfortable levers, they were bullet proof and I still think nothing touched them in the day.

I would never use Campy sidepulls on a tandem, and a wet, twisty mountain descent in the rain with them would leave your fingers aching, but I still love 'em. I've had the Mafac Competitions on my PX-10, and don't really remember them squealing, but I traded a centerpull set of Mafac racers for those Weinman 500's in a heartbeat. Not to say there's anything wrong w/ Mafacs. They just don't float my boat.

Happy trails,

Dan Artley in Parkton, MD

Archive-URL: vous.10802.0372.eml Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 08:51:19 -0800 From: "Kurt Sperry" <haxixe(AT)> Subject: Re: [CR] Were Campy brakes so superior? ( http://search.bikelist.o rg/query.asp?SearchString=%22Were+Campy+brakes+so+superior%3F%22&amp;Sear chPrefix=%40msgsubject&amp;SortBy=MsgDate%5Ba%5D )

The eccentric cam QR, the flats in the center bolt to center with a cone wrench and the tire guides were all useful and unique innovations at the time Campy SPs were introduced if I remember correctly. Beborex, CLB and LAM made some brakes nearly as pretty as Campys in the '50s but by the dawn of the bike boom all else I remember as available were frankly pretty cheesy looking compared to the Campy brakes.

As for stopping you, yeah those cheesy looking and inexpensive brakes seemed to work just fine to me once set up properly.

Kurt Sperry Bellingham WA USA

On Feb 7, 2008 8:00 AM, Jack Fortune <jfortune(AT)> wrote:
> > In his top 5 component list, Dan Artley mentioned:
> >
> > "...Campy sidepull brakes as revolutionizing good braking and control.
> > A brake that unlike the Mafacs didn't need dedicated pivot posts on the
> > frame.
> While many Rene Herse and Alex Singer bicycles featured brazed-on mounting posts
> for Mafacs, I wasn't aware that many of the racing makers used these. They
> certainly aren't required - I have two vintage bicycles with Mafac brakes and
> both of them use a standard center-bold mount.
> Furthermore, I find the vintage mafac brakes to function extremely well - Jan,
> you want to chime in here? - I'm dubious that the Campagnolo brakes offered any
> improvement in braking performance, surely nothing "revolutionary". Of course,
> the Campy brakes can hardly be matched for aesthetic appeal.
> regards,
> Jack Fortune
> Eugene, Oregon USA