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Campy Chorus Brakes

Old 05-12-18, 08:33 AM
  #1  
Suntour1985
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Campy Chorus Brakes

Hi. I am looking to add Campy components to a custom Assenmacher frame from the 90's. I was wondering if there is a big difference in the performance of dual pivot brakes over non dual pivots. I love the look of the original Campy Chorus brakes, not crazy about the later versions. I currently have later Superbe Pro so I would assume the non dual pivot Campys would comparable. Any opinions? Thanks.
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Old 05-12-18, 11:13 AM
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Hoo, boy! This will open a lively discussion.

I believe that dual pivot brakes are a fantastic and very welcome improvement over even the best single pivots, and I’ve had excellent Suntour Superbe calipers decades ago. First time I tried dual pivots I was inadvertently locking up the brakes, while on the hoods. That would have been unheard of with single pivots. That isn’t to say that dual pivots are overly sensitive, just noticeably more powerful, IMHO, of course.

The other big improvements in road bike braking:
Aero levers - the benefit is that the cable routing in the lever improves the mechanical advantage
Good brake pads - I’m a huge fan of Kool Stop pads in the salmon compound, and they’re easy to swap with the modern insert-type pad holders. There was a recent thread about “Best Brake Pads”.
lined cable housings - reduces friction and doesn’t need any lube that can attract contaminants

One thing to note about Campy dual pivots - they rely on the quick release at the brake lever, so there isn’t one at the caliper.

Last edited by Dfrost; 05-12-18 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 05-12-18, 03:00 PM
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I am not crazy about daul pivots (PD) brakes. I had ev3en taken them off a bike and put those lovely Chorus brakes on it. The DPs will certainly stop you 'on a dime' as they say but I ride fast enough to need to stop that fast. I think properly set up, clean and with good pads the Chorus Monoplanor brakes are the best looking and working brake
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Old 05-12-18, 05:49 PM
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Light action dual pivots are pretty good with brifters or sprung light-action aero levers. Got the Chorus brakes on one bike and they don't work significantly differently from Shimano's dual pivot offerings.

Advantages of dual-pivot brakes are ease of tuning and adjustment. Old-school brakes require more tuning and may flex more, but set up with proper pads and proper toe-in they work just as well. More force at the lever is the obvious disadvantage.
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Old 05-13-18, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I think properly set up, clean and with good pads the Chorus Monoplaner brakes are the best looking and working brake
I agree with this and have arthritis in my hands making excessive force an issue if it is needed.
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Old 05-13-18, 08:11 AM
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I greatly prefer dual pivot brakes.

Actually, I love cantilevers more.

When I did up my Trek 400 Elance, I put a dual pivot on the front and a single pivot in the rear. Just cuz I thought it was adorable.
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Old 05-13-18, 02:35 PM
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I've owned the Chorus Monoplanar brakes, and about every other Campagnolo and Shimano brake going back to the 70s.

The old Chorus brakes are inferior in every respect to a set of dual-pivot brakes, regardless of the vintage or manufacturer. The best single pivots (Dura-Ace 7402) are inferior to any duals: they have roughly 25% less stopping power (with the same cables/housings and pads) and they do not self-center. An added negative with the Monoplanars is I cannot figure out how to take the slop out of them when the washers (invariably) wear. I have taken apart and successfully reassembled/tuned every road brake made over the last 30 years, but these stump me.

Best dual-pivots: Dura-Ace 7403. These are old enough to perhaps classify as vintage. When you disassemble these for servicing, be careful about unleashing a shower of small balls in the 2 thrust bearings.
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Old 05-13-18, 03:53 PM
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Dual pivot calipers have more mechanical advantage than single pivot side-pull calipers, so they require less hand strength to stop. If you're accustomed to dual pivot calipers and ride a bike with single pivot side-pulls, the increased force needed may be disconcerting. But if you're accustomed to using single pivot side-pulls, they're not a problem. Most of us who were riding in the period before dual pivot calipers became popular managed to live long enough to reproduce, after all.
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Old 05-13-18, 04:02 PM
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I have single pivots on my bikes (with a couple of Deltas), no dual pivots......and I'm alive and kicking.....
Sure, the dual pivots are stronger brakes, but us single pivot troglodytes manage quite well....
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Old 05-13-18, 06:59 PM
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My son's bike has Chorus Monoplaner calipers. I am impressed by them. I rate them between the ubiquitous Campagnolo Record single pivot caliper and their later dual pivots. I appreciate the lighter force required with the dual pivots. I have set up one otherwise Classic Super Record equipped bike with dual pivots, there is an issue with opening up the caliper to exchange wheels, the dual pivots have no integral quick release. The Campagnolo eccentric cam was a terrific design.
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Old 05-13-18, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
My son's bike has Chorus Monoplaner calipers. I am impressed by them. I rate them between the ubiquitous Campagnolo Record single pivot caliper and their later dual pivots. I appreciate the lighter force required with the dual pivots. I have set up one otherwise Classic Super Record equipped bike with dual pivots, there is an issue with opening up the caliper to exchange wheels, the dual pivots have no integral quick release. The Campagnolo eccentric cam was a terrific design.
I do miss the eccentric cam quick release that 's not present on my later 80's Campy brakesets, that include Chorus Monoplanars. I found it a bit ironic that Campy resorted to lever mounted QR's on them when I thought that approach to caliper QR's died with the old Weinmanns....
Those teenie tiny QR buttons on the Campy levers are not the easiest to deal with when you are in a hurry and have sweat all over you hands....
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Old 05-14-18, 01:39 AM
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Dual pivots work better - I ride both and the difference is pretty obvious. The most powerful Campy single pivot break is the original Athena, because it is so stiff. But the Chorus worked pretty well, too. If you want to use old Chorus they will work fine, just not as well as dual pivots.
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Old 05-14-18, 10:14 PM
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I’ve come up with a theory relating to single-pivot versus dual pivot preferences:

If you typically ride in the drops, then single pivots are more likely to be “just fine” since they tend to operate pretty well from this position.

But if you’re more of an “on the hoods” rider, then the improved mechanical advantage of dual pivots will be very welcome.

We can probably agree that brake pads and cables/housings are much better now, and benefit just about any caliper design.
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Old 05-15-18, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I am not crazy about daul pivots (PD) brakes. I had ev3en taken them off a bike and put those lovely Chorus brakes on it. The DPs will certainly stop you 'on a dime' as they say but I ride fast enough to need to stop that fast. I think properly set up, clean and with good pads the Chorus Monoplanor brakes are the best looking and working brake
It's funny how people can see things so differently. I had always thought the Monoplaners had a rather "Bulbous" look about them. I took them off my Cinelli and replaced them with the dual pull Record Ti series. What a difference. They look better stop much better and are a full 50 grams lighter. Something to be said for progress.
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Old 05-15-18, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
It's funny how people can see things so differently. I had always thought the Monoplaners had a rather "Bulbous" look about them. I took them off my Cinelli and replaced them with the dual pull Record Ti series. What a difference. They look better stop much better and are a full 50 grams lighter. Something to be said for progress.
You might be mistaking the later Athena calipers for the Chorus, The Athena looks similar, but has chunkier looking caliper arms. that does look a bit bulbous. the Chorus on the other hand looks just right, combine that with the cool Monolanar design and the unique cantenary arch shape that the two arms form and it is one of the he nicest looking sidepull brakeset that Campy came out with in the 80's.

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Old 05-15-18, 09:21 AM
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Nope those are the ones...
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Old 05-15-18, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
Nope those are the ones...
If you still have them I'll be glad to get them off your hands as I'm currently building up another 1st gen Chorus Gruppo...
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Old 05-15-18, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
If you still have them I'll be glad to get them off your hands as I'm currently building up another 1st gen Chorus Gruppo...
No sorry they have been traded off.
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Old 03-02-20, 03:36 AM
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Jumping in here.

How do you know if a bike is C&V? It will have a small area of paint missing where the front brake has collided with the down tube.

I was cleaning up some (2nd gen?) Chorus Monoplaner brakes today and noticed the front brake has a small rubber stop on one of the cable arms to prevent damage to the down tube should the fork rotate too far.

Was this on all 2nd gen Chorus brakes or has someone added it? My 1st gen Monoplaners (with the slimmer arms) don’t have it.

Neat detail.




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Old 03-02-20, 12:32 PM
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Bianchigirll , repechage , Chombi1 , P!N20 - What brake mounts and pads do you use? EDIT: Never mind! found the other thread with the answers

I like them too. They appear to almost blend in.
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Old 03-02-20, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by P!N20 View Post
Jumping in here.

How do you know if a bike is C&V? It will have a small area of paint missing where the front brake has collided with the down tube.

I was cleaning up some (2nd gen?) Chorus Monoplaner brakes today and noticed the front brake has a small rubber stop on one of the cable arms to prevent damage to the down tube should the fork rotate too far.

Was this on all 2nd gen Chorus brakes or has someone added it? My 1st gen Monoplaners (with the slimmer arms) don’t have it.

Neat detail.



My 1974 Campy Record brakes also have that stop. It protects against mild bumps, but smack the brake into the downtube hard enough and it'll damage the paint and possibly put a dent in the tube.
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Old 03-02-20, 06:04 PM
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I've only ever ridden single pivot calipers (regularly). I've ridden dual pivot enough to not have a reason to switch. I like my vintage bikes vintage and currently ride Triomphe (which look right with my Super record group bike) and Delta calipers. My 1st generation Chorus calipers are resting on a shelf for now but they are all I used for 30 years. I find the Triomphe and Delta's perform much the same. Using modern Kool Stop rubber and set up properly I have no reason to ever want better braking.
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Old 03-02-20, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
My 1974 Campy Record brakes also have that stop. It protects against mild bumps, but smack the brake into the downtube hard enough and it'll damage the paint and possibly put a dent in the tube.
the little bump pad was a feature starting on the short reach front caliper.
I saw in 1974 a DeRosa that had these then rare unobtanium calipers. The interesting item was the adjuster wheel was like used on the G.S. Calipers later- save the central part chrome, not Cad plated. Did not work well.
there obviously was a fast production change back to the Record O ring style.
the little bump pad remained on the short reach front caliper though, but it is prone to vanishing.

that was a very cool DeRosa- full Panto- $950. Which at the time was outrageous. But if you wanted to be like Eddy...

I am surprised by the durability of this thread.
my son still likes his Monoplaners. His next bike will not have them- the reach is too big.
will move to a dual pivot front by Tekro and a Campagnolo Record with a drop bolt rear most likely. He still locks up the rear too often. As I write, maybe a set of Weinmann centerpulls...
with mod pads and holders.
He needs a calm and stable bike so a 1950’s Italian road bike should fill the bill. With index shifting. I bought a terrific bike for cheap but it is too agile for him.
a good excuse to paint it like his favorite steam locomotive. A GS-4 class in Daylight colors.
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