Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Good vintage centerpulls?

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Good vintage centerpulls?

Old 05-24-19, 01:20 PM
  #1  
88Tempo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Good vintage centerpulls?

Is there any reason to choose one model of Weinmann or Dia Compe or any other version of centerpull brakes or are they all about the same stopping wise?

Reason I'm asking is the local co-op has a big box of takeoffs and I was wondering if I should dig through it looking for some treasure.
88Tempo is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 01:26 PM
  #2  
Slightspeed
Senior Member
 
Slightspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,553

Bikes: 1961 Legnano Gran Premio, 1964 Legnano Roma Olympiade, 1973 Raleigh Super Course, 1978 Raleigh Super Course, 1978 Peugeot PR10, 2002 Specialized Allez, 2007 Specialized Roubaix, 2013 Culprit Croz Blade

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 487 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 67 Times in 50 Posts
I have three types on different bikes, Weinmann, Universal 61 and Mafac Racers. I can't tell the difference in them. The Weinmanns stop the best, but probably because they have newish Koolstop pads. The Mavics have old hard Koolstop pads, and the Universals have few years old Shimano pads. In my opinion the pads make a bigger difference than the brand of caliper. I find the Mafacs a pain to adjust and set up, but they are the ones I'm least familiar with.

Last edited by Slightspeed; 05-24-19 at 01:31 PM.
Slightspeed is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 01:32 PM
  #3  
88Tempo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
My Finest has Weinmanns (now I'm second guessing myself) anyhow it doesn't stop very well. I just put some new Dia Compe pads on it, but the weather here has been horrible and I haven't got to ride it yet.
88Tempo is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 01:52 PM
  #4  
Slightspeed
Senior Member
 
Slightspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,553

Bikes: 1961 Legnano Gran Premio, 1964 Legnano Roma Olympiade, 1973 Raleigh Super Course, 1978 Raleigh Super Course, 1978 Peugeot PR10, 2002 Specialized Allez, 2007 Specialized Roubaix, 2013 Culprit Croz Blade

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 487 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 67 Times in 50 Posts
Originally Posted by 88Tempo View Post
My Finest has Weinmanns (now I'm second guessing myself) anyhow it doesn't stop very well. I just put some new Dia Compe pads on it, but the weather here has been horrible and I haven't got to ride it yet.
I started using the Koolstop dual compound, (black/salmon color) pads since we had a lot of rain, too (for sunny California). I did a 50 mile rain ride on my newer Roubaix, and really liked how they worked wet, so I put a set on my Super Course, for Eroica, and no rain. I still like how well they stop.
Slightspeed is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 01:54 PM
  #5  
rustystrings61 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Greenwood SC USA
Posts: 753

Bikes: 2002 Mercian Vincitore, 1982 Mercian Colorado, 1971 Gitane Tour de France, 1991 Diamond Back Venture

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 260 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 18 Posts
The MAFACs we all derided in 1975 are now Gallic cool; the Weinmanns we took for granted remain excellent stoppers make better with lines housing and good pads; I always heard Universals were a bit brittle, but bending ANY aluminum alloy brake arm for toe-in is probably a bad idea.

Dia Compe was a copy of the Weinmann, but I have a memory of someone writing that they were not as good - do they have the center bit that keeps the arms aligned and working symmetrically?

They all worked well with good pads and cables and housings....
rustystrings61 is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 01:56 PM
  #6  
88Tempo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Here it's usually dry, but the wind gusts can shove you around a bunch. I just saw Kool Stop made pads pads for Weinmann, next time I order some parts I'll try and remember to grab some.
88Tempo is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 01:56 PM
  #7  
rando_couche
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,058
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 132 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
One word for you: MAFAC. They're the only vintage CP that's worth the trouble in my experience. Set 'em up with modern cables and pads and you're good to go (or stop!)
rando_couche is online now  
Old 05-24-19, 01:59 PM
  #8  
Slightspeed
Senior Member
 
Slightspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,553

Bikes: 1961 Legnano Gran Premio, 1964 Legnano Roma Olympiade, 1973 Raleigh Super Course, 1978 Raleigh Super Course, 1978 Peugeot PR10, 2002 Specialized Allez, 2007 Specialized Roubaix, 2013 Culprit Croz Blade

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 487 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 67 Times in 50 Posts
I've been riding Universal 61s on my Legnano for 55 years, since new. Never had any issues with them, except now I use modern Shimano pads with the concave washer to adjust angle of pad to rim. I have the same type holders on my Weinmanns too. The Funky Mafacs have the cantilever type mounting stud, as stock.
Slightspeed is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 02:01 PM
  #9  
88Tempo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
The MAFACs we all derided in 1975 are now Gallic cool; the Weinmanns we took for granted remain excellent stoppers make better with lines housing and good pads; I always heard Universals were a bit brittle, but bending ANY aluminum alloy brake arm for toe-in is probably a bad idea.

Dia Compe was a copy of the Weinmann, but I have a memory of someone writing that they were not as good - do they have the center bit that keeps the arms aligned and working symmetrically?

They all worked well with good pads and cables and housings....
I'm not sure how old my brake pads were I probably should of replaced them when I first got the bike. As of right now it pretty much does only short no hill routes, between the gearing and only one water bottle holder.
88Tempo is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 02:51 PM
  #10  
SurferRosa
Senior Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 879

Bikes: old school 531c & campy

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 362 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 33 Posts
Best I ever had were Mafac Racers (with kool-stops) on a '79ish pkn10.

Those inspired some serious bombing down Seattle's hills.
SurferRosa is online now  
Likes For SurferRosa:
Old 05-24-19, 02:56 PM
  #11  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,118

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3607 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 55 Posts
Dia compes are a good choice for the OP's Fuji Finest as that it likely what it came stock with. I'd get a set of kool stop continentals and just ride the heck out of them:

https://www.jensonusa.com/Koolstop-C...caAmPXEALw_wcB

I like mafacs but they would not look right on a Fuji. It's your bike though.
bikemig is online now  
Old 05-24-19, 02:59 PM
  #12  
88Tempo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Next time I'm at the co-op I'll dig through the bin and see if I can find a set or two. It'll be worth the few bucks it costs me to get a set of Mafac or Universal if they have any.
88Tempo is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 03:01 PM
  #13  
88Tempo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Dia compes are a good choice for the OP's Fuji Finest as that it likely what it came stock with. I'd get a set of kool stop continentals and just ride the heck out of them:

https://www.jensonusa.com/Koolstop-C...caAmPXEALw_wcB

I like mafacs but they would not look right on a Fuji. It's your bike though.
It probably does have the Dia Compes on it. My memory for what is on each bike needs refreshing from time to time.

I went and looked and it does have Dia Compes on it. I do have a set of Schwinn Approved Weinmanns sitting around though.

Last edited by 88Tempo; 05-24-19 at 03:27 PM.
88Tempo is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 03:03 PM
  #14  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,118

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3607 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 55 Posts
The weinmann or mafacs are not much of a trade up from the dia compe. I'd just focus on making sure they are well adjusted and then go with a quality brake shoe like the kool stop and good quality brake cables and housing. It will give you plenty of stopping power.
bikemig is online now  
Likes For bikemig:
Old 05-24-19, 03:12 PM
  #15  
Slightspeed
Senior Member
 
Slightspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,553

Bikes: 1961 Legnano Gran Premio, 1964 Legnano Roma Olympiade, 1973 Raleigh Super Course, 1978 Raleigh Super Course, 1978 Peugeot PR10, 2002 Specialized Allez, 2007 Specialized Roubaix, 2013 Culprit Croz Blade

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 487 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 67 Times in 50 Posts
I prefer to use the modern, slender, but slightly longer pad holder and pads. These have a washer that allows the pad to angle a little from parallel to the rim. Stops better, and reduces squeal with a little toe in.
These are Shimano pads and holders.

Similar Koolstop holders and dual compound pads.

These are Koolstop black pads on original type Mafac mounting studs, came with the bike, no idea how old they are. Sanding them a little helped squeal and improved stopping. These work great with Campy aero levers.

Last edited by Slightspeed; 05-26-19 at 11:14 PM.
Slightspeed is offline  
Likes For Slightspeed:
Old 05-24-19, 03:30 PM
  #16  
88Tempo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Slightspeed those modern pads seem like a good idea without being to noticeable to all but the purists. Which I probably don't qualify as.
88Tempo is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 04:02 PM
  #17  
BFisher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: NEPA
Posts: 253
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 26 Times in 23 Posts
I know they have their fans, but I don't like Weinmann or Dia-Compe centerpulls at all. The arms are way too flexy for me. If you search you'll find that some riders add a booster, or solid link, between the two pivots to try and stiffen them up.

The only centerpulls I like are Mafacs. They are, by far, better than the others (for me). Serious stoppers.
BFisher is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 04:16 PM
  #18  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,883

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1712 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 32 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
Dia Compe was a copy of the Weinmann, but I have a memory of someone writing that they were not as good - do they have the center bit that keeps the arms aligned and working symmetrically?
Technically and FWIW, the Dia Compe is a license built version of the Weinmann center pulls, not a copy. I've heard the comments about the Dia Compes somehow being lesser for a long time, but frankly I could never tell the difference between the two versions of the same brake. They look the same to me. As far as I recall the Dia Compes have the centering pin too. It's been a long time since I wrenched in a shop, but I vaguely remember looking for missing pins once BITD when I first heard that rumor. Didn't seen any with no pins. Maybe some escaped the factory without them, or they fell out. My Gran Compe 610 reissues have the pin for sure.

I'm sure some forumites have old Dia Compes that could be checked...
Salamandrine is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 04:24 PM
  #19  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,883

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1712 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 32 Times in 22 Posts
Hmm, I've always found that MAFAC CP brakes had much more flexible caliper arms. I've tested this on the brakes I own. Pretty obvious difference.

I really like both the Weinmann and MAFAC design. They are just different: Ford vs GM. I've come to prefer Weinmann/Dia/Gran-Compe CP brakes myself. I used to like MAFAC better. I'd still give MAFAC the edge WRT stopping power, but I prefer the modulation of Gran Compe.

Stopping power is mostly a matter of the pads anyway.

Last edited by Salamandrine; 05-24-19 at 09:04 PM.
Salamandrine is offline  
Likes For Salamandrine:
Old 05-24-19, 04:32 PM
  #20  
88Tempo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Thanks for all the help. The next time I'm at the co-op I will at least have an idea of what I'm looking at and what I should look for.
88Tempo is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 04:34 PM
  #21  
zukahn1
Senior Member
 
zukahn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Fairplay Co
Posts: 7,252

Bikes: Current 79 Nishiki Custum Sport, Jeunet 620, notable previous bikes P.K. Ripper loop tail, Kawahara Laser Lite, Paramount Track full chrome, Raliegh Internatioanl, Motobecan Super Mirage. 59 Crown royak 3 speed

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 278 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
I have found both Mafac and Dia-compe work great with modern pads nicely setup. Dia-compes are easier to setup and work on and they work nicely with basic relatively cheap MTB style pads that allow for toe in adjustment. The Mafacs have the advantage of being nearly fully adjustable so the can be setup to work nicely with pretty much all brake levers I have even setup them up with modern brifters and got great results, but because you have to fairly accuretly adjust a half dozen things they can be difficult to setup without a real good understanding of brake mechanics and practice.

One big tip to make life a lot easier when running center pulls is to get some nice cable hangers with barrel adjusters and quick release mech's which makes setup and wheel removal alot easier.

Last edited by zukahn1; 05-24-19 at 04:41 PM.
zukahn1 is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 04:41 PM
  #22  
BFisher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: NEPA
Posts: 253
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 26 Times in 23 Posts
Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Hmm, I've always found that MAFAC CP brakes had much more flexible caliper arms. I've tested this on the brakes I own. Pretty obvious difference.

Really I really like both the Weinmann and MAFAC design. They are just different: Ford vs GM. I've come to prefer Weinmann/Dia/Gran-Compe CP brakes myself. I used to like MAFAC better. I'd still give MAFAC the edge WRT stopping power, but I prefer the modulation of Gran Compe.

Stopping power is mostly a matter of the pads anyway.
Agreed about the importance of good pads. Even good modern dual pivot sidepulls can perform poorly with lousy pads.
BFisher is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 04:50 PM
  #23  
88Tempo
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 280
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 19 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post

One big tip to make life a lot easier when running center pulls is to get some nice cable hangers with barrel adjusters and quick release mech's which makes setup and wheel removal alot easier.
My Finest has modern brake levers with a quick release plus the flip up quick release on the stem hanger and you are right they will open wide if I use both at the same time.
88Tempo is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 06:13 PM
  #24  
randyjawa 
Senior Member
 
randyjawa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada - burrrrr!
Posts: 9,139

Bikes: 1958 Rabeneick 120D, 1968 Legnano Gran Premio, Rocky Mountain Cardiac

Mentioned: 143 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 589 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 27 Times in 25 Posts
I have tried several different center pull brakes, including Weinmann, Universal, Shimano, DiaComp and Mafac. Mafac wins in my book. Not only do they stop well, but they are more user friendly to set up since the pads can be pivoted to allow for proper toe-in...
__________________
Learn how to find, restore and maintain vintage road bicycles at... MY "TEN SPEEDS"
randyjawa is offline  
Old 05-24-19, 06:21 PM
  #25  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 6,917

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1635 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 56 Times in 47 Posts
My Mafac joke for years was: $50 nearly NOS Mafac Racers are out there. You just have to remove and dispose of the attached Peugeot UO-8.

Very good brakes. Probably the only brake that had both the reach and stopping ability to stop the thousands of steel rimmed UO-8s in the rain. (Yes, stopping was a slow process but they did stop.)

Ben
79pmooney is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.