Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
Samuel D
Posts: 2894
Joined: 8 Mar 2015, 11:05pm
Location: Paris

Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby Samuel D » 20 Feb 2019, 4:32pm

I mounted an old Campagnolo Super Record brake on my bicycle (rear only as an experiment). The centring flats, locknut, cable clamp, etc., are superb quality. I can’t see a mark anywhere after taking a spanner to them.

Some questions for the old guard who used or use these:

  1. Should the cable housing going into the calliper have an end cap? For now it has none.
  2. The ancient Campagnolo pads are rock hard. I see people recommending Kool-Stop Continental pads with these brakes. These pads are narrow and the calliper closes more than with classic cartridge pads. This puts the barrel adjuster close enough to the quick-release to give me pause. You can see this on Jobst Brandt’s bicycle here (this photo particularly) and on Ray Hosler’s bicycle here. Anything to worry about besides the aesthetics of lopsided arms?
  3. Grease or oil at the pivot, and how tight should it be?
  4. This website says “old road” cable pull is 7 mm compared to 8–8.5 mm for SLR and Super SLR levers for a 20-degree lever movement. Does that ratio sound about right? I’m using the Campagnolo brake with a Shimano BL-R400 (Super SLR) lever for now. I might at least remove the spring in the lever, assuming that’s possible.
  5. If I want to try these brakes with Campagnolo brake levers, any tips for a cheaper model that works as well as the Record levers?
They sure are pretty!

Thanks.

tatanab
Posts: 3901
Joined: 8 Feb 2007, 12:37pm

Re: Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby tatanab » 20 Feb 2019, 4:51pm

1. Ferrule, to me an end cap would be on the cable inner. It depends on whether you have a stock of ferrules that fit the outer and the housing in the brake arm. I am certain that in the 80s when I used these brakes ferrules were not commonly available.
2. I just use aftermarket brakes blocks and shoes like Swissstop.
3. If you strip the brake you can use a light grease on all the rotating surfaces. Otherwise dribble a little light oil over the pivots and wipe off the excess.
4. I mix and match all sorts of stuff and like a lot of lever movement. So if it works for you then fine. The spring in the lever is quite light action so I doubt you will feel a difference.
5. Is this period correct exposed cable or modern concealed cable. If concealed, Veloce was an option.

Samuel D
Posts: 2894
Joined: 8 Mar 2015, 11:05pm
Location: Paris

Re: Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby Samuel D » 20 Feb 2019, 5:19pm

tatanab wrote:4. I mix and match all sorts of stuff and like a lot of lever movement. So if it works for you then fine.

It works but lever force is pretty high with the antique pads. Maybe new pads will transform that or maybe they won’t. I’m optimistic because modulation is currently dire: the brakes barely work until the pad surface heats up and then they grab and lock the wheel, suggesting the pads are done. But if new pads don’t transform the initial lever force required, I’m going to need all the help I can get from the lever’s cable pull to use these brakes at the front.

tatanab wrote:5. Is this period correct exposed cable or modern concealed cable. If concealed, Veloce was an option.

It’s a daily rider that looks like this now that the sun has come out. Could work with either lever type, I suppose, although I’d favour exposed cables for ease of maintenance.

Brucey
Posts: 37424
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby Brucey » 20 Feb 2019, 6:20pm

1. At some point they changed from using 5.5mm housing to smaller stuff. If the adjusters are drilled for 5.5mm housing you ought to use ferrules with 5.0mm housing.
2. You can buy the correct campag inserts, so use those. If for some reason you want to use modern brake blocks, space them away from the arms and use longer screws/studs in the shoes so that the brake isn't going to run out of travel when the brake blocks are worn.
3. Either or SFG from an aerosol. Obviously if you dismantle and clean to add grease then this is best, otherwise there is dirt involved. Locknuts tight enough that they ain't going to come loose (IIRC there is a torque figure on the park tool website)
4. You need levers with about 4:1 MA (or higher) if you want brakes that work normally (supposing that the brake blocks are in the middle of the slots). Higher MA levers will work better if the brake blocks are in the bottom of the slots. All this x cable pull for y lever movement angle talk is pretty bogus; you could get the same answer this way for different length levers, which is just nonsense.
5. The levers which are designed to work with these brake calipers include any campag lever with exposed cables pretty much; NR, SR, Triomphe, Victory, CdA, GS, CR, Athena, chorus etc. There are also first generation campag aero levers which are convertible (i.e. they will run either cable routing) and models with adjustable MA (in aero mode).

FWIW a fair operating assumption is that short reach SP calipers have a MA of about 1:1 with the brake blocks in the middle of the slots, so from about 0.8 min to 1.2max . First generation DP calipers have a MA value that varies from about 1.25 to 1.5 depending on where the brake blocks are sat in the slots. DP brakes when combined with lever MA values of 3.5 to 4 : 1 give a system MA of ~5:1 min to ~6:1 max. The same levers when coupled with SP calipers give a system MA of ~2.9:1 min to ~4.8:1 max. In other words MA-wise at best the SP system is going to be a bit like a mediocre DP setup, but with higher cable tensions. If the brake blocks are in the bottom of the slot the brakes will be pretty wooden no matter what you do with campag levers. FWIW some older shimano levers are knocking on for 5:1 MA. They may work better with these calipers.

Needless to say if you have a low overall system MA you are liable to get tired hands on long descents, you might struggle to get enough brake pressure in the wet, but you will have a decent running clearance. OTOH if you have a good grip and don't weigh much all-up, then you may get on OK with lower MA brakes.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Samuel D
Posts: 2894
Joined: 8 Mar 2015, 11:05pm
Location: Paris

Re: Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby Samuel D » 20 Feb 2019, 8:45pm

Brucey wrote:You can buy the correct campag inserts, so use those.

Many people seem to use Kool-Stop Continental pads with these brakes, but that may all stem from one man’s (idiosyncractic?) preference for them: Jobst Brandt. On the other hand, the Continental’s thinness takes the calliper arm closer to the rim and so should reduce twisting of the arm as the rim tries to drag the pad around with it. On the other other hand, that twist may be necessary to preserve adequate toe-in as the pad wears. I have read many complaints of squealing with Kool-Stop Continentals.

Brucey wrote:Locknuts tight enough that they ain't going to come loose (IIRC there is a torque figure on the park tool website)

It was the pivot tightness I wondered about. My brakes were barely used but had a little play in the arms. I adjusted them so there was no discernible play but the return spring still opened them snappily with chain lubricant at the pivot.

Brucey wrote:The levers which are designed to work with these brake calipers include any campag lever with exposed cables pretty much; NR, SR, Triomphe, Victory, CdA, GS, CR, Athena, chorus etc. There are also first generation campag aero levers which are convertible (i.e. they will run either cable routing) and models with adjustable MA (in aero mode).

Thanks!

Brucey
Posts: 37424
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby Brucey » 21 Feb 2019, 6:33am

I wouldn't use the continentals because they are too thin. They also overheat too easily for my liking, I suspect in part because they are somewhat short (small area). If you like the compound, you can buy inserts which fit the original holders

Image

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brake-blocks/koolstop-campagnolo-retro-brake-blocks-2-pairs-salmon/

also available in black.

Image

I would also cut slots (not too deep, so that they would need to be recut part way through the insert life) in the face of the brake block.


These are original style inserts

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-CAMPAGNOLO-BREV-INTER-EARLY-MODEL-RECORD-BRAKE-BLOCK-RUBBERS-1960S-70S-NOS/273695497899?hash=item3fb985deab:g:K30AAOSwopRYZirE:rk:15:pf:0

but if they are NOS then the rubber may have gone hard.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Brucey
Posts: 37424
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby Brucey » 21 Feb 2019, 6:59am

there is quite a good write-up about CR brake levers (including those with adjustable MA) here

http://lecycleur.com/campagnolo/campagnolo-c-record-brake-levers-explained/

For basic non-aero levers you can use GS ones;

Image

these have no drillings (which means some folk find them a bit slippy) but they are readily available and they are the same geometry as the posher versions. They are also slightly lighter in weight (campag used thicker alloy for those that were perforated....). Geometry varies slightly with age of lever.

Image

and you may choose one lever over another based on preference and/or handlebar shape. MA is about the same (about 4:1). Reputedly (and surprisingly) the white lever hoods are the most durable. Hood shape varies slightly with age of lever too.

Note that if you use vintage campag brake levers, you may need to revise your toolkit; the usual fitting is a recessed nut; only a socket (preferably with a slim shaft) will do to retighten it.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Samuel D
Posts: 2894
Joined: 8 Mar 2015, 11:05pm
Location: Paris

Re: Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby Samuel D » 4 Mar 2019, 10:58am

How about Dia-Compe GC202 brake levers? Only 30 quid at Spa Cycles. They have a die-cast metal bracket, unlike many new levers.

Brucey
Posts: 37424
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby Brucey » 4 Mar 2019, 11:43am

I think they will be OK but tbh I'm a bit fuzzy on exactly where the pivot is located. A few non-aero levers have the pivot lower, i.e. almost where it would be in an aero lever, and these have an MA that varies slightly differently through the lever stroke.

I think this is a photo of a GC202

Image

this picture compares sun tour, campag and GC levers, but I'm not sure which exact model of GC lever they are (and there are/were several)

Image

FWIW all three above have the pivot at about the same height as the cable attachment, so will have an MA that varies in about the same way through the stroke. In this case the GC MA is slightly higher than the others, which is arguably no bad thing with SP calipers.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Samuel D
Posts: 2894
Joined: 8 Mar 2015, 11:05pm
Location: Paris

Re: Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby Samuel D » 8 Aug 2019, 9:08pm

Some notes after using these brakes front and rear for a few months with Kool-Stop salmon inserts:

They howl. The front too often. The rear once in a blue moon, usually in the presence of water (but not much water, when it goes silent again). I suspect this is why Jobst Brandt favoured Kool-Stop Continentals that have less meat on them and greater stiffness.

I could not solve the front squealing and so eventually swapped the Kool-Stop inserts for Campagnolo’s own, which I found brand new in a box that looks fairly recent. I think they still make these:

Image


Image


Image


Image


Image

(That bag was fully sealed before I opened it.)

These pads appear to have finally solved the squealing, though I haven’t tried them in proper rain yet.

The brakes have plenty of power for someone of my weight. I have lifted the rear tyre with my usual two-finger braking going into corners (I’ve figured out pretty well how much braking I can get away with on a few local descents, so this isn’t as dangerous as it sounds).

Control is good, especially at low retardation where my BR-R650s never convinced me they weren’t snatching minor rim wobbles. This gives me confidence in wet corners.

Centring has not been a problem. When the pads veer to one side, which happens less often than I expected, a single drop of oil on each spring contact instantly cures it. I haven’t yet lifted the spring ends out to clean the grooves.

There are no ball bearings to corrode, the various steel fixings are of outstanding quality, tyre clearance is huge, rim running clearance is pretty good too, the pads don’t climb or descend with wear, the callipers cannot be knocked off-centre in parking incidents, and the ensemble looks sublime to my eye.

If there’s a reason everyone shifted to dual-pivots I haven’t found it yet.

The brake lever situation is a work in progress. I may yet revert to my Shimano BL-R400s, especially if I can figure out a way to remove their return springs.

Brucey
Posts: 37424
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby Brucey » 8 Aug 2019, 9:18pm

one of the things that may trip you up is the brake centring as the brakes wear, on the front brake esp if you use aero levers. This is no more than mildly irritating if you have a reasonable length of cable run to the brake caliper but if the frame is small and the cable run is short, it can be a real PITA.

FWIW if you show these brakes winter weather the chromed steel parts tend to corrode.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Samuel D
Posts: 2894
Joined: 8 Mar 2015, 11:05pm
Location: Paris

Re: Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby Samuel D » 16 Feb 2020, 9:55pm

I finally got some Gran Sport brake levers. They have a few scratches and blemishes on the outside but look like new inside. These levers haven’t seen many miles. Brand new hoods too, though not sure if genuine:

Image

Like everything else I’ve seen of Tullio’s Campagnolo, these are impressive to hold in the hand even today. Cleverly designed, light, elegant, and seemingly good materials throughout.

Question 1: what did I give up by not going for Nuovo Record levers?

Question 2: do I need a special ferrule or seat where the cable housing contacts the lever body? Nothing came with them.

Brucey
Posts: 37424
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby Brucey » 16 Feb 2020, 10:12pm

IIRC BITD campag used unusually fat brake housing; it might have been 5.5mm?. Do check this but I would recommend that you use a ferrule if you can fit one in.

Re differences to NR; apart from looks, 'not much'. Some folk find the plain levers a bit slippy when your hands are sweaty; in this respect the textured or drilled ones are better. However the drilled ones are often heavier than the plain ones, since the material in drilled ones is thicker to start with. The drilled ones are more aerodynamically draggy too, if you care about such things.

One of the things to watch out for is that the part that holds the nipple does indeed articulate easily; if it doesn't then the cable tends to fail at the nipple; BITD before aero levers, this was sufficiently likely that one of the pre-race scrutineering checks that was done in BCF road races was a check for fraying cables inside the levers. Scrutineering failures for this were not uncommon. A little lubrication will keep the part moving freely; however a lot of sweat and neglect will cause it to seize up.

The finish on the lever blades is anodised; when this gets scruffy it is tempting to take it all off and to polish the levers instead. However this can turn your hands black when you sweat, so it doesn't suit everyone.

FWIW you may have seen this photo before

Image

however it is almost certainly a photo montage (of photos taken under different lighting conditions, and at different angles) so the differences are actually smaller than they appear in the photo. I do think there is a small colour difference in the anodising between models though.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

peetee
Posts: 1829
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm
Location: Cornwall

Re: Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby peetee » 16 Feb 2020, 10:38pm

I bought a new Triomphe groupset for my Holdsworth back in the mid 80’s . Aesthetically it was superb for what was the bottom of Campag’s range. The finish was top notch and stayed that way for a couple of seasons before rust started to show on the chrome brake fittings. Retailing at £155 it could be bought for a whisker under the cost of Shimano’s 600EX group which, to my eye looked as classy but with a more modern angle. In terms of performance it has to be said that Shimano was leagues ahead. The Triomphe brakes needed more effort and the rear gear change was shocking.
Current status report:
Back on two wheels in deepest Pastyland and loving every minute. Mission: to enjoy big, bad hills again.

RPH52
Posts: 1
Joined: 17 Feb 2020, 1:11am

Re: Campagnolo Record single-pivot brakes – set-up questions

Postby RPH52 » 17 Feb 2020, 1:24am

I use an end cap, but I don't think it matters beyond aesthetics.

As for which brake pad to use, I have no preference. The old Campagnolo pads tended to collect metal bits. Continental Kool Stop doesn't have that issue as much, but they're more prone to squeal. On the rear they last for many years. As I've mentioned, I use a Campagnolo brake on the rear because the calipers spread apart more than Shimano, making wheel removal less of a hassle when the 28 mm tire is inflated.

I tried a Campagnolo brake caliper on the front using Shimano Ultegra shift levers but the brake ratio isn't right and I couldn't brake well. On the rear it doesn't much matter what you use since there's so little braking.

I think Campagnolo was 1:1 vs. 4-1 for Shimano. Jobst Brandt railed against that arrangement, but he had big, strong hands, so 1:1 suited him and enjoyed the benefits of easy wheel removal as a result.