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'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 15 Jul 2020, 7:29am
by robert17
People, the Carlton Cyclone is coming along nicely. Really pleased. However, the braking is desperate and I expected to change the brake blocks anyhow. Can anyone recommend a classic style brake block to suit these newly sparkling steel rims? Thanks in advance. Robert.

Re: 'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 15 Jul 2020, 9:10am
by Brucey
on steel rims braking is never going to be great in the wet but if you want brakes that work reasonably well on steel rims these fibrax sh297 brake blocks work as well as anything I have yet tried

Image

cheers

Re: 'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 15 Jul 2020, 3:13pm
by tim-b
Hi
BITD leather brake blocks were supposedly "the thing" for steel rims, no great difference to any other from memory
The best thing is to wait for a bit of surface rust to form, far more effective :D
Regards
tim-b

Re: 'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 15 Jul 2020, 3:21pm
by fausto99
Brucey wrote:on steel rims braking is never going to be great in the wet but if you want brakes that work reasonably well on steel rims these fibrax sh297 brake blocks work as well as anything I have yet tried

May work ok but, IMO they don't they constitute a "classic style" that the OP wanted. For "the look ", they need to be blocks in metal shoes, surely?

What about these? https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Fibrax-Raleigh ... gL_vPD_BwE

or these with leather inserts https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/2256083426?iid ... gI00vD_BwE , IF the rims are steel.

Re: 'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 15 Jul 2020, 3:35pm
by Brucey
IME the leather faced ones work OK until the pores of the leather get clogged (which is not long) and then they are pretty useless. The thing that makes the SH297 brake blocks work reasonably well on steel rims is the compound.

There are any number brake shoes that look the part but because of the compounds used they just don't work as well, hence my caveat 'if you want brakes that work reasonably well'.....

cheers

Re: 'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 15 Jul 2020, 4:36pm
by JakobW
I took 'vintage' to mean 'will fit old brakes' (Sidepulls? Centrepulls?). Kool-stop continentals look near-identical to Brucey's suggestion, except they're in the Kool-stop salmon compound; that's supposed to be ok on steel rims (inasmuch as anything is...)

Re: 'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 15 Jul 2020, 4:42pm
by fausto99
robert17 wrote:People, the Carlton Cyclone is coming along nicely. Really pleased. However, the braking is desperate and I expected to change the brake blocks anyhow. Can anyone recommend a classic style brake block to suit these newly sparkling steel rims? Thanks in advance. Robert.

There you go. Only you can decide which is more important, looks or stopping power. Maybe you won't be riding this bike very fast, nor in the wet, nor downhill, nor in traffic? :lol:

Re: 'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 15 Jul 2020, 7:42pm
by SA_SA_SA
Brucey wrote:....The thing that makes the SH297 brake blocks work reasonably well on steel rims is the compound...

Is that the same compound as in the fibrax Brompton brakes which take convenient slide in out pads (And,on rear, I found work well in dry and adequately in wet (after the usual slight delay))?

Re: 'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 15 Jul 2020, 8:27pm
by robert17
The bike will not be seeing huge miles, nor will I be hurting down hills at great speed. They are Raleigh branded centre pulls and I just want a reasonable performance. I cannot compare to my Campagnolo Potenza brakes on road bike.

On a side note, does anyone know of any retro events other than l'eroica? It is very very expensive.

Re: 'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 15 Jul 2020, 9:02pm
by Brucey
SA_SA_SA wrote:
Brucey wrote:....The thing that makes the SH297 brake blocks work reasonably well on steel rims is the compound...

Is that the same compound as in the fibrax Brompton brakes.....?


I think not. I don't think Fibrax use the same compound in any other brake block. SH297 was originally sold as a 'BMX' brake block and I only even bothered trying it on steel rims on the recommendation of a LBS mechanic. It is much the best performing brake block (esp in the wet) I have found, on steel rims.

If you just want something which 'looks correct' then there are cheap 'X' pattern brake blocks which look about right for Raleigh branded Weinmann brakes (which is what the OP has, I expect). However BITD the shoes for X-pattern brake blocks were aluminium and the modern ones are more often steel these days; nothing like the same quality and the same can be said for the performance on steel rims too.

You want 'reasonable performance'...? Well I don't think 'reasonable' includes no noticeable effect when you first apply the brakes in the wet, which is what you will get with most brake blocks when the brake is first applied on steel rims.

cheers

Re: 'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 15 Jul 2020, 9:38pm
by st599_uk
robert17 wrote:The bike will not be seeing huge miles, nor will I be hurting down hills at great speed. They are Raleigh branded centre pulls and I just want a reasonable performance. I cannot compare to my Campagnolo Potenza brakes on road bike.

On a side note, does anyone know of any retro events other than l'eroica? It is very very expensive.
Retro Velo in the Lake District https://sportivelakes.co.uk/

The Gert Lush in Bristol https://www.thegertlush.com/

Re: 'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 15 Jul 2020, 9:45pm
by jimlews
robert17 wrote:
On a side note, does anyone know of any retro events other than l'eroica? It is very very expensive.



The V-CC or Veteran Cycle Club is a pretty much an international club for the enjoyment, restoration and riding of old bicycles. It's UK based and Worcester is right between two very active sections. The Hereford section is probably closest to you. A very friendly and knowledgeable bunch of gals and guys. They hold monthly rides; easy paced and a good natter in pub or cafe for good measure.

Highly recommended.

Re: 'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 15 Jul 2020, 10:09pm
by robert17
jimlews wrote:
robert17 wrote:
On a side note, does anyone know of any retro events other than l'eroica? It is very very expensive.



The V-CC or Veteran Cycle Club is a pretty much an international club for the enjoyment, restoration and riding of old bicycles. It's UK based and Worcester is right between two very active sections. The Hereford section is probably closest to you. A very friendly and knowledgeable bunch of gals and guys. They hold monthly rides; easy paced and a good natter in pub or cafe for good measure.

Highly recommended.

Many thanks. And Fibrax pads purchased. X pattern ones in my experience are poor.

Re: 'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 16 Jul 2020, 2:58am
by Samuel D
Try replacing the cables and, importantly, cable housings too. That can make a huge difference to braking effectiveness on old bicycles.

Re: 'Vintage' brake block recommendation

Posted: 16 Jul 2020, 6:52am
by robert17
Samuel D wrote:Try replacing the cables and, importantly, cable housings too. That can make a huge difference to braking effectiveness on old bicycles.

Indeed. Something I would routinely do on my other bikes. The outer cable is a beautiful seventies off white with ribbing. Any ideas where this can be located? Brakes also have what I understand is called a yoke cable.

Also, the cables seem thicker than modern ones. Am I imagining this?