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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an older road bike that doesn't brake as well as I'd like it to. It has a single-pivot brake in front that I'd rather not replace if I don't have to. The brake uses old-fashioned rectangular brake shoes. I'd previously intended to replace them with modern cartridge shoes and some nice Kool Stop pads, but a salesman at a bike shop dissuaded me - he said the thicknesses mismatched in a way that would mess up braking performance.

Has anyone tried a swap like this? From putting a caliper to the brake shoes on my nicer road bike, I doubt that there'd be a problem, but I figure it's worth asking before I throw money at the problem.

I'm also considering replacing the brake with a Tektro 800A - it's a dual-pivot brake that comes out of the box with a long bolt and non-recessed nut, and it's available for $18. Has anyone used this brake? The bike is a commuter that I leave locked outside for extended periods, so I'm disinclined to buy the nicer brakes on Velo-orange for it if I'm just compromising convenience and not safety.
 

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I've swapped in modern pads and shoes in a number of vintage single-pivot brakes, and it makes a huge difference.

You should consider seeking a better LBS...that salesman is wack.
 

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That salesman knows not whereof he speaks. You can make modern pads work, and Koolstop even makes some thin pads where you have clearance issues,


Tektro calipers work fine. that model is a long reach. Make sure that's what you need, They make several models,

BTW, you can get around the non-recessed nut issue. It's pretty easy to drill out the back hole on a steel fork and enlarge it to take a recessed nut. So you're not limited to that model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I ended up picking up a set of road cartridge pads and holders.



I think the holder makes them a little stiffer, and I like how easy it is to reload.

It was a little fiddly getting the holder to mount properly, since the nut is recessed and designed for a lever that's thicker at that part of the arm than mine. I cannibalized a pair of washers from a hub I should really have thrown away a couple weeks ago and that took up enough space to make it work.

In my living room, the bike seems to have much more braking power. We'll see how it does tomorrow.

I find it a little ironic that my crappiest bike now has the nicer brake shoes than my nicest (also Kool Stops, but just in the stock 105 holder.)
 

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I hear you. I've got Dia Compe sidepulls that were part of Suntour's Edge group and truthfully didn't think much about it until I got another bike with Tektro brakes. Made me realize how poorly those old sidepulls perform. Everyone that cries about Tektro and other "lesser" branded dual pivots should step back in time and come down a mountain on sidepulls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The nicer brakes on Velo-orange are actually Tektros. And half the people who spend extra on something "better" are also on Tektros, I think.

Anyway, my frankenbrake setup worked pretty well today. It's a mid-80s Weinmann single-pivot sidepull brake on the front, original to the bike, and a fairly low-end Tektro dual-pivot sidepull (still higher-end than their 800A, though) on the back. The new Kool Stops went on the front; the back has a disposable Serfas shoe for however long that lasts. The standards change is irritating, and if I had it to do over, I probably would have shoved my U-lock up the salesdude's ass and bought two sets of Kool Stop shoes in the first place, instead of trying to adapt a set of recessed-nut Tektros.
 
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