talk to me about roadie brakes (calipers)

maddog 2
maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
edited October 2009 in Road buying advice
I'm about to build a new flat-bar bike with dual pivots.

I'm thinking Ultegra/Rival/Centuar type level calipers

- Ribble have the new 6700 Ultegra for £76 a pair.
- Ribble have Centaur for £72
- Merlin have Ultegra SL for £60
- CRC have Sram Rival for £80
- Merlin have Sram Force for £100

How do the Sram calipers compare against Shimano?

and does anyone know how Shimano/Sram/Campag compare in terms of cable pull, as I'll be using flat-bar levers so could potentially use any make of caliper?

Weight isn't a big deal, performance is.
Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer


  • hopper1
    hopper1 Posts: 4,389
    I can't comment on cable pull, mate. But, I have SRAM Force on my best bike - Superb stoppers, 105 on my first bike - Ok' ish, and Shimano deep drop 6500's on my new winter bike - Scared me shitless, yesterday... Think new blocks are in order!
    I'd go for the SRAM if I were you.
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • TommyEss
    TommyEss Posts: 1,855
    Be aware that the quick releases on brakes vary - Campag brakes have their quick release located in the ergoshift lever - not on the brake calliper itself.

    Given that - I'd steer well clear of Campag for the purposes of your flat-barred road bike!
    Cannondale Synapse 105, Giant Defy 3, Giant Omnium, Giant Trance X2, EMC R1.0, Ridgeback Platinum, On One Il Pompino...
  • Chris James
    Chris James Posts: 1,040
    I am pretty sure on C+ latest round up of groupsets (November edition) they said that 6700 brake calipers only work with 6700 shifters.

    I don't know what impact flat bar levers would have as I have enver had a flat barrred bike!
  • maddog 2
    maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    yep, the Campag option is less attractive, due to the quick release issue, as TS points out.

    from the reviews I've read the SRAMs seem to be slightly ahead but I haven't found any info on cable pull.

    No one used Sram calipers on Shimano STI?
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • acorn_user
    acorn_user Posts: 1,137
    They are all intercompatible except the brand new Dura Ace and Ultegra calipers, which will only work with the new STI levers.
  • gkerr4
    gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    i'd go for the ultegra at £60

    or look for 105 if they are cheaper - i don't think it is worth the extra for ultegra (maybe DA just to show off) - but I wouldn't go lower than 105

    that said - the campag skeleton brakes are the best looking (IMO) I have centaur on my best bike and love the look - also love the single pivot rear which makes it slimmer and lighter but still more than enough power for the back - but agree than you probably want the QR lever to be on the caliper so they are ruled out.
  • graeme_s-2
    graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    I have 105 brakes on one bike, and the new Ultegra on my latest. The new Ultegra brakes are a whole order of magnitude better than the 105s. They're so fierce they're frightening until you get used to modulating them properly. I'm using them with their matching STis, so can't comment on compatibility.
  • maddog 2
    maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    cheers all

    I need to do some measuring of cable pull by the look of it. I've got some 105 calipers handy so I'll measure them.

    Does anyone know if the 6700/7900 calipers use more or less cable pull than the older Shimano kit?
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • maddog 2
    maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    okay, I've done a bit of digging and it seems the 6700 Ultegra kit uses more cable pull than older Ultegra stuff (6600).

    in other words...

    if you ran new 6700 STI with old 6600 brakes you have a harder lever and less power, and
    if you ran old 6600 STI with new 6700 brakes you have a softer lever and more power

    bet you're glad you know that now...
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer