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Modern calipers on old frame

MountainMonsterMountainMonster Posts: 7,423
edited September 2013 in Workshop
I'm building up an old steel frame. I've got most of it working ok now, but the calipers I have refuse to fit. The back part of the bolt will not fit in either the hole on the forks oron the frame. Am I able to buy the back part in a slightly smaller size so I can get these brakes working, or do I need retro specific brakes? If so,some recommendations would be great!


  • I think it is the sunken nut I need, but I have no idea which size will fit the old frame.
  • YossieYossie Posts: 2,600
    I use current brakes on an old 1980s Gitane - the bolts fit through fine.

    End of the day, if you can't smack them through with a hammer you could just drill out the mounting holes by a mil' or so - no danger of affect structural integrity and so long as you do it properly you won't even notice.
  • It's not the bolts which are the problem, it is the nut. The hole is too small for the nut to go in. I may try drilling out and see if I manage not to go wrong.
  • Do you have the nut from the original brakes? If so, that should fit onto modern Shimano calipers. I had to do,the same with my old Raleigh.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    edited September 2013
    If the sunken nut doesn't fit then you probably need the old style nuts that aren't sunken(!). However, these use longer bolts than the sunken variety (logical if you think about it). You can easily and cheaply swap the bolts for new ones - eg ... 5d43e73c6b

    You'll probably be able to use the original front bolt on the back and use the long bolt from the above set for the other one mounted on the front.

    Edit - ahh, missed that you already have new calipers. I guess that you need to drill out the holes on the far side of the bridges - I think that is what is usually done in your circumstances!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • I got my 1986 frame back on the road recently and swapped out the old centre pull Weinmanns for a brakeset in the Tektro range.

    Measure the "drop" (mm from centre bolt to centre of brake block where it contacts the rim) and find the model you need. My old frame needed the R559 which are the "very deep drop" version. Compared to the old brakes they are in a different world and not far off decent short reach calipers if fitted with decent pads. The tektro range includes recessed bolt and exposed nut types.
  • Great, thanks for the tips guys. I may just end up boring out the hole a bit.

  • With shimano and tektro brakes you can replace the centre bolt with this ... 0s100p2341, avoids having to drill out the fork bridge and you get modern callipers.
  • term1teterm1te Posts: 1,462
    andrew549 wrote:
    With shimano and tektro brakes you can replace the centre bolt with this ... 0s100p2341, avoids having to drill out the fork bridge and you get modern callipers.

    Top tip, many thanks!
  • Tektro make nutted dual pivot brakes in long drop form though. No short drop nutted brakes left. Either that or fit a longer bolt. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • I ended up drilling the forks out so I could use a recessed nut for the front. I've ordered long drop nutter brakes for rear. Strange combo of parts I have used! My levers are strange too.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    When I helped my son do up an 80's steel framed peugeot the original Campag brakes were sadly completely buggered. I just got some 57mm drop dual pivot calipers from Spa Cycles for £20 or so. Alhonga I think they are; quite effective.

    Have a read on Sheldon Brown for fitting new calipers to an old frame. Very enlightening. All kinds of options
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