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Need advice for my brakes on vintage Torpado

vivivivivivi Posts: 2
edited January 2018 in Vintage bikes forum
I got nice Torpado as a birthday present, but I am not sure if the brakes too big for my hands or too old. They seem very tight but also not that easy to reach. I am 5.3 tall, the frame is 49cm. Was looking at maybe getting Weinmann Dia-Compe Small Dual Safety Brake Levers. I have attached some photos of the brakes.





  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 12,015
    Move the brake lever assemblies further down the bars..
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    Give what imposter said to try improve the reach, some new cables (inner and outer - probably a tenner and very easy to fit) together with a very good clean and oil of the brake calipers and some new pads (again, probably a tenner) will work wonders.

    Ultimately though, it's an old bike so the brakes are going to be pretty pap, but that's half the fun.

    New retro looking calipers are available should you wish to upgrade.

    Shorter reach levers are also available should moving them not help. All this stuff costs about a tenner as it doesn't have gear shifters and all that jazz built in - SJS cycles or Planet X or similar on the net.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • defeverdefever Posts: 171
    Yup, as per advice above.

    I think your drop bar and brake levers are not positioned optimally. The levers seem to point up towards the sky too much.

    Is yours pointing up like this?:


    I think (I stand corrected if I'm wrong) the general rule of tumb with vintage drop bars are either (whichever looks and feels right):

    1) The drop section being horizontal to the ground (i.e. have a spirit level at the bottom of the drop to level the bar)


    2) Or, the ramps (where the bar starts to curve downwards at the top) following the line of the quill stem (like in this YouTube video: RivBikeWorks: Drop Bar: setting up stem, bars & levers)


    Also, the bottom tip of the brake lever should be in line with the drop section of the bar (you can do with with spirit level or a straight edge). The video above explains it nicely, but the image below was taken from RJ The Bike Guy: How To Convert From Downtube Shifters To STI Shifters (Brifters) On Vintage Bike:


    You might end up having to readjust the position of the brake levers much lower than they are now. That means ripping the bar tape, and readjust the levers (and maybe also the drop bar angle, if you feel you need to), and wrapping a fresh bar tape. As others suggested, whilst you're doing this, might as well renew the brake cables, blocks, service calipers, etc. It's a faff but it'll be worth the effort once it's set up correctly.

    Keep us posted on how you get on!

    Happy cycling!
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