Upgrade 80s Brake Levers and Callipers?

Cheeseface22 Posts: 133
edited May 2019 in Vintage bikes forum
I'm after a general suggestion on upgrading 80s original brake lever and callipers to something more modern. The bike has already been converted to single speed and the frame + components were never that exciting, just a bog standard budget range bike at the time.

Currently, as original, I have:

Levers: Weinmann "black dot" levers. Non-aero. No rubber hoods.
Callipers: Weinmann 730 (56-75mm reach).

They are functional and work okay. The reasons why I want to change them are:

I want levers with hoods as they can be uncomfortable (I’m getting a ”trigger finger” symptom) with bare hands. Also I’m considering going aero levers, though I’m still pondering on it.

These Weinmann callipers never centre! The callipers are adjusted wide enough so that it still gives me “okay” brake and minimises rubbing. But it’s time to upgrade to something. The reach has never been quite right either. I think I could do with a reach of 50-60mm-ish.

One note:
The frame is obviously an old frame so it won’t take “recessed” nuts for modern brake callipers. I can modify the hole on the fork, but I can’t on the brake bridge (I don’t have the right tool to do the job).

What do you suggest??


  • timothyw
    timothyw Posts: 2,482
    You can drill the frame/fork to accommodate modern calipers, I did this a few years ago, used a right angled drill adapter to do the rear.

    Otherwise you can buy modern brakes with old style fittings but I can't recall where/what the model was.

    I put some modern brakes on an old frame I was using as a beater, and it absolutely transformed it - I could stop! - so would recommend it.

    Levers will probably be fine, but there are plenty of options for modern levers out there if you want padded hoods - otherwise a bit of creative taping might sort it.
  • Cheeseface22
    Cheeseface22 Posts: 133
    Thanks Tim, exactly what I thought.
  • Matthewfalle
    Matthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    planet x ar your boys - i use their brake levers on the s/s and 1x and they have loads of calipers.
    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.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I put some modern long drop calipers with nut fixings on an 80s Peugeot. Alhonga? Got them from SJS. Cheap and cheerful but very effective.

    Looks like these Tektros are the cheapest they have at the moment

    https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brakes/tekt ... ng-silver/
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,288
    Get a long adaptor bolt to make recessed fitting brakes into nut fitting brakes.
    https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brakes/jtek ... onversion/
    The front brake fits to the rear using a nut, the bolt converts the rear brake into a long fitting front brake that will work with a nut. No need to drill anything.
  • Cheeseface22
    Cheeseface22 Posts: 133
    Great, thanks everyone.

    I've been looking at Tektro 359, 539 or something similarly numbered. Haven't thought about long bolt conversion so I'll look into that.
  • You Could just try some better quality 80's brakes. I upgraded from Weinmann to Campag Super Record calipers and they are so much more powerful and center nicely. Lots on E-bay to chose from.
    Bikes are OK, I guess... :-)

    2008 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp.
    2013 Trek 1.2
    1982 Holdsworth Elan.