Brake Mount

Keeping a classic bike running is often a challenge, especially when it comes to fitting brakes. There have been two significant changes to brake technology since the mid 1980s relevant to classic frames. First, wheel sizes have changed, from 27" to ERTRO 622. And second, the mounting has changed, from an external nut to an internal allen fitting.

An old-style brake, made for 27" wheels on a frame now fitted with ERTRO 622 wheels, may not reach. Drop bolts may take up the distance, but are increasingly hard to find. Furthermore, not all drop bolts will reach [see foto above]. Click here for Sheldon Brown's article on home-made drop bolts.

An alternative is to mill a drop mount from scratch [see foto below].

Special aluminium mounts were made to adapt a set of Campag Delta brakes to an old-style frame. The front mount fits up inside the steering column and is fixed with the standard external brake bolt. This allows the use of the ultra-short-reach Deltas with 622 wheels on a frame made for 27" wheels.

The rear mount clamps onto the brake bridge on both sides, providing a rigid mount for the brake body.

A machine shop milled the aluminium mounts to customer specification. The parts were expensive; I would not want to do this for all my classic bikes.

Campagnolo still deliver new pads for Deltas; Deltas tend to squeal if the pads are not kept fresh and pliant.

Several manufacturers, such as Shimano, Acor, and Alhonga, are now producing modern dual pivot brakes with long-reach calipers for old-style frames. Below: Alhonga model 714 on a 1984 Keyhole. Specs: 51-69mm drop, nut fitting, price 24 GBP, pair, incl post and packing, from St. John Street Cycles, email:

foto courtesy of the owner

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