Monday, June 22, 2009

Cive's Brakes

For these images I have had to dip into my embarrassingly extensive collection of photographs of my bikes parts. The brakes themselves are in Cleveland.

The brakes are the beautiful and fairly rare engraved Mafac 2000s. The 2000s are distinguished from Racers by their always-brass bushings, their anodized finish, and their impossible-to-find proprietary, non-length-adjustable straddle cables. They have a longer reach that the otherwise similar Competitions. Unlike the later 2000s with the sticker logo, mine have a lovely round contour and, well, an engraved logo.

Though these are in retrospect the perfect brakes for Clive (well sized for 700x30 tires plus fenders; pretty, light, French) I didn't go specifically looking for them. I got them on my first ever visit to Bicycle Specialties in late 2007. All I knew was that I wanted some Mafac brakes, which I had been told were cheap and worked very well. I asked Mike Barry if he had any, and he came out with a dirty pair of old brakes. I was very much in awe of Mike at this point and so was too shy to ask how much they cost, or to refuse them. So I just bought them, and was a bit miffed to see that he had charged me $40 for the shabby pair. I consoled myself with the thought that it was at least cool to have bought something from such a legend, and to have done so in the last week the store was in business. Of course, when I got home and did an eBay search for completed listings of engraved 2000s, I realized what a favour Mike had done me.

I never did like the dull anodized finish, however. These brakes were my first experiment in anodizing removal. Taking lots and lots of time, I scraped all the anodizing off with sandpaper. I also did my first filing and took off the casting marks. The next step was to get some decent brake pads: the Kool Stops for old Campagnolo brakes, which also fit in Mafacs. The result of all this is a pair of beautiful and extremely good brakes. For Clive, they'll be mounted by Dan Polito on brazed-on pivots. And on the front, these pivots will support not only the brake (which I bought from Mike Barry) but also a Mariposa front rack (which Mike Barry made.) Clive is a bike with many makers!

"Before and after" shots below. (Note that I also got some brand-new, never-used straddle cables from Mike recently; further proof that the "impossible-to-find" is often neatly stored in one of Mike's many drawers.)

Before: a derelict duo.

After: a suave set.

I heard from Dan earlier this week, and he says Clive is coming along well and nearly done. His internet connection has been down, however, so there still aren't any new photos. Soon!

Update: Another email from Dan, who is about to begin brazing, and notes these final specs:

640 c-c seat tube
600 c-c top tube
80 bb drop
880 standover
650 front center
435 chainstays
805 saddle height from bb
105 stem extension
73* hta / 73.5* sta

Interesting that I can ride a 64cm c-c frame and still have 3.5cm standover clearance in bare feet. I'm taller than I imagined!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, your washers actually fit with your pads. Impressive as always.