Old vs new

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by Peowpeowpeowlasers, 12 Aug 2012.

  1. Peowpeowpeowlasers

    Peowpeowpeowlasers Well-Known Member

    I still have my Mercian Audax from my college days in the early 90s. It has early 90s 105 brakes and a mixture of 105 hubs, Ultegra gears, etc.

    3732563831_cc1d6101c8_b.jpg

    Now I'll admit that the gears don't even begin to compare, but the thing is, I cannot for the life of me see how the Tiagra brakes on my Ribble are better than the 105 brakes on the Mercian. They share the same basic design, hinges in the same place, screws in the same place, etc. The only real difference is the brake levers - my old bike has indexed downtube shifters whereas the Ribble has STI levers.

    So is it all bollocks? Are the rim brakes of today no better than those of 20 years ago? Every year we see new groupsets released, but if there'd been any sort of progress I'm sure we'd see cyclists flying over the handlebars every day.
     
  2. Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Man or Moose!

    Location:
    Manchester
    Took them off and weighed them? Compared them under controlled conditions, eg. with the same brake pad on each caliper on the same rims?

    BTW, progress needen't mean increased maximum stopping power!
     
  3. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    The dual pivot calipers on your early nineties bike work as well as those on your modern bike because the design hasn't changed a jot. There's little or nothing you can do to improve them, but brakes have moved on since then with the advent of disc brakes for bikes.

    As for flying over the bars, the more power a brake has the easier it is to control your braking. Try an old car with drums if you don't believe me.
     
    Rickshaw Phil likes this.
  4. Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Man or Moose!

    Location:
    Manchester
    Ultimately yes, the base design has pretty much peaked, but brakes in general seem to be getting lighter (through less material being used in casting/more material removed during CNC milling due to engineering advances), whilst maintaining the same stiffness, stopping power and efficiency. That is progress in itself.
     
  5. dave r

    dave r Dunking Diddy Dave Pedalling Pensioner

    Location:
    Holbrooks Coventry
    Modern brakes do seem to have more bite than brakes of yesteryear, whether it better pads better quality in the callipers or leavers I don't know, but I do know the brakes on my present bikes will lift the back of the bike during an emergency stop to the point where I'm worrying about somersaulting the bike, I don't remember any of my bikes from years ago being able to do that.
     
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