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fiamme red
09-30-2014, 06:04 PM
A great new choice if you want to use centerpull brakes: http://janheine.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/compass-centerpull-brakes/

Q: How do these compare to the Paul Racer brakes?

A: The Pauls are nice brakes, but they have a few compromises that made them more economical to manufacture. The arms are CNC-machined, not forged, so they have to be much beefier to offer the same strength. The pivots are Paul’s standard cantilever pivots, which are much larger than centerpull pivots and encroach on the tire clearance. (This also means that the Paul brakes don’t fit standard centerpull bosses.) The Paul brakes use standard screws rather than custom hardware.

donevwil
09-30-2014, 06:16 PM
No more searching for non-beat-to-death or worn out Raids and Racers, nice. I've got an old set of Mafac Racers on my Mondia commuter and am very impressed how well they work (with modern pads) hauling my 240# to a stop. That said the post-mount Paul Racer Ms on my newest rig are the best rim brakes I've ever used.

christian
09-30-2014, 06:36 PM
Did the world just run out of Dia-Compe 610s?

bobswire
09-30-2014, 07:01 PM
Did the world just run out of Dia-Compe 610s?
The Gran Compe 610 look kinda cool.

http://store.velo-orange.com/index.php/dia-compe-610-centerpull-brake.html

El Chaba
10-01-2014, 07:31 AM
Every couple of months, somebody starts a thread soliciting suggestions for what brakes to use for their dedicated fender/fat tire/gravel grinder, etc. bike that they are having built....I always throw out the suggestion, "Mafac" for two reasons...First, that they STILL are the best brakes that have ever been made for the purpose (with modern pads and brazed on for maximum efficiency).....and second because it will be a bit of a joke as the person soliciting the suggestions really will only consider something like a modern dual pivot or Paul Racers, etc.

JAGI410
10-01-2014, 09:15 AM
They "dreamed" of a new center pull brake and that's what they came up with? Feels like I've seen that same thing before.

palincss
10-01-2014, 09:21 AM
They "dreamed" of a new center pull brake and that's what they came up with? Feels like I've seen that same thing before.

"Of all the centerpull brakes, the Mafac Raids stand out. Mafac designed them in the 1970s, when they had decades of experience with this type of brake. The relationship between the upper and lower arms is perfect, which means you get lots of brake power, yet the pads donít have to be set very close to the rims to prevent the brake levers from bottoming out. The brakes work well both with modern aero levers and with traditional levers. (Their cable pull is right in the middle between sidepull and cantilevers.) We tried many other centerpull brakes, but none came close in performance and feel.

"During the development of our brakes, we did finite element analyses of various centerpull brake arms. We found that they varied greatly in their stiffness. Once again, the Mafac Raid came out on top. So when it came to decide on the shape and general design of our brakes, we couldnít improve on the Raids."

-- http://janheine.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/compass-centerpull-brakes/

JAGI410
10-01-2014, 09:52 AM
Finite element analyses!!!

fiamme red
12-04-2014, 05:50 PM
Now available at $325 a pair: http://www.compasscycle.com/brakesCmCpl.html.

For comparison, Paul Racers are $292.

More information: http://janheine.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/compass-centerpull-brakes-are-here/.

eBAUMANN
12-04-2014, 06:13 PM
i feel like the paul brakes have something going for them that the compass brakes dont: their aesthetic - they look at home on almost any bike, modern or vintage.

these compass brakes look to be beautifully made with performance to match, but i dont think they would look right on a bike with modern components.

just my 2c, definitely very cool to see a company step up and put this style of brake back in production.

guido
12-04-2014, 06:23 PM
They are beautiful. But with that braze on location are they going to sell a lot of brakes? Pretty much custom frame only...

gdw
12-04-2014, 06:41 PM
How do you adjust toe-in on them? Does the washer have grooves, look closely at the pictures, or do you have to bend the arms like we did in the dark ages?

fiamme red
12-04-2014, 06:43 PM
How do you adjust toe-in on them? Does the washer have grooves, look closely at the pictures, or do you have to bend the arms like we did in the dark ages?From one of Jan's comments:

"There is no way to adjust toe-in, because itís not necessary. Unlike cantilevers, centerpull brakes are not very sensitive to toe-in. The pads bed themselves within a few rides, and then are quiet Ė as long as your bushings donít have excessive play. If you like, you can file the groove in the washer under the pad and thus adjust the toe-in."

gdw
12-04-2014, 06:52 PM
Cool. Does mounting the pad holder upside down prevent squealing too?:banana:

thirdgenbird
12-04-2014, 07:24 PM
i feel like the paul brakes have something going for them that the compass brakes dont: their aesthetic - they look at home on almost any bike, modern or vintage.

these compass brakes look to be beautifully made with performance to match, but i dont think they would look right on a bike with modern components.

just my 2c, definitely very cool to see a company step up and put this style of brake back in production.

I couldn't agree more. Given the rather narrow market for their aesthetics, I also think they are too spendy. For me, I can't think of a build that would have the proper aesthetics for these brakes that would warrant the cost over the Gran Compe 610. If I where building a bike with a budget and performance that would warrant $300 brakes on custom mounts, I would guess that Paul's would be a better visual match.

bicycletricycle
12-04-2014, 08:33 PM
Paul brakes look pretty clunky in comparison to mafacs or mafac copies, IMHO.

Forging is a better way to make a pair of brake arms.

the lack of toe adjustment on these brakes is kinda silly.

Why not metal bearings? Paul brakes are all metal and work great,

IGUS does make some nice bearings but they are still plastic.

I think these slender beauties might make it onto my next chapman, probably machine some brass bearings for them though.

All that custom hardware is admirable, it would have been a lot easier for them to design everything to take standard hardware store stuff life PAUL.

Overall I think it is a nice option for custom rando frames.

thirdgenbird
12-04-2014, 08:46 PM
Forging is better.

Honestly, I like the standard hardware better. Paul brakes don't suffer from any performance issues due to their standard hardware and it is much easier to replace if needed. I also prefer stainless hardware over chromed steel.

pbarry
12-04-2014, 08:46 PM
Cool. Does mounting the pad holder upside down prevent squealing too?:banana:

My eyes aren't what they used to be but the wheel travels counter clockwise in your image of the rear wheel, so the BP holder is in the correct position..

bicycletricycle
12-04-2014, 08:56 PM
Look upside down to me

gdw
12-04-2014, 08:58 PM
If the pad holder is arched, like it appears on my screen, the middle of the pad is lower than the front and rear. Rotate it 180 degrees and it will track properly.

pbarry
12-04-2014, 09:00 PM
It the pad holder is arched, like it appears on my screen, the middle of the pad is lower than the front and rear. Turn it 180 degrees and it will track properly.

Yss, I get that, but, more importantly, there should be a stop tang that faces towards the front of the bike.

gdw
12-04-2014, 09:08 PM
"there should be a stop tang that faces towards the front of the bike."

I hope there is. The pad looks arched in all three pictures and only appears to track the rim in the third. Must be the camera angle.

pbarry
12-04-2014, 09:21 PM
OK, pad holders are reversed, not upside down, on the rear brake. Think that's it. JH will have a fit when he sees this. ;)

oldpotatoe
12-05-2014, 08:10 AM
How do you adjust toe-in on them? Does the washer have grooves, look closely at the pictures, or do you have to bend the arms like we did in the dark ages?

A $325 rehack of 50 year old brakes. No toe in adjust? Maybe those 'rides to bed the pads', squeal wouldn't bother Jan but it would bug me.

Plus the unique to this, straddle cable with 2 ends. Yup J&B has 'em, but pretty hard to find.

oldpotatoe
12-05-2014, 08:14 AM
OK, pad holders are reversed, not upside down, on the rear brake. Think that's it. JH will have a fit when he sees this. ;)

hope so...:p

And right below he mentions a der cable as straddle cable, so I assume the cable end holders have a set screw in one and a hole in the other?

Jan Heine
12-05-2014, 09:58 AM
OK, pad holders are reversed, not upside down, on the rear brake. Think that's it. JH will have a fit when he sees this. ;)

The pad holder isn't reversed. You are looking at a rear brake.

https://janheine.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/comp_brake_3.jpg

Think about the direction the rear wheel rotates... from right to left.

It does look like the pad holder is curved, but that is just a reflection in the highly polished aluminum. Pad and holder are straight and installed correctly.

The straddle cable isn't propietary - it's a normal shifter cable.

Toe-in adjustment is something we thought about. We haven't found one that is easy and intuitive enough to use for most home mechanics, and honestly, these brakes don't squeal for more than one ride. If you want, you can file the groove in the washer under the pad post on one side, and get the toe-in you want in 20 seconds, once and for all. This may be useful if your builder didn't braze the posts straight. It has the advantage that your toe-in will remain the same even after you replace the brake pads.

It's always difficult when we make things that are different from what people expect, even if there are good technical reasons for it: crank arms that aren't anodized, tires that don't have puncture protection, or now brakes without toe-in adjustment and without stainless steel hardware. Some people obviously like to think we are idiots who can't even install brake pads correctly...

It would be easier to just do things like many others, but we'd end up with an inferior product. And since we ride our parts ourselves, we have an added incentive to make the very best. Otherwise, why do it at all?

Jan Heine
Compass Bicycles Ltd.
http://www.compasscycle.com

Follow our blog at http://janheine.wordpress.com/

thirdgenbird
12-05-2014, 10:18 AM
The more I look at it, the prettier they get.

Mark McM
12-05-2014, 11:15 AM
Forging is a better way to make a pair of brake arms.

Why? What does forging do to improve a brake arm? Forging can improve strength, but it doesn't improve stiffness. But how often do brake arms break? If the brake arm is beefy enough for adequate stiffness, it is generally strong enough not to break, regardless of whether it is forged, machined, or even cast.

merckx
12-05-2014, 01:21 PM
Nice brakes, Jan. Good luck with sales. My next frame-set may sport a pair.

thirdgenbird
12-05-2014, 01:53 PM
It's always difficult when we make things that are different from what people expect, even if there are good technical reasons for it: crank arms that aren't anodized, tires that don't have puncture protection, or now brakes without toe-in adjustment and without stainless steel hardware.

I missed this before. I don't have any issue with your hardware, I only said prefered stainless hardware. That said, that was only from my experiences trying to clean up pitted chrome. Your descion to use a chromed steel spring was the correct one. I totally believe they will be more consistent over time than stainless. I was only referring to the fasteners.

I am also taking back my statement. The Paul brakes look good with the stainless hardware given their industrial appearance. Yours would look silly. There would be too many finishes that did not match.

Unexplainably, I've been back to look at these brakes 4 or 5 times. I get it now. I was being short sided and only thinking about the type of bike I want to build. One that the Paul brakes would be a better fit for. On a vintage styles rando bike with a fillet brazed stem, hammered fenders, and a TA (or similar) crankset, these would be just the ticket. I even think you could mix them with modern silver campy shifters/derailleurs given the right crankset and frame. I would still prefer toe adjustment, but you could probably put some cyclocross pad holders on them without spoiling the appearance.

Jan Heine
12-05-2014, 02:16 PM
I missed this before.

No need to apologize. I respect modern bikes, too. I think mix-and-match can look really cool, too, like Tony Pereira's test bike for Bicycle Quarterly, which had a Campy carbon crank and lever-operated front derailleur. It just has to be done tastefully. (A Shimano Dura-Ace crank probably wouldn't have looked good in this context.)

http://www.bikequarterly.com/images/Pereirafull.jpg

Regarding stainless steel fasteners –∑they aren't as strong, so we'd have to make them bigger (heavier), which also would have meant beefier (heavier) arms to accommodate them. Our fasteners are triple-plated, so they should resist corrosion for decades. If they start to get pitted in 30 or 40 years, you can always replace them.

Jan Heine
Compass Bicycles Ltd.
www.compasscycle.com (http://www.compasscycle.com)

Follow our blog at http://janheine.wordpress.com/

thirdgenbird
12-05-2014, 02:26 PM
Whoa! That bike is hot. The cranks and levers are oddly perfect. The only think I would do is swap out the post for an old suntour xc pro. Don't ask me to justify it, I just would :)

I understand your fastener position. Regardless of strength, the chrome does look nice.

choke
12-05-2014, 02:36 PM
I even think you could mix them with modern silver campy shifters/derailleurs given the right crankset and frame.I like them and think they'd look great with that combo - in my eye they're more attractive than the Paul's. If they'd been around when I had my SB built I might well have went with them but the Racers were the only game in town then....

thirdgenbird
12-05-2014, 02:42 PM
I like them and think they'd look great with that combo - in my eye they're more attractive than the Paul's. If they'd been around when I had my SB built I might well have went with them but the Racers were the only game in town then....

As a rule of thumb:
Modern = chorus and Paul
Vintage = Athena or veloce and Compass

Not to say a mix (per above) can't work

Jan Heine
12-05-2014, 04:34 PM
Whoa! That bike is hot.

It rode as well as it looks. I was tempted to order one for myself...

Jan Heine
Editor
Bicycle Quarterly

thirdgenbird
12-05-2014, 04:45 PM
It rode as well as it looks. I was tempted to order one for myself...

Jan Heine
Editor
Bicycle Quarterly

It's got me searching for a rod style front derailleur...

rockdoc
12-06-2014, 06:57 AM
check out the gallery at Tony Pereira's website.

Whoa! That bike is hot. The cranks and levers are oddly perfect.

JAGI410
12-06-2014, 10:19 AM
The more I look at it, the prettier they get.

Indeed. If you can afford a custom bike where brake posts need to be located for these brakes...then you can probably afford these brakes. It's all starting to make sense. I could see where these brakes would be the perfect crowning touch, whereas the aesthetic of the Pauls would be out of place.

sparky33
12-06-2014, 04:56 PM
Good to see the Compass brakes happening.... there is demand for them, albeit niche demand. No more fishing on eBay for overpriced refurbished incomplete Mafac sets.

In general, Compass makes great stuff that isn't offered elsewhere. I don't like all of it but I really love some of it.

gomango
12-06-2014, 05:08 PM
Indeed. If you can afford a custom bike where brake posts need to be located for these brakes...then you can probably afford these brakes. It's all starting to make sense. I could see where these brakes would be the perfect crowning touch, whereas the aesthetic of the Pauls would be out of place.

All likely true, except the Pauls looking out of place.

One of the more spectacular destinations of Pauls is the Chris Bishop NAHBS rando of a few years back.

I still look this up Radavist entry and proceed to drool.

http://theradavist.com/2012/03/beautiful-bicycle-2012-nahbs-bishop-650b-randonneur/#26

http://theradavist.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/IMG_4200.jpg

http://theradavist.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/IMG_4204.jpg

http://theradavist.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/IMG_4210.jpg

http://theradavist.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/IMG_4256.jpg

pbarry
12-06-2014, 05:36 PM
The pad holder isn't reversed. You are looking at a rear brake.

https://janheine.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/comp_brake_3.jpg

Think about the direction the rear wheel rotates... from right to left.

It does look like the pad holder is curved, but that is just a reflection in the highly polished aluminum. Pad and holder are straight and installed correctly.

The straddle cable isn't propietary - it's a normal shifter cable.

Toe-in adjustment is something we thought about. We haven't found one that is easy and intuitive enough to use for most home mechanics, and honestly, these brakes don't squeal for more than one ride. If you want, you can file the groove in the washer under the pad post on one side, and get the toe-in you want in 20 seconds, once and for all. This may be useful if your builder didn't braze the posts straight. It has the advantage that your toe-in will remain the same even after you replace the brake pads.

It's always difficult when we make things that are different from what people expect, even if there are good technical reasons for it: crank arms that aren't anodized, tires that don't have puncture protection, or now brakes without toe-in adjustment and without stainless steel hardware. Some people obviously like to think we are idiots who can't even install brake pads correctly...

It would be easier to just do things like many others, but we'd end up with an inferior product. And since we ride our parts ourselves, we have an added incentive to make the very best. Otherwise, why do it at all?

Jan Heine
Compass Bicycles Ltd.
http://www.compasscycle.com

Follow our blog at http://janheine.wordpress.com/

Jan, thanks for chiming in. I appreciate you pointing out the error of my ways, err, eyes. These are beauties, and you've remained true to a tested vintage design, adding improvements only where needed. Really well done! :beer:

donevwil
12-06-2014, 06:39 PM
Good to see the Compass brakes happening.... there is demand for them, albeit niche demand. No more fishing on eBay for overpriced refurbished incomplete Mafac sets.

Well said.

I'm 6' 5", 230 and have a long-searched-for set of Mafac Racers on an old Mondia. Truth be told they stop as well as any dual pivot I've ever used. For me they're second only to Paul Racer Ms and discs in overall function (power, modulation). Considering the cost of a custom bike and the importance of a good set of brakes these are reasonably prices IMO.

This thread has started another n+1 fantasy.

rayms
04-04-2017, 10:15 PM
These are optimized for 42mm tires. How are these with 28mm tires?

unterhausen
04-05-2017, 12:59 AM
I think with 28's you might be better off with Mafac Racers. I have some RAIDs, I think they would look funny on a tire that small

rsandoval75002
04-05-2017, 04:23 PM
Those look very nice, how do they perform?

rayms
04-05-2017, 11:30 PM
I think with 28's you might be better off with Mafac Racers. I have some RAIDs, I think they would look funny on a tire that small
Is it just the look? Going to run 28's that are actually 30's.
What is the reach of the Compass?

unterhausen
04-06-2017, 12:03 AM
Just like Paul's has the Racer M's for smaller tires. MAFAC Racers are similar. Not sure why you would have that much space around a tire, it will definitely look funny. I'd take a picture for you, but it's a busy week. There are a lot of custom bikes that are being built around 32's-34's, fenders and MAFAC Racers. It looks good to me. If you want to run 44mm tires, you need RAIDs or Compass.

ColonelJLloyd
04-06-2017, 01:25 AM
If I was going to run 30mm max tires on a bike with traditional center bolt mounting I would definitely use a dual pivot sidepull. TRP, Velo Orange and Shimano make excellent long reach sidepulls that don't require the compromises or extra hardware of centerpulls. And I am a fan of centerpulls when they are the better choice.

palincss
04-06-2017, 08:40 AM
Is it just the look? Going to run 28's that are actually 30's.
What is the reach of the Compass?

66-80. It's basically a Mafac RAID.

https://ruedatropical.wordpress.com/category/components/brakes/mafac-brakes-components/