Pivots for Centerpull Brakes

We now have braze-on pivots for centerpull brakes in stock. Small parts like these are easily overlooked. They aren’t exciting, and there is little profit in them. But when you need them, you appreciate them.

Centerpull brakes have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. With brazed-on pivots, they are powerful, elegant and light, while offering superior modulation. However, the pivots have been hard to find. They are different from cantilever pivots.

Most builders have resorted to machining them one by one. Mafac used to offer pivots for brazing onto the frame, and later, Dia-Compe offered copies of the Mafac pivots. Mafac is long-gone, but we managed to get Dia-Compe to make us another production run of these pivots.

The pivots are pre-mitered to fit the fork blades and seatstay. On the left is a rear pivot, which is slightly offset from the seatstays. On the right is a front pivot, which fits in the centerline of the fork blades. (Depending on your configuration, they may need additional mitering.)

The pivots have a machined flat on the part where the spring sits. An aluminum plate with a hole for the spring fits onto the pivot and is located by the flat. Some builder prefer to braze a small tube for the end of the spring onto the pivot. For them, we sell the pivots without the backing plate and spring.

The pivots also include new brake return springs. These are needed if you use Weinmann or Dia-Compe brakes. Mafac brakes already have springs that work with brazed-on pivots. Click here for more information on these pivots and our other framebuilding supplies.

Note: These do not work for Paul centerpull brakes, which use standard cantilever pivots.

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

I love cycling and bicycles, especially those that take us off the beaten path. I edit Bicycle Quarterly magazine, and occasionally write for other publications. One of our companies, Bicycle Quarterly Press publishes cycling books, while Compass Bicycles Ltd. makes and distributes high-quality bicycle components for real-world riders.
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10 Responses to Pivots for Centerpull Brakes

  1. Daniel says:

    Jan, has BQ, or another source written comparisons between sidepulls, bolt on centerpulls and braze on centerpulls? The brazeon makes a lot of sense to me, but I’d love to read more about it some quantified data on this brake style.
    I can imagine, though, the absence of braze on centerpulls on bikes is due, in part, to the additional labor. I have an older Trek that I’m planning to revamp and intend to use some bolt on Mafac Racers and was curious how they’d fair compared to a sidepull brake.

    • Quantitative measurements of brakes are hard. Brake power is relatively easy to measure, see the Autumn 2011 issue where we compare two brakes. However, many brakes offer enough power, and then modulation becomes important. The last thing you want as you brake deep into a corner is the front wheel suddenly to lock up… Modulation is harder to quantify, but easy to experience.

      Bolt-on Racers are great brakes, if you replace the pads. In Bicycle Quarterly’s “Brake Special” issue, we did look at various brake designs and what their advantages and disadvantages are.

  2. Pete says:

    Will these work with DiaCompe NGC 450 brakes, or just the 610 / 750 style?

    • I have little experience with Dia-Compe’s NGC 450 brakes, so I asked Alex Wetmore, who has used them. He wrote: “I think that they’d need to be trimmed for the NGC 450. It has a shorter pivot section than the other brakes. It should be a fairly simple operation on a lathe.”

  3. Hal says:

    Will these pivots and especially the springs work with Dia-Comp’s latest Gran Comp centerpulls?

  4. Daniel says:

    Jan, will you be selling centerpull-mounted racks?

  5. Chapeau!!! I’ve just caught the centerpull bug and was preparing to machine these myself with my limited toolset (not fun). I’ve avoided centerpulls on my new bike builds for years because I only saw those CNC’d Paul Racers, but now I’ve noticed the plentiful amounts of scrap-pile 70′s brakes (Weinmann, Diacompe, Mafac), that (hopefully) can be upgraded to braze-on mounts and perform just as well as the Paul’s.

    I hope that fendered-fat-tire wide centerpulls are one of Compass’s next forged products!

  6. Tom Loscheider says:

    Jan,
    Thanks for bringing these to market! Last month my frame builder turned down a project to modify one of my bikes to take braze-on c-pulls because he couldn’t find the pivots and we decided it would be big bucks to experiment. This solves the problem and I just emailed him links to your blog and store.
    Thanks again… -Tom

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