Brakes

Rene Herse Cable Hangers

Cable hangers aren't a very exciting topic. We love to talk about derailleurs or brakes, because they are complicated parts with many intricacies. But cable hangers...? And yet they're as important for the performance of your bike. It's small parts like these that can make a big difference when...

Optimizing the Cantilever Brake

Cantilever brakes have traditionally been the way to make brakes for bikes with wide tires. Invented by Nicola Barra in 1936, they were the first direct-mount brakes with pivots that attached to the fork blades and seatstays. This eliminated the flex that is inevitable with long brake calipers that...

Why I Choose Centerpull Brakes

When I spec'd my new bike for this year's Paris-Brest-Paris (and for our adventures in the Cascade Mountains), I opted for centerpull brakes. I didn't choose centerpulls out of nostalgia. For the riding I do, they are the best choice. Why not disc brakes? It's undeniable that the best hydraulic disc...

Introducing Rene Herse Cantilever Brakes

The new René Herse cantilever brakes are here! Prototypes of these brakes were one of the secrets that made Peter Weigle’s bike at this year’s Concours de Machines so light. They weigh just 75 g per wheel including bolts, springs and pad holders (without pads). How can the René Herse...

Disc Brake Pros and Cons

Disc brakes have become increasingly popular on bicycles in recent years, especially on all-road bikes with wide tires. Bicycle Quarterly has tested more than 20 bikes with disc brakes. Our challenging adventures have provided excellent opportunities to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of modern 'road' disc brakes. I remember...

A Photo Says More than 1000 Words

This photo shows our Compass centerpull brake with the straddle cable released. (It also shows a Rinko fender, and a Babyshoe Pass Extralight tire after about 5000 kilometers...) More than a thousand words, this photo explains the design of our brakes: The arms fit around 42 mm-wide tires and fenders...

A Better Way to Adjust Toe-In

Compass centerpull brakes now come with special washers to adjust toe-in. These washers are easy to retrofit on older Compass and even classic Mafac brakes. With this system, you to adjust toe-in only once, when you initially set up the brakes, and then never worry about it again. What is toe-in? It...

Straddle Cables Done Right

Straddle cables provide a light and elegant way of transferring the brake force: Every cable-actuated rim brake needs to transmit the force of the single brake cable onto two brake pads that squeeze the rim. In recent years, straddle cables been replaced by direct-action V-brakes or complex linkages (on modern Shimano sidepull brakes)....

Centerpull Brake Parts and Tools

For our Compass centerpull brakes, we started with a design that had proven itself in decades of hard use: the Mafac Raid brakes. In fact, we had logged tens of thousands of miles on our own bikes with these brakes. We thought hard about how to improve them, but...

Which Hand for which Brake?

One of the most confounding questions in cycling is this: Which hand should control which brake? In the U.S., the law requires that all bikes are sold with the left hand controlling the front brake, and the right hand the rear brake. It's the same in France. In Italy...

Compass Centerpull Brake Specs

The new Compass centerpull brakes have been very well received. Numerous builders have asked for the complete specifications for the brakes, since many riders plan to use them on their new bikes. We sold so many of the centerpull braze-ons that we are currently out of stock of these...

Compass Centerpull Brakes Are Here!

We received the last parts for our centerpull brakes, test-assembled them, wrote the instructions, and now they are ready to ship. Click here to read more about the advantage of centerpull brakes. There are a lot of parts to a centerpull brake. It all starts with the braze-on posts that mounts...

Compass Centerpull Brakes

When we started Compass Bicycles, we dreamed of a new centerpull brake. We started developing and testing right away, but it has taken a few years for that work is coming to fruition. We just received the first production samples! The new Compass brakes will be in stock in...