17 July, 2008

New Grand Cru Brakes and Adjustable Shoes


We received a huge shipment of components this morning. There were VO saddles, BBs, headsets, brakes and other cool stuff. I've photographed the brakes and shoes first. I'll do the BB and headsets later this afternoon and try to get to the saddles tonight or tomorrow.

Judging from the many e-mails we've received, there are a lot of folks waiting for the VO adjustable brake shoes. Here's what I wrote about them previously:

They are straight post replacement cartridge shoes that allow toe-in, and other, adjustments. This is accomplished with a sort of ball-joint in the shoe. It's locked down with the 8mm nut at the base of the post. Now you can give your old Mafac, Dia-Compe, Wienmann, or Universal centerpulls brakes the adjustment of modern brakes. And you can use any pad compound you like.
The new Grand Cru Gold cantilever brakes are also in stock. The gold color is a nod to the special gold version of top-of-the-line Mafac brakes. Those gold Mafac brakes were often found on finest French rando and racing bikes. These Grand Cru brakes use the adjustable shoes mentioned above. Plus, they have straddle wire adjusters so there is no need for barrel adjusters on your cable stops.

We also received the very impressive new Grand Cru long reach (47-57-mm) caliper brakes. They are super stiff, perhaps the stiffest long reach brakes ever made. And flexibility is the downfall of long reach brakes. With a stiff brake you get accurate modulation and more power. The Grand Cru brakes use a very smooth dual pivot design. The finish is hand polished, but not anodized; that way they can be re-polished 25 years down the road and look great forever.

In other brake news, we are looking at a complete line of VO brake shoes using a new rubber compound that is absolutely guaranteed not to squeal, ever. It is also much less abrasive than most compounds, and it has, based on our preliminary testing, stopping power equal to any compound made including the one that's the color of a certain fish.

Let me know what you think of these new components.

14 comments:

James said...

I think those side pulls would look less about of place on an attractive traditional frame than any other side pull. The modern side pull looks to me like a soft blob of metal - the terminator always comes to mind, in contrast your design is clean and chiseled.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

I thought you were going to get them with metal quick release levers instead of those black plastic ones.

C said...

What would be the advantage of a metal QR lever? It's not a high stress part so there's not strength concern. The metal would be heavier. It would almost certainly be more expensive. Other than looks what would be the point? I think black plastic is fine for this use.

Tomcat said...

The plastic lever is indeed lighter; it is also self lubricating. It won'd bind up or corrode like an alloy or steel part would in that function.

lamplightsg said...

Lots of goodness here. I definitely like the gold cantilevers.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Any chance we will ever see a polished silver version of the cantis? The sandblast finish does not quite communicate the level of refinement one might hope for and is a finish type that has no other reference point on the bike.

Yohann said...

The adjustable brake shoes are something for sure... Just an odd question : how wide are they? (I said it was an odd question :-)

Anonymous said...

c and tomcat,

Yes, it's just for looks, so what?

Anonymous said...

THE CANTILEVER BRAKES LOOK GREAT ... i WANT TO IMPROVE THE BRAKING ON MY LITESPEED BLUERIDGE(98), it had xtr ?? standard cantilevers ..
will these work on my frame bosses ??

Tomcat said...

These Cantis fit on all standard Cantilever bosses.

Anonymous said...

Have you thought of offering the side pulls with a traditional nut mounting? I don't think anyone is making a nut mounting 47-57mm dual pivot.

franklyn said...

question on the grand cru brakes:

Tektro has a model R538 that opens wider when one opens the q/r to let tires out (the q/r on the R538 allows the brake to open 9mm additionally) and does not push fenders down as much when one brakes. How does grand cru compare to the R538 in these regards?

John said...

I love the idea of the cable adjusters for the straddle wire. Any thoughts of offering these straddle wires with adjusters as a stand-alone product to improve other canti brakes?

stevep33 said...

Not sure if anyone is reading this far back.... the Grand Cru sidepull brakes are outstanding. I just installed a set and think they are the best sidepulls I've ever used by a good margin. They look great too.