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I have been searching for a while, and I cannot find any information on my rear u-brake. It has served me well for many years (10+), and has a surprising amount of force. It's stronger than any cantilever and most V-brakes I've ever used or felt. Adjusted for maximum power, it has crushed a few single walled rims for me, so I usually adjust it off peak for the sake of my rims (though it would probably be fine with dual walled ones). This isn't to say it's phenomenal, it's difficult to get wide tires through it, and if it's not adjusted properly it will hit the knobbies on large tires.

I have searched every millimeter of it for any markings or lettering, and it is devoid of any. If anyone has seen one like this, or can identify the brand or model, I'd like to know more about the company, the design, and the specifications.

Unidentified U-Brake

Modified U-Brake to Identify

With Brake Booster Removed

U-Brake with Brake Booster Removed

The closest I've seen yet is a roller cam u-brake, like the one below, only without the rollers:

Roller Cam U-Brake

Roller Cam U-Brake

They weren't original to the bicycle, but the frame is a 1997 GT Bravado, the brakes were purchased around 1997-1999. It came as a 1 1/8" threaded / 21 speed setup.

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There have been a lot of "one off" brake designs, in an attempt to achieve a good self-centering system, while minimizing the tendency of the pad arms to twist. This one looks like the predecessor to the cam brake. Never made the "big time" because it's bulky and complicated. –  Daniel R Hicks Apr 5 '12 at 11:47
    
Still, I can't be the only one who owns one of these, or having a similar design. Perhaps someone even just wanted one or saw it and knows who made them? –  Ehryk Apr 5 '12 at 11:52
    
Any idea of the age of the bike? Appears from the photos to be an early "mountain" bike from the 80s, perhaps. The brand of some of the other components and the number of speeds, etc, would give a clue (if the components haven't been changed out). –  Daniel R Hicks Apr 5 '12 at 11:57
    
And I do recall seeing a design that resembles a center-pull caliper but with a couple of extra members in place of the cable. Probably mechanically similar to yours, only more refined. –  Daniel R Hicks Apr 5 '12 at 12:02
    
Details added. It didn't come with the brakes. Center pull calliper brakes MORE refined? Everything was shifting to Cantilever / V-Brakes at the time this brake was purchased, 1997-1999. –  Ehryk Apr 5 '12 at 12:06
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted
+50

I think those are McMahon Racing Components, possibly their "Power-Link" model. See:

http://mombat.org/MOMBAT/BikeHistoryPages/McMahon.html

http://www.blackbirdsf.org/brake_obscura/mtb.html

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Yep, that certainly looks like it. From 1991. Still being made in 1996, apparently. That second link is a hoot! –  Daniel R Hicks Apr 8 '12 at 12:17
    
Looks like we have a bounty-winner! +1 –  heltonbiker Apr 9 '12 at 3:32
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