I have a 2006 Specialized Langster, size 50cm. I replaced the brake calipers years ago with older-style Shimano 105 single-pivot sidepull brakes.

The brakes have never been very powerful. Worse yet, the rear brake caliper fixing bolt seems pretty short and the brake sits close to the seat stay bridge, resulting in very little clearance between the pads and the seat stays. This severely limits which pads I can use because most pads bang up against the seat stays and ding it repeatedly.

I'm thinking of replacing the brakes with newer, dual pivot 105's for better stopping power. Is there a way I can tell if those brakes will fit or not before I order them (ie what measurements do I need to know and compare with the newer 105 dual pivots?). Also, I'm wondering if those brakes would provide enough clearance for 28mm tires. I would appreciate your thoughts.

  • Can you post a picture? Sounds like the pads are not properly adjusted and are sitting too far out from the rim.
    – ChrisL
    Jul 6, 2015 at 22:22
  • 1
    The pads are aligned correctly. This particular model year of the Langster has an engineering design problem with the seat stay bridge. Standard modern dual-pivot brakes will not work because there isn't enough clearance between the caliper arms and the seat stays. And you can't move the caliper out further from the frame by using more washers, because then the mounting bolt isn't long enough. Jul 8, 2015 at 4:35
  • Do you remember why you removed the original brakes ? Do you still have them?
    – Criggie
    Nov 3, 2015 at 8:25

1 Answer 1


Well, I went ahead and ordered some Shimano 105 dual pivot calipers. Unfortunately the rear caliper arms will not clear the seat stays. There's just no fixing it as far as I can tell. If I put on additional washers, the fixing nut will not thread onto the main mounting bolt far enough. I tried several sizes of fixing nuts and none of them will work.

I hope that I will be able to find some other brakes calipers that will work. If you know of any, please let me know!

***Update: I solved the problem by ordering a SRAM Force brake caliper set. Those calipers have a lot more clearance between their arms and the frame, and the bike shop filed down the main fixing nut so it will fit inside the rear brake bridge.

  • Would a longer fixing nut help? sjscycles.co.uk/… Sep 7, 2015 at 13:05
  • @JohnZwinck Interesting website, but your linked item has gone away already. Can you find another anywhere?
    – Criggie
    Nov 3, 2015 at 8:24
  • @Criggie: hmm, no idea. I now think the OP's problem might be solved by replacing the center bolt of the brake caliper, or perhaps buying a "front" brake which comes with a longer one in the first place. Or swapping the bolt from another caliper. Nov 3, 2015 at 11:56
  • I can't visualise why this is a problem. Can we have photos please? Is it possible the brakes were intended to sit on the other side of the mountpoint? IE aft of the fork or forward of the seat stay?
    – Criggie
    Nov 3, 2015 at 20:25

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