Currently I am debating with what to replace the handle bars and brakes on an old bike. One option are drop bars. However, a concern is that braking from the hoods was unsafe in old bikes. However, I might be able to fit a recent Shimano front caliper and fitting levers (see below). However, the brake pads would be at the limit of the calipers reach at 57 mm.
Will modern Shimano levers and calipers provide enough two-finger braking power to safely ride from the hoods?
At the rear I shall keep the current Weinmann centre pulls. These work well enough for the back. Lever compatibility is another question, see the SE question on similar Dia Compe brakes.
Parts: Shimano BL-R400 levers and BR-R451 long reach calipers. Both are super SLR
Aluminium rims 622-19, 24 mm outside width
What reach is:
The effective length of the arms of a caliper brake. This is measured from the centerline of the center bolt diagonally down to the middle of the brake shoe. Reach is commonly expressed as a range (allowing for the fact that the brake shoes are adjustable, typically over a 10-15 mm range.) For more information, see the article about caliper brakes.
From Sheldon Brown's knowledge base