I'm re-building an old bike frame but am stuck on the brakes.

There seems to be a lot of clearance between the frame and rim and normal size brake callipers wont reach far enough. Are there alternative brakes that I need to use?

I've uploaded a pic to help.enter image description here

  • 3
    Probably the wheel is undersize for the fork. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 15 '19 at 18:56
  • What is the situation at the rear? – Carel Sep 15 '19 at 20:01
  • 1
    This looks usual for large tire and fender. Long reach caliper should be fine, the original brake was probably centerpull – ojs Sep 15 '19 at 20:58
  • As usual, Sheldon Brown has a solution available. Read more here: sheldonbrown.com/home-drop.html – Carel Sep 16 '19 at 12:12

Wheel rim looks smaller than what the fork is designed for.

Is that an old road frame? Perhaps it was made for an ISO 630mm rim (sometimes called a 27 inch) but you have installed a wheel with a 700c/ISO 622mm rim.

  • Yeah it's an old Raleigh frame...I think you're right. Thanks for your help! – ja mes be ll Sep 18 '19 at 11:54

Tektro makes a long reach sidepull brake:

Tektro R559 Bike Bicycle Long Reach Road Calipers 55-73mm

The last number listed is the available adjustment "reach" range of the brake. Basically measure from the center of the brake mount hole in the fork to the middle of the rim braking surface. ( See this Sheldon Brown page for more detail on measuring reach).

Those brakes may not be long enough, if they aren't you can look at using centerpulls with a long reach. The Rivendell website is a good source for looking at what's available in this niche area.

If you wanted to be authentic, you could find some old Mafac Racers on Ebay. The post mounts on these allow a very long reach if needed.

Mafac Racer brakes on fork with similar reach

Tektro R559 long-reach calipers, on a 622mm (700c) wheel in a frame built for 630mm (28") wheels. Criggie's work

  • The Mafac ones look great, but will need a hanger/cable endstop somewhere up out of the photo. – Criggie Sep 17 '19 at 12:11
  • Thanks so much. Mafac look really nice. Will keep a look out for some. – ja mes be ll Sep 18 '19 at 11:55

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