I would be really grateful for any advise on how to go about updating the brake system on this vintage Universal La Riviera ladies bike.
The brakes don't work properly so I can't safely ride it. The front brakes are very stiff and the back breaks have completely seized.
I tried to oil it but I think the rust damage is too extensive and it's probably too old to salvage. I'd like to install a new brake set but I'm not sure what kind to buy. Do I need the exact same model or can I change to any brake system? If I can use another brake system could you please let me know your recommendation and why it's better?
Here are some photos:
The back brake lever has seized with rust.
Front brakes function but very poorly.
A friend donated this bike to me. From what I read of the company, the bike is probably from the 1980s. It's very rusty but the frame is sound, the wheels look fine and there's no problem with the steering. I recently put on a new chain and now pedaling is smooth. There's a problem with changing gears but everything's fine if I don't try to change gears. I only use it to go to my local shops a few times a month so I'm happy as long as it's functional and safe. :)
Many thanks in advance for your time.