"Vintage" Chorus brakes vs new
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  1. #1
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    "Vintage" Chorus brakes vs new

    I've got what I think are Chorus brakes, probably 1988 vintage. They are currently on a DeRosa of similar vintage. Seem to be in near mint condition.

    I am not intending this to be a museum piece, it's going to get ridden, a lot. So the question is, should I bother with upgrading the brake calipers? It's not that expensive to grab a set of new Potenza's but no point doing that if the old ones are just fine. And the old Chorus look pretty good.

    I am going to replace the shifters anyways (from downtube right up to 11-sp Athena as I've got a spare kicking around). My main concern is just outright performance. I've got bikes with Veloce and Athena (all recent models) and very happy with the performance. Not a weight weenie.

    Yes, I suppose I could just try it, but I don't want to muck them up and anyways, I can't ride it right now as I'm missing wheels that will work on it...

  2. #2
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    I've ridden with those Chorus calipers, and there is no doubt that the current generation performs much better as Campy design of that era seemed to prioritize form over function.

  3. #3
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    Hmm...thanks for the feedback. I suspected as much. I seem to recall quite a difference when I upgraded my '94(?) Veloce up to the modern equivalent but not sure if it's just my imagination, it's been so long.

    I think maybe I'll just strip everything off (except headset) and museum it. Anyone know if the old DeRosa had Italian or BSA threaded bottom brackets? Or how would I tell?

    A bit of a shame, pretty nice stuff. It even has Campagnolo SGR pedals, though I have no idea where to get cleats for those...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atomic_Frog View Post
    Hmm...thanks for the feedback. I suspected as much. I seem to recall quite a difference when I upgraded my '94(?) Veloce up to the modern equivalent but not sure if it's just my imagination, it's been so long.

    I think maybe I'll just strip everything off (except headset) and museum it. Anyone know if the old DeRosa had Italian or BSA threaded bottom brackets? Or how would I tell?

    A bit of a shame, pretty nice stuff. It even has Campagnolo SGR pedals, though I have no idea where to get cleats for those...
    Italian BB
    Too old to ride plastic

  5. #5
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    If they are the Chorus calipers with the double pivot fronts and the single pivot rears, they are nothing to scoff at.

  6. #6
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    If these are in fact 1988 vintage, then they are the monoplaner brakes. Dual pivot didn't come along until much later. These belong in the same era as the Record Delta brakes. And like Delta brakes, these are highly sought after amongst Campy aficionados.

  7. #7
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    Yes they are indeed the monoplaner. They look nice, but I didn't know they were highly sought after. Maybe it's the pads but the braking kind of ... sucks, when compared to my newer dual-pivot skeletons.
    Now the Croce d'Aune, yes, they also suck apparently, but those I would be willing to collect!

  8. #8
    hfc
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    Yes the Monoplaner look sweet and work fine. I have them on at least a couple of bikes but modern Campy brakes will work better all around, all weather. I wouldn’t say they’re highly sought after though, not like the Deltas, Croce D’Aune.

    And yes, your De Rosa will have Italian thread BB. Should say 36x24.

  9. #9
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    Well I ended up replacing them with some Miche dual-pivot, basically just for cost.
    The Miche's seem slightly mushy compared to the newer Campy's I have but stopping power seems far superior to the old Chorus (or maybe just the pads?).
    Anyways, maybe I'll keep them around for another vintage build.

    I gotta say, that old DeRosa, refreshed with new brakes, new drivetrain (mix of Miche/Campy 11sp) and a new pair of Fulcrum wheels is pretty good. It rides really, really well. Pretty pleased with this. Haven't taken it up a big climb yet, but around the flats seems very smooth, quick and easy to get up to speed.

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