Friday, August 9, 2013

I Need A Brake

These are the very rusty brakes removed from the 1953 Raleigh Sports.  Initially I thought the easiest approach would be to find some good used replacements instead of spending time trying to clean them up.

 Apparently; Raleigh used two different types of brakes on their Sports model.  The earlier versions (pre-1965) did not use a anchor bolt to secure the cable, instead special brake cable with all barrel adjuster fittings attached, and a "pear" shaped cable end that fit a slot on the brake arm.  In addition these earlier brakes used a different center bolt, unthreaded bushing and packing washer then the later version.  The holes in the brake arms for the center bolt bushing were also larger then the later style brake arms.

Once I had both sets disassembled, I noticed the center bolt, bushing and packing washers were different between the front and back sets.  Not knowing which was correct I checked one of the on-line Raleigh catalogs available at the Three-Speed Hub site (1960 Shop Manual).  According to the catalog parts diagram the front brake had the proper fittings, the rear brake had a center bolt, bushing, and packing washer from the later style brake.

The hardware on the left was installed on the 1953 rear brake, according to the Raleigh Service Manual parts diagram this hardware is incorrect for the earlier brakes, this hardware is from a later brake.  The hardware on the right is from the front brake and is correct for the 1953 Sports.

The top bushing is correct for the 1953 brake.  The bottom is from a later brake, notice the smaller diameter ( .338" vs .407") of the shoulder the brake arm pivots on.

Using the smaller latter style bushing with the original 1953 large hole brake arm caused a very loose fit at the rear brake arm pivot point.  I'm currently trying to find proper 1953 replacements for the rear brake parts, anyone have extra's? 

Another point concerning these brakes is the threading used.  You will not find replacement nuts and bolts at your local hardware store.  The center bolt is threaded BSC (British Standard Cycle) it is 1/4" x 26tpi.  Since the brake arm bushing is not threaded on the earlier brakes a UNC/UNF 1/4 x 20 or 28 bolt and nut could be substituted. The lever and handle bar clamp are threaded 1BA (British Association) the clamp bolt also uses a special nut these 1BA parts are difficult to replace so do not lose them. 

These are the 1953 brakes after wire brushing and buffing.

While I'm trying to source some rear brake parts, I'm going to install the handle bar and brake levers and try to run new brake cable to the old style brakes without the anchor bolt, using a fitting called a knarp.

Please share your comments and experiences.


  1. This maybe worth checking out


    1. Thanks for the link. The listing does not specify if it is for the front or rear brake. I sent seller some questions about length of center bolt and dimensions of the bushing, hopefully they will respond.