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Classic Lightweights UK
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Campagnolo Delta brakes

Peter Underwood


When it comes to the ultimate in cycle design then the Campagnolo Delta brake will rate very high. If you want real points for style on your post-1986 Italian machine then this is the brake for you.

When the Delta was introduced as part of the Record groupset Campagnolo were desperately trying to catch up with Shimano, who had raced ahead in the technology stakes, probably due to their greater involvement in the mountain biking scene.  

Although the brake appears to have beautiful engineering the end result was initially not so clever and Campag introduced five versions to eradicate some technical problems.  The last two though were, in the main, to take account of the new Ergo lever idiosyncracies.  The first serious glitch was that it was impossible to secure the cable in the clamp and a slipping inner means no brakes at all.  The Delta was so complex that it would be next to impossible to correct this on the road.  

Setting up the brakes is very tricky - an engineering degree is a good starting point!   It pays to set the brakes up with a certain amount of slack compared to twin-pivot brakes.  This slack allows the internals to operate at their maximum potential.  This is essential, as the pads are on the small side compared with some other brakes.

The earlier brakes needed a 3.5mm allen key to do the adjustment.  These are said to be hard to get hold of but I'm sure I have seen them at our local tool shop.  I will check and update.

For more information on the Delta brakes see http://www.campyonly.com/roadtests/delta.html
and http://www.raggidistoria.com/2013/01/freni-delta-campagnolo-tutto-quello-che.html?spref=fb
Click on 'Translate to English' in Google Translate bar just above 'Raggi di Storia'.

Campagnolo Delta drawing - 450 Campagnolo Delta brake 600
Two images of the Delta: on the left is a technical drawing of the interior and on the right a rear and front image showing the beauty of the brakes