Classic Lightweights UK
Classic Components

Bulla brakes 

Chris Hutchinson

Bulla 1After I aquired a single front brake calliper I searched the internet for some information about it. On 'Wool Jersey' Aldo Ross has photos of stars from the 1930's, amongst them Fernand Cornez and the Austrian Max Bulla. Aldo notes that components were named after two of the group: toeclips and straps for Cornez and Bulla's brakes.

Further research revealed that Bulla was born in Vienna in September 1905 and died relatively recently in March 1990. He won three stages in the 1931 Tour de France riding as a touriste-routier, wore the Yellow Jersey for a day, and finished only 1 hour 51 minutes down on the great Antonin Magne. In the 1935 Vuelta he finished fifth, taking two stages - quite a rider!

Right: Image of Max Bulla
(with permission)

Bulla 4

Searching through Holdsworth's Aids to Happy Cycling I found the Bulla brake first listed in 1938 (left), then offered in steel or alloy.

Bulla 5

Post-war the brakes appeared again in 1954 (see iamge on the right), only the alloy version is offered, but  now with the quick release which is fitted to my example.

Bulla 2
Bulla 3

Above and left: Two views of the alloy Bulla brake showing the quick release with its over-centre action

Below: Max Bulla also put his name to shoe-plates

Bulla 6