Classic Lightweights UK
Classic Components  

San Giorgio brakes 

Author Bryan ClarkeSan Giorgio Brakes 3


In 1950 Beretta and Penney Ltd imported these Italian brakes into a Britain thirsty for exotic ‘Continental’ products. San Giorgio alloy high pressure and sprint rims were also available but one wonders if any have survived after almost sixty years. Beretta and Penney had already introduced Gnutti chainsets and quick-release hubs to the bike racing fraternity a year earlier and these soon gained in popularity' especially with League riders. With very little competition for a few years these brakes were probably in vogue for only a brief period and are now quite rare.


San Giorgio brakes 1


The advert from ‘Cycling’ shown here reveals a fairly crude alloy lever with a ‘girder’ style alloy calliper although a ‘super lusso’ version also became available (see photo).


San Giorgio brakes 2

An older club cyclist told me that their club champion used only the levers and this was copied by impressionable youngsters hoping to emulate his success. The castings on the levers may be unsophisticated but they have a good action and are very comfortable to use but the callipers of either pattern appear fragile.