|Iconic and Sexy|
|Paul Racer high polish|
To start the Mafac Racer just looks different. The much more common Weinmann center-pull brake is, well, common looking. Simple design, sticker to identify it, straightforward, gets the job done without alot of fuss.
Part II-Straddle cable
The straddle cable continues the theme for Weinmann, simple. I had an instructor who loved the phrase " A blind dog with a note in its mouth can figure that out" I think that applies here, one piece, slips right in badda bing badda boom your done.
The only reasons I can come up with for this design are that; A) it allows you flexibility with the length of the cable and B) you can use a more common shifter cable for this rather than a special straddle wire with rounds on both ends.
Part III-Brake Shoes
Again I think a contrast with the Weinmann system is in order and as with the straddle cable it is in a word simple. Insert threaded post shoe in slot, secure with nut. Done. Que the blind dog, and adjusting is simple you can move the pad up, or down.
So there you have it my friends the Mafac "Racer" Iconic, Sexy and a bit quirky but all in a days work if your going to refurbish French bikes.
Until next time; Ride.Smile.Repeat.
Post Script or
Part IV-Brake Pads.
Reader Anniebikes comments reminded me I should have included a blurb about brake pads. The Racer comes with an early version of a "cartridge" brake shoe that allows you to replace just the rubber brake pad and not a whole shoe. Kool-Stop makes replacement pads for the Racer in both salmon and black. They retail in the $20-25 range for a full set of 4.
You will notice in this post that I am not using the original brake shoes and pads, I have a set of Kool-Stops I am saving for a UO-10 project that is in the queue, in this case I took the advice of Grant at Rivendell Bicycles and am using the Dia Compe grey matter pads with non threaded posts.
They fit the Racer's just fine, my only concern is they are longer than the originals and I am not sure if that will cause any issues once I get the wheels mounted. I will certainly add a note if there are any issues. These pads cost $8 for a set of 4 and I figured going the bargain route was appropriate for this particular bike -the AO-8. A comparison shot of originals vs the Canti-Style
Ok now I think I can close this post out - thank you Annie for asking about brake pads!