Brake dilemma. Suggestions?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by dgasmd

I have a TIME RXR with Campy SR mechanical and Zero Gravity Brakes. All my wheels are carbon tubulars. The brakes were new when originally installed a few years ago, but since then they have lost their recoil ability. Not that it was good to begin with, but in the last few months when I pull on the brakes I can feel them rubbing afterwards from not opening back up again. By hand I can move them open just fine, but the moment I touch the brake handles they just don't come back open much. I have tried just about everything under the sun to get them adjusted with the cable tension, blah blah blah and nothing. I am more than pleased with their braking power as I have used them doing the Alps, Dolomites, and flat fast rides without power complains, but the recoil has always being chit from day one. They also seem to be pretty close to the stays on the rear, which have left a small mark on both sides where they have touched in the past.

I know Ciamillo has a refurbishing program, but given their history well documented here, I have almost ruled out sending them back for a refurbish. I don't want to buy another set to replace them either as I am sure I'll be having the same issue in no time.


1. If I was to buy another set of brakes to replace them, what would be the choices in the $300 +/- range? Light weight is a huge requirement as it is the sole reason I got the ZG in the first place. I was recommended the EE brakes, but despite liking them they are nearly twice as much as I am willing to cough up. Not to mention the installation seems to be pretty involved to get them right. I am doing this myself and don't want to take an engineering course to just install the brakes.

2. Does Ciamilo have a "refurbishing kit" they sell for a DIY job? Didn't see it on their website. Didn't see an email to Ciamilo either so I can ask.

3. Would just replacing the coil part be enough? They do have that on their site available.

Suggestions would be appreciated.

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by eric

The EE brakes are easy to set up. The instructions look daunting because they're very complete.

But you should be able to get your ZG's working. I'd first check to see if it is the cable/lever thats the problem or the brakes, by undoing the cable clamp and operating the lever while pulling on the inner cable. If there's too much friction you should feel it.

My guess is its the brakes. In which case you should be able to disassemble, clean and grease the pivots. Unless something is worn that should be all the rebuild they need.

You may need a washer between the rear brake and frame. Most brakes are set for that, and include a serrated washer. I leave them off or use a smooth washer if needed, so I can center the brakes by pivoting them on the bolt.

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by bikerjulio

I don't know these brakes, but it sounds like a grit/grunge problem.

Is it possible to dissasemble and clean them?
There's sometimes a buggy.
How many drivers does a buggy have?


So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

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by CerveloMikey

I would try a Dura Ace 9000 cables set. They are supper slippery!
R2.5 / R3 / S-Works 29er (20 lbs) / S-Works SL4 Di2 (14.7 lbs)

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by sugarkane

Ciamillo won't sell you parts or a kit, which is totally lame As they are not complicated or hard to disassemble, Ted insists you send the brakes back to him. Almost all of the older ones pre 2011 have piss weak springs and the problem with sending them back is it'll take months for you to see them again. EE brakes are expensive, but are really not complicated to install, if you follow the instructions you can't go wrong and once you've done it once it all makes total sense and is really easy.
I had a few pairs of gsl brakes. Which worked well until I wanted to get wider rims.. So I got EEs and then I was like ' why didn't I get these a long time ago...'

The Ciamillos are long over due for a proper redesign not these band aid fixes that keep coming.

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by drainyoo

In reference to your first question, what about Planet X Ultra Lights? I bought a set for my build, but haven't rode them yet. They're only $130, are really well made and weight 185g without pads. A lot of people on here swear by them. Seems like they have good performance and are fairly easy to setup.

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by glepore

Take them off, clean and lube them really well. The pivots get dirty. Plus the springs suck;but yeah. good luck with that. I've just been down the brakes road-ee's are perfect, but 600 clams for brakes? Planet x's are cost effective, but lack a true quick release, they open essentially like old mtb canti's. KCNC? get real. Far and near? Nice brakes, stupid graphics. So Ted sorta has me over a barrel, despite the negatives. I recently sent him a cc payment for some micro's on his site on special, not holding my breath as to whether I'll actually see them.

Feelin' your pain.
Cysco Ti custom Campy SR mechanical (6.9);Cannondale SS Evo Di2 7970 (5.79); Willier Cento Uno Air Di2 9070 (7.0); C40 Mk2 DA 7800 ; Anvil Custom steel Etap;1996 Colnago Technos Record

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by sugarkane

By all accounts they work pretty well. Over at the Fairwheel bikes forums madcow has a very in-depth review of all of the aftermarket brakes worth looking at check it out

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by uraqt

You might the able to get the new springs if you don't have them ... ccessories

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by sugarkane

Bout time on the spring kit.. Basically every pair pre 2011 needs the kit

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by GuyGadois

Regarding wheels, I really think the Campy Neutrons from a few years ago are great. Semi-light weight but incredibly durable. Pros used to run them during the Paris-Roubaix.


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by bombertodd

I had the same problem with a rear brake. I took it apart, cleaned, and greased it. It worked a little better after but it would still stay closed sometimes and rub the rim. I ended up getting a small spring from the hardware store and mounted it between the barrel adjuster and the cable clamp with the brake cable running through the spring. It worked great! After about 200 miles I took the spring off and it worked great. Might work for you!

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by lannes

Try undoing the central torx bolt a bit, just hold both claipers in the center point and undo the torx bolt, sometimes it is just a bit too tight

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by Miller

How about just getting the groupset brakes? And enjoy brakes that work and are simple to set up.

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by barsook77

Dump the ZG's on the market, take the cash and invest in ee's. Easy setup and they work great!

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