The Scouts are going on a mountain bike trip at the end of this month, I'm pretty stoked. I've got an old 930 that I've just replaced aaalllllllmost everything on. I repainted the bad spray job, lubed and cleaned it, and replaced the bars, grips, back wheel and freewheel a couple of years ago in a fit of computer rage. This year I replaced the crankset, bottom bracket, chain, derailleur, shifters and cables.
If we are actually going on trails, I'll have to replace the tires and brakes. I put smooth tires on it, since I was going to be riding on the roads, which is also the reason I didn't replace the old brakes, just the shoes. Well, if I'm going to be going downhill on dirt, I'll need knobby tires and brakes that actually work. Or I could crash into a couple of scouts and hope that slows me down.
I was thinking about buying a new set of cheap road brakes anyway, just for looks. But seeing as how I may need to stop, I think I may blow some cash and get nice ones. The existing brakes are old BMX-type alloy single-pivot calipers. They can't stop me, and I'll need to lock the rear. The reason I did all that work without changing out the brakes is because I am just no good with brakes. I can adjust the gears, free up rusted handlebar risers, repack bearings and straighten rims, but I can't... CAN'T get brakes to work well. Strike that, I got the kids cantilevered brakes to work just fine. I just can't get the old calipers to work. It's a failing that I and my therapist have been working on for years now.
Howeveahhhhhhh. If you are looking to get new caliper brakes for a 20 year old bike, expect to spend an inordinate amount of time on bike-geek websites. I have no idea what these people are talking about, but it's almost as bad as getting on a craft beer website and posting that you are looking for a cheaper and less tasty alternative to warm Old Milwaukee.
What I'm saying is, there are nerds and there are nerds. Bicycle and beer nerds are some of the worst nerds. If you post, like I did, on the wrong forum, expect a reply that will look like something like this...
"Looking for an opinion on caliper brake replacement on a 1991 Trek 930 with 26x1.75 tires"
Well, we all know on this forum that in 1991 only the 930a series came with caliper brakes and the tires weren't 1.75 but were originally 1.74 and that if you replaced the crankset, you just de-valued a classic by 1.5 million dollars. If I were you I'd get the solid gold Wonkwonk brake set, because $4000 isn't a lot to spend on performance. Otherwise you could do what I did and build your own set out of dried earwax collected over a period of thirty years from wild Yellowstone Bison, or you could always fly to Japan where the only known original parts supplier for that particular model still lives in a monastery and ask for the blueprints, otherwise nothing you do or build will work. Personally, I masturbate daily with a 1971 Schwinn that I found hanging on the wall at an Applebee's and bought for $1 plus most of my penis. I would tell you to go that way, but really you should convert all your bicycles to fixed gears or else you are a racist who shops at Wal-Mart at the expense of good, American jobs.