"After the introduction of the Mod.68 side pull brake, Universal worked feverishly on the prototype - double side pull Mod. 685 -. The brake used Siamesed cables and reportedly the mechanism was so powerful that in tests, rims were squeezed to destruction. You will notice that this specimen from my collection has green brake pads, which I believe are made from a rubber formula that Universal engineers brewed in an attempt to solve the problem.

      However, my sources say that there were other problems associated with torque on the double arms and the paucity of sources for Siamesed brake cables.

      The Mod.685 was ahead of its time, but Universal's attempt to unseat Campagnolo in the brake market was quietly assigned to the vaults of history. I have not had the opportunity to test the rumored stopping power of my 685s. Would anyone happen to have a set of Siamesed brake cables?"

Magnus Risus 8/31/2000

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