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Vintage Components - Dia Compe Brakes

On this page: Royal Gran Compe black calipers | G500 caliper | Aero Compe levers | SS-5 Mk-2 brake levers | Mark 5 cantilever brake levers | Power Control 7 cantilever brake levers

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Dia Compe is the brand name of Japanese component maker KK Yoshigai. The firm was stated in Osaka, Japan, in 1930. The first product off its production line was a brakeset. Though Dia Compe has long since branched out into headsets, suspension forks and stems, brakes and brake parts are what most people rightfully think of when they see the Dia Compe name.

It was Dia Compe who invented the famous "Safety Lever" extension levers that allow a rider to put his hands on the tops of a set of drop handlebars and still stop his bike.

Swiss brake maker Weinmann was was so taken with the invention that the two firms entered a design-sharing agreement. Weinmann could make the safety levers and Dia Compe could make its own version of the highly-regard Weinmann brakes. That is why those highly polished Dia Compe brakes of the bike boom look just like Weinmanns.

Royal Gran Compe short-reach black brake calipers. used $70.00

Part# BR-41

Weight per pair: about 350 grams

Reach: 39-49mm

Dia Compe made these top-of-the line brakes in the 1980s. Initially they were produced in silver, but a few white and black sets were also produced. It is thought that the black anodized version is the most rare.

The quick release is incremental, as on a Campagnolo Nuovo Record side-pull caliper. You can open it just enough to get the clearance you need. The cables are clamped (a far superior method, that forestalls broken and frayed wires), rather than being run through a bolt with a hole in it.

Note: Our set does not have matching front lock nuts. Otherwise, they are in fabulous condition.

Royal Gran Compe

The finish level on these calipers matches the best by anyone, anywhere.

Royal Gran Compe calipers

Note these have allen-key mounting nuts.

Dia-Compe G500 brake caliper. New $25.00

Dia-Compe came out with many versions of this caliper with different part numbers, levels of finish and hardware. The G500 is nicely finished.

We believe this caliper was produced in the 1980s.

G500 caliper

Come with quick release and wheel guides.

Dia Compe G500 caliper

And from the back

Aero Compe brake levers. Lightly used, $50.00

These aero levers were produced in the early 1980s and came with the Aero Gran Compe brake set. "Gran Compe" is stamped on the mounting straps.

Aero Compe levers

A simple, nicely finished lever set.

Aero compe levers

Side view

Dia Compe aero levers

A close-up of the hoods showing their wear.

Dia compe brake levers

And a close-up of the lever arms

Dia Compe SS-5 Mark-2 brake levers. New

  • Produced in the late 1990s

We have two sets of these levers: Blue | Purple

Blue Dia Compe SS-5 MK-2 brake levers. New, $125.00

Part# 82123

SS5 Mark 2 levers

Beautifully made.

Dia comple brake levers

Flipped over they look just as good

Dia Compe brake levers

They are new, in the box.

Purple Dia Compe SS-5 MK-2 brake levers. New, $125.00

Part# 82122

Dia Compe brake levers

Ready for your bike

Dia Compe brake levers

And the levers flipped over.

Dia Compe brake levers

The levers are new, in the box.

Mark 5 cantilever brake levers. New, $65.00/pair

Dia Compe Mark 5 levers

Typical Dia Compe high-level finish

Mark 5 cantilevers

And the levers flipped over.

Dia Compe Power Control 7 cantilever brake levers. New, $25.00/pair

Part# 82143

  • Produced early to mid-1990s

Power Control brake lever

Functional, clean design

Power Control brake levers

The flip side