While tweaking the hardware on the Ciamillo GSL brakes this summer to drop 15 grams from the originals, founder and designer Ted Ciamillo also added options for pad carriers to make the brakes more adaptable to the growing range of rim widths. Those changes could only take things so far, though, and it didn’t do much to speed setup when switching between wheels for training and racing.
Now, he’s introduced the GSL Micro with a revised cam mechanism to make the calipers more compatible with today’s wider rims. But, he’s done it in such a way that the brakes are not only just as compatible with narrow rims, they’re able to quickly adjust between the two without having to move the cable, pad spacers or anything else!
Oh, and they’re as light as 150g per set! Pull through to see how he did it…
With most road rims ranging from about 22mm all the way up to 29mm nowadays, standard brakes could easily eat up all of the barrel adjustment and still not be able to properly close (or open) the gap. And the standard GSL brakes would require spherical spacers to be inserted between the arms and pad carriers, or swapping the carriers altogether between his standard, low-profile or super low-profile options, and possibly even needing the cable to be reset. With the GSL Micro, you simply dial the screw in the micro cam (red) to open or close the brakes without affecting the cable’s relative position:
The result is that your brakes remain set up with the proper amount of cable pull, something particularly important for proper function with Ciamillo’s calipers. It also means much easier initial set up since you can get them pretty close to the recommended 1.5mm space (between rim and pad, per side) with cable position, then dial it in exactly with the adjustment screw.
The range of adjustment covers a difference of about 6mm in rim widths. For larger gaps, they’ll still work with the spherical spacers to really dial it down to the narrowest 18-19mm rims without requiring cable adjustments.
Another small benefit is it makes it quicker to adjust the brake pad contact as the pads wear, particularly if you’re not running different wheels – just set it in the middle at the beginning and you’ve got room for wear and accommodating any out-of-true wobble. Ciamillo says adjusting the cam to make up for pad wear makes for safer brakes, too, since using a cable barrel adjuster to take up slack can affect modulation by limiting stroke. So, using the micro cam to adjust for pad wear keeps the brake’s performance at their peak.
The brakes will retail for $429 per set with standard stainless hardware, but they’re on introductory special through October 31 for $299. Weight on that is 155g. Upgrade to titanium pad carrier bolts (all models get a titanium center bolt) to drop the weight to 150g for $469/set. Available now their website. Weights are without pads. They’ll be available in all the standard colors they offer for normal GSLs – red and black ano are stock, white is +$25 and custom anodized colors are +$50. The pics here show a red cam just to highlight the new parts, they’ll ship as all black or all red.
Owners of existing GSL or Gravitas brakes can buy an upgrade kit that’ll come with the new alloy quick release, the new cam mechanism (two pieces, the red bit and the piece that clamps onto the cable). Parts kit is $79.95. The Zero G brakes are not upgradeable to this system.
Oh, and those drilled out arms? That’s really done as a differentiating aesthetic, the weight savings merely offsets the added gram from the new micro cam. The end result is that the Micro weighs the same as the GSL.