2014 Ciamillo GSL Micro lightweight road brake calipers for narrow and wide rims

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…

2014 Ciamillo GSL Micro lightweight road brake calipers for narrow and wide rims

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:

2014 Ciamillo GSL Micro lightweight road brake calipers for narrow and wide rims

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.

2014 Ciamillo GSL Micro lightweight road brake calipers for narrow and wide rims

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.



  1. funny comment, but there are still millions upon millions of bikes using rim breaks and this will continue for some time.
    serious question, is there a compatibility issue with break pull on different levers? Will these work on 9spd DA? 11spd DA? Campy? SRAM? maybe it’s not an issue, but I seem to recall a few articles about brake pull being different on different model years and manufacturer.

  2. The owner of a company reaching out in the forums and posting a phone number to get a customer set up properly? That is not something you see every day! Props to Ted.

  3. I’m guessing the micro holes will disappear after a few of the arms crack through those tiny webs…

    Other than that, cool brakes!

  4. Dr. M – I kinda doubt that’ll be a problem. Look at it from the front, the size of that piece and the reinforcing structure in the middle make me guess it’s probably gonna be fine.

    Ted’s always been great at customer service, I’ll say that. I too had issues with Zero G brakes, and he did a lot to try to make me happy with them, but ultimately I just gave up. They were on an under-mount TT bike and trying to deal with the very touchy set up upside down just got the better of me. That and I don’t think at that time he’d really solved the wide/narrow rim issues as well as even the gravitas before this one being launched has.

    Expensive, yes. Cool looking, yes. When set up perfect they work very well. But, you’ve got to have it set just right. That’s hard for people racing on one rim and switching to aluminum clinchers the same day every weekend to deal with, and this does address the core problem with that. He still needs to go to shimano pad holders though 🙂 I’ll sacrifice a handful of grams to never have to deal with changing (or shopping for) campy pads. When he gets there, I’ll consider giving Ciamillo brakes another try.

  5. I dont recommend to buy items from Ciamillo. They have many backorderes and they can’t handle some of it. In my case, I sent my caliper for a refresh program in 1 year ago, and it hasn’t returned to me. No respond from Ciamillo.

    You should know the fact before making an order.

  6. This site is the only place where I find such fanaticism over disc brakes for road bikes. Granted, I don’t visit many others, but I do ride a lot in large group rides and do a lot of road racing (Midwest). I never hear any babble among riders about needing or wanting disc brakes.

  7. As to the fanaticism of disc brakes, I offer this. After having rim brakes fail me badly in the rain, I will never own a road bike with rim brakes again. Even if I never had a problem with them, and living in the Southwest it will likely never happen again, I just don’t see the reason why they shouldn’t be on road bikes. They stop better in all conditions, and good ones offer just as much modulation as a good rim brake. Setup is easy, you can ride home after a spoke breaks, rim wear is nonexistent, and you can get some crazy light disc wheels. They also looks super trick!

  8. Maximilian IV – slightly off topic but I’d say your problem with the Zero G’s may have been the carbon rim surface / pad combination rather than the brake calipers. I have Zero G’s on Shimano levers with alum rims and they are freakin’ awesome – power and modulation. I switched from Ultegra calipers to Zero G (no other changes, even kept the same cables) and immediately went from firm 2 finger braking to being able brake with one finger only if needed for the same result.

  9. It would have been nice to see my ZeroG pads warrantied when they said they would be when I mailed them to Ciamillo and to never get any thing returned back to me. I’m still waiting on 4 months now.

    Anybody want a set of ZeroG brakes without pads for dirt cheap?

  10. Not a big fan of these brakes but will admit they look pretty cool. Work pretty well once set up and a decent shop should be able to do it but for a DIY kinda rider this may be a touch over your ability level.

    Great to see Ted on the Forum answering questions. If there are backorder issues, just raise the price…that should decrease lead times a bit, and if it doesn’t then just keep on raising those prices.

  11. I’m not a Zero Gravity brake fan either. I had ZG’s, and they were nowhere near as effective braking as Campy Skeleton or my current Mavic SSC’s, both of which did not require the finicky set-up of the ZG’s. My next set of brakes will be EE’s brakes: light and powerful.

  12. Eight weeks ago I called Ted Ciamillo. I was asked to contact him by e-mail and did so. I provided the information he asked for and have not heard from him since. After four unanswered e-mail requests I gave up and replaced my Negative Gravity brakes with SRAM as the build couldn’t wait any longer.

  13. @Yuki and Eddie…I agree with you 100% I personally would never buy a single thing from Ciamillo and here’s why. I won their Gravitas Combo contest (crankset and brake set) back in January of this year and till this day I still haven’t received everything. The day after I won the contest I received a call from Ted to discuss how I wanted my crankset built and the conversation ended with him saying that my crankset would be going on the bench that week and that I should have it and the brake set in about two weeks. Two weeks went by and no parts, a month, two months, three months and so on. After 9 months and an angry email I finally got a response from Ted that said there were changes to the original design and that my crankset was in production and I should see it in a couple weeks. I asked him to send out the brake set while my crankset was in production and he said he would do it the next day. Well I finally received my brake set last month which is over a month after he said he would send them out and 10 months after I won the contest. Keep in mind that Ciamillo stocks this brake set and even sells it on their website. The real kick in the crotch is that all those months I was waiting for my parts to arrive and trying to get in touch with Ted I kept receiving emails offering me the opportunity to buy the same brake set and crankset I’ve been waiting on for months at a huge discount along with a chance to sign up for another contest. Till this day almost 11 months after I won the contest I still haven’t heard anything from Ted regarding my crankset even after I called him and sent sent him numerous emails. At this point I don’t think I’m ever going to see the crankset that I won almost 11 months ago. I saved all of our email conversations if anyone would like to see them.

  14. Phil you didn’t receive your crankset because we have been in revision for this time. I communicated to you the process and that I wanted you to have the best product possible. The revisions have recently been completed and I am happy with the product. I am glad to see that you are happy with your carbon brakeset. It is quite unfortunate that I experienced so many bugs in the this new crank project both for me and my customers. Building a bicycle crank and competing in the market place this day and age is quite an effort. There are a lot of very good cranks out there with years of R&D behind them executed by some of the brightest engineers… to introduce something completely new and to compete at the levels of stiffness and weight which is the current state of the art while being robust at the same time is probably more difficult than you can imagine. I have paying customers that have stuck by me through these development challenges and I must cater to these folks first before I satisfy my obligations to a giveaway. The delays have nothing to do with lack of intent to give you what you won but everything to do with wanting to have the product right first. Please send over the specs I requested to go over with you by phone on several occasions. I need to know your arm length primarily. Again, for anyone here who has had a difficult time with responses from me in the past year, I sincerely apologize for the frustration and inconvenience I may have caused. The dust is settling on the crank project and I believe I have the highest strength to weight crank on the market. I am more than willing to go above and beyond to make things right for these folks caught in the overwhelming revision process of the past year which has had me so unusually distracted. Please contact me via email at tciamillo@gmail.com and I will make sure your needs are addressed ASAP.

  15. I’ve always had positive experience using Ciamillo brakes but I understand how to properly set them up. Regardless, that’s unfortunate 335is. As I understand it Ted incurred a lot of cost, additional man hours and production delays when he took the initiative to update the original crank design that backlogged not only contest winners like yourself but brake customers as well. I believe Ted is attempting to make it right with his customers now that crank production has been streamlined and finally the release of the new Micro can allow him to complete existing warranties and customers that fell victim to delays. I applaud Ted in responding publicly. I have waited 9 months for Colnago to make me a frame, 6 months for Enve to deliver my wheels and have had to wait for parts from Ciamillo as well, this can be a very niche, fragile marketplace. Its never too late to try and make it right and hopefully now that things seem to be going in a positive direction for Ciamillo, he will.

  16. @Ted Ciamillo….I’m not emailing you anymore. I knew that the cranksets were and still are in production and I’ve emailed you 6 times since I received my brake set in September to check the status of them and not once have I gotten a response. I’ve also sent you my dimensions for the crankset three times already. I’m sorry but I’m over it and the lack of customer service. Please get with Bikerumor and raffle off my crankset since I’ve already purchased another one. This is the last thing I’m going to write.

  17. @Ted Ciamillo – You don’t backburner a customer because they got their parts in giveaway YOU SPONSORED. You make the parts in the order received. Period. Always.

    If you didn’t want to give away the parts, you shouldn’t have offered to. [deleted].

  18. Ted, I’ll be more than happy to take Phil’s crank. I run a 170mm. I don’t care if it’s compact, mid-compact, or standard, BB30, PF30, 386, PF86, Standard 68mm, or even square taper.
    I’ll write up anything you want me to. I know my way around a bike and have rebuilt many a Zero G brake that was thought to be dead…just sayin.

  19. WannaBeSTi, lets not turn this thread into a long line of people who support Ciamiilo and list their credentials with ZG brakes. If 335is is no longer interested (understandably so) then it is up to Ted to decide if he will come through, regardless and re-establish communication.

    335is, it may have been irresponsible for Ted to announce a contest on a product so prematurely and given the unexpected updates to the crank and the delay in completing the Micros months ago when originally anticipated, this seems to be a logical explanation as to why things are where they currently stand with some of Ted’s customers. I think you should continue to hang in there despite the delay. I mean, you are basically receiving a $1000 crank for being patient and understating. The latest crank set is truly a work of art and personally well worth the 9+ months I waited for.

    There are tens of thousands of satisfied Ciamillo users out there. It’s unfortunate we get to read some of the failed experiences here but online forums rarely tend to be the outlet of flattery and negative press sadly outlives all the positives experiences at times.

  20. I appreciate objective opinions, even they’re negative, provided they come across as fair and without a destructive agenda. 335is, you come across as a petty, vindictive whiner. Bummer you haven’t gotten your free cranks you won in a contest in a timely manner, but that doesn’t have much to do with the performance of these brakes. Sounds like Ciamillo is a little organizationally challenged with regards to managing the business end of his company, but take that for what it is. Customer service might be spotty, and I’ll take that into consideration as a factor when deciding whether to purchase his stuff, but some guy pissing and moaning about his cranks he did or didn’t get isn’t going to be a deal breaker with me. [deleted]

  21. @lesalpes…think what you want. If you knew the entire story and you were in my shoes I’m sure you would have a different outlook on the situation. It has nothing to do with me not receiving my “free” parts I won in the contest. It has to do with the customer service and the way the whole situation has been handled. What does my user name and the fact that it has something to do with my car have to do with this? [deleted]

  22. @Ted Ciamillo;

    Customer service is my #1 method of validating why customers should buy something or this other thing. I am strongly considering a set of these new brakes right now because of your outreach to customers on this forum. Mike, Flaherty, the owner of Atomlab did the same for me when I put together my DJ / skatepark bike and now I push Atomlab whenever I have a customer looking for that type of parts.

    Customer service is what keeps brick and mortar IBD’s alive. Your “I give’s a sh*t” attitude (to be incredibly crude about it) gives me a case of the tight head nod of respect.

    As far as rim brakes vs. disc, road rim calipers seem to have won plenty of grand tours under Merckx, Hinault, and Pantani. If their good enough for a cannibal, a badger and a pirate, they’re certainly good enough for me, I can’t help but wonder if the industry is peer pressuring us into road disc brakes.

  23. Hey lesalpes, and in defense of 335is, take it from someone who has had to deal with Ted, buyer beware!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He never could get my cranks to work properly with BB30 and I had to resort to every trick in the book to get my dam refund after months of trying…always some lame excuse why. He is using the marketplace as his R&D, it’s as simple as that. Expect the un-expected from this company and I don’t mean in a good way. He needs to fire himself as the business owner and develop his products for someone else.

  24. Haloo guys…i’m seriously thingking of buying the GSL Micro braked from Ciamillo. From their invoice, its stated 2014 Negative GSL Micro. My question is, is it the same item as GSL Micro? Why Ciamillo stated Negative in their invoice? And the promo price is $299
    for 1. Is it for a pair or just ONE caliper?

  25. I ordered a pair on Oct 31 and I was wondering if anybody have received theirs. Last update from Ted was that they were about to finish the first batch of them. Getting anxious to get them installed and tested to post user experience here! Hurry up Ted!!! 🙂

  26. I would not recommend anyone to purchase anything from Ted Ciamillo!
    I purchased a crankset on 19th January which I received 7 weeks later. It has got several problems with it’s painting and it had several scratches as well. It wasn’t even the color I asked for.
    The product went broke on it’s very first use!
    Since that I have received several promises from Ted, but even until today (08.10.2013) neither have I received a new product nor got the price I paid for the product back. (Despite the fact he promised it several times)
    On the other hand I sent the crooked product back to him.
    The warranty is a simple lie! Don’t be fooled by him!

  27. Well I guess all the rumors were true!

    I placed my order for this “lightweight wonder brakes” on Halloween (I guess the proper date) to this date December 2, 2013 all I have received is a bunch of BS from Ciamillo saying that the response has been overwhelming, tool issues, parts not available, etc, etc.

    This company promises more than they can deliver! A month later and still they can deliver a set of calipers? I tried to get a reasonable true shipping date and all I got was a tracking number like the ones you get when you buy a shipping service from the postal service. What purpose will it serve to send a tracking number without actually have the parcel delivered to the USPS for shipment. I just got tired of hearing this charlatan’s lies!! BUYERS AWARE!!!

  28. To give him a fair chance…. He just give me a call apologizing for all the issues saying that he was droping a bunch of packages in the post office to get them delivered. I’ll keep you posted about the outcome.

  29. Recieved the brakes early and set them up with no problems. They are fitted to 19mm alu rims and have strong stopping power. Finicky to adjust with centering though, but that has to do with cable length. The brakes have a few flaws in the finish, but mechnically they are perfect.

  30. JC, A few flaws in the the finish? They should be flawless. Please send them back to me so I can replace them for you. If you send me a tracking number I will go ahead and send another pair along with the pinky finger of the guy who was responsible for the flaws in the finish.

  31. First of all I owe an apology to Mr. Ciamillo for my previous comments. I guess things weren’t helping him but it wasn’t his fault. When he placed the request for signature in the shipping the package tracking changed making the number he gave me useless. Also I saw in the original label that he shipped them before Thanksgiving like he said. One thing I can contribute to all this situation is that he always got back to me either by email or phone call. I guess I based my attitude towards him and his company based on other persons experiences and not mine. Since is all set now lets discuss the features of this newer version of his brakes.

    I received my calipers yesterday and I went straight ahead to install them. Upon removing the packaging I noticed how light they are. I inspected them closely (I’m a machinist by trade) and I can say the finish it great, there’s some barely noticeable CNC machining surface. Basically all the surfaces are nicely finished and smooth leaving little traces of tool path from the CNC. The brake pads carriers arrived in a separate bag within the box with all the needed hardware for installation. There were some little traces of burrs (jagged sharp edges) but nothing that will affect the functionality or looks because they will get buried underneath the brake pad anyway. Upon installation I noticed that I needed new brake cables housing because I normally run my cables as short as posible and since this calipers are smaller than my old Tektro calipers. Once I got a new cable and cut the housings to length I placed the calipers in the bike. For the front one I shortened the supplied nut because it was a little long (+.062″) and it was screwing all the way in and it wasn’t tightening the caliper enough in the 2013 Cannondale Super Six fork that I have. Once I did that everything went smooth and fast. I removed the cable locking screw, routed the cable, squeezed the caliper (place some velcro to let me free up my hand) and locked the cable in place. Readjusted the pads in the center of my rim surface and torqued them to specs. The I went straight away for a brake test to get a feel for the caliper leverage, etc. They were spot on and little cable tension adjustment was needed. The feel was way better than my previous brakes. After all was set in the front I repeated the process in the back one. No issues of fitting with that one. It went perfectly in the bike with no modifications besides a longer cable casing. Right away I went for a small loop around my neighborhood. At first I tried them at low speed to see if any further adjustments were needed. Everything was feeling really good and no more cable pressure was needed. Then it was time for some real world type of situation testing. I went up to 20 mph and hit the rear brake only, it took around 25-30 ft to bring the bike to a full stop this without letting the rear tire to lock out. After that I did the same test but using both brakes and the distance was way less than 20 ft and I felt the bike momentum moving forward really fast saying “I want to stop”. I mean you can feel the tug of the bike stoping and you need to tighten your arms to keep your position. I did a test almost at 30 mph and I got really impressed with the stoping power of the calipers. Once you install them and test them they provide immediate confidence that they not only look good but they worked as expected and need it.

    Bottom line this is a nice lightweight set of calipers!

  32. I ordered a GSL Micro on Oct/30, after I saw Bikerumor’s post and felt I like Micro very much.

    I got an update from Ted that my Micro will be shipped out on Nov/13. However, since then, 1 month was passed, I haven’t got the Micro nor any response from Ted via email or phone call. I tried couple times. I guess there must be too many orders to be consumed.

    I will keep waiting but I hope there would be any further update from Ted, since I already paid $299 and was charged credit card by bank. I will feedback the Micro ussage after I get it and install it on my roadbike.

  33. Ive read posts on forums about people getting frustrated when they dont hear back from Ted. It always seems to be when theyre waiting for email replys. I too waited for a reply but the then thought to pick up the phone. ted answered and took care of my problem that day. done. Great work Ted!!

    about the brakes…I am really happy with these brakes. Hanve been using them for 6 months now. Installing them was pretty straight forward except for that you must get the cable housing length just right to keep them centered (if there is a problem with the brakes it keeping them centered but its not a big issue that i have to correct every ride or anything…and fwiw i have these adjust really close to my rims because i like the feel that way). After installing them i thought it was a bit too easy to squeeze the leaver and thought that there wouldnt be enough braking force. As soon as i tried them on the road i realised i was far from wrong. there was tons of power, it just required less than my old Campy Athena levers. And i cant say ive ever felt a lack of modulation or control.

    Fast forward 6 months and i have jsut installed Dura Ace 9070 all i can say is that these callipers combined with the new Dura ace levers offer phenomenal breaking. Tons of control and more power than i could ever use. I honestly dont see how i could use more power. i have absolute confidence approaching corners on mountain descents at over 80kph. I havent had a chance to test them on anything faster yet but im sure any problems i run into will be due to user error and not any fault of the brakes…and all this at only ca 150g! i have to say, i got these at the introductory discount price which just sweetens the deal.

  34. Promises does not deliver…….Disappointed and very unhappy. No doubt good quality product but promises need to stay firm towards customer trust. Ted, hope you can fix this up asap.

  35. Dear Ted/Kristi,

    Can you pls reply my email? I can’t ride my half cook bike due to awaiting for this Ciamillo Micros calipers. If you are not intend to sell it to me, kindly help to advise so that I can give up my hope and re-purchase other brand of calipers to complete my bike. I’m sick of following up with you and feel very tired because of keep hopping day after day. Appreciated your kind advise here. May god bless you and I am glad to know you; “Ted Ciamillo” . Nice to deal with you here. This is my last email to you and ill stop right here. God bless you and Kristi forever. Thanks.

  36. i,m waiting now since october 2014 for my micro brakes.
    prepaid and promises for delivery, but still i did not get them.
    i told ted that i get my new bike very soon,now i got the bike but i don,t have the brakes.

    shame on him.

    karl from austria

COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.