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  1. #1
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    New road bike, never rode one before. (brake problems)

    Hi I'm new to road/racer bikes, so new that I just go out in jeans and t shirts :P I realise I probably look like a right Olympic inspired idiot, but I don't really care lol, besides I've been watching eBay for a road bike throughout all of summer and I don't really watch the Olympics.

    Anyway the problem I'm having is that I don't feel safe with the brakes. I like to ride in the first position with my hands in the regular mountain bike spot, but then I have to jump forward in case I need to brake, which just doesn't feel natural at all.

    Also when I'm in the second hand position, i.e. hand still on top but forward, I can just about touch the brake, but I don't feel like I have the power to fully clench them. But when I go into third position, as in hands on the lower part of bars, only my index finger can reach the brakes which again gives me a very unsafe feeling.

    Now I've tried turning the bars up and down, but there is no sweet spot, it's either perfect one way, and untouchable the other, or in between where I feel unsafe with both positions.

  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    despite the fact that you have given us some good info, w/o knowing what kind of brake levers and bars you have, who knows? how tall are you and what size bike are you one? there are some pretty huge variables here that could make a big difference in what kind of advice you get. i'm guessing it's one of two things.

    the bike is way to big for you.
    or...
    the bike is very old and the brake levers just suck. there have been lots of changes in the last 10-20 yrs w/ regards to comfort and function.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  3. #3
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    Ah right we'll I'll give you some info's

    I'm about 5'10/5'11, the bike is a 21.5inch frame (raleigh pursuit road bike).

    Here's the actual bike, It's the ebay auction pictures, sorry about that. I'm not sure what brake type it is, maybe you can tell from the picture? Sorry I don't know much about bikes.

    Raleigh Pursuit racing/road bike silver and red (done 20 miles only) | eBay
    Last edited by wilsonitex; 08-10-2012 at 06:09 AM.

  4. #4
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
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    If you haven't already had one, first step is to get a standard bike fit. Very generally speaking, knowing just your height, a 55cm frame should be close to your size (if not a little small), but a fitting will answer that along with sorting out what I think may be reach issues.

    I'm guessing, but the fitter could consider a shorter stem and/ or compact (short reach/ drop) bars.

  5. #5
    25.806975801127
    Reputation: PlatyPius's Avatar
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    I didn't even realize that Raleigh made any road bikes that cheap and low-end....

    A lot of the problem is probably the levers. Those are old-style, skinny, nasty brake levers. Have a shop install some Tektro or similar aero levers with a wider body. The normal road position is to hold on to the brake hoods. That would be uncomfortable with the current levers. Better levers will let you ride where you should and brake more easily.

    "Cross-Tops" are always an option, too. They mount on the bar near the stem so you can brake when you're in the 'bad' position on the bars.

    Tektro Crosstop RL-726 26.0mm Road Brake Levers - TK-RL726-K
    Last edited by PlatyPius; 08-10-2012 at 08:18 AM. Reason: poor wording
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius View Post
    I didn't even realize that Raleigh made any road bikes that

    "Cross-Tops" are always an option, too. They mount on the bar near the stem so you can brake when you're in the 'bad' position on the bars.
    p331]Tektro Crosstop RL-726 26.0mm Road Brake Levers - TK-RL726-K[/url]
    I've always wondered can you get cross tops whilst also having the long vertical brakes at the same time? I will look into those.

    Also if I was to get some new brake levers, it possible to extend the brake hoods too? I find them too short for my liking, I feel like I may slip over them. Also is this going to cost a lot of money? I literally spent everything I had on this thing.

  7. #7
    25.806975801127
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilsonitex View Post
    I've always wondered can you get cross tops whilst also having the long vertical brakes at the same time? I will look into those.

    Also if I was to get some new brake levers, it possible to extend the brake hoods too? I find them too short for my liking, I feel like I may slip over them. Also is this going to cost a lot of money? I literally spent everything I had on this thing.
    Yes, you can use both types of levers. Cross-tops typically make the normal brake levers feel a little sluggish because of the extra drag.

    The Tektro road levers have a much larger (and longer) hood area. Also, newer style brake levers, when positioned properly, should be level with the flat part of the bar right before the drop bend. This is slightly more difficult on traditional style bars (most bikes are using ergo and/or compact bars now).

    Regardless, the better levers will help quite a lot, and they're only 15 quid.
    Tektro RL340 Road Aero Brake Levers / Black

    (fixed incorrect link)

    Do some reading, and I'm sure you can install them yourself to save installation fees.
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  8. #8
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius View Post
    I didn't even realize that Raleigh made any road bikes that cheap and low-end....

    A lot of the problem is probably the levers. Those are old-style, skinny, nasty brake levers. Have a shop install some Tektro or similar aero levers with a wider body. The normal road position is to hold on to the brake hoods. That would be uncomfortable with the current levers. Better levers will let you ride where you should and brake more easily.

    "Chicken levers" are always an option, too. They mount on the bar near the stem so you can brake when you're in the 'bad' position on the bars.

    Tektro Crosstop RL-726 26.0mm Road Brake Levers - TK-RL726-K
    sorry, had to do it.

    yes, those standard levers are pretty weak and not at all comfortable. the brakes pretty much suck as well. you could replace both AND add the chicken levers and it would work a lot better, but that's going to cost you probably 1/3 what you paid for the whole bike by the time you're done.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  9. #9
    25.806975801127
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    sorry, had to do it.

    yes, those standard levers are pretty weak and not at all comfortable. the brakes pretty much suck as well. you could replace both AND add the chicken levers and it would work a lot better, but that's going to cost you probably 1/3 what you paid for the whole bike by the time you're done.
    Yeah... can't stand Turkey Levers (must be a regional thing, or maybe I just learned the term from weirdos). Some people really want them, though.

    Ya know... I look at that Raleigh, and I'll bet the same name comes into your mind... WalMart Schwinn Varsity.
    700c Men's Schwinn Varsity Road Bike: Bikes & Riding Toys : Walmart.com
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  10. #10
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    Thanks guys, I'm definitely going to buy those Tektro levers. There won't be any compatibly issues or anything will there? for example I don't plan on buying v brakes as I can't afford it right now. Will these things work with the standard brakes?

    I'm getting sad, seem there is a lot to do to this bike, I realise it's quite **** but I guess I'll learn from it, it looks like the wheels need trueing as they wobble a bit when I watch them. Also the chain seems tapping past the middle gear changer when I'm in the highest and lowest gears. I'm not sure if this is a problem or not, it doesn't seem to interfere, just noisy.

  11. #11
    SCV Newbie
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    My bike came with the crosstops installed, don't really like them but haven't had the time or knowledge yet to unwrap and re-wrap my bars. Also, i don't know if its the same for your standard levers, but mine came with spacers that can angle the lever in closer to the bar. I use the 4 degree inward spacer, and feel much more confident in my braking abilities.

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