Brake levers for flat bars that work with caliper brakes?
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  1. #1
    Beetpull DeLite
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    Brake levers for flat bars that work with caliper brakes?

    My roommate just picked up an old Schwinn road bike recently, so I'm in the process of making it rideable. He's not a fan of road bike drop bars, so I traded him one of my flat bars for the old SR's on the Schwinn.

    Now, I'm wondering what brake levers to use. The drop bar levers obviously won't work, so I need some mountain levers...should I look for ones that work with cantis, or v-brakes? Tektro makes some inexpensive levers that work with both of those, should they work ok?

    Any help would be great, thanks!

    Brian

  2. #2
    blame me for missed rides
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    canti levers.

  3. #3
    Every little counts...
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    New Campagnolo flat bar levers. Very, very cool.

    https://campyonly.com/images/rumors/...t_controls.jpg

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by GirchyGirchy
    I need some mountain levers...should I look for ones that work with cantis, or v-brakes? Tektro makes some inexpensive levers that work with both of those, should they work ok?
    If Tektro offers a lever that can be configured to work with either, then yes. But V-brake levers won't work.

    Shimano Levers at Loose Screws: http://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi?d=single&c=Brake&sc=Levers%20Complete&tc=&item_id=LS-5584RB&id=84203282319
    Dia-Compe levers at Rivendell: http://rivendellbicycles.com/webalog/brakes/15112.html

    Look at inline "cross" levers too. Don't see why they couldn't be run as stand-alone canti levers.

  5. #5
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    You say "V-brake levers won't work." Have you ever tried it? I've never been able to find someone who has. I think they would.

    Canti (short cable pull) lever won't work on V-brakes because you run out of pull before you get the pads to the brakes.

    With V-levers on cantis (or road brakes), you would simply have less power, but I think it would still be way more power with the leverage you have on a flat bar than you have from the hoods on a road bike. I think the canti (or road, again) would work as good as they ever do.

    (For the original poster, canti levers is the "correct" answer.)

    TF
    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

  6. #6

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    Iirc. . .

    . . .you can run V levers with Canti brakes. This is batted around on the Cross board from time to time. The drawback is that Canti levers have less pull, so you have to run the pads super close to the rim to get decent braking power.

    When running Canti levers with V brakes you have the opposite problem. Too much pull and thus brakes that lock up so easily they are dangerous. Shimano V brake components come with a little warning about this. I've never heard of people trying to get around this by setting the pads further away from the rim. . .

    Travel Agents are another option that I have used with Canti levers and V Brakes.

    At any rate, if I were setting up a bike for a friend, I wouldn't fiddle around with novel braking solutions.
    Last edited by czardonic; 10-19-2004 at 03:10 PM. Reason: sp

  7. #7

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    So you are right. . .

    . . .about the V levers, come to think of it.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by czardonic
    Look at inline "cross" levers too. Don't see why they couldn't be run as stand-alone canti levers.
    These work by shortening the housing... they don't have a way to work as a stand alone lever because they don't anchor the cable. So this won't work. At least not with the 4 ro 5 brands of levers I have ever worked on. It's odd to explain but they don't actually grab the cable at all, so you can't use them by themselves.

    Russ

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by GirchyGirchy
    My roommate just picked up an old Schwinn road bike recently, so I'm in the process of making it rideable. He's not a fan of road bike drop bars, so I traded him one of my flat bars for the old SR's on the Schwinn.

    Now, I'm wondering what brake levers to use. The drop bar levers obviously won't work, so I need some mountain levers...should I look for ones that work with cantis, or v-brakes? Tektro makes some inexpensive levers that work with both of those, should they work ok?

    Any help would be great, thanks!

    Brian
    Since you will need a Cantilever Lever, you should try to pick up some NOS levers off the bay.... lots of great levers are floating around on there since most everyone now uses V brakes. Otherwise, I may have a set of Dia-Comp SS 7's in a box somewhere around the house... if I can find them, they are yours for the cost of shipping them.

    Russ

  10. #10
    NeoRetroGrouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by russw19
    These work by shortening the housing... they don't have a way to work as a stand alone lever because they don't anchor the cable. So this won't work. At least not with the 4 ro 5 brands of levers I have ever worked on. It's odd to explain but they don't actually grab the cable at all, so you can't use them by themselves.

    Russ
    In-line CX levers will work. The cable head just sticks out the back side (see pic - don't remember who's this is.), but they probably wouldn't fit the MTB flat bar. The way I would go is to find (like in my basement) a set of old Avid Single Digit MTB levers. They're adjustable on the fly. Like these: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...108903232&rd=1

    TF
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    "Don't those guys know they're old?!!"
    Me, off the back, at my first 50+ road race.

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