Bicycle Mechanics - Are Shimano SLR brakes from the 80's compatible with non-SLR levers?
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11-21-11, 05:57 PM
I have Shimano SLR ("Shimano Linear Response") brakes from the mid to late 80's (they have no other markings other than "Shimano SLR").
I want to use new bar-end brake levers (on bullhorn bars), but, after reading about Shimano SLR brakes on Sheldon Brown's site (http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_sa-o.html#slr), I am worried they won't be compatible.
Can it work?
11-21-11, 06:39 PM
They work fine. I have a set controlled by a set of Dia-Compe SS-7 brake levers on my "coffee bike": http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/letour/pages/Letour%20008.htm . The light return action is nice, but you have to pay attention to the cable routing to minimize friction. Bar-ends on bullhorns are about as low-friction a setup as you'll find, so don't worry about it.
One hidden feature of the SLR brakes: There's a plastic block on the end of the return spring. If you remove it, and re-install it so it pushes the spring away from the arm a little farther, the return action of the brake is snappier. This helps when there's a lot of friction in the cable.
11-21-11, 07:45 PM
Can it work?
Yes, it'll work perfectly fine as long as you don't use a V-brake lever. I'm not even sure they make bar-end V-brake levers, so I'm almost positive any such lever you buy will be fine.
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