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Thread: Travel Agents?

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    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Travel Agents?

    What do you all think of Travel Agents? I'm sick of the difficulty of adjusting cantis with unthreaded pads, and I got a nice set of V-brakes thanks to the Pay-It-Forward thread. I figure a nice set of new-style cantis that take V-brake pads would cost me $40, while Nashbar has Travel Agents for only $20. Do V-brakes work well with aero levers and travel agents?

    Also, Nashbar sez these Travel Agents are made for working disc brakes with road levers: http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products But AFAIK, disc brakes have nearly the same mechanical advantage as V-brakes, so those Agents should work with V-brakes too, right?
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    I am using travel agents with V-brakes and Chorus 10 brifters on one of my bikes. No complaints, except for occasionally while trying to get the noodle quick release back together the wire comes off the agent. It is very obvious when the contraption is all together and the pads are sitting 1" away from the rim. YMMV.

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    'Mizer Cats are INSANE Mentor58's Avatar
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    one thing to be aware of, the ones that are designed for disk brakes are designed to be mounted off of the stud where the canti's would be mounted. Having looked at it, I'm not sure how exactly I'd mount it if using it with V-Brakes. If you look in the QBP Catalog at your LBS, you can get the ones that are designed to be used in place of the noodle on V-brakes.

    They aren't hard to set up, takes a bit of fiddling is all. I'd recommend playing around a bit with the old brake cable just to get a feel for how to get the wire properly setup and configured. You MAY also want to set the spring pressure higher than usual when mounting them, since that helps overcome the resistance of the travel agent.

    Hope this helps,

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    Travel agents work great with road levers and V-brakes. You don't want the in-line version like Nashbar has. You want the V-brake version. I happen to be parting out a bike that has V-brake Travel Agents. If you want them e-mail me about how to get them to you.

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    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=moxfyre But AFAIK, disc brakes have nearly the same mechanical advantage as V-brakes, so those Agents should work with V-brakes too, right?[/QUOTE]

    Most disc brakes out there are for mtb's of course, but there are some mechanical disc brakes now designed for road applications, for use with road levers. Avid BB7 Road is one model I've seen that works with road levers. Just in case you ever run into that situation-

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    I had a NEW bike that came with travel agents - worked fine.

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    Science Fanboy KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    I recently put drops with NOS Shimano 600 levers on my MTB. I was drunk when I installed them, and I'm not dead. As a matter of fact, the V-brakes work even better than before.

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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson
    I recently put drops with NOS Shimano 600 levers on my MTB. I was drunk when I installed them, and I'm not dead. As a matter of fact, the V-brakes work even better than before.
    But can you take your wheel off without completely deflating your tire?
    Last edited by Retro Grouch; 10-18-06 at 04:41 PM.

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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    What do you all think of Travel Agents? Do V-brakes work well with aero levers and travel agents?

    Also, Nashbar sez these Travel Agents are made for working disc brakes with road levers: http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products But AFAIK, disc brakes have nearly the same mechanical advantage as V-brakes, so those Agents should work with V-brakes too, right?
    I've worked with STI levers, V-brakes and Travel Agents for around 10 years. The combination works just fine. One poster mentioned extra drag - I don't think so.

    You need to get the Travel Agents that are designed for V-brakes. The mechanism is the same for the V-brake version and for the inline version, but the mounting is different. I don't see how you can mount an inline travel agent and make it work with V-brakes. I have, however, done the opposite.

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    You need the curved travel Agent, as explained in Alex Wetmore's article.

    As Alex explains, they work well, but they tend to fray cables prematurely. Probably not a problem if you set the cables once, then never readjust them, remove the cable, etc. because the crease will always be in the same place. But if you like tinkering with your stuff, you'll reajust the cable at different times and create a few creases in the cables. Then they break.

    Before you rush and buy Travel Agents, Look carefully at the price. I think they are sold individually, not as a pair. So at 20 $ each, it comes at 40 $ for the pair, plus new cables and new housing (at least close to the brakes). New cantis might be cheaper.

    Another solution: get Kool Stop pads on your current brakes. Setup will be equally complex, but since these are good long lasting pads, you won't be reinstalling new pads so often.
    Michel Gagnon
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    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon
    You need the curved travel Agent, as explained in Alex Wetmore's article.

    As Alex explains, they work well, but they tend to fray cables prematurely. Probably not a problem if you set the cables once, then never readjust them, remove the cable, etc. because the crease will always be in the same place. But if you like tinkering with your stuff, you'll reajust the cable at different times and create a few creases in the cables. Then they break.
    Thanks for the warning, Michel! I don't mess with my brakes much once I've got 'em set, and with V-brakes I've found it's rarely necessary to loosen the actual cable... so I hope this won't be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon
    Before you rush and buy Travel Agents, Look carefully at the price. I think they are sold individually, not as a pair. So at 20 $ each, it comes at 40 $ for the pair, plus new cables and new housing (at least close to the brakes). New cantis might be cheaper.

    Another solution: get Kool Stop pads on your current brakes. Setup will be equally complex, but since these are good long lasting pads, you won't be reinstalling new pads so often.
    Good point about the price being double what I thought I do have Kool Stop salmon pads on my current brakes... I've been tinkering with them for months and just finally got them right, so that I actually have sufficient stopping power. Somehow I managed to severely wear down the rear pads over months with very poor stopping power...

    But yeah, maybe I should stick with the cantis for now... I just get so sick of adjusting unthreaded canti pads perfectly, but at the present time I have no pressing need to change them out.
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    Why not just get new cantilever brakes that take the threaded V-style pads?

  13. #13
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    A little off topic but I experimentally used a travel agent to double the cable pull for a 7 speed brifter so that it would operate a nexus-7 internal geared hub. It seemed to work very well but I haven't installed it permanently on a bike for a long term test yet. I am considering using the straight version and attaching it to the down tube shifter boss.
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    Lanterne Rouge
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    My C'Dale came with V-Brakes and travel agents. No complaints, though you do need to fiddle with the spring tension when remounting the wheel to keep the pads from rubbing, though that's not too big a deal.

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    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg
    A little off topic but I experimentally used a travel agent to double the cable pull for a 7 speed brifter so that it would operate a nexus-7 internal geared hub. It seemed to work very well but I haven't installed it permanently on a bike for a long term test yet. I am considering using the straight version and attaching it to the down tube shifter boss.
    Wow!! That is a *great* idea. I would love to be able to use a 7/8 speed Nexus hub with a bar-end shifter rather than the twist grip as seen on the "San Jos8" bikes that Sheldon's shop has. Is it true that the 7-speed Nexus hub needs exactly twice the cable pull of a 7-speed derailer setup?
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    dbg
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    Wow!! That is a *great* idea. I would love to be able to use a 7/8 speed Nexus hub with a bar-end shifter rather than the twist grip as seen on the "San Jos8" bikes that Sheldon's shop has. Is it true that the 7-speed Nexus hub needs exactly twice the cable pull of a 7-speed derailer setup?
    Well, I'm missing some rigor here (although I still have the measuring jig set up), but I loosely observed a little over 4mm of cable pull for the 7 speed nexus. An 8 speed shimano shifter was pulling a little over 2mm normally and, through the travel agent, appeared to pull a little less than 4.5mm. I tried it briefly on a nexus-7 hub (on a workstand) and it appeared to shift smoothly through the range. I was prepared to modify the travel agent, experiment with the jtek device, or create my own device, but the travel agent seemed close enough already to try it out. I just haven't had that project bubble to the top of the list yet.
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