I just tried hooking up some Tektro BMX levers to the older Dia-Compe canti brakes on an 80s road bike. The levers weren't working. I've gone and done a search and read up on this stuff, but I couldn't figure out exactly what the problem is.
Are the BMX levers made for only direct-pull brakes? (I know nothing about BMX bikes right now--last one I had was my chrome Mongoose back in 5th grade). If so, what levers for an upright bar would I look for to use with these brakes?
Also, can newer link wires be used with older canti brakes? How does one determine the proper length for link wires?
Do transverse cables (for cantis and older centerpulls) stretch like regular brake cables, and should they be replaced? Do they produce stainless steel versions?
Finally, am I correct in understanding that the original canti brake design was flawed because of this (from Sheldon Brown):
" Unfortunately, conventional center-pull cantilevers prouduce exactly the opposite variation! As the lever is pulled, the yoke angle gets sharper and sharper, while, in the case of a low-profile model, the pivot-cable distance decreases. Both of these conditions reduce the mechanical advantage as the brake is applied.
Since the travel increases as the brake shoes wear down, braking performance degrades as the shoes wear, not because the shoes have any less grip, but because the mechanical advantage has decreased."
Is this what gave rise to the V brake design?