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  1. #1
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    v brakes and shifters.

    in buying new components for future maintenance ; a shop outside of ann arbor told me, travel agents are needed to make indexed shifting work and use v style brakes. . the owner also told me, there is a non -indexed shifter that works along with v brakes ,but that make (whatever it is?) also is not indexed and i'd need apply a shifter mechanism on either the down tube with that system or else place a shifter ,moutain bike style.
    anyone know is there a way to apply indexed shifting to v style brakes without travel agents? And if so what is the brand name of shifter that can work with v brakes and no travel agent.
    If such a shifter exists, is it of good quality? thanks.

  2. #2
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Mate, the travel agent is just a cam that's fitted to the brake cable at the brake. It's nothing to get fussed about.

    I've got a 2007 Trek520. They come with V brakes and bar end shifters. I can't for the life of me see the attraction in bar ends and so had Ultegra brifters fitted ... along with the travel agent. The result is very powerful brakes (better than caliper by a looonnnngggg way) with a beautiful, broad braking band. It is so easy to modulate your braking with this setup from a controlled lockup to controlled braking down a very steep gravel track (yes, I have to ride such a pig). This setup is the best braking setup I've ever used and makes the Tiagra caliper brakes on my son's bike feel like brakes we used to suffer with in the seventies.

    V-brakes, STi levers and travel agents - a mix I've learned to love.

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot
    in buying new components for future maintenance ; a shop outside of ann arbor told me, travel agents are needed to make indexed shifting work and use v style brakes. . the owner also told me, there is a non -indexed shifter that works along with v brakes ,but that make (whatever it is?) also is not indexed and i'd need apply a shifter mechanism on either the down tube with that system or else place a shifter ,moutain bike style.
    anyone know is there a way to apply indexed shifting to v style brakes without travel agents? And if so what is the brand name of shifter that can work with v brakes and no travel agent.
    If such a shifter exists, is it of good quality? thanks.
    Your post would be a lot more clear if you'd get your terminology straight.

    STI = Shimano combined brake and shift levers for dropped bar bikes. They lack sufficient cable pull to operate V-brakes but will work with the addition of a Travel Agent. That combination has been in common usage for well over a decade and has proven to be reliable.

    Dia-Compe 287-V = dropped bar brake levers that are designed to operate linear pull brakes so you don't need a Travel Agent. They don't shift gears so you will need separate shifters and I've heard conflicting opinions regarding how satisfactorily they work.

    Index shifting just means the shifters have a detent that corresponds with each cog on the cassette. Besides the STI "brifters" they also come in bar end and down tube versions. Bar ends are nearly (but not entirely) as convenient to use as STI brifters but they cost less and are more reliable.

  4. #4
    Death fork? Naaaah!! top506's Avatar
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    If you don't insist on brifters (brake/shift levers like Shimano STI and Campy Ergo) you can get Dia-Compe 287v brake levers and run whatever shifter you prefer. If you must have the brake/shifter combo then Travel Agents (or one of the other similiar products) are the way to go.
    FWIW, I have a bike set up with the 287v levers and dt shifters mounted in Kelly Take-Off adapters. Quite nice.

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  5. #5
    Year-round cyclist
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    I have pictures of Shimano barend shifters here. I like to install my bars at about the same level as the saddle and I like to ride on the drops. From the drops, I find bar-end shifters more convenient and easier to use than STI.

    If you really want STI shifters, you have three options:

    – Use Tektro mini-V brakes. Their arms are 75 mm long, rather than the usual 100-102 mm, so they are compatible with STI levers. Their main drawback – for touring, that is – is that they allow 28-30 mm tires maximum without fenders or probably 25 mm max. with fenders. Not a good choice for touring, but a decent one for a sports bike.

    – Use your v-brakes with a Travel Agent. That works great, but the Travel Agent causes 2 problems:
    The cable tends to fray more quickly, so you need to check it often.
    The Travel Agent sometimes interferes with the rear rack stays.

    – Use cantilever brakes. The new ones use brake pads with threaded posts and are almost as easy to set up as v-brakes. Only real problem is the lack of clearance around the rear brake with a really low bike frame.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  6. #6
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    europa.. I expect to have to replace my sti shifters soon. But, I will need keep my v brakes since they are compatable to surly frames.
    So, I am trying to see if another brand of STI shifters, might work without the travel agents.

  7. #7
    Year-round cyclist
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    No. See above. Basically, the only brake levers that work directly with v-brakes are the Dia Compe 287-V brake levers. All other road brake levers and briefters (Shimano STI, Campy Ergo and Sram) work either directly with cantilever brakes or sidepull brakes; they need Travel Agents to work with v-brakes.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Michel Gagnon– Use your v-brakes with a Travel Agent. That works great, but the Travel Agent causes 2 problems:
    The cable tends to fray more quickly, so you need to check it often.
    The Travel Agent sometimes interferes with the rear rack stays.[/QUOTE]

    I used to worry about cable fraying but I haven't found it to be a problem.

    Installing a rear rack around v-brakes, with or without travel agents, can be a very real problem.

  9. #9
    Videre non videri
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Dia-Compe 287-V = dropped bar brake levers that are designed to operate linear pull brakes so you don't need a Travel Agent. They don't shift gears so you will need separate shifters and I've heard conflicting opinions regarding how satisfactorily they work.
    I've used them for almost two years now, and they work great. The only problem I've had with them so far is that on one of them, I've destroyed the outermost couple of threads in the locking screw hole. The aluminium there is very soft (a brass thread insert would be a good thing for them to add there), and due to the design, it's easy to mis-align the screw when you're trying to engage the threads. This makes it a bit fiddly to get the screw back in. Instead of seconds, it takes minutes. That's the only problem so far. And it could've been avoided entirely if I had been more careful.

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