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  1. #1
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    flat bar w. sidepull - which levers?

    Like the title asks: what kind of levers can I run if I want to use flat bars with sidepull calipers (Shimano 600, single pivot I think, not that it makes much difference)?

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    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    You'll need to use brake levers designed for cantilever brakes.
    Basically, cantilever brakes and caliper brakes require the same amount of cable-pull from brake levers, whereas V-brakes require more cable-pull. So you should just find some older mountain-bike levers on eBay or whatever.

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    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery
    You'll need to use brake levers designed for cantilever brakes.
    Basically, cantilever brakes and caliper brakes require the same amount of cable-pull from brake levers, whereas V-brakes require more cable-pull. So you should just find some older mountain-bike levers on eBay or whatever.
    Is there any danger in using V-brake levers with sidepull brakes?

    I know that the other way around is dangerous since the levers won't pull enough cable, and you may bottom out the brakes without pulling enough cable to stop. But I don't see using V-brake levers with sidepulls being too dangerous. Sure, the mechanical advantage will be slightly off, but... I used V-brake levers with cantis for several months on a hybrid with no problem. These were new style Nashbar Deluxe cantis (rebadged Tektro Oryx, I'm told) and the braking performance was excellent.
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    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    I've tried it and there was no real modulation. They were kind of on-off brakes. It really sucked. Get the right levers. Many of the cheaper ones handle both, there is a screw to go between both.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  5. #5
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    Is there any danger in using V-brake levers with sidepull brakes?
    Yes there is a lot of potential danger. You will have very little braking force in the begining of your lever pull. Then full force is applied at the end. No modulation at all. This could be serious when you most need it. Ebay is full of old canti specific brake levers. Good luck

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    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moki
    Like the title asks: what kind of levers can I run if I want to use flat bars with sidepull calipers (Shimano 600, single pivot I think, not that it makes much difference)?
    Shimano makes a specific brake lever for this purpose so it can be ordered. Like others have said you could check eBay as well.

    Regards, Anthony

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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    1st choice, use the shimano flat bar levers with the right ratio as recomended by AnthonyG.
    2nd choice, use an adjustable brake lever such as Avid SD which allows you to change the ratio of cable pull to lever motion. I have used the latter with excellent effect although I'm not sure if the adjusted ratio ever quite matches the original Shimano design.
    3rd choice, I believe that there are brake arms that are designed to work with the mountain brake levers but I would defer on this to other opinions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG
    Shimano makes a specific brake lever for this purpose so it can be ordered. Like others have said you could check eBay as well.

    Regards, Anthony
    Does anyone know what it's called, or what group it's from?

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    The Specific Flat-bar levers for Dual pivots would be the BL-R440s...

    My personal suggestion would be to find/order some dual-function brake levers. Many of the less expensive ones out there nowadays allow adjustment for either V brakes or Canti/Calipers.

    Some of Shimano's Nexave/Nexus Brake levers have this feature; One example would be the BL-IM45.

  10. #10
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    Yes, Shimano makes flat-bar gruppo for road bikes. If you want to get rapidfire shifters integrated with your brake levers, this is the way to go for use with road caliper brakes. And Shimano does make standalone levers.
    But there's no point to buying these since you can get canti-specific levers (with same cable pull ratio as for caliper brakes) cheaply on eBay.

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    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    I'm using a set of Forté Team V Brake Levers on some straight bars. $20 a set I got them on sale for $10 a pair if thats the ype your looking for.
    Couldn't pass up that sale.
    Photos of them are on my project page if you want to see them.
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
    http://www.jtgraphics.net/cyclist_bicycles.htm

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    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    Is there any danger in using V-brake levers with sidepull brakes?

    I know that the other way around is dangerous since the levers won't pull enough cable, and you may bottom out the brakes without pulling enough cable to stop. But I don't see using V-brake levers with sidepulls being too dangerous. Sure, the mechanical advantage will be slightly off, but... I used V-brake levers with cantis for several months on a hybrid with no problem. These were new style Nashbar Deluxe cantis (rebadged Tektro Oryx, I'm told) and the braking performance was excellent.

    Yeah, there is. While there is less potential danger in using v-brake levers with cantis, I still wouldn't do it. And I would never recommend it to someone else over the internet. If I do something dumb or less than optimal, fine, but I won't talk someone else into it.

  13. #13
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby
    Yeah, there is. While there is less potential danger in using v-brake levers with cantis, I still wouldn't do it. And I would never recommend it to someone else over the internet. If I do something dumb or less than optimal, fine, but I won't talk someone else into it.
    There are lots of people on BF who want to do things with their bikes or components that they weren't originally meant to do. Some of them are dumb and dangerous, some are dumb and not dangerous, and some are great ideas.

    I was just sharing my own experience with having used V-brake levers successfully with cantis... I certainly didn't intend to tell anyone it was 100% safe. I'm glad to see that others have weighed in on this issue. And apparently the consensus is, it's a bad idea.
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