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Old 01-22-07, 10:04 PM   #1
Drexman
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Brake Levers and older brakes

I have some older Shimano side pull caliper brakes (Shimano 640s I think) from an old 70s/80s vintage 10-speed that I want to reuse. However, I want to get some new brake levers. What brake levers can I use? Would any of these work? If not, can you please suggest some that would work. Thanks.

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=2231

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=2231

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=2231

BTW - it is going to be a SS/FG bike so I might go with drop levers or flat bar levers.
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Old 01-23-07, 12:38 AM   #2
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The first two will work fine with drop bars. I you go with flat bars, you will need to find some flat bar specific levers that are labelled as cantilever compatible. The last levers you linked will work if you go with bullhorns.
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Old 01-23-07, 06:25 AM   #3
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The first 2 sets would work with drop bars. The first set is narrow. The second has a fatter grip. Both work fine. I like the fat ones.
The third set works in addition to a set like the other two. They mount on the flat section near the stem to provide a second brake lever position wile riding on the tops. The cable runs from the main brake levers and through these. Sometimes they are called interrupter levers.
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Old 01-23-07, 08:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Steev
The first two will work fine with drop bars. I you go with flat bars, you will need to find some flat bar specific levers that are labelled as cantilever compatible. The last levers you linked will work if you go with bullhorns.
Thanks. So if I go with flat bar levers, I need some that are "cantilever" compatible? Don't they need to be "caliper" compatible? Does it make a difference if they are old brakes, but new levers? The LBS told me that you need to make sure the levers pull the correct amount of cable.
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Old 01-23-07, 08:36 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Drexman
Thanks. So if I go with flat bar levers, I need some that are "cantilever" compatible? Don't they need to be "caliper" compatible? Does it make a difference if they are old brakes, but new levers? The LBS told me that you need to make sure the levers pull the correct amount of cable.
Traditional cantilever brakes, like those found on older mountain bikes (or touring bikes, new or old), require the same amount of cable pull as your road calipers........And the newer aero-style brake levers for drop bars, like the ones in your links, are completely compatible with your old brakes (same cable pull), but will actually give better braking performance because of better leverage, and are also a better ergonomic design according to most who use them (including myself)-

Here's a link to my favorites for an older bike needing new levers: http://cgi.ebay.com/Cane-Creek-SCR-5...QQcmdZViewItem I think they're made by Tektro, very similar to the ones you linked to.

Last edited by well biked; 01-23-07 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 01-23-07, 08:57 AM   #6
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I have the tektro r200a levers on my falcon. I like them. The quick release opening feature is nice for wheel removal. The best price I found was here.

http://www.triathlete.com/store/product.php?id=22336
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Old 01-25-07, 09:51 PM   #7
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I have the tektro r200a levers on my falcon. I like them. The quick release opening feature is nice for wheel removal. The best price I found was here.

http://www.triathlete.com/store/product.php?id=22336

Thanks for the input. Does your falcon have older caliper brakes?
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Old 01-25-07, 10:07 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input. Does your falcon have older caliper brakes?
It did, Weinman Top 560s I think. Wanted aero levers. Worked better, but got some Shimano 600 single pull calipers from Cuda2K with Koolstop pads, (he sold them to me used for about what it would have cost for new cartridge style pads and holders)and they made a huge difference. I would try levers and new pads in the old calipers first.

You can read about my Falcon in this thread
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Old 01-25-07, 10:21 PM   #9
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Those cane creek are the exact same lever as the tektros. I found some on Amazon (actually niagra cycle works) for $9.99! Super-duper deal. Just search on Amazon for tektro R200. The R100's are the short reach version and they have them for $12.99. Still a great deal. I had some R200's on my bike for a while and they're really nice levers. The grip is slightly too bulky for my taste, but not terrible or anything. For $10 it's the best lever you can buy.
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Old 01-26-07, 09:05 AM   #10
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Those cane creek are the exact same lever as the tektros. I found some on Amazon (actually niagra cycle works) for $9.99! Super-duper deal. Just search on Amazon for tektro R200. The R100's are the short reach version and they have them for $12.99. Still a great deal. I had some R200's on my bike for a while and they're really nice levers. The grip is slightly too bulky for my taste, but not terrible or anything. For $10 it's the best lever you can buy.
Thanks. What is the difference between the R200's and R200a's?
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Old 01-26-07, 09:22 AM   #11
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non aero vs aero cable routing I believe. I think the A denotes aero (cables exit side of lever to go under bar wrap) style.
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Old 01-26-07, 11:17 AM   #12
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R200a is the proper model name but most people just refer to the them as R200, there's no difference, same thing just leaving off the "a".
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Old 01-28-07, 11:42 AM   #13
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Sorry to belabor this one, but now I'm thinking I might go with bullhorns. Would these work with older, single-pivot, caliper brakes?

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...-_-null-_-null
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