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  1. #1
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    Old bike new brake levers?

    I have a Bianchi Limited. Not sure what year it is as I bought it used.

    I'm thinking about buying new brake levers for it. The ones I currently have aren't aero and don't have any hoods, so it is mildly uncomfortable to ride on the top of the brakes. Also it is my understanding that new brake levers have a much nicer mechanical advantage and pull smoother. Is this true?

    Is this upgrade a good idea or a waste of money? Will there be any issue with putting new brake levers on an old bike? If I go through with this will I need to buy other parts to work with the levers or will just the levers be all I need.

  2. #2
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    You will need the levers, and very likely new housing, cables and bar tape. Aero levers work fine with any road caliper or center pull brake. You should be able to find some good NOS levers at an LBS at low cost or, Shimano, Campy, Tektro and Dia Compe all make a current version. I believe Nashbar sells the Tektro levers under their house-brand name.

    You should avoid the Dia Compe's model 287V levers as they are intended for disc brake use only.

  3. #3
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider
    You should avoid the Dia Compe's model 287V levers as they are intended for disc brake use only.

    They'll work with mechanical disc brakes that have the same cable pull as linear pull brakes, but the most common use for them (and the reason Dia-Compe originally offered them) is to use with linear pull brakes.

  4. #4
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdufstuff
    Also it is my understanding that new brake levers have a much nicer mechanical advantage and pull smoother. Is this true?
    I don't know about "pull smoother," but aero levers are generally more ergonomonic, particularly when riding with your hands on the hoods, including braking from the hoods. And yes, they do have more leverage than non-aero's because of a different design at the lever. My experience has been that it's one of the most cost-effective upgrades you can make on an older bike-

  5. #5
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    This is an excellent upgrade, go for it. The "bang-for-the-buck" factor here is way higher than your average road bike upgrade.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by well biked
    They'll work with mechanical disc brakes that have the same cable pull as linear pull brakes, but the most common use for them (and the reason Dia-Compe originally offered them) is to use with linear pull brakes.
    Good catch. I realized my oversight as soon as I reread my posting. They were indeed first intended for use with "V-brakes" on road/touring bikes.

  7. #7
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Tektro R200A is a nice choice. I bought mine at triathlete.com for under $20 before shipping.

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