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  1. #1
    worst luck ever ~stella's Avatar
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    Mechanical advantage: V-brake lever with canti brake??

    On my commuter bike I have cantilever brakes and upright cruiser bars. I'm interested in purchasing new brake levers.

    I've heard only to use a short pull brake lever with cantilever brakes. I'm very attracted to the Paul Lover Lever which is specified as a V-brake lever. Will a long pull lever work with a cantilever brake?

    Example:



    Link:

    Paul Components Love Lever


    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
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    Not properly, a lever intended for linear pull/v brakes will pull too much cable...so you'd have to squeeze a lot harder to provide the same amound of stopping pressure compared to canti levers.

  3. #3
    "this is not suck" j0e_bik3's Avatar
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    in the real world on my GT track bike, it has canti front brakes, and I run a finger lever designed for V brakes.

    it stops VERY well (700C- V rims non machined / kool stop pads), I DID have to adjust it slightly farther "out" than I normally run it, but I can modulate the braking pressure better that way (I can do brake only stoppies for 25-50 ft)

    my tektro finger lever looks very much like the pauls you show, so I'd try it, and see how the brakes feel, you'll know right away if it stops like a bar of soap on a steep hill, in which case, don't run that lever and that brake.
    GT road bike conversion: fixed
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  4. #4
    drink slinger
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    Here is Sheldon's take from his website (he calls v-brakes "direct pull"):

    Lever compatibility

    Direct-pull cantilevers require special brake levers. Direct-pull brake levers pull the cable twice as far, half as hard. It is not generally safe to mix and match levers/cables between direct pull and other types for this reason.

    * Conventional brake levers used with direct-pull cantilevers will usually not pull enough cable to stop in wet conditions without bottoming out against the handlebars. In dry conditions, they either won't work, or will grab too suddenly.

    * Direct-pull brake levers used with any other type of brakes will feel nice and solid when you squeeze them, but you'll need to squeeze twice as hard to stop as you should, so unless you are a lightweight rider with gorilla-like paws, this combination isn't safe either.
    Last edited by theopowers; 02-13-08 at 10:05 PM.
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  5. #5
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by theopowers View Post
    Here is Sheldon's take from his website (he calls v-brakes "direct pull"):

    Lever compatibility

    Direct-pull cantilevers require special brake levers. Direct-pull brake levers pull the cable twice as far, half as hard. It is not generally safe to mix and match levers/cables between direct pull and other types for this reason.

    * Conventional brake levers used with direct-pull cantilevers will usually not pull enough cable to stop in wet conditions without bottoming out against the handlebars. In dry conditions, they either won't work, or will grab too suddenly.

    * Direct-pull brake levers used with any other type of brakes will feel nice and solid when you squeeze them, but you'll need to squeeze twice as hard to stop as you should, so unless you are a lightweight rider with gorilla-like paws, this combination isn't safe either.
    Seriously.

    Heed this advice. Either get new v-brakes, or don't buy those levers.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Paul makes a canti specific lever as well.

  7. #7
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    This is a bad idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by j0e_bik3 View Post
    my tektro finger lever looks very much like the pauls you show, so I'd try it, and see how the brakes feel, you'll know right away if it stops like a bar of soap on a steep hill, in which case, don't run that lever and that brake.
    You are under the bizarre impression that "looks somewhat similar" is equivalent to "has identical mechanical advantage." This has little to do with reality.

    In any case, I've heard more than once from people running a long-pull lever with cantis that, "It stops great!" I have been able to conclude only that these people don't know how well a correctly set-up and adjusted brake should work. Please don't be advising others to mix and match long and short-pull levers and brakes, even if it "works" for you. It's not a good idea.

  8. #8
    "this is not suck" j0e_bik3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    This is a bad idea.



    You are under the bizarre impression that "looks somewhat similar" is equivalent to "has identical mechanical advantage." This has little to do with reality.

    In any case, I've heard more than once from people running a long-pull lever with cantis that, "It stops great!" I have been able to conclude only that these people don't know how well a correctly set-up and adjusted brake should work. Please don't be advising others to mix and match long and short-pull levers and brakes, even if it "works" for you. It's not a good idea.


    (oh brother, not another one of these frikkin guys )

    and I can conclude from that statement that your a prick and think you know everything (jump to conclusions much?)

    I understand what you are saying, and I agree and you are all right and I am wrong (happy now?)

    except that I have been riding bicycles for longer than most of you have been alive, and I have been running that setup for YEARS now,...so panic all you like, BUT,....

    I can do a stoppie for over FIFTY FEET,...can you?
    thats JUST by modulating the brake lever, and trust me when I tell you, IT'S EASY, hardly any pressure required.

    now thats a tektro finger lever, for a V BRAKE, and canti brakes, on 700c non machined rims w/ kool stops.

    all I said was try it, and you'll know if it's going to work or not.

    now those levers are RIDICULOUSLY expensive and they DO make a canti lever, so just get the right lever for your brakes or the V brake police will come and take your set up away.

    anyone of you monkeys want to have a stoppie contest for a hundred dollars I live in santa clara, and would love to take your money.

    RIP capt. bike
    Last edited by j0e_bik3; 02-14-08 at 03:44 AM.
    GT road bike conversion: fixed
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  9. #9
    a big man
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    Ya know, if you can't get Dura Ace brifters on that bike, it's just not worth it.

  10. #10
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j0e_bik3 View Post
    (oh brother, not another one of these frikkin guys )

    and I can conclude from that statement that your a prick and think you know everything (jump to conclusions much?)

    I understand what you are saying, and I agree and you are all right and I am wrong (happy now?)

    except that I have been riding bicycles for longer than most of you have been alive, and I have been running that setup for YEARS now,...so panic all you like, BUT,....

    I can do a stoppie for over FIFTY FEET,...can you?
    thats JUST by modulating the brake lever, and trust me when I tell you, IT'S EASY, hardly any pressure required.

    now thats a tektro finger lever, for a V BRAKE, and canti brakes, on 700c non machined rims w/ kool stops.

    all I said was try it, and you'll know if it's going to work or not.

    now those levers are RIDICULOUSLY expensive and they DO make a canti lever, so just get the right lever for your brakes or the V brake police will come and take your set up away.

    anyone of you monkeys want to have a stoppie contest for a hundred dollars I live in santa clara, and would love to take your money.

    RIP capt. bike
    What exactly are your trying to say here? Or do you just want to leave us with the impression that you're as big a prick as the poster you responded to?
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  11. #11
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j0e_bik3 View Post
    (oh brother, not another one of these frikkin guys )

    and I can conclude from that statement that your a prick and think you know everything (jump to conclusions much?)

    I understand what you are saying, and I agree and you are all right and I am wrong (happy now?)

    except that I have been riding bicycles for longer than most of you have been alive, and I have been running that setup for YEARS now,...so panic all you like, BUT,....

    I can do a stoppie for over FIFTY FEET,...can you?
    thats JUST by modulating the brake lever, and trust me when I tell you, IT'S EASY, hardly any pressure required.

    now thats a tektro finger lever, for a V BRAKE, and canti brakes, on 700c non machined rims w/ kool stops.

    all I said was try it, and you'll know if it's going to work or not.

    now those levers are RIDICULOUSLY expensive and they DO make a canti lever, so just get the right lever for your brakes or the V brake police will come and take your set up away.

    anyone of you monkeys want to have a stoppie contest for a hundred dollars I live in santa clara, and would love to take your money.

    RIP capt. bike
    Whatever you say, buddy, both about your stoppie bet and how much of a prick I must be... but would you not agree that spending the money on a lever just to see if it might possibly work (especially since there is not a great chance that it will) is just a little bit silly? Given how spendy Paul levers are, taking a chance on it is goofy.

    More specifically regarding your "easy, hardly any pressure required stoppie," you are either a)mistaken about your lever being intended for v-brakes, b)have the paws of a gorilla, or c)not being entirely truthful for the sake of hyperbole. In any case, color me unimpressed. The OP presumably does not have your bajillion years, or whatever, of riding experience. Recommending improper brake and lever combinations over the internet is irresponsible. I'm sure that you can make things work in a perfectly safe manner. You don't know that anyone else will be able to. None of the older, knowledgeable mechanics that I actually know would use or recommend such a combination. Why? Um, because it's sub-optimal. You'd be able to "stoppie" a lot more easily than you already can with the right lever. That's really the whole point. Good day.

  12. #12
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    What's a stoppie?

  13. #13
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by j0e_bik3 View Post
    (oh brother, not another one of these frikkin guys )

    and I can conclude from that statement that your a prick and think you know everything (jump to conclusions much?)

    I understand what you are saying, and I agree and you are all right and I am wrong (happy now?)

    except that I have been riding bicycles for longer than most of you have been alive, and I have been running that setup for YEARS now,...so panic all you like, BUT,....

    I can do a stoppie for over FIFTY FEET,...can you?
    thats JUST by modulating the brake lever, and trust me when I tell you, IT'S EASY, hardly any pressure required.

    now thats a tektro finger lever, for a V BRAKE, and canti brakes, on 700c non machined rims w/ kool stops.

    all I said was try it, and you'll know if it's going to work or not.

    now those levers are RIDICULOUSLY expensive and they DO make a canti lever, so just get the right lever for your brakes or the V brake police will come and take your set up away.

    anyone of you monkeys want to have a stoppie contest for a hundred dollars I live in santa clara, and would love to take your money.

    RIP capt. bike
    This discussion is already over, i'm not sure what you're debating here. Get the proper levers for the proper brakes.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  14. #14
    never eaten better listen jodypolk's Avatar
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    lol @ "in the real world on my GT track bike, it has canti front brake"
    Last edited by jodypolk; 02-14-08 at 12:06 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
    I did hit a few cars with this bike, but the fairing never broke. It's stronger than a helmet.(They made incursions into the bike lane. I could've used my brakes, but hey, what are bumpers for?)

  15. #15
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    I currently run V-levers with standard cantis on my tourer/commuter. They require slightly more hand strength but the lever action is very nice and solid. You can also get away with a little more clearance between the pad and rim. I really don't see it as a disadvantage. The other way around, definitely yes.

  16. #16
    Riding Engineer Tomo_Ishi's Avatar
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    Hey,

    I am actually using cantilevers with roadie levers. I thought roadie levers are "proper" for cantilevers as they have 4.5 Mechanical advantage which is bigger than standard MTB (flat-bar) levers which has 3.5 MA. (V-lever is 2MA right?)

    Is there a problem in having too much MA? My canti has to run <1mm with roadie levers.

    Do you think this issue has more to do with type of cantilevers you use? Mr. Sheldon says there are three types right? Low Profile, Medium(?) Prof, Wide Prof. He also mentions Mechanical Advantage quite different between those three. If my memory serves me correctly, low profile can go 5-10 MA as opposed to Wide Profile which syncro-cross people use.

    T

    P.S. I went back to cantilevers after V-brakes being too powerful; only so much G's my "yella" arms can handle. Thanks for discussing about them.
    Last edited by Tomo_Ishi; 02-14-08 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Forgot to thank

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