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  1. #1
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    Shimano v-brake lever on caliper brakes?

    I'm putting a riser bar in place of drops on an old road bike. The guy at my bike shop sold me Shimano Deore v-brake levers and said they would be good on my side pull caliper brakes. I haven't unboxed them yet. Reading posts here leads me to believe these are not the best levers for me? Should I take them back and get something else?

  2. #2
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Yes.

  3. #3
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    I knew the guy was way too mellow, even for a bike shop employee. Are there any favorites with you all. I'm thinking Cane Creek or Tektro cross levers. Good?

  4. #4
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    The cross levers are meant for road handlebars. You'd need to shim them to fit around the narrower MTB bars.

    Some newer MTB levers actually have two places to attach the cable--one for caliper/cantilever, the other for V-/mechanical disc.

    But, there are a bunch of those old cantilever MTB levers around.
    Quote Originally Posted by slopvehicle View Post
    Not wearing a helmet makes me more aware of my surroundings. I find myself anticipating the hardness of concrete 50 or 100 feet in front of me, it's almost a zen-like connection between my face and the pavement.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    If I have components in my junk box at home I'd try the mis-matched parts to see if I can make them work satisfactory. In this case my bet is they'd be OK.

    If I'm buying new parts, however, I'm going to buy components that match.

  6. #6
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post
    The cross levers are meant for road handlebars. You'd need to shim them to fit around the narrower MTB bars.
    Define "narrow". In line levers are available at least down to 24.0 clamp.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  7. #7
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    I emailed the manager of the store and he suggests swapping them for Avid Speed Dial levers. Any opinions on those? He keeps steering me away from the cross levers, saying they won't fit/arn't right. That could be true or they don't have any in stock...

  8. #8
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by therentedmule View Post
    I emailed the manager of the store and he suggests swapping them for Avid Speed Dial levers. Any opinions on those? He keeps steering me away from the cross levers, saying they won't fit/arn't right. That could be true or they don't have any in stock...
    On a riser bar there really is no reason to use an inferior levers like the in-lines - they are a solution to the drop bar 4 levers problem that comes up sometimes for newer riders.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Torchy McFlux's Avatar
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    The Speed Dials are really only compatible with V-brakes or mech discs. You should get some old-school cantilever-compatible levers. Like Dia-Compe SS or PC series levers. Or a set of Shimano BL-R550s.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    He's right. Road bars that fit the mini cyclocross levers are larger in diameter so the levers won't fit on your MTB bars.

    Go with the Avid Speedial levers. When you run the little shuttle up as far as it'll go towards the pivot using the Speedial knob the spacing is very close to the old school canti brake levers and on par with what you had with the road bike aero levers. That means you're pulling the correct amount of cable with the correct leverage ratio to get the braking you want.

    It's either that or find some old school canti MTB levers.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  11. #11
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Define "narrow". In line levers are available at least down to 24.0 clamp.
    24.0mm is the diameter of drop bars and some other road bars, not including the stem clamping area. Flat bars are 22.2mm.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torchy McFlux View Post
    The Speed Dials are really only compatible with V-brakes or mech discs.
    The SD will work with both cantis and V-s. The SD design allows the attachment point for the brake wire to be moved in the lever enough to suit both types of brakes.

  13. #13
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    You should be able to get some cheap Tecktro BMX levers at any shop.
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