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  1. #1
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    Brakes/Shifters on older bike

    Hi,

    I have a 1994 trek 850 Mountain Track, 21 speed. It's still in good condition and I've put tons of miles on it over the years, used to be my only transporation in college. Recently, over the last year or so it has sat and not been used much. The brakes need adjusted and the shifters are not functioning properly. I'm planning on replacing all the cables for the brakes and gears, since I'm sure they need it. They are stock from when I bought the bike.

    My questions are:

    Is it worth redoing the cables? The brakes are shimano cantilevers, should I just upgrade to v-brakes? If I upgrade to V-brakes, I need to upgrade the levers as well to work with v-brakes, correct?

    If I upgrade to v-brakes I'll have to upgrade the shifter as well, since my current is shifter/brake integrated, correct?

    And if I upgrade the shifter, do i have to worry about finding a derailleur that is compatible with the shifters, or are they pretty much standard?

    Any info would be appreciated, thanks Alot!

  2. #2
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    The upgrade is probably un-necessary, and will result in more cash outflow than you really want. Cables are cheap, so I would have your LBS do a good tune-up, including checking all bearings and replacing the cables if necessary. The problem with changing to V-brakes is that, yes, you will have to change brake levers, which will require a shifter change since they are integrated. The newer shifters are mostly 9 speed, so that would require you to swap out more drivetrain parts, including a new rear hub. At that point, it might be cheaper to get a new bike.

    DEMON

  3. #3
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    The poor lever performance is most likely caused by old cables.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  4. #4
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    Get Lennard Zinn's "Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance". Then you can do all the work yourself and know what your bike is about. You can get new from Amazon and they may have listing for used ones as well. The cables are a good place to start and you may also wish to replace the pads. They can harden with age and debris can get imbedded in them making them less effective. Have fun!

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the great advice everyone! I went ahead and replaced the brake cables, it was pretty easy, definately not as bad as I thought it would be. I got them adjusted and they definately brake better than before.

    so I have a set of brakes off an old KHS on it right now and I couldn't find the originals so I bought a new set and pads of alivios for $10, so I'll put those on when they come.

    I didn't replace the shift cables because the cables I bought look different than what's currently on it. And then I cleaned a crapload of grease and dirt out of the cassette and rear derailuer... it shifts a little better. And I think I might have to check out that book too. Let ya'll know how it goes.

  6. #6
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    Yes, indeed. Shift and brake cables are not the same. If they did look alike you should worry. So you are on the right track and the book will also be a big help. Is large enough to act as a hammer when all else fails. Have fun!!

  7. #7
    Sport Class Racer GT_ATB32's Avatar
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    you can get 7 speed rapid fire shifters if u want to but you are probably better off buyng a new bike b/c some of the parts you could in the near future e.g. 7 speed cassetts may dissapear as most bikes are now 9 and 10 speed.

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