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  1. #1
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    In-line brake levers for linear pull brakes

    I'm looking at doing the infamous hybrid/mountain to drop bar conversion. I have a hybrid bike with a quill stem, so here's my thinking. I'll use a drop bar with 25.4 mm stem clamp diameter and Shimano 8 speed bar end shifters (good for winter anyways). Here's where things get tricky, because I have linear pull brakes.

    Initially I planned on Tektro RL520 brake levers. But this is for a commuter bike and I'd really like in-line levers. I can't find any that would work with linear pull brakes. The next option is the Travel Agent. But looking at past reviews I hear people here don't recommend them, they don't work that well. Is that still true? I suppose another option is to move to cantilever brakes, but I'd need to get some way of attaching brake hangers. I have a fender attached to my fork already, so I don't know if the fork housing stop would work. I don't recall the headset size (1" or 1 1/8"), maybe something else would work for the front. But my seat post is a quick release version, so I'm not sure about the rear brake either. Plus it's more cost to get new brakes when mine are fine.

    I guess the best solution is the Travel Agent, are people just being picky or are they really not worth it?

  2. #2
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    I'm an advocate of cantilevers,

    It's hard to beat tektro CR720's, and they only cost about 25 a wheel.



    For cable hangers, the seat post mounted kind should work perfectly, the Surly is the best of them, unless you have a really small frame,



    And unless you have compelling reasons not to, I see no reason not to use a headset mounted cable stop.


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleric1234 View Post
    ...I guess the best solution is the Travel Agent, are people just being picky or are they really not worth it?
    They take maybe 5 minutes more to install than an ordinary noodle, and are somewhat prone to become contaminated if you ride in really muddy conditions, which might be an issue for MTB/CX bikes. But as far as the basic functionality goes I've been entirely happy with them.

  4. #4
    motovation frankenmike's Avatar
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    Depending on the tire you use, you could get some CX v-brakes with the shorter arms that work with brifters. My bud's tricross came with them stock-including inline levers-, not sure if they are offered aftermarket but it might be worth checking out. I've used travel agents, and although functional I would consider them as a last resort mainly because they're not exactly elegant..

  5. #5
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    There are two drop bar levers that work with inline brakes. One - my personal favorite brake lever of all - is the Cane Creek/Tektro drop bar V levers. They feel great under the hand, and they work great. Somewhat similar in appearance to the 520, but a different shape to them - so they don't geel as chunky under your hand. I love this lever.

    Second - and nowhere near as appealing because it doesn't look very good and doesn't give a very decisive feel when you apply the brakes - is the DiaCompe 287-V.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ginsoakedboy View Post
    There are two drop bar levers that work with inline brakes. One - my personal favorite brake lever of all - is the Cane Creek/Tektro drop bar V levers. They feel great under the hand, and they work great. Somewhat similar in appearance to the 520, but a different shape to them - so they don't geel as chunky under your hand. I love this lever.

    Second - and nowhere near as appealing because it doesn't look very good and doesn't give a very decisive feel when you apply the brakes - is the DiaCompe 287-V.
    The way I see it these levers work with linear pull brakes. The RL520 levers also work with linear pull brakes. What I'm asking about is cross levers that go on the flats of road bars. I've seen them called interrupter levers and in-line levers, but I'm not sure about the terminology.

  7. #7
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleric1234 View Post
    The way I see it these levers work with linear pull brakes. The RL520 levers also work with linear pull brakes. What I'm asking about is cross levers that go on the flats of road bars. I've seen them called interrupter levers and in-line levers, but I'm not sure about the terminology.
    Don't worry, no one is quite sure of the terminology


    “Let’s Standardize Bicycle Terminology”
    Instead, Leipheimer should harness the awesome power of petitions to do something truly useful for cycling—like standardize the term for those secondary brake levers they use on cyclocross bikes. Currently, there are at least five terms that are acceptable in cycling parlance:

    --In-line levers
    --Interrupter Levers
    --Top-mount levers
    --Auxiliary levers
    --Cross levers

    This is more than just confusing. It’s tearing cycling apart. If Levi could put aside his petty personal interests and help us pick one of these terms, the cycling world—and the world in general—would be a much better place.

    BSNYC did a thing about it a while back
    http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2008...s-to-ride.html

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleric1234 View Post
    The way I see it these levers work with linear pull brakes. The RL520 levers also work with linear pull brakes. What I'm asking about is cross levers that go on the flats of road bars. I've seen them called interrupter levers and in-line levers, but I'm not sure about the terminology.
    OK - I misunderstood what you were looking for. The interrupter levers grew up in the cyclocross world, and cyclocross bikes pretty commonly use cantilever brakes, so the levers are designed to work with cantis. I have used the travel agents successfully. They're a bit of a pain to set up initially, but once you get them set up, they work very well. I used them on a bike for 2 seasons until Cane Creek came out with the Drop Bar V levers that I mentioned in the earlier post.

  9. #9
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    If you are dead set on keeping your vee brakes then cable travel adjusters work great - maybe possible for contamination or other types of failure, but I have never seen it happen. They work great if properly set up and don't need to be re-set until you change cables.

    Otherwise, canti brakes work well when properly set up, but can be a bit of a pain to set up for optimal stopping.

    Also, if you are using canti brakes and a stem- or headset-mounted cable stop, fork flex can sometimes cause brake chatter under hard braking. You can use a fork-mounted calbe stop underneath the fender mount (or mount the fender on the back of the fork and the cable stop on the front).

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