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View Poll Results: Dia Compe 287V vs. the Tektro RL520 ?

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  • Dia Compe 287V is best

    3 14.29%
  • Tektro RL520 is best

    18 85.71%
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  1. #1
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    Which is better, Dia Compe 287V or Tektro RL520 ?

    Following on from an earlier thread, where these levers were recommended, I'd just like to get a few more opinions before buying either Dia Compe 287V or Tektro RL520 V-brake compatible levers ?

    Specifically, I was wondering if hand size came into the equation ?

    Any thoughts anyone ?
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    No opinion on quality but it wouldn't surprise me if these are both the same item with two different manufacturer's names.

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    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    It was always going to be a hard ask to expect to find ONE person who had used both let alone several. I'm using the Dia Compe v-brake levers. The work fine. They are an old school narrow type of hood. I've seen the Tektro levers but haven't used them and they seem to have a wider hood, more like the width of STI levers.

    Anthony

  4. #4
    STFD mcgreivey's Avatar
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    I have the Tektros and like them. Never laid my hands on the Dia Compes, but they come up less frequently on Ebay, and tend to go for $5-10 more. Advantage: Tektro, on that point of comparison.

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    Looks like I will have to try both then.

    I'll fit the set I prefer least to my tandem which could do with a drop bar conversion.

    Do cable operated discs have the same pull as V-brakes, normal cantilevers or can it be either ??
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    To my understanding, "mountain" style mechanical disks require the same cable pull as V-brakes and are therefor compatible with regular V-brake levers or the two drop levers you mentioned. "Road" style mechanical brakes (like the Avid BB7 Road, Shimano and Tektro each make one, I think) are pulled by the same amount of cable as traditional cantilevers, or caliper road brakes. If you got a pair of these, you could use your favorite regular drop bar lever, or even STI type integrated brake lever/shifters.

    I'd be curious to know if there are any relevant differences in performance between the two variations.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver_ghost View Post
    To my understanding, "mountain" style mechanical disks require the same cable pull as V-brakes and are therefor compatible with regular V-brake levers or the two drop levers you mentioned. "Road" style mechanical brakes (like the Avid BB7 Road, Shimano and Tektro each make one, I think) are pulled by the same amount of cable as traditional cantilevers, or caliper road brakes.
    I'll ask on the Tandem section as I'm upgrading the brakes at the same time.....

    Now, are there any nice drop levers that are hydraulic.......


    Quote Originally Posted by silver_ghost View Post
    I'd be curious to know if there are any relevant differences in performance between the two variations.
    Me too, I've ordered some Dia Compe 287Vs and when I get the time I'll get the Tektro RL250s from a shop that stocks them, but is about an hour away.
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    It looks like the Dia Compe 287Vs come with some tubular cable extenders and the Tektro RL250s do not ?

    Has Dia Compe got a website ? I can't find one.....

    Do I need these bits ?

    EDIT: Noodles ?
    Last edited by Unknown Cyclist; 03-24-09 at 12:53 PM.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
    It looks like the Dia Compe 287Vs come with some tubular cable extenders and the Tektro RL250s do not ?

    Has Dia Compe got a website ? I can't find one.....

    Do I need these bits ?

    EDIT: Noodles ?
    Yes the Dia Compe levers come with noodles with cable adjusters on them. They're quite nice and makes minor cable adjustment easy.

    Anthony

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    My Dia Compe 287s arrived, they are s/hand but nearly new, unfortunately no noodles.

    Can they be used properly without noodles ?
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  11. #11
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    Tektro, no contest. The Diacompes are uncomfortable and built like crap.

  12. #12
    me have long head tube TallRider's Avatar
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    I assume they both pull cable at the proper ratio, but whenever I've seen a bike with the Dia-Compe levers, they look uncomfortably narrow and out of the 1980's. The Tektro levers seem to have updated ergonomics so I would recommend them.

  13. #13
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
    My Dia Compe 287s arrived, they are s/hand but nearly new, unfortunately no noodles.

    Can they be used properly without noodles ?
    The Dia Compe levers come new with some nice noodles with adjusters on them but any old noodle will do. The brakes would probably work for a while without the noodles but after a while I think a kink would develop in the cable and or housing which would cause trouble. The noodle helps the cable to perform well while going around a tight bend and importantly finishes at the end of a tight bend.

    Anthony

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by timcupery View Post
    I assume they both pull cable at the proper ratio, but whenever I've seen a bike with the Dia-Compe levers, they look uncomfortably narrow and out of the 1980's.
    Aren't the Dia Compe levers adjustable pull ?
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  15. #15
    Death fork? Naaaah!! top506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
    The brakes would probably work for a while without the noodles but after a while I think a kink would develop in the cable and or housing which would cause trouble.
    I picked up a set of 287v levers a few years ago mounted on an ergo bar. No noodles, and since I didn't know at the time they came with the levers I routed the brake cables like any other areo lever.They've worked fine these past three years.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by top506 View Post
    I picked up a set of 287v levers a few years ago mounted on an ergo bar. No noodles, and since I didn't know at the time they came with the levers I routed the brake cables like any other areo lever.They've worked fine these past three years.
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    I think you have your wires crossed a little. The noodle is the curved piece of metal that goes at the caliper end of the cable and guides the cable through the tight turn just as it meets the caliper. There isn't such an issue with the tight bend when running under the bar wrap because the outer cable is running around the tight curve at the same time which support the inner cable. If you didn't use a noodle at the caliper end of the cable you would develop a kink in the cable where the cable meets the caliper. When developing the v-brake design it may have been possible to incorporate a decent cable stop into one of the arms however I think the issue is that the cable would have then exerted a sideways force on the caliper making it difficult to keep centered. One of the things the noodle does is significantly reduce the sideways force that the cable exerts on the caliper.

    Anthony

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    I think the things I've been looking at go under the bartape so you can remove the bars more easily.

    A bit like a cable outer extender.....
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  18. #18
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
    I think the things I've been looking at go under the bartape so you can remove the bars more easily.

    A bit like a cable outer extender.....
    I'm not sure what your thinking of but if you look at ANY v-brake/linear pull brake setup there is a curve piece of metal right at the caliper end of the cable and THAT'S a noodle.

    Anthony

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
    I'm not sure what your thinking of but if you look at ANY v-brake/linear pull brake setup there is a curve piece of metal right at the caliper end of the cable and THAT'S a noodle.

    Anthony
    Is this it ?

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  20. #20
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
    Is this it ?

    Yes, that curved piece of metal is a noodle and in this case it has a cable adjuster attached to it. Its designed to go at the caliper end of the cable and guide the cable around the tight turn just at the end and I believe it also reduces any sideways force the cable would exert on the caliper arms as well.

    Anthony

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
    Yes, that curved piece of metal is a noodle and in this case it has a cable adjuster attached to it. Its designed to go at the caliper end of the cable and guide the cable around the tight turn just at the end and I believe it also reduces any sideways force the cable would exert on the caliper arms as well.

    Anthony
    Ok, check this out:

    The bit I'm talking about is pictured along with the noodle:
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    Not sure - but wondering if that isn't just an alternative noodle to work with a different brake configuration. I'm used to seeing the noodle come with the brake rather than the lever. I keep checking on this thread to see what the results of your comparison testing will be. For me, it was a no-contest preference for the CC. It seems like everyone that expressed a preference also endorsed the CC/Tektro, with the most resounding votes for the DiaCompe being a very lukewarm sort of "well, I own them and they seem to work fine". Nevertheless, you opted for the DiaCompe, and I'm waiting to see how you feel about your choice after everybody advised you to go the other way. Just seems odd that someone would post an inquiry asking about people's experiences and preferences between products, and then go ahead and choose the one that nobody recommended. You must be one of those contrarians.
    Last edited by ginsoakedboy; 03-26-09 at 06:08 PM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
    Ok, check this out:

    The bit I'm talking about is pictured along with the noodle:
    I have them too but don't know where they are at the moment. To me they were just an alternative noodle for certain setups but I didn't use them. They definitely are not for going under the bar wrap. When I did my build with the Dia Compe levers I used just a standard brake cable under the wrap and it works fine but its a bit rough. Next time I rewrap the bars I will fit some higher quality cable with a teflon sleeve for a smoother cable pull.

    Anthony

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    Quote Originally Posted by ginsoakedboy View Post
    I'm waiting to see how you feel about your choice after everybody advised you to go the other way. Just seems odd that someone would post an inquiry asking about people's experiences and preferences between products, and then go ahead and choose the one that nobody recommended. You must be one of those contrarians.
    I guess the simple reason would be that the Dia Compe levers happened to come up on ebay at that time.

    Also, before this thread I had only heard good things about 287Vs.

    I also believed that the 287Vs had adjustable cable pull or leverage - however, looking at them, if they have, I can't find it.

    In this case I'm more curious than contrary, it seems odd that 287Vs have - as you have pointed out
    - had such a lukewarm response.

    If more responses had been - "I own both and the Tektro levers are better because.........." then I would perhaps have been more cautious.

    Comparing them to my shimano STIs the 287Vs don't feel skinny and 80s they feel properly ergonomic, while the STI levers are also ok, not much different just fatter because of the mechanism in them.

    I'm going to buy the Tektros as well and compare them - one advantage the 287Vs have is that there is a r/h Tandem version that can accept two cables (I have a tandem that I am updating).

    I hope that explains why I asked for opinions and then apparently ignored them

    In fact I have taken the advice offered because I'm buying the Tektro levers as well - when I had never heard of them until they were recommended on an earlier thread.

    I'd rather try both and keep the ones I like best than not be sure I've got the best ones for me.

    Also, I think the reason why the Dia Compe levers (other than the pair I have) come with adjustable noodles is because standard straight bar levers have adjusters and drop bar levers don't - so with standard noodles you have no fine brake adjustment.

    The other noodle-like thing I think fits into the lever and sticks out from under the bartape so you can remove the bars without having to remove the tape to free the cable - ie. you can leave the cable outer on the bike, rather than it having to come off with the bars.

    Now, I just have to find some fairly traditonal drop bars with the right curves and width, at the right price.....
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
    I have them too but don't know where they are at the moment. To me they were just an alternative noodle for certain setups but I didn't use them. They definitely are not for going under the bar wrap. Anthony
    Can I have those bits if you aren't going to use them ?

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