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  1. #1
    call me T.J.
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    Aero vs Non-Aero brake levers: what's the difference?

    This is probably a stupid question, but what's the difference between an aero brake lever and a non-aero brake lever?

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    Areo levers has the cabling running under the hoods and under the bar tape, as opposed to old drop bar levers with the cables leaving the levers from the top/peak of the hood

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    call me T.J.
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    Ok, great. I knew it'd be something simple, but my googling wasn't turning much up.


    Thanks dabac!

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    Your mom
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    Also, aero levels tend to be more ergonomic for riding the hoods. The pivot is usually further up in the handle, making braking from the hods more comfortable and easy.

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    call me T.J.
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    You know, I've been wondering about that. Everyone's always talking about braking from the hoods, but on my (apparently non-aero levered) hoods I find braking really difficult.

    It didn't occur to me that they had a different style of lever.


    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Zing
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    Aero levers also have more mechanical advantage, no?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kawasakiguy37 View Post
    Aero levers also have more mechanical advantage, no?
    Not in any significant amount, you can mix'n match brakes from the non-aero era with aero levers and the other way around w/o any consequences.

  8. #8
    dit
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    I have found that to brake from the hoods on non-aero levers one must locate the levers just right on the handlebars. I have always mounted the bars and adjusted them to the position I like then I start locating the levers so that I can brake from the top and the bottom. I have small hands and the lever position has little tolerance for braking from both positions, at least for me.

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    And also newer flat handlebar and drop bars have return springs. It does improve the overall feel of them.

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    Return springs may be new for levers made for flat bars but they are definitely not new for levers made for drop bars. I have a set of diacomp aero levers from 1987/1988 that had a return springs.

    -j

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    I know this thread is from the archives ... but is there a currently manufactured "non-aero" brake lever?

    thanks

  12. #12
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    Don't know about currently produced. But there were millions of DC 144s made in the 1970s and 80s. Many are still around. Andy.

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    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southpier View Post
    I know this thread is from the archives ... but is there a currently manufactured "non-aero" brake lever?

    thanks
    Velo Orange sells a variety:
    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...ke-levers.html
    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...ke-levers.html
    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...s-drilled.html

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  14. #14
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    It's true that when they redesigned levers to route cables under the tape, they made other improvements at the same time. They improved ergonomics and leverage. Aero levers aren't easier to use because they are aero. But they are easier to use because of their other improvements.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    Velo Orange sells a variety . . .
    good grief; that's exactly what I need. thanks so much!

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    I have a pair of what I've always considered the ORIGINAL aero levers, Modolo Kronos, on a bike. These things have no mechanical advantage whatsoever. They are to this day the worst feeling levers I've ever used.

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    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    But there again the difference in drag for the ave rider comes down to a bug fart in a hurricane.

    On the other hand wrapped cables do make the bike look cleaner. The cleanist looking bikes IMO were in the late 80s that had down tube shifters, and wrapped brake cables.

  18. #18
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    I have a pair of what I've always considered the ORIGINAL aero levers, Modolo Kronos, on a bike. These things have no mechanical advantage whatsoever. They are to this day the worst feeling levers I've ever used.
    I didn't know about these, but it doesn't surprise me. It means my assertion was not exact but close. I gather from this that the improvements came immediately after these levers came out, for whatever reason.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Aero levers also have more mechanical advantage?
    They do pull a bit less cable length , for the motion of the brake lever , which does suggest a bit more MA.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I didn't know about these, but it doesn't surprise me. It means my assertion was not exact but close. I gather from this that the improvements came immediately after these levers came out, for whatever reason.
    Definitely improved after these. It was such a big deal to not have the cables, they forgot about how they worked. I don't know how many times I was tempted to just chuck them, but they were the original equipment on my classic Italian bike, which is otherwise all Campy SR pantograph. This bike also had Nisi Laser tubular rims, another early attempt at aero. I still have those wheels, but use a pair of Campy Vento 10sp wheels when I ride it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I didn't know about these, but it doesn't surprise me. It means my assertion was not exact but close. I gather from this that the improvements came immediately after these levers came out, for whatever reason.
    The first aero levers routed the cables around a 90 bend to get them pointed out the back of the body instead of straight up and their action was so bad they initially gave the whole idea a bad name. It didn't take long for someone to design a straight cable path and that not only made them much better but better than the old exposed cable format.

  22. #22
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    so my VO Diacompe levers & cables showed up within 5 days. now I have come to the realization there's no quick release on the lever so I can pull the wheel. I've got Soma 1.75" tires, and I'm going to have to release the straddle wire - or remove a brake shoe - to get the wheel off.

    love this hobby; it's a Tinkerer's Paradise!

  23. #23
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southpier View Post
    so my VO Diacompe levers & cables showed up within 5 days. now I have come to the realization there's no quick release on the lever so I can pull the wheel. I've got Soma 1.75" tires, and I'm going to have to release the straddle wire - or remove a brake shoe - to get the wheel off.

    love this hobby; it's a Tinkerer's Paradise!
    What kind of brakes do you have? Since you mentioned "straddle cable" they're either cantilevers or centerpulls. With cantilevers, you just unhook the straddle cable. With centerpulls, you need to find cable hangers with QR's built in.

    VO sells a unit for the front:
    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...k-release.html
    provided you have a threaded headset. A quick Google search found the similar rear unit:
    http://store.bicycleczar.com/DIA-COM...p/02140205.htm
    Jeff Wills

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  24. #24
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    fer cryin' out loud! never knew these parts existed. I think that's the fun of it all. "problem solvers" definitely rocks.

    thanks for the two links. I've got a threadless headset, so the latter one would probably be my best bet. Tektro cantilever brakes front & rear. i'll try tugging on the cable first and see if I can't make that work. I don't anticipate removing the wheels that often, and I believe I can skootch the bike in the back of my truck without.

  25. #25
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southpier View Post
    fer cryin' out loud! never knew these parts existed. I think that's the fun of it all. "problem solvers" definitely rocks.

    thanks for the two links. I've got a threadless headset, so the latter one would probably be my best bet. Tektro cantilever brakes front & rear. i'll try tugging on the cable first and see if I can't make that work. I don't anticipate removing the wheels that often, and I believe I can skootch the bike in the back of my truck without.
    Don't bother with the QR's. With cantilevers, just release the straddle cable at one arm. That's the way they worked since I was knee-high to a grasshopper.

    You kids... gotta teach you everything.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

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