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Old 06-02-10, 06:43 PM   #1
Gimpdiggity
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Removing Suicide/Safety Levers...

Hi everyone. Let me start this post by mentioning that I've searched the forum and the archives, and I'm not having much luck finding what I'm looking for specifically. I used what I found to remove the suicide levers and adjust the brake cables to compensate for the missing bit of metal at the top of the brake lever.

So anyways...on to my question.

I have an older Bianchi road bike. It's one of the Japanese frame Bianchis. It has Shimano components, including brakes and brake levers. The brakes HAD suicide levers on them. I removed the suicide levers today, but now, what am I supposed to do with the screw hole that's left where it was??

I've read in other answers that you can put a shorter screw in there, replace the spot that was taken up by the suicide lever with some washers, or cover the whole apparatus up with a new hood and call it a day.

But, I'm not sure if on my bike any of these are necessary. After removing the screw, when I look at the brake lever system, it seems that the screw isn't really a necessary component for the operation of the brakes. I was able to adjust the brake cable and use the lever just fine without the screw in there at all.

I did only one brake for now, and went for a little ride. I CAREFULLY tested the brake that I had removed and it seemed to operate completely fine. It was literally no different than how it acted when the suicide lever was on there.

So, am I correct in my assumption that the screw isn't an integral component to the functioning of the brake lever?? Do I need to find a smaller screw or put some washers on the existing screw?? Or can I just leave it alone and have it work just fine??

Sorry if this is a really noobie question. I'm new to the Bianchi and I've never had to remove suicide levers before. As stated, I searched around and found how to do it...but wasn't able to find any suggestions that you remove the levers and then just leave it with the screw hole in place.

Thanks in advance!!

Jeff
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Old 06-02-10, 06:56 PM   #2
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The pivot for the lever is held in place by the same bolt that holds the lever to the handlebar. The screw has no function except to hold the suicide lever on. Unless you can salvage an old non-suicide pair of levers and use the pivot from them you can just cut off the protruding part flush and remove the burrs. If you want to get fancier you can disassemble the lever after marking the cut and smooth it off better, or even paint the end.
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Old 06-02-10, 07:01 PM   #3
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I guess I must be in luck, because for whatever reason once the screw has been removed there is no protruding part at all. It's completely flush with the body for the brake lever. There is, quite literally, only a hole there.

That's probabaly why I was getting confused. Most of the things I've read have mentioned that you would have to hack off the protruding part, but on my brake levers with the screw removed there isn't any protruding part. The screw looks like it did the ENTIRE job by itself, with the help of this little plastic part that wrapped around the screw. I'm guessing that the plastic part was there in place of whatever protruding parts are found normally.

I guess I'll just leave it as is, then, if the screws aren't really that important. I like the way the bike looks quite a bit better without the suicide levers on there...and I hadn't been using them anyways.

Thanks for replying so quickly!!!

Jeff
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Old 06-02-10, 08:00 PM   #4
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Different manufacturers used different mountings for the suicide levers. You have to work it out for the levers you have.
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Old 06-03-10, 04:11 AM   #5
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I ended up taking the other screw out tonight and adjusting the front brake as well.

Everything seems to work just fine, so I'm going to go ahead and leave the suicide levers off. Now I just need to get some new bar tape and some new hoods for the brakes...because the stuff that's on there now definitely needs to be replaced!!
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Old 06-03-10, 07:26 AM   #6
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To improve matters even more, you could replace the old levers completely with modern "aero" (i.e. the cables are hidden and come out along the handlebars. Tektro makes aero brake levers that mimic the shape of Campy brifters and are very comfortable at a very attractive price. Here is one source: http://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi...d=828448830881

By the time you locate and buy replacement hoods for your current levers, the total cost may not be much different.
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Old 06-03-10, 07:31 AM   #7
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this is a rather interesting thread. I must be the only person in the world to add suicide lever to a bike, and a Bianchi at that! don't ask me why I just thought they belonged there.

Gimpdiggity what Bianchi did you take yours off of?

I am still looking for the elusive aero brakelevers that can have a safety lever mounted on them.
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Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape
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Old 06-03-10, 07:36 AM   #8
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I must be the only person in the world to add suicide lever to a bike, and a Bianchi at that! don't ask me why I just thought they belonged there.
I certainly hope you are.

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I am still looking for the elusive aero brakelevers that can have a safety lever mounted on them.
I hope they remain elusive. I can see absolutely no value to these things. They compromise braking performance and encourage keeping your hands in one position on the bars.
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Old 06-03-10, 07:51 AM   #9
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They would push on the quick release lever thing too on the top sometimes,,falling off the lever part there. I had a schwinn and recall hacksawing the bushing thing and putting the screw back on. If the safety lever had more metal there. Back at that time,they were trying to sell more drop bar bikes. Chris

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Old 06-03-10, 08:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
this is a rather interesting thread. I must be the only person in the world to add suicide lever to a bike, and a Bianchi at that! don't ask me why I just thought they belonged there.
My daughter would not ride her first drop-bar bike at age 11 without them. She has since graduated to a bigger frame and 'cross levers.

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I am still looking for the elusive aero brakelevers that can have a safety lever mounted on them.
Shimano made them for one of the lower grade Exage groups. Here's a set up on the 'Bay right now:
http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-Shimano-...item2c54dab56a

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Old 06-03-10, 08:49 AM   #11
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Thank you Top. I'll check them out.

I can see why most do not like them. I think the combination of cheaplevers and lowperformance centerpull brakes gave them the reputation they have.
when I was a teen I recall a few scary moments when they did not really do much. now being a much more experienced rider and mechanic I can see their value in modulating speed from the tops of the bars but would never rely on them to stop.
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Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SOLD, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape
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Old 06-03-10, 09:11 AM   #12
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I can see why most do not like them. I think the combination of cheaplevers and lowperformance centerpull brakes gave them the reputation they have.
When set up properly, the Weinmann and Dia-Compe levers worked pretty well when coupled, as you stated, with decent calipers. The Weinmann levers with the quick release that pivoted to the side worked better with safety levers than the push-button type. I've paired them with Weinmann and Mafac center-pulls over the years until I discovered 'cross/interrupter levers.

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Old 06-03-10, 09:19 AM   #13
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My point about suicide levers leading to one hand position is based on experience. My son rode RAGBRAI in 1985, when he was still in High School, on a Panasonic Sport 1000 with decent Diacompe side pulls but having the suicide levers. These levers let him ride with his hands on the bar tops for the entire week and he came back with numbness ("handlebar palsy") in both hands that took weeks to go away. That, and his desire for a handlebar bag which the levers interferred with, finally convinced him to let me remove the levers and the problem never reappeared.
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Old 06-03-10, 01:39 PM   #14
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Thank you Top. I'll check them out.

I can see why most do not like them. I think the combination of cheaplevers and lowperformance centerpull brakes gave them the reputation they have.
when I was a teen I recall a few scary moments when they did not really do much. now being a much more experienced rider and mechanic I can see their value in modulating speed from the tops of the bars but would never rely on them to stop.
I agree, for leisurely non-"heads down" riding, the auxilliary levers seem to be adequate, but I did remember bottoming those levers on my college beater bike when stopping at the bottom of some big hils, once in a while. Not sure whether it's the low quality of the pads and calipers really coming into play or an inherent design flaw with the auxilliary levers maybe not having enough stroke or direct leverage (they do flex quite a bit) to squeeze down the pads against the rims adequately??
Someone's got to do a real analysis on these to figure out what's going on once and for all.

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Old 06-03-10, 02:05 PM   #15
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the same things sort of happens to people with brifters. I ride by people all of the time with such a deathgrip on the brifter they can't move their hand for a few seconds to wave back. LOL

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My point about suicide levers leading to one hand position is based on experience. My son rode RAGBRAI in 1985, when he was still in High School, on a Panasonic Sport 1000 with decent Diacompe side pulls but having the suicide levers. These levers let him ride with his hands on the bar tops for the entire week and he came back with numbness ("handlebar palsy") in both hands that took weeks to go away. That, and his desire for a handlebar bag which the levers interferred with, finally convinced him to let me remove the levers and the problem never reappeared.
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Old 06-03-10, 04:10 PM   #16
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Thank you Top. I'll check them out.

I can see why most do not like them. I think the combination of cheaplevers and lowperformance centerpull brakes gave them the reputation they have.
when I was a teen I recall a few scary moments when they did not really do much. now being a much more experienced rider and mechanic I can see their value in modulating speed from the tops of the bars but would never rely on them to stop.
Because of the way they work, suicide levers reduce the available travel of the main levers. If you want levers on the top, get cross levers. They work great, don't interfere with the levers, and work with aero levers.
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Old 06-03-10, 07:04 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
To improve matters even more, you could replace the old levers completely with modern "aero" (i.e. the cables are hidden and come out along the handlebars. Tektro makes aero brake levers that mimic the shape of Campy brifters and are very comfortable at a very attractive price. Here is one source: http://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi...d=828448830881

By the time you locate and buy replacement hoods for your current levers, the total cost may not be much different.
I have thought about going with the aero levers.

I may have to go ahead and order some of those Tektros, because you're right, the hoods that I've found for the brake levers that are on there now will run me about $16...and for about $10 more I could get the better levers.
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Old 06-03-10, 07:11 PM   #18
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Gimpdiggity what Bianchi did you take yours off of?
I will be absolutely honest...I have NO idea what model the bike is.

I got it from a girl that I work with. She was going to give it to me, but after I found not a single Bianchi in the same condition selling for anything even remotely close to "free" on Ebay, I gave her $40 for it. I had to get some new tires for it, but other than that it's in pretty great condition. Shimano components all around, 12 speeds, and in great mechanical shape. I didn't have to adjust anything on it at all...it just "worked." To make it all even better, the frame is EXACTLY the size that I need, according to measurements...and it feels like it fits as well.

She got it from her step-dad when he upgraded to some carbon-magnesium-plutonium-unobtanium bajillion dollar bike.

The frame says "Tange" on it, and it's got a "Made in Japan" sticker on it. The fork says "Mangaloy" on it. It was purchased from one of the more "high end" bike shops in my area.

From everything that I've found, it's pretty tough to tell the older Bianchis apart. The stuff on it looks to be like it's from the mid-late 80s, but she says that she remembered her step-dad purchasing it after she moved to the house she lives in now, and she moved there in 1992. So it's POSSIBLE that it's from the early 90s.

I'm going to take a stab and say it's a Limited model, but I'm not sure.

All I know is it rides like a dream...and for $90 total for the cost of the bike and the new tires, I think I got a pretty good deal.

The serial number on the frame is: KS544851

Any idea what year or model it might be?? It's kind of a blue-ish color.

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