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  1. #1
    Senior Member Shilun's Avatar
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    Tektro RL570 as stand-alone brake levers

    I'd like to set up the Tektro RL570 as stand-alone brake levers. I believe this is possible (?). I've set them up 'normally' and they kind of work, but in a way that's different from what I'm used to. When I apply the lever, there seems to be an excessive amount of cable housing movement. Is this to be expected, given the original (inline) function of these levers, or am I missing something in the set-up? Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Licensed Bike Geek Davet's Avatar
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    That type of brake lever wasn't designed to be used as a 'stand-alone' brake lever, rather as an in-line brake lever. It pushes against the brake housing while the cable remains stationary to actuate the brakes. There has to be a relatively large amount of housing movement in order for this style of lever to work.

    I'd suggest using the standard type of brake levers that suit the handlebar and brakes system that you're using.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Shilun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davet View Post
    That type of brake lever wasn't designed to be used as a 'stand-alone' brake lever, rather as an in-line brake lever. It pushes against the brake housing while the cable remains stationary to actuate the brakes. There has to be a relatively large amount of housing movement in order for this style of lever to work.

    I'd suggest using the standard type of brake levers that suit the handlebar and brakes system that you're using.
    Thanks for that, Davet. I saw this picture online and thought I might be able to get away with it.



    I guess it's back to the bike shop.

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    Licensed Bike Geek Davet's Avatar
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    What you want to do will work, it's just that those levers have to move the cable housing to work.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shilun's Avatar
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    Thanks for clarifying that. So, basically, if I'm willing to put up with the slightly strange movement of the housing, I could hold on to them, at least for a while.

  6. #6
    Riding the road to PARADISE...RIP
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    It's fairly common to use these as stand-alone levers. The end of a road cable is about the same size as a housing ferrule, so you can just put the cable end where the housing from the main levers would normally enter the brake. The way they work does look strange, but functionally it's the same as a normal lever (any brake lever exerts equal and opposite forces on the cable and housing). There is no reason they can't be set up to work just as well as a normal lever.

  7. #7
    headtube. zzyzx_xyzzy's Avatar
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    it should work fine with one caveat: most brake levers are built to let the cable end pivot to keep from bending the cable sharply right at the end. Road brake levers have a pivot around where the cable end sits, MTB levers use a sideways barrel cable end for the same reason. Inline levers typically don't do that so you might find the end of your cable wearing out sooner.

    That said, I've set up inline levers like this (for example, to have both a brake and a barcon at the end of bullhorns) and it seems to work fine.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Shilun's Avatar
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    Thanks for your help. I'll persevere with them and see how they impact other things, for example the attachment of a bar bag.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    If you have loose flying cables as you showed in your picture then the levers will work just fine. If you want to bind the housings under some bar tape or whatever then no, they won't work. To work right and without unwanted tension build up you would want to have at least 4 to5 inches of unbound housing that is set up so it has a curve in it. Even then I would consider this a rock bottom minimum for acceptable, but not nice feeling operation. I would say that if you insist on binding the housings that your feel will suffer regardless.

    And note that warning about the cable getting stressed at the ball end. A year or two back there was a rider here using these same style of non pivot anchor levers that had both his cables snap at the same time when he jammed on the brakes. If you must use this style of lever without the anchor pivot feature then inspect your cables right by the ball end frequently as you WILL need to swap them out 3 to 5 times more often than with a proper lever set.

    There is at least one such interrupter lever out there that has a proper anchor pivot. If you can find it then you can run the levers this way with no significant issues other than the usual regular inspection that you'd perform on any other lever. Someone found them and posted in another thread on this same topic but that was a while back.

    It DOES make for a nice neat install though. And for bullhorn lovers it allows for barcons on the bullhorn ends without fouling the spot up for brake levers.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  10. #10
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    What kind of bars are you using? If you're just using MTB flat/riser bars like in the pic above, regular ol' cantilever brakes will great and you should be able to find an old pair cheap.
    Quote Originally Posted by slopvehicle View Post
    Not wearing a helmet makes me more aware of my surroundings. I find myself anticipating the hardness of concrete 50 or 100 feet in front of me, it's almost a zen-like connection between my face and the pavement.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Shilun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post
    What kind of bars are you using? If you're just using MTB flat/riser bars like in the pic above, regular ol' cantilever brakes will great and you should be able to find an old pair cheap.
    Due to back problems, I'm switching over from drop bars to trekking (butterfly) bars. I have dual pivot calliper brakes front and back and originally used standard road brake levers with the Tektro as inline levers. I'm trying to keep as much of the original setup as I can get away with. Will MTB flat bar levers pull correctly to operate the calliper brakes?

  12. #12
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    If you can find the old short pull cantilever levers then they'll work fine with the caliper brakes. Or if you get Avid Speedial levers and adjust them so the traveling anchor shuttel is as close to the pivot as possible then those will work as well.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  13. #13
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    I believe both Shimano and Tekro have MTB-style levers with two pull settings- 'adjustable pull'.

    If you happen to have a newer brake lever handy, pivot the lever from the body of the brake, and look for a small pin or screw near the hinge with a second position to move it to. It could be covered by a sticker.

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