Hi all, I'm looking for some help to make my braking better.
My bike has on it a pair of the old school Dia-Compe brake levers that have the lever off to the side so you can brake from the tops as well as the hoods.
After having to make a high speed emergency exit from the MUP this afternoon into some loose sand where I went into a skid because I'd had my hands on the back of the levers (where the hoods would be) and my instinctive tightening of my hands to gain control accidentally caused me to grab the side-lever (don't know the real term) controlling the rear brake and I did some "fun" fishtailing. This made me think, that side lever thing has to go.
Is it as simple as just unscrewing it and removing it and buying some hoods, or do I need to get a whole new lever (I wouldn't mind that, but I'm trying to keep the job relatively cheap if possible and I have little wrenching experience but don't mind learning)? The thing is these brakes aren't the best for braking from the hoods, so I'm not opposed to getting new levers if someone has some suggestions.
A complicating factor is that I'm riding a bike that someone made into a nice commuter by taking an old hard tail mountain bike and throwing drops on it. So I've got those old style mountain bike brakes (not cantilever, but not caliper either). The ones where the cable comes down and ends in a bracket that holds the middle of a second brake cable that connects the two brakes. I'm not happy with the stopping power of these brakes (I get nervous about stopping when going high speed down a hill - the more so when, like yesterday I'm carrying a large amount of weight in picnic supplies or something), so if the suggested levers can handle this brake type and would provide more stopping power that'd be awesome.
On a completely unrelated note, my seatpost is the cheap two part kind and I've been having a problem lately where after a while the nose starts to tilt up no matter how much I tighten it after setting it down. Would getting a single piece seatpost fix that? If so, could someone suggest an inexpensive source for a setback setpost, hoods, and possibly brake levers (and probably cables and housing should I need new levers)? And which ones I should get (I know I'll need to figure out the seatpost size myself)?
Thanks so much.