Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    HELP! New Straight Bars, Old Road Bike, Brake Lever Probs !!

    Okay. this was supposed to be easy. Pop the curlicue handlebars off my road bike, bars which I've disliked since I bought the bike in 1981, and put on a set of conventional more-or-less flatter bars.

    So then I find out that I need new brake levers because the curved brake levers for the curlicue bars only have less than an inch of travel before they hit the new straight bar.

    So then after I get a pair of what they called "mountain bike" brake levers from the bicycle junkyard, I realize that they don't have release levers, so I can't take off my wheels.

    I like to take my wheels off. Every so often I have to toss the bike into the back of the car, or maybe I'd better lock everything together in whatever neighborhood I'm in, and I need to pop off the front wheel to get it over by the lock..

    So what do I do? This has to be a normal routine situation, because the repair guy says that upright handlebars on an old road bike is one of his most popular services. Are there "Mountain Bike" brake levers that have releases on them? What should I be looking for in the ebay used components stacks? What model numbers? I mean for cheap ones. I'm broke.

    Or am I just stiffed and I can no longer take off my wheels without major annoying unhitching/rehitching of the brake cables? Sort of makes the quick-release wheel attachments useless, doesn't it?

    Any ideas are welcome. Any uninformed guesses are somewhat less welcome, but if you're lonely and need someone to talk to I'm okay with that.

    MM

  2. #2
    just pokin' along desertdork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    the desert
    Posts
    1,033
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What brakes (not levers) do you have that don't have a quick release mechanism?

    Drop bar brake levers have a larger clamp diameter than standard mtb or flat bars, so there's more to the lever incompatibility than just lever shape/style.

    Your brakes or levers (or both) should have barrel adjusters. Setting up the brakes so that you still have enough slack to widen the calipers via the adjusters for wheel removal is one possible workaround. Deflating/inflating is an effective, though annoying, last resort.

  3. #3
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    The NC Mountains
    My Bikes
    Too many to list, all vintage
    Posts
    19,239
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    MTB brake levers are not designed to control road caliper brakes. They kind of sort of work OK. You can buy MTB levers that are designed to pull the right amount of cable for road calipers. So it depends on what you bought.

    +1 You need calipers with a quick release, rather than the lever with the quick release. Lots of the vintage bikes had those calipers. Pretty common on anything mid grade or higher.

    Some people go with moustache bars instead, that can use regular road levers. I bought a set of those bars myself on sale at Nashbar for about $15.

    Since the guy at the bike shop said he does it all of the time, what was his recommendation? I convert flat bar bikes back to drops frequently.

    On sale right now for $12.99:
    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Catalog...Term=moustache
    Last edited by wrk101; 05-25-11 at 04:29 PM.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    30
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have two 80's bike that I converted to flatbar. Both have cheap Avid levers from Amazon. At first I had them set so I could turn in a barrel adjuster enough to open up the caliper. Now I keep the pads spaced off the rim just enough to squeeze the tire through. My tires are not a whole lot wider than the rims so it works good. The extra lever travel doesn't bother me, in fact I prefer the lever to almost bottom out at maximum braking force.

  5. #5
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    My Bikes
    RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
    Posts
    11,418
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Note: Both drop bars and flat bars are conventional.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  6. #6
    AEO
    AEO is offline
    Senior Member AEO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
    My Bikes
    Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin
    Posts
    12,245
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Note: Both drop bars and flat bars are conventional.
    hey, at least it's not as bad as running into SAE and ISO bolts in the same car.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "What brakes (not levers) do you have that don't have a quick release mechanism?

    Drop bar brake levers have a larger clamp diameter than standard mtb or flat bars, so there's more to the lever incompatibility than just lever shape/style."


    The brake looks like this:



    The new handlebars look like this (with one of the old levers on it)



    I don't have pictures of the new levers today because they're apart for cleaning and new unrusted fasteners, but they slide onto the new bars just as sweet as can be.

    I suppose that this job is another of those jobs that just expand from changing spark plugs to replacing the head, but looking for the next pitfall, if I buy a set of brakes with the fancy release knob on them, can I have a fair degree of confidence that they will bolt into the hole that I have and the pads will end up in more or less the right place? I'll go to ebay and look for the oldest brand-name silver colored ones; that'll probably give the best likelihood of working....

    "Since the guy at the bike shop said he does it all of the time, what was his recommendation? I convert flat bar bikes back to drops frequently."

    I haven't caught up with that guy from that shop yet... Do you want my old bars?

    M

  8. #8
    another retro grouch Mr IGH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Front Range, CO
    Posts
    2,573
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You need center pull quick release brake yokes:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Brake-Ca...item5ade43bedf

    btw, old steel drop bars had 22.2mm drop brake levers that fit flat bars.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    By the way,

    "You can buy MTB levers that are designed to pull the right amount of cable for road calipers. So it depends on what you bought....."

    I think I'm okay. The clamp fits the bar just fine. The radius from the lever pivot to the pull point on the original lever is 22mm and on the replacement it's 24mm, which is pretty much the same or better. I would have liked a little more pull from the original lever and it looks like I'll get it with the change.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    You need center pull quick release brake yokes:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Brake-Ca...item5ade43bedf
    Damn !!
    That's it !! There really is something made for this purpose !!






    Thank you !!

    M
    Last edited by Mighty Melvin; 05-27-11 at 07:15 AM. Reason: To add photo

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    38,842
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I use the Pneumatic QR a lot on bikes without QR and Fat tires, let the air out.


    Most likely a puncture did that already, then put the wheel back in before inflating the tire.

    centerpull brake had a QR in the cable housing stop as part of the stuff under the headset nut.
    Or there are little wheel pieces that replace the hook,
    with the pinch bolt in it,
    and put an eccentric mechanisim into that piece to Loosen the cable tension,
    in effect , pulling up on the transverse cable, spreading the shoes.. [got a few in a bin here]

    you can also squeeze the shoes together
    and just unhook the transverse cable in the middle, from the other cable..

    On the caliper sidepull, Shimano, many, and older Campag ones too .
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-26-11 at 04:00 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •