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  1. #1
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    Levers for centre-pull brakes?

    I have just acquired an old Sun Solo road bike. I will attempt to convert to a single speed, but first: the bars on it obviously were drop, but whoever had it before me has chopped them off and turned them round so they resemble bull bars with the old drop levers up on the ends - they are virtually impossible to ride!

    So the first thing I want to do is get some flat-bar levers on top so I can at least ride the damn thing!

    I have read that basically any lever that isn't a V Brake lever will do the job - so any mountain/hybrid/bmx lever.

    Is this true?

    (Ideally I'd like to put a BMX lever on there as the bar is narrow - which is great for commuting in and out of traffic, but rubbish for fitting levers on!)

    Any help would be appreciated...

    PS: Excuse my ignorance, I'm new to this stuff!

  2. #2
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    If it's a chopped down drop bar, odds are you won't be able to fit Flat bar brake levers - different bar diameters. If you're going to keep the bar, your best option is cross/interrupter levers. They'll be available in a diameter that fits your bar.

    If you're willing to switch the bar, your options multiplies. There are nuances to brake pull, but the big difference is between v-brake and everything else. Canti/caliper levers tend to run about 28 mm between pivot point and brake cable anchor, while V-brake levers tend to start at about 35 mm.

  3. #3
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    I was thinking of changing the bar anyway, but thought I could maybe get away with it short term, just so I could get riding.

    So I could get a narrow flat bar (something like the Charge Straw) and some BMX levers and I'd be good to go?

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    If you're going to keep the bar, your best option is cross/interrupter levers.
    Cautionary : Cross levers are made specifically to go in the running length,
    of the cable.

    when used as a primary lever, the rotation of the lever, on it's pivot flexes,
    the soldered, stiffened end of the cable at the fixed ball, where it can break off.

    a work around, that, I believe, will work add a few inches of housing,
    on the far side of the lever, and then you run the fixed end of the cable out that far.

    that will again have the lever effecting bending on the running length of the cable.

    if you tape the extra length down the look will bee OK.

    better would be an internally installed , reverse lever in the end of the bar .
    the ski tip bend in cow horn time trial setups favor those levers .
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-30-11 at 09:36 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Cautionary : Cross levers are made specifically to go in the running length,
    of the cable.

    when used as a primary lever, the rotation of the lever, on its pivot flexes,
    the soldered, stiffened end of the cable at the fixed ball, where it can break off.
    \

    100% correct -

    ...so if the OP want to use cross/interrupter levers, he should leave the old brake levers on the ends of the bars and add the interrupter levers... the cable will need to be removed, the housing will need to be modified, and then the whole thing put back together..

  6. #6
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    Cripes! I'm really looking for a low cost/low maintenance solution - I think flat bar with BMX levers should do the trick.

    Although I have seen loads of fixies with bull bars and what look like BMX levers:

    http://www.recommendedintake.co.uk/w...09/06/plug.jpg

    For example.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Those are a mis-application of top mount cross levers.

    Just because you find a picture of someone that did not get the safety bulletin,
    a product of common sense mechanics,
    and is continuing a folly, doesn't make it a good idea.

    BMX lever would be OK ..
    [ Realize, they are made to go on a 7/8" bar tube,
    road bars are 15/16", away from the middle bulge, so may not fit.
    reverse levers mount by expanding inside the open end of the tube.]

    U brakes are a type of centerpull and show up often, on BMX bikes ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-30-11 at 10:17 AM.

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=fietsbob;13299941]Those are a mis-application of top mount cross levers.

    Just because you find a picture of someone that did not get the safety bulletin,
    a product of common sense mechanics,
    and is continuing a folly, doesn't make it a good idea.

    That pic is how the bike comes from the manufacturer - that's not a modification!

    Still, I reckon if I can find some standard flat levers - either BMX or MTB - I should be good to go...

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the guys and girls on the assembly line, putting those together
    enough for padding and boxing for Export shipping,

    are told what to do,, like most jobs..
    that may not be the best way to do it, just the cheapest and fastest.

    just bear in mind the tube that road bars are bent from is larger than that of MTB,
    and utility bike, bars. so levers for the smaller may not be suitable with the larger.

    measure..

  10. #10
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    Ha, true! Although on a 500+ bike you'd think they'd be more careful!

    May be difficult putting a flat bar on there actually - seeing as I have an old "7" quill I'm assuming that it's 26mm rather than the standard 25.4mm.

    I think first thing is to see if I can find a lever that fits the bar I have and then we'll see what's what...

    This may be a more involved project than I'd thought!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Ronz View Post
    Cripes! I'm really looking for a low cost/low maintenance solution - I think flat bar with BMX levers should do the trick.

    Although I have seen loads of fixies with bull bars and what look like BMX levers:

    http://www.recommendedintake.co.uk/w...09/06/plug.jpg

    For example.
    I'm with fietsbob here. You'be gotta remember that "good enough" isn't a defined value. Most bikes don't see much mileage anyhow, so a less-than-ideal solution can last years for some people - at which point odds are good that the rider has grown tired of the bike anyhow...

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    500 bike If you were buying it, I'd have the retail dealer re do it.

    In case you never worked in a shop, any kind,
    manufacturer cost leaves margins for importer, distributor and retailer
    to pay their costs of operation and make enough profit, to stay in business.

    and several shipper freight costs in between,
    by Sea And various Goods hauling vehicles..

  13. #13
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    I'm in that category - I'll only be using it for occasional short commute or the pub run, so I'm all about cheap and cheerful. The bike cost me 50, sonic I can spend about 30/40 tarting it up a bit then I'm happy! So as long as it will go and stop that's all I'm after!

    Thanks for all your help guys...

  14. #14
    Senior Member Uncle Randy's Avatar
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    Tektro

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Cautionary : Cross levers are made specifically to go in the running length,
    of the cable.

    when used as a primary lever, the rotation of the lever, on it's pivot flexes,
    the soldered, stiffened end of the cable at the fixed ball, where it can break off.

    a work around, that, I believe, will work add a few inches of housing,
    on the far side of the lever, and then you run the fixed end of the cable out that far.

    that will again have the lever effecting bending on the running length of the cable.

    if you tape the extra length down the look will bee OK.

    better would be an internally installed , reverse lever in the end of the bar .
    the ski tip bend in cow horn time trial setups favor those levers .
    Instead of cable housing I used some aluminum cable sleeves which tightened everything up considerably. Those are Tektro RL726 levers. LEVERS1.jpg
    I'm not in a hurry. 14 speeds are enough for me.

  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    But why not just use a proper brake lever made for fitting on the end of the cable .. ?

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