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Old 09-13-12, 07:31 PM   #1
FreeFloat
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Road Brake Lever Travel vs Mountain

I'm converting my old road bike to have a more upright rider position for medical reasons, and am still tossing around a few stem ideas.
If I decide to scrap the drops and go with flat bars, I'll need new levers. Shifters are not an issue, they are on the downtube.
Can I use generic off road levers with my Shimano 600 calipers, or is there a travel discrepancy? Are new off road brake levers dedicated to V, canti, or disc?
If so, which if any would work with my road brakes?
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Old 09-13-12, 07:37 PM   #2
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You will need levers matched to the kind of brakes you have or will be using; road or off-road are not sufficiently descriptive. The levers will also need to fit the diameter of the new bars.
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Old 09-13-12, 07:49 PM   #3
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I thought all off road levers fit the same diameter, since the larger diameter bars are only bigger at the center near the clamp.

Anyways, the brakes are as I said, Shimano 600 road, 1984 issue.
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Old 09-13-12, 08:04 PM   #4
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I thought all off road levers fit the same diameter, since the larger diameter bars are only bigger at the center near the clamp.
This is correct.

If you are using your road calipers, find some levers for canti brakes. V-brake/Disc levers pull too much cable which will result in very grabby brakes
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Old 09-13-12, 09:33 PM   #5
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OK, so if I ditch the drops I'll just pick up a set of canti levers. Thanks!
I'm still not sure what stem/bar set-up will function best for me, all I know is both options will look wrong.....mountain bars w/ bar ends on a tall stemmed road bike, or drops mated to an even taller stem.

But......I'll be faster than on any of my other bikes so who cares!
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Old 09-13-12, 10:33 PM   #6
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For pairing up with a ~1984 single-pivot Shimano 600 road caliper, I'd go with something that has especially high leverage, like a Dia-Compe SS-5 or SS-7 lever. Ebay will periodically have some. We may have a set in our basement at work, I can check tomorrow if you're interested.
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Old 09-14-12, 07:05 AM   #7
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For pairing up with a ~1984 single-pivot Shimano 600 road caliper, I'd go with something that has especially high leverage, like a Dia-Compe SS-5 or SS-7 lever. Ebay will periodically have some. We may have a set in our basement at work, I can check tomorrow if you're interested.
I'll let you know.
I'm still trying to figure out which way to go......a quill to 1 1/8 "threadless" post converter, plus a 1 1/8 to 1 1/8 extender, and a short reach stem, using the existing bar and levers, or just the converter and short reach stem but with flat bars and new levers.
I wish I could find a high rise short reach alloy or steel 1" quill, but have'nt.....so far.
On the other hand since my neck rehab and future limitations are'nt really known, I'd love to have a faceplate on the stem for easier future swaps.
Maybe a custom 1" quill high rise with a faceplate?

Last edited by FreeFloat; 09-14-12 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 09-14-12, 09:06 AM   #8
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the bar clamp will be 7/8" there is some difference in Cable pull ratio (MA)
V lever pulls more , cantilever less (MA is the reverse, then .. less is indicating more)

a good choice may be Avid Speed dial , since the cable pull ratio is an adjustment
with a little knob.

Less worry , the look, you are just making it into a Fitness hybrid bike.

Well the young and flexible may be bent over more..
old folks just lean forward, a bit.

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-14-12 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 09-14-12, 11:27 AM   #9
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I think I have located a very tall quill stem with the correct clamp, and will probably stick with the drops and original levers, provided the stem is actually available.
Cheapest and simplest way to go, just wonder what downtube shifting will be like sitting that upright.

Last edited by FreeFloat; 09-14-12 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 09-14-12, 11:41 AM   #10
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You can use those bosses as housing stops, and relocate the shifting up where convenient.
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Old 09-14-12, 11:45 AM   #11
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You can use those bosses as housing stops, and relocate the shifting up where convenient.

I have an old set of bar end shifters, hope I don't have to swap but whatever it takes.
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Old 09-15-12, 02:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by FreeFloat View Post
OK, so if I ditch the drops I'll just pick up a set of canti levers. Thanks!
I'm still not sure what stem/bar set-up will function best for me, all I know is both options will look wrong.....mountain bars w/ bar ends on a tall stemmed road bike, or drops mated to an even taller stem.

But......I'll be faster than on any of my other bikes so who cares!
Use North Roads handlebars, prefferably chromed steel. It'll fit in better aesthetially than flat bars, also give rise without such a tall stem. Will use the flatbar levers as planned, also you can plug your old set of barend shifters into the ends (steel bars only).

not to mention their swept back angle will be much more ergonomic for wrists compared to flat bars....

Wald makes a cheap one, expensive ones can be found on Velo-Orange or Rivendell
http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...-22-2-dia.html
http://www.amazon.com/Wald-2-5-Inch-.../dp/B000EI40EA
Wald version (2nd link) is actually superiour since the thinner steel walls allow barend shifters, while the veloorange would require thumb levers

Last edited by xenologer; 09-15-12 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 09-15-12, 03:42 AM   #13
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FF, This is a good choice if you decide to raise your existing handlebars. Remember that as you raise the handlebar, the closer it becomes to your body so you may want a stem that's a size or two longer than what you currently use. Probably will require new brake cable and housing.

Brad

http://www.jensonusa.com/Nitto-Techn...-Aluminum-Stem
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Old 09-15-12, 07:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggie View Post
This is correct.

If you are using your road calipers, find some levers for canti brakes. V-brake/Disc levers pull too much cable which will result in very grabby brakes
This is incorrect.

Using V-brake levers with caliper brakes results in stiff-feeling brakes that require herculean hand strength to stop your bike.
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Old 09-15-12, 08:02 AM   #15
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My wrists feel best on bar ends, and the position those swept back ones linked to above force you into a position I like even less than flat bars w/o ends.
My ape hangars on my first modification of an older mountain bike have that basic hand position, so I even added bar ends to them. Pretty tight squeeze between cars etc., but it allowed my return to cycling following the neck rehab. And yes, with that rear sweep it could get tight to the body, requiring a longer stem, defeating the whole purpose of gaining a more vertical body position.
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