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Old 01-15-13, 01:12 AM   #1
krobinson103
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Interesting, I got road calipers to work decently with v brake levers

Everywhere I read I see the blanket statement that "Road calipers don't work with v brake levers due to the cable pull ratio." In fact, when I modded my cheap roadie with cheap mtb Shimano pods (during a flat bar conversion) I did notice that the brakes did indeed seem a little wooden and not as effective as they could be. Then I looked at the dual pivot caliper and noticed that they have a disengagement lever on the side. Hmmm.. I need to eat up some cable travel - what happens if I open that lever to full open? Well I did and the brakes feel and work much better. Perhaps not as good as a travel agent, but it certainly brings them within the decent range.
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Old 01-15-13, 01:50 AM   #2
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Keyword: decently. (...in the dry, with large amounts of hand strength.)

You have this backwards- travel agents are to compensate for shorter pull levers not pulling enough cable to allow a linear brake to open wide enough its pads don't rub on the rim (and change the leverage ratio...)

That lever is a quick release, it won't do a thing but make the brakes looser- the brakes might be working "better" with that flipped open because you're applying pressure with a stronger part of your hand as you squeeze the brake lever to stop.
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Old 01-15-13, 01:57 AM   #3
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Gives it more subtly at least. Its not on/off like it was. Sure its not great, but I'm not wasting cash or time on getting new levers. new shifters, and setting it up again. Besides its a fair weather commuter that doesn't get ridden in the rain anyway.. and I have pretty good hand strength. Not perfect, but better.
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Old 01-15-13, 06:58 AM   #4
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Be careful out there.
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Old 01-15-13, 10:40 AM   #5
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Don't worry..........all the great scientific discoveries have been ridiculed in the initial stages.
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Old 01-15-13, 11:01 AM   #6
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Let me blind guess.. (since no real details are here) old style in the hand lever QR open, gives you more cable pull length.

old cable out the top brake levers do have a middling MA, less than aero, but more than New, V compatible ones..
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Old 01-15-13, 11:36 AM   #7
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Don't worry..........all the great scientific discoveries have been ridiculed in the initial stages.
This "discovery" isn't in it's initial stages, it's been around for years and years.
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Old 01-15-13, 12:06 PM   #8
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This "discovery" isn't in it's initial stages, it's been around for years and years.
Well we ought to be seeing some Darwinian repercussions by now, I'd think.
That's the problem with practical research in evolution and natural selection. The time frames are enormous.
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Old 01-15-13, 05:34 PM   #9
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I've built enough bikes to know what works and doesn't when it comes to brakes. They are easily on the safe side of darwin. No where near as nice as my hydro discs, but on a bike with 300 bucks put into it I don't expect amazing anything.
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Old 01-15-13, 06:13 PM   #10
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Sure it will work, you just need more hand pressure. This usually isn't an issue though, as people rarely need to run cantis/calipers with V-brake levers.

The much more common issue is having road STI levers and wanting to run V-brakes instead of cantis. With that combo you get too much lever travel and a mushy feel.
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Old 01-15-13, 06:44 PM   #11
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Sure it will work, you just need more hand pressure. This usually isn't an issue though, as people rarely need to run cantis/calipers with V-brake levers.
I had a 200 dollar road bike that was a tad too small, and I don't like drops much to begin with. I had a set of shimano sis pods and a flat bar sitting on the shelf. Spare parts, bike I don't like the feel of much anyway... simple choice. It orginally had single pivot calipers on it that (IMO) are total crap. You couldn't stop a kids tricycle with them let alone a road bike carrying 86kg worth of me at 35-40kmh. I replaced them with a cheap set of dual calipers from the same manufacturer. They really didn't want to sell parts but I eventually got a set from one of their hybrid models. All was good, got them installed got the gears indexed and dumped the friction levers and the suicide brake levers. really thought those were left behind in the 70's.. but I guess they are still sold on low end models. Switched out the crap rubber spacers they call pads for Shimano 105s. The bike stopped ok.

The 'QR' if thats what they want to call it does nothing of the sort. The pads don't move a mm when its engaged or disengaged. What it does do however is make the cable travel further to engage the caliper - helping make up some of the difference between a 1:1 pull ratio and 2:1 pull ratio. I don't think it brings it to the optimum, but it surely helps.
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Old 01-15-13, 07:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
The 'QR' if thats what they want to call it does nothing of the sort. The pads don't move a mm when its engaged or disengaged. What it does do however is make the cable travel further to engage the caliper - helping make up some of the difference between a 1:1 pull ratio and 2:1 pull ratio. I don't think it brings it to the optimum, but it surely helps.
They are quick releases for road calipers. It doesn't take much movement to get a 23 or 25mm tire out of the caliper- mounted up, the tires barely wider than the rim. They still ARE wider than the rim, thus the QR.

Articulating that lever doesn't help the pull/leverage ratio at all- you'd get the same effect threading the barrel adjuster all the way in. What you're probably noticing is that the new engagement point of the pads on the rim is at a point of the lever's swing where your grip is stronger.

Swinging the lever doesn't move the pads? Are you sure about that? Are the pads hitting the fork legs or your seatstays?
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Old 01-15-13, 07:38 PM   #13
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The problem is that I can't adjust the pads close enough in to need a QR with my 25mm tires. The brake levers mean that if I did the slightest touch would activate the brake. Thus the caliper is at it most open position already. This means that the QR has no real function. Still I can't complain. The Dual pivots work a million times better than the single pivots even with mismatched levers. I really LOATH the feel of those cheap crappy single pivot POS's - especially with the brakes levers they came with. Adjusting the pads to within mm of the tire didn't even make a difference in their worthlessness. Give me V brakes or Discs any day of the week.
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Old 01-15-13, 07:49 PM   #14
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I got road levers to work with v brake pads on what were 0/0 wheels with virtually no clearance between the brake pads and rim with the wheels spinning smoothly... they had to be set so close that after a long downhill stretch on a hot day my rear brake started to lock up when the brake pads and rim heated enough for the expansion to cause some automatic braking.

The braking was still not that good and some V brake compatible levers made it all work and allow for proper adjustment... now I have what is perhaps the lightest action I have on any brake set up with some massive stopping power, great modulation, and no mushiness at all.

I have to warn people that if they ride this bike to be very aware that the v-brakes have some incredible stopping power that can rival discs in good weather.
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Old 01-15-13, 07:57 PM   #15
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I have to warn people that if they ride this bike to be very aware that the v-brakes have some incredible stopping power that can rival discs in good weather.
I remember the day very clearly when I got my nice mtb setup with hydro discs. You see all the warnings about how responsive they are. Nothing really prepares you for the slightest one finger pressure causing the wheels to almost lock though. Took some time but once you get used to the small movement required they provide a serious amount of stopping power for almost zero effort. I got the v brakes on my other commuter almost as good (in the dry with cool stop salmons) but I still have to say those hydros are my favorite - just not so useful on ice. You don't want to stop fast on that!
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Old 01-15-13, 08:06 PM   #16
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I've built enough bikes to know what works and doesn't when it comes to brakes. They are easily on the safe side of darwin.
Not surprisingly, you also misunderstand Darwin and evolution though natural selection. I'm glad they work for you,
but I think I'm safe in saying that some of us would rather not see such stuff put out as a general recommendation.
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Old 01-15-13, 08:09 PM   #17
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I said I was surprised that it works as well as it does. I didn't expect it work at all. But, I had the parts and a bike that wasn't going to be ridden in its current state so why not. Its not like I don't have other bikes to ride anyway. Wheres the fun if you don't experiment?
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Old 01-16-13, 03:20 AM   #18
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I think the whole issue of mix'n match brake parts is greatly exaggerated.
Most riders will have ridden bikes with very different brake setups, or even the same bike with very different brake performance under various weather conditions w/o any critical effects.
Dry/wet for instance, or that nasty, but yet desired surge when a few turns have squeeged the rims dry can easily change brake characteristics just as much, if not more than mismatched levers/brakes.

Pretty much anything is rideable, as long as the rider knows the bike, and adapt his/hers behaviour according to the situation.
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