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  1. #1
    Videre non videri
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    Handlebar incompatible with brake?

    Late last year, I bought a bunch of stuff for my bike.
    A week before I got the parts, I had a massive panic attack and a depression followed that.
    I'm almost fully recovered now, but I didn't really have energy enough to get the parts on my bike and all that. I just took all the stuff and put it in a box. Just made sure they were all in working order and with no visible damage or defects.

    So, here I am, four months later, and I've just dug the parts out.
    Two of the items are a handlebar with drops and a pair of Avid Speed Dial 7 brake handles.
    To my horror I now find that the brake handle clamp inner diameter is 22.5 mm, while the handlebar's is 24! They don't fit!!! Argh!

    So, what's wrong here?
    Are handlebars made in many different diameters or should I have ordered a specific size for the brake units? Not that any such info was available on the site I bought the things from...

    Obviously, I have to do something about this.
    Do the brake unit clamps come in different sizes so it's a simple matter of replacing the ones I have with another pair?
    Or is the handlebar I have such a non-standard piece that I won't be able to find any brakes for it???

    Here's the handlebar I have:
    (Click the image to go to the info page for the product...)

  2. #2
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Hmm... to be honest I have never heard of this particular problem. Have you tried loosening the brake lever clamp all the way until the screw nearly falls out? Will it still not fit around the bar?

    If that doesn't work, the metal band in the brake lever should be a pretty interchangeable part. Maybe your LBS could scrounge in the parts bend and find some that fit for you.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    I was under the impression SD 7's were MTB levers for V brakes. Is this a cyclocross bike?

  4. #4
    Videre non videri
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    This is an ordinary semi-cheap MTB that I'm slowly turning into a comfortable commuter/tourer.

    Of course I've unscrewed it all the way.

    And there's nothing replaceable there. The whole thing is a single solid, cast piece of aluminium. And it's far too stiff to bend in any way. It will just crack if I try.

    I'll post a picture in a few minutes, and you'll see what I mean.

  5. #5
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    So you are trying to put MTB levers on a drop bar?
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  6. #6
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdCf
    This is an ordinary semi-cheap MTB that I'm slowly turning into a comfortable commuter/tourer.

    Of course I've unscrewed it all the way.

    And there's nothing replaceable there. The whole thing is a single solid, cast piece of aluminium. And it's far too stiff to bend in any way. It will just crack if I try.

    I'll post a picture in a few minutes, and you'll see what I mean.
    I think I get the situation better now. That brake lever is definitely NOT intended to be used on drop bars, if it's a mountain bike lever (I was wondering about that, didn't think Avid made road levers). MTB and road bars are quite different thicknesses, definitely. Road brake levers generally attach by a thin metal band around the handlebar. I'd just go buy some road brake levers... I have some cheap ones from Nashbar that work great for me.
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  7. #7
    Videre non videri
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    Yes.

  8. #8
    Videre non videri
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    But that's crazy!
    The road brakes available are completely different...

    Why would MTB handlebars be THINNER than road handlebars???

    Argh, I hate non-standardised things.
    There's simply no reason no to have one single size for all purposed!!!
    The site I ordered from offered no indications that the bar was a different size...

  9. #9
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Mountain bikes are one size, road bikes are another. They ARE standardized. Those levers were never intended for use on a roadbike, or a drop bar for that matter.
    commuter turned bike mechanic turned commuter (also a Velocity USA employee, but this is my personal account)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Comfort does not = drop bars. Stick with your flat bar if it's a mountain bike.

  11. #11
    Videre non videri
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    I need the brake cables to leave the top of the brake lever housing.
    I won't be able to have them run along the surface of the bar itself.
    Besides, I really wanted the nice features that the SD7 offer.

    I've looked at the site I ordered from again, and all the brake levers they have are seriously inferior in one way or another.

    I guess I'll just have to grind out 1.5 mm from the inner section to make it fit.

  12. #12
    Videre non videri
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    The bike is an MTB but it will never be used as one.
    It will only see use on normal roads.

    And in my case comfort does equal drop bars, as I am almost forced to use the bar ends when I ride, to avoid my wrists and palms hurting.

    See, this is a constant battle I'm fighting.
    The stupid attitude so prevalent in society that just because something was made for one thing, then it should never be used in any other way.
    There's simply no reason why such brakes should NOT be possible to use on any bike, regardless of "type".

    In my opinion, parts are NOT standardised if they're not 100% interchangeable.

  13. #13
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdCf
    The bike is an MTB but it will never be used as one.
    It will only see use on normal roads.

    And in my case comfort does equal drop bars, as I am almost forced to use the bar ends when I ride, to avoid my wrists and palms hurting.

    See, this is a constant battle I'm fighting.
    The stupid attitude so prevalent in society that just because something was made for one thing, then it should never be used in any other way.
    There's simply no reason why such brakes should NOT be possible to use on any bike, regardless of "type".

    In my opinion, parts are NOT standardised if they're not 100% interchangeable.
    MTB bars are traditionally 25.4 mm diameter at the clamp road bars are 26.0. That plus the fact that the clamping surface of a MTB brake is designed to go onto a straight section of bar without being threaded around a drop bars curves.
    Of course given your penchant for making things excessively difficult for your self this latest problem doesn't surprise me

  14. #14
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdCf
    The stupid attitude so prevalent in society that just because something was made for one thing, then it should never be used in any other way.
    There's simply no reason why such brakes should NOT be possible to use on any bike, regardless of "type".
    You're the expert here. Go wreck the levers, making them unsafe and use them in a way they were not intended to be used. Just don't ask for advice here, and then get all sh!tty because you don't like what you hear. Your idea is an accident waiting to happen.

  15. #15
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expatriate
    You're the expert here. Go wreck the levers, making them unsafe and use them in a way they were not intended to be used. Just don't ask for advice here, and then get all sh!tty because you don't like what you hear. Your idea is an accident waiting to happen.
    He's also the guy responsible for this fiasco. Dual front brakes?

    I'm not surprised he'd try something like this

  16. #16
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdCf
    I need the brake cables to leave the top of the brake lever housing.
    I won't be able to have them run along the surface of the bar itself.
    Besides, I really wanted the nice features that the SD7 offer.

    I've looked at the site I ordered from again, and all the brake levers they have are seriously inferior in one way or another.

    I guess I'll just have to grind out 1.5 mm from the inner section to make it fit.
    Why do you want the brake cables to come out of the brake lever housing rather than run along the handlebar under the tape. The latter style is known as aero bars and has completely taken over among road bike users because it's simply less cluttered and easy to deal with. You could probably buy some used old-style road levers if you want... but I doubt there's a road bike rider out there who prefers them.

    When you ride with drop bars, you position your hands quite differently than the way you do with mountain bike handlebars. One advantage of aero brake levers is that the hood provides a comfortable position to hook your thumb into.

    It sounds like you may not have ever ridden with drop bars before. I would suggest trying them out before converting your bike to them. Everything is a little bit different: the way you support your weight, the way you steer, the way you brake, the way you shift. Maybe you'll like them better, but maybe not. Find out now, so that you don't waste time modifying your bike in a way you won't like.

    What specific feature do your current levers have that you want to keep? There are road brake levers designed to work with all types of brakes these days, so that you can use V-brakes or disc brakes on a bike with a drop bar.
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  17. #17
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    Mountain bikes are one size, road bikes are another. They ARE standardized. Those levers were never intended for use on a roadbike, or a drop bar for that matter.
    Umm, you might want to look into the one handlebar size for mtb's there is the current standard and 31.8
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  18. #18
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonaRider24
    Umm, you might want to look into the one handlebar size for mtb's there is the current standard and 31.8
    31.8 at the stem. Even they taper back down to fit standard control sizes.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    He needs to stay home. Close this thread.

  20. #20
    Videre non videri
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    Well, if these clamps had been 25.4 mm, I'd be happy, but they're only 22.5!
    The bar itself is 24 mm, so with 1.4 mm to spare, things would've been just fine...

    I'm not trying to make things difficult for myself, I just don't understand why I should be so extremely limited in my choice of brake levers just because I want to use drop bars. There's just no reason.
    Manufacturers are stupid and narrow-minded. I'll just have to accept that in this case, I guess, and make the best of the situation.

    And Raiyn, there's nothing WRONG with trying new things once in a while.
    If everyone only did what people before them always had done, we'd be eating ants off of straws and digging up edible roots with our bare fingers...

    You obviously have some serious problems if you call that a fiasco.
    I can't help that you're too narrow-minded to see the benefits of my proposed set-up. At least TRY to accept that other people might have a bit more vision than you have yourself.

  21. #21
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expatriate
    He needs to stay home. Close this thread.
    Trying to find a viable solution to this is like cutting an apple with a crankshaft.

  22. #22
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expatriate
    You're the expert here. Go wreck the levers, making them unsafe and use them in a way they were not intended to be used. Just don't ask for advice here, and then get all sh!tty because you don't like what you hear. Your idea is an accident waiting to happen.
    I'm gonna agree completely. If you're concerned about having reliable brakes (and you damn well should be), then you should use them as they were intended. Grinding out the MTB levers sounds really dangerous. Clamps are made to precise tolerances to fit specific sizes and shapes of handlebars. If your brake clamp is not perfectly round, there will not be sufficient contact area to effectively grip the handlebar. A disaster waiting to happen.

    Just because you think certain parts "should" be interchangeable doesn't mean they are. Perhaps on some abstract level it would be great to be able to swap parts with reckless abandon. However there are many good reasons why some parts don't work with other parts. A number of people have already pointed out reasons why MTB brakes are designed differently from road brakes. I'll add one: mountain bikes generally have V-brakes, which have a greater mechanical advantage than caliper road brakes, which produces a greater stopping power per unit cable travel. These require correspondingly different levers.
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  23. #23
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdCf
    And Raiyn, there's nothing WRONG with trying new things once in a while.

    At least TRY to accept that other people might have a bit more vision than you have yourself.
    You're trying to mate a toy poodle with an elephant. That's not how things are done. Trying new things is one thing mashing together incompatible parts is entirely another.

    You're right it wasn't a fiasco it was a complete ********************
    You don't have more vision, you have serious delusions.
    Last edited by Raiyn; 02-23-05 at 12:38 AM.

  24. #24
    Videre non videri
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    Ah well, this is like trying to talk to a brick wall.
    I'm sorry that you can't see past your noses.

    I'll give the grinding a go unless I can talk the company I bought them from into taking them back. But I doubt that since it's been four months now...
    I paid something like $50 for them, so I don't intend to just throw them in the bin, you can be sure of that!

  25. #25
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdCf
    I'll give the grinding a go unless I can talk the company I bought them from into taking them back. But I doubt that since it's been four months now...
    I paid something like $50 for them, so I don't intend to just throw them in the bin, you can be sure of that!
    http://www.ebay.com/

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