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Old 04-14-14, 12:06 PM   #1
racoonbeast
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Compatibility of Shimano 105 brake levers

Hello All - I have a 1988 Trek 1200 that has break levers that say "Shimano 105" on them. They are aero brake levers. They look kind of beat and have more electrical tape on them than I would like, so I would like to upgrade them. I saw a "Shimano 105 SC SLR Brake Lever Set" on Ebay that I like the looks of. My question is can anyone tell me if these newer 105 are compatible with what is probably older ones on my bike? Can I just slide the old ones off and slide these on? I am not an very experienced bike mechanic. Thanks.
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Old 04-14-14, 12:22 PM   #2
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Brake levers on road bikes are pretty much all compatible. There are exceptions, but people only use them when they need to (V-brake levers with drop bars require special levers), but for caliper brakes, almost any brake lever will work.

So, yes, you can use the newer Shimano 105, if that is your choice. I like the Cane Creek SCR-5 because my large hands like the larger hoods. I only mention this so you realize that there are options.
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Old 04-14-14, 01:00 PM   #3
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There are some newer road brake systems that use a different amount of cable-pull, but otherwise pretty much everything designed for road brakes is compatible.
Since you are replacing the levers, consider what sort of lever body shape would be most comfortable for you. The Shimano aero levers (8-speed like the 105SC you are looking at is the same shape as Shimanos aero brake levers nowadays) feel fairly narrow for me, and I have gone with Tektro levers on multiple bikes. Note: the Tektro R200 is the same as the Cane Creek levers mentioned by Little Darwin.
Pictured, in order, are
  • Shimano (RX100 8-speed era levers, same profile as 105SC)
  • Tektro R200
  • Tektro R340 (longer hood, more up-angled from bar)
  • Tektro R200 (top view)
  • Tektro R340 (top view)

Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_8098.JPG (93.5 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3223.JPG (75.5 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Tektro R200 top view.jpg (15.1 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Tektro RL340 top view.jpg (15.9 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg MG_5579--RX100 levers.JPG (98.7 KB, 5 views)
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Old 04-14-14, 03:44 PM   #4
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You guys are great. Thanks a lot. I will check out some of those other brake lever systems. I too have big hands and something bigger would be nice. I never gave it any thought. Thanks again.
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Old 04-14-14, 04:08 PM   #5
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I would definetly consider the cheaper options offered or a set of vintage 105/600 levers over the current ones which are slightly smaller if you have big hands. For new replacments I would probabley go with the crank creeks for slightly less money or the Techtros if i was on a budget.
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Old 04-14-14, 08:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zukahn1 View Post
I would probabley go with the crank creeks for slightly less money or the Techtros if i was on a budget.
Tektro makes the Cane Creek labeled levers.
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Old 04-15-14, 06:33 AM   #7
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I have looked over the Cane Creek levers. I think that I will go with them. Thanks again to all of you for you help. I am slowly learning.
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Old 04-16-14, 10:59 AM   #8
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good luck, and enjoy!
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Old 04-16-14, 11:08 AM   #9
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Remember, you don't have to have black levers or black hoods if you'd prefer the brown. I have these on one bike, and like the way that they look:

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