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  1. #1
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    brake levers, how much do they matter

    in my mountain bike world i never switched brake levers themselves ever, i had xtr's and thats what i used. Same with my bmx, i've been using the same old cheap ass levers but upgraded the entire braking system. Sadly they just got overlooked. I think they are poverty freestyle levers, regardless, they are cheap and crappy. But my question is would upgrading to a better brake lever drastically change the quality of my breaking. I am using a set of diatech hombres and i just havn't been able to get them to work how i want them to (be able to lock my wheel up completely) I like the profile though and they are nice and low, just about every other brake we checked didn't make the clearence between my chain, thats what ig et for having a smaller sprocket up front.

    So would getting a good lever make a big difference in my breaking power? Also, what woudl you recomend for mounting it on the bend of my bars, i had my eye on getting a diatech dirty harry, any other suggestions?

    I was also considering just getting a set of oddessy evolvers or 990's but i woudl rather just make what i got work rather than getting more new parts.

    Also, i'm using a oryg gyro, could that be messing with my braking?

  2. #2
    "Uh-uh. Respek Knuckles." hypersnazz's Avatar
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    Levers are levers, pick one that feels good. The last levers without barrel adjusters disappeared a long time ago so just about any lever is as good as the next these days.

    As I mentioned in another post, the Oryg is not functionally inferior to any other detangler out there. Most people don't know how to set 'em up, though, and that causes headaches from gyro flop more than poor braking. Weak braking is usually the result of one, two or all three of these common culprits:

    - stiff or kinked cables. Check for kinks and binding around tight corners. Lube with Tri-Flow.

    - brake arm springs too tight or uneven. The center allen bolt on your Hombres (and all 990-style U brakes) locks down the spring, which can be adjusted by loosening the inner bolt and turning the stack itself with a 13mm cone wrench or brake arm tool. The springs should be *just* tight enough to return the brake arm when you let go of the lever. The heavier the spring, the more force required to pull the brake lever and the *less* force is delivered to the brakes. Also make sure your brake arms pivot smoothly...lube with Tri-Flow or disassemble and grease the brake bosses.

    - brake pads not aligned. Brake pads should contact rim surface evenly and at the same time. If your brakes squeal, toe them in at the front no more than 1/2-1mm or so.

  3. #3
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    The Dia-Compe Tech77 is the only way to go.

  4. #4
    pnj
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    cheap levers can sometimes bind and be tight. poverty are cheap levers, if i'm not mistaken. I would take beermans advice and go w/ tech 77's. mine have locking buttons on them.

    (actually, the new Odyssey levers look really nice. the ones that look just like tech 77's....)

    I like two fingers on my levers. some people like one. either way, I would suggest a new lever. (after you try the other brake setting up suggestions. don't forget you can put some light lube on the pivot of your lever as well.)
    4130

  5. #5
    "Uh-uh. Respek Knuckles." hypersnazz's Avatar
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    I've been using Modulevers since they came out, not because they eliminate merged upper cables but because the huge barrels are easy to turn and adjust on the fly. I've had trouble turning barrel adjusters out on normal levers, especially when they're old and smashed up from half hikers.

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    I always had problems with those monster barrels on the Modulevers loosening, even with a dab of threadlock. I usually just lock out my Tech77's barrel, and then do any necessary adjustment from the barrel on my downtube.

  7. #7
    "Uh-uh. Respek Knuckles." hypersnazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beerman
    I always had problems with those monster barrels on the Modulevers loosening, even with a dab of threadlock. I usually just lock out my Tech77's barrel, and then do any necessary adjustment from the barrel on my downtube.
    Never been a problem on mine, I hit 'em with a little grease and that's that. I do the opposite, lock out the barrels on the lower stops and on the tabs because it's a huge pain to adjust from below on dual cable setups but a breeze from the lever.

  8. #8
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    basically the problem seems to be that i can't get enough force to pull the brake pads against the wheel tight enough to lock the wheel. I've adjusted it so the pull is shorter in the brake lever before it locks up and it hasn't worked. I've also tried to re adjust the cables going to the brake arms by changing the length a bit. I have been able to get the brake arms to lock the wheel up, but to do so they are rubbing on the wheel even when not pulled on. I know something must be out of line somewhere, but i just can't seem to find it. The best way to describe it is my braking is really soft, no matter how hard you pull it feels llike it's just not pulled that tight.

  9. #9
    pnj
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    brakes are usually pretty simple to set up. re read what hypersnazz wrote above and make sure your brakes do what he said.

    1. lube everything
    2. make sure arms pivot by themselves on the post freely
    3. remove all slack from cables
    4. align brake pad evenly to rim
    5. lube lever pivot if needed. (or get a new one, I really think poverty is crap. but i've never held one so I can't say for sure...)
    4130

  10. #10
    "Uh-uh. Respek Knuckles." hypersnazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pnj
    cheap levers can sometimes bind and be tight. poverty are cheap levers, if i'm not mistaken. I would take beermans advice and go w/ tech 77's. mine have locking buttons on them.

    (actually, the new Odyssey levers look really nice. the ones that look just like tech 77's....)

    I like two fingers on my levers. some people like one. either way, I would suggest a new lever. (after you try the other brake setting up suggestions. don't forget you can put some light lube on the pivot of your lever as well.)
    I've worked on some pretty janky bikes and 'tight' levers are the least of my worries, even on cheap stuff. If the lever doesn't actuate freely when you pick it up in the shop, don't buy it. Duh. If it comes sticky when you order from Dan's, warranty it. Duh. Levers will only loosen over time, not tighten. If you don't want to go that route you can remove the lever arm on most levers and either spread the bracket with a big screwdriver or dremel it out a little. If it's too loose, shim it.

  11. #11
    pnj
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    that's all common sense stuff if you have experience with brakes. sounds like the original poster doesn't have the experience or knowledge to know thaat..
    4130

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pnj
    that's all common sense stuff if you have experience with brakes. sounds like the original poster doesn't have the experience or knowledge to know thaat..

    well i've tried everythign that prettty much everyone has said on my own before and again now and little luck. I think it's the springs possibly or the gyro isn't set up properly, that seems mrore likely, oh well, i was planning to get rid of it anyway so when i do that hopefully that will help. Tuning the brakes has made a ssignifigant difference, maybe i just want to much out of a brake that cost me 16.99

  13. #13
    pnj
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    diatech hombres are good brakes. they work as well as anything really.

    keep working with them.....
    4130

  14. #14
    OLD GUY WITH BIKES sswarmachine's Avatar
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    levers are levers until you land on them or bail! Odyssey modulevers are the best so far.
    DOWN WITH THE MAN! wreck sh*t!

  15. #15
    Dig. KinetikBiker's Avatar
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    Odyssey Monolever Trigger.
    or the Primo J-Lever

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