Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,822
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Chazguki's Brompton brake lever upgrade

    I thought I'd post something on both the state of my Brompton bike in general and the new levers I just put on yesterday.

    I've said in other threads that the stock levers are positioned such (on the M bar) that your first two fingers are right next to the pivot point and therefore it requires 3 fingers to exert enough force to brake rapidly. That's not something I was keen on, I like to use 2 fingers to brake so that my hands are still firmly on the bars. Having done a bit of research I decided to buy some cheap BMX brake levers made by Xposure. Here's how they look on the M bar:



    The Ergon grip on the right (the left-hand grip) was cut to the same length as the stock Brompton grips to accommodate the wide bracket and you can see how much additional bar space there is with these levers, and you can also get a sense of how much further away the lever pivot point is from the hand. i.e. these levers are now positioned correctly.

    They weight exactly the same amount as the stock grips, i.e. 166 grams per pair, and they're nicely made.

    I expected a more substantial improvement to braking than was achieved. I was hoping the extra leverage would make braking much easier. . . but the best way to describe the performance of these is that two-finger braking is akin to 3-finger braking with the stock levers. I suppose I could have bought a 3-finger lever. . . perhaps that would have been a better solution, I'm not sure. It would have added a little extra weight.

    However, these sit correctly and my hands feel more comfortable and relaxed, so all in all it improves the riding experience. I've not noticed any problem with the cable run (as fietsbob has pointed out in other threads the stock levers angle the cable downwards for a more efficient path).

    Another pic:



    Here you can see the mix of new and old parts. The frame is pre-2004, i.e. has the old hinges. The front tyre is a Greenspeed Scorcher which just about fits with a little coercion. The telescoping seat post is home-made with a USE upper post that's extremely light. Obligatory Brooks saddle.

    The rear hub is a SA X-RF5 that I got on ebay. Again, it took some coercion to get it to fit properly. The marks you can see on the frame aren't scratches, they're areas where the protective helicopter tape I applied (to most of the frame) wasn't done perfectly.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,822
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Something else: I'd hoped to get non-painted levers as contact areas inevitably wear. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything of that sort in my price range and BMX levers tend to be powdercoated in 'funky' colours. Not ideal. Anyhow, these happen to fold just such that they don't contact any part of the tyre/wheel so hopefully the paint will last. I guess if the levers scratch I could try to strip the powdercoat.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    GTA, Canada
    Posts
    313
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nice brommie... is that a Brooks B17 Special Titanium? I recently got a Brooks B17 Special but it appears you can't get one in brown anymore... just black, honey, and green. I also put Ergons (GC2) on my brommie but had to cut about an inch on each to make them fit.

    EDIT: BTW, I also use the exact same LED lights that you have in the bars and the seatpost.
    Last edited by cyclocommuter; 06-20-11 at 06:09 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,822
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No titanium, this is a bike on a budget. Way over budget, really. Those LEDs are the USB rechargeable type; very handy.

    Perhaps the Tektro FL750 is the way to go, a 3-finger lever that's only 117 grams:



    If I see them going on ebay I'll certainly pick them up but I wouldn't splash the cash for them new just yet.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,822
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My Brompton has been through a bunch of changes since posting this thread. I've been using an S stem with lightweight stem extension, bought from a hong kong ebay seller for around £15. It's light, under 100g and seems robust enough.



    The use of a flat bar has given me more space to play with brake/grip arrangments. As you can see I'm currently trying out the Shimano BL-R550 brake lever. On the 2-finger Xposure levers the distance from lever pivot to end is 7cm or thereabouts whereas the Shimano lever is around 8, and the Brompton lever is even longer. You can see from the pic that the brompton lever is adjusted in terms of placement and reach so as to be operated with 2 fingers and the result is a dramatic increase in braking power, and it's far better than with the Xposure levers. It's still not comparable to v brake performance but it's something like half-way towards that from how things were before. The corresponding reduction in brake pad movement means this requires rims to be true and brakes well-adjusted. With an M type handlebar this arrangement isn't possible so the Xposure levers are a decent solution as they move the lever pivot point away from the hand.
    Last edited by chagzuki; 01-05-12 at 07:25 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,822
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Incidently, I'm thinking of switching to a gripshift-type shifter and in this case the Brompton brake lever, as it's positioned, proves more space for that than the shimano lever does. The shimano lever would require cutting the grip down further such that one's hand was resting in large part on the shifter surface whereas the length of the Ergon grip as I currently have it would fit properly with the Brompton lever positioned to 2 fingers. So I may end up sticking with the original levers after all.
    Last edited by chagzuki; 01-03-12 at 10:26 AM.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    633
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I put Ergon GC3 combo Bar-end/grips, shorter grip-shift pair, find the brakes can be reached,
    using the tip of the lever, but the little ball on the end of the lever is not a great grip surface.

    these would perhaps help, but bar may not fold down, as well .
    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...s/br-0024.html


    Edit: just dug out some 2 finger MTB Cantilever levers [Dia Compe pc700 fwiw]
    and took the original brommy ones off,
    removed Bromptons fancy teflon-coated cables, as they, once cut
    as they were in the factory build, refused to go back in the housing without fraying .

    and there were already bare spots of coating , in the cable, I pre soldered the next cable,
    so I could cut it without fraying.. pull and re grease easily..

    little curved section in the lever helped the middle/ring finger , grip the lever,
    with out sliding further.
    straight lever , hand slid too close to the pivot, so leverage under-hand was reduced.

    the Ergon GC3 Grip shift shorter version, plugs right in, no cutting..

    Older Mk 2 bikes had M bar with a center sleeve, 15/16 tube,
    a no go for 7/8 bar controls .. newer MK 4 replacements, fine.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-16-12 at 03:59 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2,941
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    No titanium, this is a bike on a budget. Way over budget, really. Those LEDs are the USB rechargeable type; very handy.

    Perhaps the Tektro FL750 is the way to go, a 3-finger lever that's only 117 grams:



    If I see them going on ebay I'll certainly pick them up but I wouldn't splash the cash for them new just yet.
    I fitted this lever on both mine and my sons B`s this x-mas. I think they look great (much same look as the original ones) and work just great. Take up much less space on the handlebars than the original ones.
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,822
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Got a pic by any chance?

  10. #10
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2,941
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Finally made a picture and realised thet this curtain is not the best background for the pix. I`ll try again after my guest has left.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,822
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    They do fit the Brompton aesthetic very nicely, badmother, and they look as though they're less likely to upset the fold than other levers. If you've any clearer pics that'd be much appreciated as I'd like to get a better idea. Any signs of water finding it's way into the cable housing (since the cable end is unshielded)?

  12. #12
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2,941
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    They do fit the Brompton aesthetic very nicely, badmother, and they look as though they're less likely to upset the fold than other levers. If you've any clearer pics that'd be much appreciated as I'd like to get a better idea. Any signs of water finding it's way into the cable housing (since the cable end is unshielded)?
    I`ll try to take better pictures within a day or two. Problem is to find a calm and tidy background (and time) at the moment since i ripped all the kitchen cabinets down and scraped the paint off the wall in my kitchen the house is a mess.

    Put the new levers on this x-mas and since there is heavy ice on the road and down to - 20C (-4F) outside I do not know about rain getting in. I think the answer to this is to keep the cables properly lubed (posted about my plans for lubing cables in the B talk). I do not use the bike as a commuter so I can not really test it out any time soon. I am convinced that it is good for our use. The levers has been around for quite some time so if something did not work out I am sure somebody would complain about them.

    They are sold out several places. Could no longer find them at SJS. I searched the web and found a shop that had them at that time. Bought one extra pair since I like them a lot.
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  13. #13
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2,941
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Finally! New pictures, hope they are better.

    Edit: Hmm. Looks better in real life. Maybe I should drag it outside and take a picture. It is wery dusty becouse I am painting in the next room to where it is stored.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by badmother; 02-16-12 at 12:12 PM.
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  14. #14
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,183
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I bought a set of these levers and found they didn't work

    1. The left lever interfered with the integrated bell on the derailer switch assembly. If I moved it far enough out of the way, then it occupied more space than the original lever. :fail:
    2. The original cable does not work - these levers require road bike inners - OK only a few bucks but still an annoyance. :fail:
    3. The lever does not work with the original cable adjustment. The cable fits directly into the lever body, no adjuster. Since the brake has no adjuster either, you end up with no adjustment, or, you have to purchase a separate adjuster. :fail:

    So now I have this set which I wasted my money on. :fail:

    Badmother, what did you do?
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    119
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It has always seemed to me that Paul Canti Levers were the perfect lever upgrade for Bromptons. Stylistically I think that they work with the Brompton. They are also fairly light weight, have reach adjustment, and have an aluminum barrel adjuster.

  16. #16
    nun
    nun is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    My Bikes
    Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS
    Posts
    2,481
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by badmother View Post
    I fitted this lever on both mine and my sons B`s this x-mas. I think they look great (much same look as the original ones) and work just great. Take up much less space on the handlebars than the original ones.
    Tektro make nice parts at a reasonable cost, I have their brakes and or leavers of a couple of bikes

  17. #17
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2,941
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I bought a set of these levers and found they didn't work

    1. The left lever interfered with the integrated bell on the derailer switch assembly. If I moved it far enough out of the way, then it occupied more space than the original lever. :fail:
    2. The original cable does not work - these levers require road bike inners - OK only a few bucks but still an annoyance. :fail:
    3. The lever does not work with the original cable adjustment. The cable fits directly into the lever body, no adjuster. Since the brake has no adjuster either, you end up with no adjustment, or, you have to purchase a separate adjuster. :fail:

    So now I have this set which I wasted my money on. :fail:

    Badmother, what did you do?
    For sure they work! I see peopel here all the time buying bikes just to start changing out all the parts so what you describe should be minor issues. Of course if you get something totally different from what you expected you`ll be disapointed.

    You bought a new bike, I bought two (for son + me) that were NOS. They had hardly seen daylight but was made in 1992. Therefor:

    1. I adjusted until it worked fine. Can not remember if this shifter has an adjustable angle like the other one.

    2. Our bikes are older so it already had the road cables. Just loosened the bolt holding the cable by the caliper to get more slack, unhooked from the old one and hooked it into the new one. Adjusted wirelenght and tightened the bolt.

    3. There is a barrel by the brake on our (older) brakes. I`d be more than happy to add an extra adjuster if I had to to keep my supercool levers

    My son did all the work on his own bike, I have told him he has to do that. When he is leaving home to study later on he is on his own and need to do all the work on the B, no bikeshops around here I would trust with the B. Bought rim and spokes, need to decide on hub for his first wheel build. Want to make his 3 speed into a 5 speed and keep the 3 speed wheel as a spare.
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  18. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Still think the lines of original lever most aesthetically pleasing... Graceful for a urban bike. Other levers look too mountain bikish.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,822
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I like the lines/shape of the official Brompton lever too, at least the 30 degree one which is now standard across the range (used to be S only). As with most things Brompton the more you experiment with different options the more is revealed about the logic behind the design choices. E.g. I've thought it a mistake to have such a wide bracket as there simply isn't room on the M handlebar to have the lever pivot far enough away from the hand to get proper leverage. However the pivot is close to the handlebar, closer than with typical levers, so as to project as little as possible and therefore to minimise risk of lever interfering with fold. If one were to have narrow (aluminium) brackets this would necessitate putting the clamping bolt on the top of bracket as it is with the tektro lever. Jur points out that this gets in the way of the bell/shifter and once the lever is repositioned to avoid this you've not gained any space over the Brompton levers. So the Brompton solution of those skinny metal brackets (that tend to cut into the handlebar a little/scratch it)within a large plastic body is reasoned, there is logic to it. I'm sure a better solution could quite easily be designed, and one thing that should have happened a decade ago is to make the vertical portion of the M handlebar closer to the centre, i.e. to create more space in the grip area. An extra 10mm would be very handy, and at the same time they could do away with the extreme upsweep that forces an unnatural hand position with bars so narrow. Foolish to have a hand position that's the opposite of a comfort position on the range which is supposed to cater for more leisurely riding.

  20. #20
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Chagzuki, I find very interestng this mod. Could you tell me the ebay name for the Hong Kong seller of the stem extension, please?

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Oklahoma, U.S.A.
    My Bikes
    On any given day, about 110, including ~20 folders
    Posts
    528
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tonfus View Post
    Chagzuki, I find very interestng this mod. Could you tell me the ebay name for the Hong Kong seller of the stem extension, please?
    The Aber Hallo stem from thorusa.com might work. See:

    http://www.thorusa.com/accessories/handlebar.htm

    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA
    DISCLOSURE: I have an ownership interest in an independent bike shop that is an authorized dealer for Raleigh, Dahon, Tern & Brompton.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,822
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've seen 3 possible stems, two providing 55mm extension and one 50mm, the latter being the aberhallo.

    I'll see if I can find the seller I got mine from but in the meantime it appears that rogertan has a near-identical one on his Tern:
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...2-Tern-Link-X9
    You can ask him.

    A similar stem, slightly heavier and more expensive is available here:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2011-GUB-S...item43b04a4ca6

    This is the seller I got mine from, they don't currently have the item for sale:
    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/my16169shop

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •