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Old 06-05-10, 12:11 PM   #1
fantom1 
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High Quality Brake Levers?

I'm currently trying to piece together a dream (budget of $3600) Rando/Light Touring/Commuting bike. Most of the brake levers I've used all have a pretty low quality feel to them. (NO STI, I'm using DT shifters)

Does anyone make a solid feeling and somewhat ergonomic brake hood/lever these days?
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Old 06-05-10, 12:21 PM   #2
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Interesting question. I'm pretty happy with the Tektro levers I get for $25, but you'd think there would be higher quality ones out there. I used to use my brake levers to let people know I was coming. The modern levers don't make that nice metal on metal clack.
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Old 06-05-10, 01:14 PM   #3
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Ya, I've got Tektro ones on my LHT, and they work great, but they just don't "feel" all that great.
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Old 06-05-10, 01:46 PM   #4
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Cane Creek SCR-5 roadies on my COHO frame. I def. wouldn't call them high-end, but they are comfortable.
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Old 06-05-10, 02:16 PM   #5
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Cane Creek SCR-5 roadies on my COHO frame. I def. wouldn't call them high-end, but they are comfortable.
These are exactly the same as the above tektros. (okay, different hoods, little lizards...) I also love the Tektros- they got the ergonomics just right. Frankly this is one of those areas where more expensive is frankly not much better... I would invest your money in some other cool tidbits... my 2c.
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Old 06-05-10, 07:34 PM   #6
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Shimano Dura Ace levers feel the best. Many people don't like the hoods or the price though.
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Old 06-05-10, 10:15 PM   #7
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I'm also a fan of Cane Creek SCR-5. The first bike I got with them, I didn't know anything about them and figured I wouldn't like them as much as the Shimanos I'd been using, which I liked just fine. I quickly realized that I liked the Cane Creeks better because the "platform" is wider and more comfortable when I'm riding on the hoods. I also think they work well. I don't always get my choice of levers, but when I do I go with these.
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Old 06-06-10, 08:31 AM   #8
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Sram S500/S900, Shimano BR600
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Old 06-06-10, 10:26 AM   #9
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I'm very happy with my Tektros
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Old 06-06-10, 01:15 PM   #10
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Campagnolo still makes Record brake levers in carbon fiber.
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Old 06-06-10, 02:49 PM   #11
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I'm fine with the Tektros too. They'd probably feel better to you if they cost more. Nothing that cheap can be good -- right?

Ebay always has dozens of top quality brake levers from the "old days", usually for super prices. I always liked the way the Campy Record levers felt, myself. The Modolo levers with anatomic hoods had a lot of fans too. And the Suntour Superbe Pro levers were probably the highest quality I ever used.

HTH!
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Old 06-08-10, 03:42 PM   #12
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I have some Shimano BR600 levers - a minor ding to the plastic on one. PM me if you want to try them out - I will let you have them cheap.
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Old 06-09-10, 08:25 AM   #13
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I have the Tektro levers on my tandem and the Shimano BR600 levers on one rando bike and Dia-Compe levers on the other rando bike. By far the most comfortable on long rides are the Tektro. Buy the Cane Creek version of the Tektro's so that you'll spend a little more money and feel better about the quality :-)
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Old 06-09-10, 09:35 AM   #14
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I have Tektros on my LHT. I'm not saying they're a bad brake or anything, but there is a certain looseness and general lack of tight tolerances. Regardless of the price, they have a cheap feel to them.
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Old 06-09-10, 09:39 AM   #15
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I have Tektros on my LHT. I'm not saying they're a bad brake or anything, but there is a certain looseness and general lack of tight tolerances. Regardless of the price, they have a cheap feel to them.
are you talking about the brakes or the levers? I'm running Tektro cantilever brakes, and they could work a little better. The levers are fine, I went from vintage Campagnolo Record to the Tektros, and I have been very happy with the way they work.
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Old 06-09-10, 02:47 PM   #16
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SRAM makes some also. Rivendell has them on their website.
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Old 06-09-10, 03:20 PM   #17
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The most important aspect of brake levers, IMHO, is which ones fit your hands best. I like the Shimano ones, personally; don't like the Cane Creek/Tektro ones at all. They all feel equally "quality" or whatever; none of them has wobbly, bendy levers when you're trying to slam on the brakes. But picking the ones that are the right shape for your hands is important.
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Old 06-09-10, 11:20 PM   #18
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you could always just add some after-market hoods to your levers, like Hüdz: http://www.grabthehudz.com/products.html
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Old 06-10-10, 12:15 AM   #19
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Another vote for the Tektro / Cane Creek levers - WAY more comfortable hoods than the Shimano R600 or Dia Compes that I've tried. You can even get them with black levers
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Old 06-10-10, 10:05 AM   #20
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Ive used Tektro, Shimano, and the Cane Creek ones. I think the Shimano BR600s or whatever were the best quality, but I like the ergonomics of the Cane Creeks better.
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