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  1. #1
    jaywbee3 jaywbee3's Avatar
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    Help needed for late 80s Burley Duet duel brake lever and cable replacement

    I recently purchased a late 80s/ early 90s Burley Duet. I love the bike but I need to replace the brake cables. The left brake lever operates the drum brake and the right lever operates both the front and back rim brakes. I am not sure how to go about replacing the cables on the right lever. It look like both cables go into the lever but I am not sure if they are a special design or if I can use regular cables. Has anyone replaced these and what advice can you give me?

    Thanks!

    jaybee3

  2. #2
    WillFam-Clovis,CA
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    My 80's Gitane was set up this same way. If your ride is anything like mine, the Aria drum brake is just not very good at stopping quickly, and the right lever controlling both front and rear rim brakes needs a lot of effort to put enough force on the brake lever to effect a quick stop. Depending on the location of your shifters, if you're not using bar-end shifters, you might try putting the drum on a bar-end shift lever and separate the front rim brake to the left lever and rear rim brake to the right lever (unless you're located in England or similar locale). If you are using bar-end shifters, some have given the drag brake duties to the stoker with the understanding that it will only be used at the direction of the captain unless going straight.
    The convensional wisdom is that the drum brake is only really useful as a drag brake when traversing down long hills, and you wish to keep your speed down without overheating the rims. The drum brake is capable of absorbing a lot of heat.
    If you wish to keep the brake setup as is, I recall that the right lever has a special adapter built in that allows two normal cable ends to fit in right next to each other. Only the rear needs to be of tandem length, as the front rim brake is a short run, just as any other normally configured upright bicycle.
    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    They use regular cables; the brake lever -- probably a Diacompe 287T -- simply has two cable stops in the lever body instead of one. The top position (more mech adv.) should be used for the front brake and the bottom for the rear IF you really want to keep the bike set up this way.

    My recommendation would be to as WillFam-Reno suggests and update your brake configuration so that the brake levers are only controlling the front & rear brakes and then:

    (a) make sure you really need the drag brake, i.e., you'll be doing some long, technical descents that require constant braking or will have a very heavy load on the tandem and riding some steep descents; if so
    (b) pay a visit to the Precision Tandems Arai Information Page and scroll down to the Actuation Methods to see which method would work best for your tandem.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    I sold a Burley Duet a few months ago, which was set up as you described. I have to say that, even though I really didn't need the drum brake, the dual cable setup worked quite

  5. #5
    jaywbee3 jaywbee3's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information and the advise. This bike is being used for leisurely weekend rides and breakfast runs to local restaurants so there will not be a lot of technical descents. I am raising the handle bars so I need to add a few inches to all of the cables. Up to this point the stock brake system has worked well, so I will try to keep the bike as stock as possible but I will consider the thumb shifter if I run into problems.

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Just remember, stock cables = stock tandem length rear brake cable.

  7. #7
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    we had an early 90's Burley Duet set up that way. It took a lot of hand strength to stop the bike. Unless the cables are adjusted precisely, you 're going to have to really compress one brake before the other is firmly engaged.

    Thus I would definitely second TG's advice.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillFam-Reno View Post
    If your ride is anything like mine, the Aria drum brake is just not very good at stopping quickly
    That depends on how well the brake has been set up.

    The worst brake I've ever used was an Aria drum. I could barely detect any ***********, squeezing lever hard as I could

    The best brake I've ever used was an Aria drum. In 1983 Bill McReady lent me the prototype for the Santana triple. When he told me he usually just used the drum for stopping I thought he was kidding. Then I rode it. Smooth yet powerful.

    BTW nothing quite like a triplet with a couple of featherweight USCF riders, age 14 and 16 on the back.

  9. #9
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    Hey, I see that my reply got cut-off. I sold a Duet that I rode for about 20 years, equipped with the Arai drag brake and both cantilever brakes routed to the right lever. I agree with Merlinextralight...it was very wearing on my right hand! I set it up so it would engage the rear SLIGHTLY before the front. It did work quite well, but on my new bike, a slightly newer Santana with the same type of levers, I opted not to mount a drum and went with xtr v-brakes (w/problem solver amplifiers), which give me good stopping power. If I travel to the mountains (maybe with my NEXT stoker), I could easily mount a drum and use a friction lever to actuate it. My advice is: If you don't anticipate very long descents and are not much heavier than average, I would save the considerable weight and remove the the drum and reroute the front brake to the left lever. It is a simple matter to revert back in the future. To repeat, the rear brake cable is 300mm tandem legnth, and the drum is the same. Don't forget, if you switch to a barcon or other friction (shifting) lever, you will be using a tandem length SHIFT cable. Always good practice to keep a few tandem cables on your shelf. If you break one, they are not stocked everywhere!

  10. #10
    jaywbee3 jaywbee3's Avatar
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    FYI - I cut the cables and removed them from the brake lever. The cables ARE a special design with both the front and back cables meeting at one head. Now I will either need to use one of the previous suggestions, purchase a Dia compe 287T, or try to find a source for a direct replacement. The brake lever is a Dia compe BSR Blaze. Does anyone have a suggestion for a tandem shop that might stock replacements for this cable?

  11. #11
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaywbee3 View Post
    FYI - I cut the cables and removed them from the brake lever. The cables ARE a special design with both the front and back cables meeting at one head. Now I will either need to use one of the previous suggestions, purchase a Dia compe 287T, or try to find a source for a direct replacement. The brake lever is a Dia compe BSR Blaze. Does anyone have a suggestion for a tandem shop that might stock replacements for this cable?
    My apologies; I've never seen anything like that before.

    How are the brake cable housings seated at the brake lever? Are there two cable stops in the lever body? I'd love to see a photo of this.

    Anyway, as to alternatives that would allow you to keep this dual control set-up, there are probably three or four tandem dealers who would have such a cable if it was a legitimate offering and not a home-cooked solution: Larry Black at Mt Airy Cycles (www.bike123.com), Mel Kornbluh @ Tandems East (www.tandemseast.com) or Rich Shapiro at Gear-to-Go Tandems (www.gtgtandems.com) or Mark Johnson at Precision Tandems (www.precisiontandems.com). Jack Goertz would be a long-shot at Tandems Ltd. (www.tandemsltd.com).

    There is another alternative to buying the DiaCompe 287T or a direct replacement cable (and really, this is a new one on me), and that's the Problem Solver Cable Doubler 1:2. You can find the instructions for it here: http://www.problemsolversbike.com/images/DoublerOne.pdf

    Tree Fort seemed to have the lowest price: http://www.treefortbikes.com/product...e-Doubler.html

    P.S. Why did you cut the cables instead of just extracting them from the levers and housing?
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 03-28-10 at 08:03 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=TandemGeek;10588050P.S. Why did you cut the cables instead of just extracting them from the levers and housing?[/QUOTE]

    He said he was raising the handlebars and was going to need some additional length anyway.

  13. #13
    jaywbee3 jaywbee3's Avatar
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    I have ordered the DiaCompe 287 Tandem levers and will let you know how they work out.
    Thanks for all of the suggestions.

  14. #14
    jaywbee3 jaywbee3's Avatar
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    Here are the photos of the brake lever and the cable. I believe that this is original equipment that came with the Burley Duet.HPIM2598.jpgHPIM2594.jpgHPIM2597.jpgHPIM2592.jpg

  15. #15
    jaywbee3 jaywbee3's Avatar
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    I found a replacement cable at College Park Bicycle (sister shop to Mt Ayre Bicycles)! I will be installing it tomorrow hope to ride in the afternoon.

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