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  1. #1
    Senior Member Aushiker's Avatar
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    Tektro RL520 Should Marry ...?

    G'day

    I have decided to upgrade my standard brakes on my Surly Long Haul Trucker with Tektro RL520 levers as suggested frequently here and elsewhere.

    My question is to which v-brake to marry them to. From what I have read the Tektro 857AL has been the recommend v-brake in the past in part because of the mudguard clearance (I have mudguards on the Surly). Is this still the best option?

    Also I assume that with the levers and v-brakes there are no other components required for a retro fit?

    Thanks
    Andrew

  2. #2
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    I have the Tektro levers and V-brakes, they are fantastic. Next best thing to disk brakes. Those brakes should clear the fenders no problem, I have Axiom MTB fenders on my LHT and the cable noodle clears the top of the fenders by 4-5mm.

  3. #3
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    I was under the impression that pretty much any v-brake will clear fenders. I hope that's the case as I plan on replacing the cantis on my LHT with v-brakes.
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  4. #4
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aushiker View Post
    ...My question is to which v-brake to marry them to. From what I have read the Tektro 857AL has been the recommend v-brake in the past in part because of the mudguard clearance (I have mudguards on the Surly). Is this still the best option?

    Also I assume that with the levers and v-brakes there are no other components required for a retro fit?
    Any V brake that will provide adequate tire and fender clearance will work with the "long pull" levers.

    I have used the 857ALs for a few years now. They work pretty good, especially with Kool Stop pads. These brakes do indeed have excellent mudguard clearance, due to the long (110mm) arms. They're also a little heavier due to longer arms. The longer arms tend to bend more simply due to leverage and their length. They have a less firm feel under hard braking, which you'll be aware of only if you've ridden conventional shorter-arm, stronger brakes for a long period before the 857ALs on the same bike. Understand I'm being a little critical here, these are still good brakes. Pretty nice looking too for cheap Tektros.

    You may not need the extra clearance of Tektro 857AL brakes unless you're riding the largest tires the LHT will take. 857ALs will clear my LHT's 26x2.0s with 65mm fenders and a decent safety gap between fender and tire.

    Your link indicates you run 700x38. If your fenders are sized appropriately and mounted without a huge gap, you could get by with a lighter and perhaps better performing brake. While there are many to choose from, my own experience is limited to Shimano and Avid V brakes. I can recommend Avid SD7s brakes without reservation. They are lightweight, strong, reliable, brake well, come with good pads, and generally cost less than Shimano. SD7s have 103mm arms and will actually clear my LHT fenders/tire, but they did rub lightly on the fender near the center where the noodle is attached, which is why I eventually switched to Tektro, but I really could have just left them alone. Avid SD7s should completely clear 700x38s and 50mm fenders, and I recommend them over Tektro 857ALs unless you intend to run maximum tires and fenders.

    You need only long-pull levers, V brakes and cable+housing to convert from cantilever to linear pull V brakes.

    http://www.sram.com/avid/products/si...it-7-rim-brake

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  5. #5
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Aushiker, in case your haven't heard, this will improve your brakes too...

    http://surlybikes.com/bikes/disc_trucker

  6. #6
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    I coupled the Avid Single Digit 5's with the Tektro RL520's on my LHT build, and they work great. I can't provide a comparison with other V-brake options, but I have been very happy with the Avids.

  7. #7
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    Any V brake that will provide adequate tire and fender clearance will work with the "long pull" levers.

    I have used the 857ALs for a few years now. They work pretty good, especially with Kool Stop pads. These brakes do indeed have excellent mudguard clearance, due to the long (110mm) arms. They're also a little heavier due to longer arms. The longer arms tend to bend more simply due to leverage and their length. They have a less firm feel under hard braking, which you'll be aware of only if you've ridden conventional shorter-arm, stronger brakes for a long period before the 857ALs on the same bike. Understand I'm being a little critical here, these are still good brakes. Pretty nice looking too for cheap Tektros.

    You may not need the extra clearance of Tektro 857AL brakes unless you're riding the largest tires the LHT will take. 857ALs will clear my LHT's 26x2.0s with 65mm fenders and a decent safety gap between fender and tire.

    Your link indicates you run 700x38. If your fenders are sized appropriately and mounted without a huge gap, you could get by with a lighter and perhaps better performing brake. While there are many to choose from, my own experience is limited to Shimano and Avid V brakes. I can recommend Avid SD7s brakes without reservation. They are lightweight, strong, reliable, brake well, come with good pads, and generally cost less than Shimano. SD7s have 103mm arms and will actually clear my LHT fenders/tire, but they did rub lightly on the fender near the center where the noodle is attached, which is why I eventually switched to Tektro, but I really could have just left them alone. Avid SD7s should completely clear 700x38s and 50mm fenders, and I recommend them over Tektro 857ALs unless you intend to run maximum tires and fenders.

    You need only long-pull levers, V brakes and cable+housing to convert from cantilever to linear pull V brakes.

    http://www.sram.com/avid/products/si...it-7-rim-brake
    Thanks, that is a very informative post.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Aushiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Thanks, that is a very informative post.
    +1 Thanks heaps for your comments.

    Andrew

  9. #9
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Some additional info here.
    GRAVELBIKE.COM - ride everything

  10. #10
    Senior Member Aushiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
    Some additional info here.
    Thanks for the heads-up. Helpful posting. Blog now added to my reader as well

    Andrew

  11. #11
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aushiker View Post
    Thanks for the heads-up. Helpful posting. Blog now added to my reader as well

    Andrew
    Glad to help. Depending on your handlebars, and where you position the 520 levers, you may want to file the bodies where the housing exits to get a smoother curve/path.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Aushiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
    Glad to help. Depending on your handlebars, and where you position the 520 levers, you may want to file the bodies where the housing exits to get a smoother curve/path.
    Thanks. BTW and I haven't really look so maybe a dumb question but do the cables come out the "back" of the levers so that can be taped along the bars?

    Regards
    Andrew

  13. #13
    Senior Member aggri1's Avatar
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    I'd steer away from parallel push (?) v-brakes (the ones with the extra linkage). I got a second hand set of old parallel-push XTs: they were a little worn out (loose pivots), and when I had them on the front wheel, they'd squeal like a banshee. Really really bad! When on the rear wheel, and hence operating in the other direction, they worked fine and without noise, but I don't really brake with the rear wheel anyway.

    I've also used a few different v-brakes, all worked fine. Currently have XTs, and they're great (KoolStop pads).

  14. #14
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aushiker View Post
    Thanks. BTW and I haven't really look so maybe a dumb question but do the cables come out the "back" of the levers so that can be taped along the bars?

    Regards
    Andrew
    Yes, the housing exits out the back of the body near the clamp.
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  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aggri1 View Post
    I'd steer away from parallel push (?) v-brakes (the ones with the extra linkage). I got a second hand set of old parallel-push XTs: they were a little worn out (loose pivots), and when I had them on the front wheel, they'd squeal like a banshee. Really really bad! When on the rear wheel, and hence operating in the other direction, they worked fine and without noise, but I don't really brake with the rear wheel anyway.

    I've also used a few different v-brakes, all worked fine. Currently have XTs, and they're great (KoolStop pads).
    The early generation of XT v-brakes were too light in the parallel push mechanism. They squealed something fierce and really couldn't be stopped from squealing. Later version beefed up the mechanism but by then other (quieter) v-brakes were readily available.

    I've never found v-brakes to play nice with fenders. It's the nature of the mechanism. The arms move inwards and often hit up against the fender while doing so. I even routed my fender over the brake mechanism to avoid this problem



    It's can be done with Avid Arch Rivals but not necessarily with other v-brakes.

    For use with fenders, the Cane Creek Direct Curve brakes would be ideal. No interference problems there.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Aushiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
    Yes, the housing exits out the back of the body near the clamp.
    Great thanks. I had visions of my handlebar bag becoming a serious pain. No more

    Andrew

  17. #17
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aushiker View Post
    Great thanks. I had visions of my handlebar bag becoming a serious pain. No more

    Andrew
    Should be fine. Here's a (crummy) photo of my commuter with the RL520s installed:

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  18. #18
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    If I might, I'd recommend one more to consider: TRP (Tektro Racing Products) CX9. I upgraded the stock Tektros on my bike to these; originally developed for cyclocross bikes, they are beautifully made, and function extraordinarily well with standard-pull v-brake levers even though designed to 'work' with road brifters. They do use standard road cartridge inserts (i.e. shorter pad), but the cartridge holders are really well designed.
    I use XTR cables, and literally have not had to adjust them for centring since first installing them last spring.
    I can't speak to mudguard clearance.

  19. #19
    Old. Slow. Happy. MileHighMark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
    If I might, I'd recommend one more to consider: TRP (Tektro Racing Products) CX9. I upgraded the stock Tektros on my bike to these; originally developed for cyclocross bikes, they are beautifully made, and function extraordinarily well with standard-pull v-brake levers even though designed to 'work' with road brifters. They do use standard road cartridge inserts (i.e. shorter pad), but the cartridge holders are really well designed.
    I use XTR cables, and literally have not had to adjust them for centring since first installing them last spring.
    I can't speak to mudguard clearance.
    Tektro actually offers several 90mm (mini-)v brakes, and they all cost much less than the CX9s. 90mm arms will barely clear chubby tires and fenders, BTW (95mm is better).

    • 85mm v-brakes work well with STI/SRAM/Campy levers
    • 90mm v-brakes work better with the newer Shimano STI levers (i.e., the ones that pull more cable
    • 95mm+ v-brakes work best with long-pull levers


    Here's a 95mm v-brake with SKS P45 fenders:
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  20. #20
    Senior Member pasopia's Avatar
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    Avid SD 7

    http://www.sram.com/avid/products/si...it-7-rim-brake

    On my 26" LHT I can easily fit 2" tires and fenders. I have 10,000 trouble free miles with these brakes, they are great. I'm using the tektro drop levers as well.
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  21. #21
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    So is an in-line adjuster required for this to work? Are there inline adjusters that are compatible with brake cables? IIRC most inline adjusters are made for derailleur cables.

  22. #22
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atrain85 View Post
    So is an in-line adjuster required for this to work? Are there inline adjusters that are compatible with brake cables? IIRC most inline adjusters are made for derailleur cables.
    They're not required, but it makes it much easier to fine tune them. If you're a pro at getting the cable length adjusted, you can get by, but I'm thinking about putting some on mine. Just makes things easier.

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