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Old 01-06-22, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger M View Post
If I understand you correctly, these brakes work well with traditional road levers? That would be good to know.
I can't give an unconditional endorsement of these brakes with road levers. The issue is cable pull. I completely geeked out on brake cable pull a few years ago, so I had some idea what it was going to take when I started this. As you probably know, traditional V-brakes require a lot more cable pull than road brakes. Mini V brakes were intended to address that problem, but they don't entirely do it. One issue is that the amount of brake cable pull varies from one brake lever to the next. You can also get mini V brakes in different lengths. These are 90 mm, which is about the limit of what can be considered "mini" -- traditional V brakes are generally in the 105-115 mm range. You can get minis as short as 80 mm. The longer brakes have more mechanical advantage, but they don't move the pads as far for a given amount of cable pull, so the longer the brake the more cable you need your levers to be able to pull.

I first tried these brakes on this bike with Tektro RL340 levers, which Tektro kind of implies should be compatible on their website (, but I couldn't get the pads close enough to the rim without rubbing and not have the lever bottom out. The SRAM levers pull a bit more cable, and I was able to get them to work, but there's still very little gap between the pads and the rim -- maybe a millimeter. I had to true the wheels a bit to get them to spin without rubbing anywhere. In theory, newer Shimano STIs pull more cable and they're likely to work a bit better with this brake.

On the other hand, the power (per hand force input) is just ridiculous. On my test ride up and down the block, when I gave the lever a quick and firm squeeze my body weight lurched forward enough to scare me for a second. I know a lot of people would hate that, but that's what I wanted. I hate single pivot side pulls because you have to squeeze the lever so freaking hard to get maximum braking power. I prefer to squeeze gently and get results. I'm sure you remember driving cars without power brakes, right? That's the kind of difference I'm talking about between these brakes and cantilevers (no matter how perfectly you have the cantilevers set up). Both will stop you just fine, but the feel is a lot different. I'm sure when power brakes first started becoming ubiquitous in cars there were a lot of retro grouches who hated how responsive they were. Now, if you put most people in a car without power brakes they'd think something was broken.

So...if you pick the right brake lever, and you don't mind having the pads really, really close to the rim, and you like very responsive brakes, these brakes work really well.

Originally Posted by Roger M View Post
How do you like those Sram brake levers? I have a set, and the seem to feel right in my large(ish) hands. However, I can't bring myself to use them on an old steel frame. They do look better on an aluminum frame.
Like I said above, they were a choice of necessity. I've had them for years and haven't used them since I gave up singlespeed cyclocross racing. I don't like black levers, but I think they look OK on this bike. They feel OK when I'm riding.
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Last edited by Andy_K; 01-07-22 at 02:30 AM.
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