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Brake Lever Specs for Drum Brake

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Brake Lever Specs for Drum Brake

Old 09-28-18, 08:50 PM
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bajajoaquin
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Brake Lever Specs for Drum Brake

Iím going to buy a Sturmey Archer drum brake dyno hub, almost certainly an XL-FDD. Consensus has it that old style four finger high leverage levers are strongly preferred.

What does this mean? By that, I mean specifically. Is there an actual leverage ratio that can be referenced or measured? Brake lever descriptions are somewhat vague. S-A doesnít have the same access to their catalog that they used to, and say to go to my local dealer. My local dealer has no clue.

For the example, I read that Tektro 520 levers work well and have the right leverage. I want levers for flat bars, so those donít work for me. But what is it about those levers that define how they work with brakes? How do I apply that to other brake levers?
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Old 09-28-18, 11:44 PM
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So why don't you just order the SA levers with the hub? I really like them. Yes you need 4 finger levers, long pull.
That is what I have been using for 6 years/ 24,000 miles with my XL-FDD. Only problem is the levers come set for short pull.
So I moved a rivet to the long pull hole. May or not be easy.
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Old 09-29-18, 04:18 AM
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Yes, there are standards. Most road levers and old MTB levers for cantis pull 7 mm of cable for 20 degrees of lever operation. Levers for linear pull (V-brakes) pull 15 mm of cable.

(For flat bar levers, I use a "rule of thumb." Measure from the pivot to the cable stop. If it's about as wide as your thumb, it's for cantis. If it's noticeably wider than your thumb, it's for linear pull. I work in a couple of non-profit shops where we only have one large bin for levers, so it's good to have a quick method.)
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Old 09-29-18, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
Yes, there are standards. Most road levers and old MTB levers for cantis pull 7 mm of cable for 20 degrees of lever operation. Levers for linear pull (V-brakes) pull 15 mm of cable.

(For flat bar levers, I use a "rule of thumb." Measure from the pivot to the cable stop. If it's about as wide as your thumb, it's for cantis. If it's noticeably wider than your thumb, it's for linear pull. I work in a couple of non-profit shops where we only have one large bin for levers, so it's good to have a quick method.)
This is fantastic information, esp the tip. I've never seen the pull ratios quantified before.
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Old 09-29-18, 07:20 AM
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Lever cable pull amounts have been talked about since the 1970s IME. This is why so many old farts know about using Weinemann levers with Universal calipers (of that era) as being the hot and light set up Shimano has gone to the bank many times because they have marketed a change of lever ratio. Andy
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Old 09-29-18, 07:57 AM
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The S-A drum brakes are "short pull".

These will work on flat bars: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00288JJQS And if you don't like the short pull, they can be quickly changed to long pull.
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Old 09-29-18, 08:09 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I was trying to find guidance on how to select levers SA or otherwise. If you browse products one way, they just list levers, and the drum brakes donít say ďuse with levers.....Ē

However, I just googled ďSturmey Archer brake leverĒ and a page came up on their site that clearly listed the levers by brake type. I donít know why that didnít come up before.

Thanks again!

(and I wish I lived in a place that had co-ops or other shops with big bins of parts. Iíd never leave )
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Old 09-29-18, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bajajoaquin View Post
...(and I wish I lived in a place that had co-ops or other shops with big bins of parts. Iíd never leave )
That's why I volunteer there. I can't believe they let me work there for free.
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