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Litepro V brake adapter (aka "travel agent")

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Litepro V brake adapter (aka "travel agent")

Old 01-02-22, 02:24 AM
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thook
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Litepro V brake adapter (aka "travel agent")

Anyone ever used these...this specific brand? Asking around because I'm considering using some for a future project. In the parts gathering phase with it and all that. It's a hybrid frame that doesn't have the correct housing stops for canti's plus it has a suspension fork with no hanger. I'd have to do some rigging to make the front and rear work for the canti's....the rear being a bit more of a challenge because of frame design and there being little room from the rear housing stop and where a hanger would/could be on the bridge. Running a hanger from the seat post clamp won't work very well, either. Anyway, any experience/opinions?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/30425184224...d362c90c12921e

ps. Oh, wanting to run brifters with drop bars, fyi. Thanks!!!
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Old 01-02-22, 08:37 AM
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I had those "Travel Agents" installed when the bike was built up for me 20 years ago. I had specified "V" brakes and the STI shifters, and was told by Airborne that the travel agents would be required to match the levers to the brakes. At the time, I knew nothing about such things, so I agreed.
Things turned out well. Apart from a somewhat goofy appearance, they work perfectly. The brakes have a very smooth, progressive feel, and there is plenty of stopping power.
I didn't install these things myself, so I can't comment on the level of difficulty, but it looks like the hardest part is routing the cable around the pulley. I believe they can work to either increase cable travel (as in my case, and yours), or decrease it... so the cable "wrap" must be done right. I'm guessing it's not too hard.
Attached is an image showing the TAs.



"Travel Agents" may be seen close to the brakes. They look goofy (according to some), but work well.

Last edited by sweeks; 01-02-22 at 11:04 AM. Reason: To correct for "goofy". :-)
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Old 01-02-22, 08:46 AM
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Problem Solvers used to offer their 'Travel Agents'. Couple of years ago they stopped making them. Looks like Litepro picked up the product. They work well for the 'problem' they were designed to solve. As mentioned, they need to be set up correctly. Search for 'travel agent' on problemsolvers*com. They've still got an excellent 'how to' article.
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Old 01-02-22, 09:46 AM
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The Travel Agents are also a low-friction way to make the 90ー turn into the brake. They don't look a bit goofy to me.
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Old 01-02-22, 09:58 AM
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I've installed, maybe, a dozen Travel Agents (both the adjusting barrel current version and the non adjuster first gen) on road and tandem bikes and if done well they work fine. A couple of details- The stretch of inner that runs in the face of the pulley between the two steps should point straight up, like the ad shows. Also where the inner has emerged from the transfer hole and onto the larger step's OD the inner tends to initially bump up, it hasn't yet become bent down/flat against the pulley step, and this bump up of inner can drag on the housing's underside. A gentle pressure on the inner to push the cable down flat is all that this takes to be a non issue. Andy
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Old 01-02-22, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
They don't look a bit goofy to me.
I said that just because I've had it said to me by others examining the bike. I'm a "form-follows-function" kind of guy, and I don't actually mind their appearance at all.
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Old 01-02-22, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
I had those "Travel Agents" installed when the bike was built up for me 20 years ago. I had specified "V" brakes and the STI shifters, and was told by Airborne that the travel agents would be required to match the levers to the brakes. At the time, I knew nothing about such things, so I agreed.
Things turned out well. Apart from a somewhat goofy appearance, they work perfectly. The brakes have a very smooth, progressive feel, and there is plenty of stopping power.
I didn't install these things myself, so I can't comment on the level of difficulty, but it looks like the hardest part is routing the cable around the pulley. I believe they can work to either increase cable travel (as in my case, and yours), or decrease it... so the cable "wrap" must be done right. I'm guessing it's not too hard.
Attached is an image showing the TAs.



"Travel Agents" may be seen close to the brakes. They look goofy (according to some), but work well.
No worries. I think they look kinda goofy, too. I never thought v-brakes were very attractive, anyway. Not bad, just a bit gangly. OTOH, travels agents kinda look right at home on them
Anyway, thanks for your feedback. I had some v-brakes on a Cross Check at one time, but not long enough to use good pads with them. I have some v's on my Bontrager, though, with kool stops and I'm far more agreeable to them. I was hoping to hear the travel agent wouldn't be a detriment. I read elsewhere they actually improve modulation to some degree?
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Old 01-02-22, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
I've installed, maybe, a dozen Travel Agents (both the adjusting barrel current version and the non adjuster first gen) on road and tandem bikes and if done well they work fine. A couple of details- The stretch of inner that runs in the face of the pulley between the two steps should point straight up, like the ad shows. Also where the inner has emerged from the transfer hole and onto the larger step's OD the inner tends to initially bump up, it hasn't yet become bent down/flat against the pulley step, and this bump up of inner can drag on the housing's underside. A gentle pressure on the inner to push the cable down flat is all that this takes to be a non issue. Andy
I'll certainly keep all that in mind. It'll be a little while, yet, on acquiring and installing them. Cold winter weather finally hit the area for the season (been like Spring so far) and I'm not into working on bikes in the cold. I am thinking about the clearing a spot in the house, though.
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Old 01-02-22, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by coupster View Post
Problem Solvers used to offer their 'Travel Agents'. Couple of years ago they stopped making them. Looks like Litepro picked up the product. They work well for the 'problem' they were designed to solve. As mentioned, they need to be set up correctly. Search for 'travel agent' on problemsolvers*com. They've still got an excellent 'how to' article.
Yeah, I knew they had. So, I'd wanted to know if Litepro did a good job of reproducing them. Not much to mess up, I guess...
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Old 01-02-22, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
Yeah, I knew they had. So, I'd wanted to know if Litepro did a good job of reproducing them. Not much to mess up, I guess...
Litepro products tend to be hit and miss. Yes, they can mess up straightforward items, such as when leaving too little material. If you try, please post how it worked for you.
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Old 01-02-22, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
I read elsewhere they actually improve modulation to some degree?
I don't know about *improving* modulation, since I never rode the bike without the TAs. But I've never had a bike with *better* modulation of the brakes. I have had bikes with *as good* modulation, though; V-brakes, calipers and discs. I use Kool Stop pads. FWIW, these brakes work pretty well in wet conditions as well.
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Old 01-02-22, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
Not much to mess up, I guess...
Yes, these are pretty simple machines. Yet... Murphy's Law exists!
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Old 01-03-22, 06:27 AM
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They池e kind of a pain to install and look a bit goofy but they work fine
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Old 01-03-22, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
They’re kind of a pain to install and look a bit goofy but they work fine
They go with the nice Paul brakes though!
EDIT: I like your SON hub and light set-up as well. I'm still poking around trying to improve my headlight position... fork has no hole for a brake bolt! I have a Shutter Precision hub... I notice the flange-to-flange spacing on your SON looks quite a bit bigger; better for lateral stability!


Since my fork has no hole, the light is mounted to a brake boss. It works... (Brakes temporarily disconnected here)



I got this hub on sale... maybe because it's red!

Last edited by sweeks; 01-03-22 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 01-03-22, 11:11 AM
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i broke that light not to long after I took that picture so I bought the IQ-X like you have and it seems to stay out of the way a bit better. The SON is a wide body which as you said makes the wheel a bit stiffer and since I don’t treat the bike all that well I want all the stability I can get



Like your's my Bruce Gordon didn't have a hole through the crown so I just drilled one it'll help greatly with you light positioning

Had I been able to find a red rear hub I would have gone red on the front too

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Old 01-06-22, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
The Travel Agents are also a low-friction way to make the 90ー turn into the brake. They don't look a bit goofy to me.
Yes they have two routing options, one for the modification of the cable pull, the other just to use the wheel to bend to the brake. But you can also find simple wheel things to do that too - at least I think you can. I have a couple floating around in my box of sh.. stuff, but I don't know when or where I got them!

I've used a Travel Agent for quite a while using STI's with linear pull brakes. It's kind of fiddly setting up and they really do need to be set up. But after that, there's no issue. On the other hand, for my use, well adjusted canti's stop me as fast as the tires will, for the riding I do.

Last edited by Camilo; 01-06-22 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 01-06-22, 08:05 AM
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It's not clear if the OP wants to use 'cantis' (typically this means centre-pull cantilever brakes) or direct-pull V brakes. V brakes allow more flexibility for cable routing because the cable housing stops on the brake arm and not on the frame, and V brakes with STI levers are the configuration where you need travel agents/whatever Litepro calls them. V brakes w/ Travel Agent are likely the better solution for OP's described arrangement.

I have set up a few bikes with Travel Agents, STI or other 'short pull' levers with V brakes intended for 'long-pull levers'. I also set up one bike with old single pivot caliper brakes and long-pull V-brake levers by mounting the Travel Agent at the lever in reversed orientation as normal. The devices are simple and straightforward, if slightly awkward to initially set up. They are also ungainly and ugly compared to any standard cable-only brake setup, but pretty much required when using road 'short pull' brake levers with V brakes - short pull levers wired directly to V brakes have an extremely mushy feel and generally not enough clearance between the rim and brake pads.

Another option, if planning on using narrowish tires (~1.5" or ~38mm or narrower) is 'mini Vs'. These work with short pull levers like STIs without having to resort to a Travel Agent, but generally don't have enough tire clearance for MTB size tires and limit clearance for fenders. I think they were more common on BMX bikes.

I have also seen a few bikes with V brakes and short pull levers without Travel Agents - I was told the bike came from the manufacturer set up like this - and it was impossible to get adequate braking and not have the brakes rubbing when not actuated.
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Old 01-07-22, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
It's not clear if the OP wants to use 'cantis' (typically this means centre-pull cantilever brakes) or direct-pull V brakes. V brakes allow more flexibility for cable routing because the cable housing stops on the brake arm and not on the frame, and V brakes with STI levers are the configuration where you need travel agents/whatever Litepro calls them. V brakes w/ Travel Agent are likely the better solution for OP's described arrangement.

I have set up a few bikes with Travel Agents, STI or other 'short pull' levers with V brakes intended for 'long-pull levers'. I also set up one bike with old single pivot caliper brakes and long-pull V-brake levers by mounting the Travel Agent at the lever in reversed orientation as normal. The devices are simple and straightforward, if slightly awkward to initially set up. They are also ungainly and ugly compared to any standard cable-only brake setup, but pretty much required when using road 'short pull' brake levers with V brakes - short pull levers wired directly to V brakes have an extremely mushy feel and generally not enough clearance between the rim and brake pads.

Another option, if planning on using narrowish tires (~1.5" or ~38mm or narrower) is 'mini Vs'. These work with short pull levers like STIs without having to resort to a Travel Agent, but generally don't have enough tire clearance for MTB size tires and limit clearance for fenders. I think they were more common on BMX bikes.

I have also seen a few bikes with V brakes and short pull levers without Travel Agents - I was told the bike came from the manufacturer set up like this - and it was impossible to get adequate braking and not have the brakes rubbing when not actuated.
Sorry, I thought it was easily inferred I'd be using linear pull brakes. But, yeah....shooting to use some Deore LX. Similar to those XTR's seen in sweeks post above. They have that little linkage. I don't think mini V's would clear a 45c tire, though...do you?
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Old 01-07-22, 02:36 AM
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Genuine Problem Solvers Travel Agents are alive and well. I just got a pair from Modern Bike. I had been on their 'notify when back in stock' list. I was kind of skeeved by the low price of the Litepro units and also the janky way they sell them under a half dozen other brand names. Someone mentioned using TA's as a low friction noodle but this only works with the actual doubling mechanism bypassed. Used as designed they introduce rather more friction than less. Since we are geeking out on the subject here, how many know that TA's came in an inline version? The friction from these was so bad I had to invent a brake booster for the Avid BB7's as can be seen here.
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Old 01-07-22, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Genuine Problem Solvers Travel Agents are alive and well. I just got a pair from Modern Bike. I had been on their 'notify when back in stock' list. I was kind of skeeved by the low price of the Litepro units and also the janky way they sell them under a half dozen other brand names. Someone mentioned using TA's as a low friction noodle but this only works with the actual doubling mechanism bypassed. Used as designed they introduce rather more friction than less. Since we are geeking out on the subject here, how many know that TA's came in an inline version? The friction from these was so bad I had to invent a brake booster for the Avid BB7's as can be seen here.
do you mean that by the very nature of changing the pull ratio they consequently introduce more friction?
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Old 01-07-22, 01:46 PM
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Leisesturm thook It was not my experience that using the cable-pull-multiplier function introduced any friction - the function is virtually the same as if using it as a cable noodle, and the loop of cable that crosses from the small pulley to the large one does not move relative to the pulley after it is set up, so there is no mechanism to create more friction than just running over a single pulley. The cable enters at the top, goes ~half way around the small wheel, then passes through a hole and onto the large wheel, then exits from teh bottom. Unless the holes for entry/exit are not lined up properly with the pulley (which I have not seen) or the barrel adjuster is put in the wrong hole or something, then it should roll100% smoothly.
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Old 01-07-22, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
Sorry, I thought it was easily inferred I'd be using linear pull brakes. But, yeah....shooting to use some Deore LX. Similar to those XTR's seen in sweeks post above. They have that little linkage. I don't think mini V's would clear a 45c tire, though...do you?
I have Paul mini motos on another bike, Paul says they値l clear 44痴 but realistically you should be able to get 45痴 through them
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Old 01-07-22, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Germany_chris View Post
I have Paul mini motos on another bike, Paul says they値l clear 44痴 but realistically you should be able to get 45痴 through them
Mini moto's are way too rich for my blood. But, I do know about them. Since they came out I suppose.
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Old 01-08-22, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
do you mean that by the very nature of changing the pull ratio they consequently introduce more friction?
Not by the very nature of the pull ratio being doubled, but, the path that the cable core takes through the Travel Agent makes it press sideways against the housing where it enters and exits. At least that was the case with the inline Travel Agents. I also see in the documentation, that even the curved (standard) Travel Agents says to expect increased friction when using them. Most brakes have enough spring tension to deal with that, I suppose, but the Avid BB7's were clearly deficient. Even the front brake would not open until I put the booster springs in.
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Old 01-08-22, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by thook View Post
do you mean that by the very nature of changing the pull ratio they consequently introduce more friction?
Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
Leisesturm thook It was not my experience that using the cable-pull-multiplier function introduced any friction...
I'd have to agree that there's no discernible extra friction in my Travel Agent set-up.
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