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Break lever compatibility

Old 11-24-05, 08:16 AM
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mooklekloon
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Break lever compatibility

I was looking at break levers and some of them say "compatible with V brakes." Could someone please give me some general information on compatability between levers and different types of breaks. I thought all levers would be compatible with any breaks: you squeeze the lever, it pulls the cable. Why is this not the case? Thanks!
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Old 11-24-05, 09:35 AM
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V brakes put pressure on the wheel rim to slow or stop the bike. Disk brakes put pressure on a disk attached to the hub. Each type needs different levers.
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Old 11-24-05, 09:38 AM
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Brake, not break.

Brakes, not breaks.
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Old 11-24-05, 09:41 AM
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V-brakes require more cable pull than road brakes or cantilevers. Road type levers pull about half enough cable to actuate V-brakes unless you use an adapter like a Travel Agent. Travel Agents work really well by the way. I use them.

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Old 11-24-05, 09:59 AM
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Eliminating disk brakes (BTW, Break means to damage. Brake means to slow down) from the discussion, there are three main types of bicycle rim brakes: caliper, cantilever and V-brakes.

Caliper and cantilever brakes require about the same length of cable pull so they can use the same operating levers for either road or MTB applications.

V-brakes have different geometry and require a larger amount of cable pull so the proper levers are designed specifically to work with them. These levers are almost all MTB-type but Dia-Compe does make V-brake compatible road levers and the "Travel Agent" is a double pulley set that allows standard road levers to work with V-brakes.
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Old 11-24-05, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by fmw
V brakes put pressure on the wheel rim to slow or stop the bike. Disk brakes put pressure on a disk attached to the hub. Each type needs different levers.
Only if the disc brakes are hydraulic. Mechanical disc brakes use the same levers as V-Brakes and cantis.
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Old 11-24-05, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by supcom
Mechanical disc brakes use the same levers as V-Brakes and cantis.
Which one? As above, V-brakes and Cantis don't use the same levers.
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Old 11-24-05, 12:55 PM
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brake, not break
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Old 11-24-05, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by mooklekloon
I was looking at break levers and some of them say "compatible with V brakes." Could someone please give me some general information on compatability between levers and different types of breaks. I thought all levers would be compatible with any breaks: you squeeze the lever, it pulls the cable. Why is this not the case? Thanks!
Suppose that you need to pull your brake calipers 1/4" to reach your rim. If your brake levers will only pull 1/8" of cable, they will bottom out against the handlebars before your brakes hit the rim.

So fine, you say, simply adjust the brake pads closer to the rim. You can do that and they will, indeed stop the bike. You will, however encounter a new problem. You will have difficulty in removing and reinstalling your wheel. In the case of V-brakes, you probably won't be able to release the noodle so that you can squeeze the tire out.

Someone will probably mention ability to modulate brake stopping action too. I'm not sure how valid of an argument that is. I suspect that modulation has more to do with the pressure than cable pull.
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Old 11-24-05, 03:33 PM
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Brake?
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Old 11-24-05, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by fmw
V brakes put pressure on the wheel rim to slow or stop the bike. Disk brakes put pressure on a disk attached to the hub. Each type needs different levers.
Except mechanical discs use the same levers as V brakes. Hydraulic rim brakes use a different lever than hydraulic discs.

V brakes and cantilevers require different levers.
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