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lever/brake compatability

Old 04-18-10, 11:57 AM
  #1  
91MF
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lever/brake compatability

never had a bike with canti studs before. sooo....
old 105sc levers and deore XT linear pulls? yay or nay?

thanks in advance
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Old 04-18-10, 01:27 PM
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Probably not. I don't want to discourage you, but your linear pull brakes might require more cable movement than your 105 levers will generate before bottoming on the handlebar. That's why they make special drop bar levers for use on linear or "V" brakes.

But I don't want to discourage you if you already have the parts. So you should give it a shot. Avoid wasting too much time by seting up only the front brake and lever without taping the bar or anything. See if you can get 3/16" to 1/4" total brake movement (half that per side) within the lever's working range. If so, you're in good shape since that means you can adjust the brakes with reasonable clearance on either side for a slightly mis-aligned wheel.

There is one other thing to consider. Neither the levers nor typical "V" brakes have a cable adjuster, nut that can be solved with an in-line adjuster.

If you don't yet own the parts, either buy traditional cantis to work with your levers, or special drop bar V brake levers.
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Old 04-18-10, 03:02 PM
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Those levers will not pull enough cable for linear pull brakes. There is an adapter called Travel Agent that will fix the problem.
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Old 04-18-10, 11:32 PM
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Actually, they probably will work, not great, and not the best solution for the long run, but they probably will.

I just obtained a bike with "V" brakes (AKA linear pull) and I put drop bars with normal-pull brake levers on it for the interim set up. Literally, this weekend. I rode it for the first time today and the I got the brakes set up to work OK, but.....

1 - With mine adjusted as well as I could get them, pretty well cut new cable housings (no excessive loops or friction), they do almost bottom out, but not quite. The front is no problem the rear because of cable flex and stretch is worse. I had to set the pad -rim clearance very close. My wheels are nice and true (decent road wheels), so I can get them close enough. This makes it difficult to disengage the brake to remove the wheel.

2 - the brakes seem to be pretty grabby. Because of the short throw of the levers, they don't really grab until near the end of the pull, but then because of the leverage of the V brakes, they really grab, so be careful.

Even though I made them work, my advice is to simply buy some long-pull brake levers for your drop bars. Tektro makes some (RL 520), as does Cane Creek (I think they're called Drop V's). I think you can get into them for $25 - 40 ro so.

My plan is to install some "Travel Agents" instead of buying new levers. They convert the cable pull of normal levers to the longer pull needed for the V brakes. It's not cheaper - it is actually at least as- or more expensive than new levers (I think mine $30 or $35). But, my eventual plan is to use my Shimano brifters on this bike, so I'll need the Travel Agents at that point.

So, the short story is that mine work, but the brakes have to be adjusted very short and they're touchy because of the mismatch. Unless you're really strapped for cash, find some $30 long pull levers.
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Old 04-19-10, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Actually, they probably will work, not great, and not the best solution for the long run, but they probably will.

I just obtained a bike with "V" brakes (AKA linear pull) and I put drop bars with normal-pull brake levers on it for the interim set up. Literally, this weekend. I rode it for the first time today and the I got the brakes set up to work OK, but.....

1 - With mine adjusted as well as I could get them, pretty well cut new cable housings (no excessive loops or friction), they do almost bottom out, but not quite. The front is no problem the rear because of cable flex and stretch is worse. I had to set the pad -rim clearance very close. My wheels are nice and true (decent road wheels), so I can get them close enough. This makes it difficult to disengage the brake to remove the wheel.

2 - the brakes seem to be pretty grabby. Because of the short throw of the levers, they don't really grab until near the end of the pull, but then because of the leverage of the V brakes, they really grab, so be careful.

...
My plan is to install some "Travel Agents" instead of buying new levers. They convert the cable pull of normal levers to the longer pull needed for the V brakes....
So, the short story is that mine work, but the brakes have to be adjusted very short and they're touchy because of the mismatch. ...
Apart from the grabbiness, that is pretty much a perfect match to my experiences. I'd like to try that setup sometime with Nokon cables, which are supposed to compress less than ordinary housing.
There's one further advantage of using Travel Agents, they let you ditch the noodles, which do wear out every now and then.
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Old 04-19-10, 02:27 AM
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I do find that the extra leverage of this combination does give 1-finger braking possibilities. But it's difficult to modulate at the limit of traction because of the sudden on/off braking action. I find less leverage requiring more hand-squeeze force easier to modulate at the braking limit.
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