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Old 09-07-11, 11:07 AM   #1
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Brake Lever compatibility

I am building up a 1x7 commuter bike for a friend and am having some issues with the brake lever compatibility. The rear brake is a typical low end direct-pull Vbrake, and the front brake is a typical low end cable disc brake. The bike will have flat bars and a gripshift. Does anyone know of a set of levers that will work well with a disc brake and a V brake?

I have two sets of brake levers: one pair is an older shimano "m system" from a mid '90s rockhopper. I don't think this will work for the rear Vbrake, since these levers were designed for regular cantilever brakes, and don't pull enough cable.

the other set of levers i have are shimano SLR, which i bought used at a consignment shop. i don't know much about these, but upon installation of the rear lever, it also feels like it isn't pulling enough cable (could have been designed for regular cantilevers).

I've already read what sheldon has to say about brake levers, and I am thinking that maybe neither of the sets of levers I have will be compatible . hoping this isn't the case though.
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Old 09-07-11, 11:14 AM   #2
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IIRC, disc brakes have the same cable pull as v-brakes, so you would just need a pair of v brake levers.
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Old 09-07-11, 11:14 AM   #3
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You should be able to compare the distance between the lever pivot point and cable pull point on the two different levers. If it looks the same the they are both for cantilevers. The distance should be different for V/disc brakes, longer if I recall correctly.
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Old 09-07-11, 01:06 PM   #4
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It depends on which disc brakes you have. Most every brake uses the long pull V brake style lever, but there are a few that use a short pull. If it's a cheap brake, I'd bet long pull, but there are other options.
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Old 09-07-11, 02:06 PM   #5
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if one's a long pull and one's a short pull don't they make a problem solver for this sort of thing that would allow you to use the same set of levers but with the problem solver for the rear?
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