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How can you tell the difference between v-brake lever pull and standard pull levers?

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How can you tell the difference between v-brake lever pull and standard pull levers?

Old 03-05-12, 01:27 PM
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bobotech
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How can you tell the difference between v-brake lever pull and standard pull levers?

I converted a road bike to flat bar over the weekend. I found a set of apparent v-brake levers at the bike coop and I now know what Sheldon means about the differences between pull in brake levers. Since I have v-brake levers with side-pull caliper brakes, the brakes feel rock hard when I pull the lever however it takes a lot of hand squeezing to stop the bike on a downhill.

I have plenty of hand strength to stop the bike but I don't want to have to rely on that. I would much rather find the proper set of brake handles. I just don't know how to easily tell between the different geometries when digging though the box of spare parts at the coop.

Suggestions?
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Old 03-05-12, 01:42 PM
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Measure the cable pulled.. a Ruler is useful with a mark on a piece of tape on a cable.

V brake has the MA gain on the wheel end of the deal,
so the MA is lower on the hand lever end, the cable pull is longer

Cable out the top Road levers will be a type with less than V-brake cable pull

Most Aero road levers have the MA in their design, so the cable pull is short
in comparison to how far the lever is pulled back.

only 2 V brake road levers , guess you have one of those .

make up a data chart and then you have a reference, with pictures .

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-05-12 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 03-05-12, 01:52 PM
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Measure the distance between the brake lever's pivot pin and the cable anchor. Road (caliper, cantilever) levers will have that distance about 20-25 mm. V-brake levers will be over 30 mm.
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Old 03-05-12, 01:53 PM
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What is MA? But after reading your post and re-reading what Sheldon said, I think I get it. V-brake levers will pull twice as much cable as standard/road levers but they pull the cable with half or less the amount of tension for X amount of pounds of pull compared to standard/road levers.

Standard/road levers will pull half as much cable length but they will pull that cable with twice or more the tension for X amount of pounds of pull compared to the V-brake levers.

So I need to measure my v-brake lever pull and then when I start digging though the boxes of parts, I need to look for levers that will pull half as much cable when fully squeezed.
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Old 03-05-12, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
What is MA?
Massachusetts, but that isn't important right now. Sorry, had to do it.
MA is his shorthand for Mechanical Advantage or :
Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
But after reading your post and re-reading what Sheldon said, I think I get it. V-brake levers will pull twice as much cable as standard/road levers but they pull the cable with half or less the amount of tension for X amount of pounds of pull compared to standard/road levers.

Standard/road levers will pull half as much cable length but they will pull that cable with twice or more the tension for X amount of pounds of pull compared to the V-brake levers.
that is the mechanical advantage.

Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
So I need to measure my v-brake lever pull and then when I start digging though the boxes of parts, I need to look for levers that will pull half as much cable when fully squeezed.
You can do it that way, but the way HillRider said will be faster. You won't need to put a cable in each lever until you find one. Also, some levers can do both. There will be some way to change the mechanical advantage. Some will have a different location to put the cable end in the lever arm. Others have a little device that can be switched.
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Old 03-05-12, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Measure the distance between the brake lever's pivot pin and the cable anchor. Road (caliper, cantilever) levers will have that distance about 20-25 mm. V-brake levers will be over 30 mm.
Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
You can do it that way, but the way HillRider said will be faster. You won't need to put a cable in each lever until you find one. Also, some levers can do both. There will be some way to change the mechanical advantage. Some will have a different location to put the cable end in the lever arm. Others have a little device that can be switched.
Got it, will do!
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Old 03-05-12, 04:05 PM
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Re MA, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lever
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Old 03-05-12, 05:49 PM
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If you are using short 2 finger levers, you can try to spec levers like Tektro 316AGs that have two cable anchor holes in the lever. One for short pull but more leverage, and one for long pull with V-brakes.
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Old 03-05-12, 06:05 PM
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Avid Speed dial adjust with a little Knob, ..
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Old 03-06-12, 01:51 AM
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Used Hillrider's advice and sure enough, when I knew what to look for, it was obvious. Found a pair of levers for 5 dollars from this guy who had a bunch of parts for sale. I just wish the mounting brackets weren't black. Put them on the bike and I could feel the big difference in how the brakes feel. They now have that squishy feeling that bike brakes seem to normally have and feel like they are pinching harder. I didn't go for a ride, too late. Will test tomorrow.
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Old 10-29-12, 04:14 PM
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GREAT! Thanks very much for that info. Now I can tell which is which.
BTW, the Tektro levers are for V brakes. Now I can take off those crappy Wally World levers and put on some decent quality levers on that Kona.
Thanks again.
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