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Lever choice for straight bar conversion

Old 02-10-13, 06:49 AM
  #1  
Gerryattrick
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Lever choice for straight bar conversion

I have a road bike that I want to convert to straight bar. It has side pull road brakes. Should I use canti levers or V brake levers?
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Old 02-10-13, 08:05 AM
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Canti levers.
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Old 02-10-13, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
Canti levers.
+1. The levers have to match the brakes, not the bars. Road brakes and Cantis require the same lever pull.
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Old 02-10-13, 09:30 AM
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i don't know if these are considered canti or v-brake, but this is what i use on all my old single pivot caliper and and canti brakes...



it's an origin 8 mini trigger lever.
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Old 02-10-13, 09:59 AM
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V-brake levers will work but will require more hand strength.

I've done it and, honestly, I didn't think it was all that bad. If I already owned a pair of V-brake levers, I'd bolt them up and test them out before taking on a steep, winding 8 mile downhill. If I were buying parts, I'd hold out for a pair of canty style levers.

At least some Shimano levers are AC-DC. The pivot point is adjustable. You'll want to make the pivot point closer to where the cable end seats.
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Old 02-10-13, 10:49 AM
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Avid Speed Dial levers have a little knob that moves the cable anchor closer to the pivot,
and so changes the cable pull ratio..

an adjustment, rather than a either or choice..
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Old 02-10-13, 11:20 AM
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IMO, going from drop handlebars to dead straight bars is a backwards step- you're basically limiting yourself to the top portion of a drop bar. Consider just raising the current bars to a more useful height, or switching to something like trekking bars. Flat bars are rubbish.
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Old 02-10-13, 11:23 AM
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Ergon grips do help make MTB bars adequate..
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Old 02-10-13, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Monster Pete View Post
IMO, going from drop handlebars to dead straight bars is a backwards step- you're basically limiting yourself to the top portion of a drop bar. Consider just raising the current bars to a more useful height, or switching to something like trekking bars. Flat bars are rubbish.
Or maybe bullhorns.
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Old 02-10-13, 11:26 AM
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Reverse pull brake levers get used on Tri, and time trial setups, they work fine with race bike side pulls.
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Old 02-10-13, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Monster Pete View Post
Flat bars are rubbish.
I happen to agree with you but not everyone does. I hope the OP has some time on flat bars and understands their benefits and limitations before making the switch.
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Old 02-10-13, 01:51 PM
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"A chacun son goût"

If you are a roadie then straights are probably rubbish for you, but if you are a trail rider then it could equally be said that drops are rubbish!

Thanks for the replies. I want the bike for short, fast trips only (no more than 10 miles round trip) mostly in traffic. I know the benefits of drop bars. I was a club rider in my teens and early 20s but now have neck problems and find that drop bars just don't suit me (or vice versa!). I've been told that I could get used to drops again, given time, but frankly I just don't want to spend that time as off-road will still be my main form of riding. Also I prefer the visibility that straights afford in traffic. I have a pair of ergo stubby bar ends that can give a change of riding position

I have several mtbs so am used to straights and am going to cut the bars a bit narrower than my mtbs. I have about 10 spare sets of levers, both canti & V so both options are covered.

I don't need a full range of gears so am also thinking of just a five or six speed rear cassette and single chainring up front. Might even consider single-speed, if that's not being too trendy at my age.
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Old 02-10-13, 02:04 PM
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if this bike has caliber brakes, then you need canti style levers. Tektro and some others make dual mode convertible levers, where there's two places to hook the cable up to, one for a long pull v-brake, and the other for a short pull cantilever/caliber brake.

on my flatbar bikes, I like the 2-finger trigger kind, but I have large hands.
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Old 02-10-13, 02:56 PM
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gerryattrick:

good idea about the drivetrain, i think.

about 15 years ago i discarded my front derailleur. haven't missed it since. and like you, i started discarding underutilized rear cogs too. eventually i had about four on there and thought about it a lot and decided i could get away with one and gain all the advantages it would bring.

i cut off the drops of my road bars and then found the advantages of the wider straight bar.

i feel it has allowed me to become a much better cycler... hope it works out for you too.
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Old 02-10-13, 03:29 PM
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my previous flatbar city-bike, I had a compact double on it, and setup the BB width so the big 50T ring was centered on the rear 7 speed cassette, so the bike acted as a 7-speed, but I could drop into the 34T little ring and use that with the larger 3-4 rear sprockets as granny gears when I needed them to climb a big hill. worked out quite well. I used a cassette with 13-28 teeth.
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Old 02-10-13, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
Thanks for the replies. I want the bike for short, fast trips only (no more than 10 miles round trip) mostly in traffic. I know the benefits of drop bars. I was a club rider in my teens and early 20s but now have neck problems and find that drop bars just don't suit me (or vice versa!). I've been told that I could get used to drops again, given time, but frankly I just don't want to spend that time as off-road will still be my main form of riding. Also I prefer the visibility that straights afford in traffic.
I have drops on one of my bikes, but raised up considerably higher than is 'normal'. (I'm most definately not a roadie!) This means you get the upright position from the top of the bar, plus the extra hand positions elsewhere.The 'drops' position isn't that low at all. A lot of the points you mention about straight bars can be gained by just raising the drops up- you don't have to run them cranked all the way down to the head tube.

My other bike (a 3speed dutch-style commuter) has swept back handlebars which I find are significantly better than straight bars, both for ergonomics in the 'base' hand position and also in the ability to move your hands around- you can hold them near the ends, in front of the brake levers, the front curves or the middle section of the bar (the last one's good for downhills). They give good leverage for riding in rough ground as well. IMO, anything more than a wrench attached to the steerer is better than straight bars.

In any case, discarding the front derailleur will mean you don't have to worry about matching cable pull ratios there. IIRC, most 'road' and 'mountain' rear derailleurs use the same cable ratio so shouldn't be an issie.
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Old 02-11-13, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Monster Pete View Post
IMO, anything more than a wrench attached to the steerer is better than straight bars

I don't agree, but like the comparison
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