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Upgrade Dia Compe levers

Old 07-21-14, 01:48 PM
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bobframe
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Upgrade Dia Compe levers

I have Dia Compe brake levers, Avid BB7 disks brakes and Dura Ace bar end shifters on my Co-Motion Americano (touring bike). I want to "upgrade" the brake levers to something with larger more ergo hoods...like what I have on my road bikes (DA and SRAM Red). No desire to change the bar ends.

Can I use a leftover set of STI shifters (Tiagra) to simply serve as brake levers? The bar end shifters would continue to serve as the shifters.

If not, anyone know of a make of pure brake levers that will operate disk brakes and that have the ergonomics of most STI "brifters"?
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Old 07-21-14, 01:53 PM
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Which brake levers are you using now? Also, are your BB7s the road or mtb version?
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Old 07-21-14, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
Which brake levers are you using now? Also, are your BB7s the road or mtb version?
I am currently using Dia Compe brake levers on drop bars...I don't see a model number. The BB7's are Road..sorry.
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Old 07-21-14, 02:13 PM
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Cane Creek's SCR-5 levers work well with Avid's road disc calipers. The hoods on the Cane Creek levers are reminiscent of 2nd-generation Campy integrated levers.
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Old 07-21-14, 02:13 PM
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Tektro and Cane Creek both make good levers- they are actually the same lever under different hoods.
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Old 07-21-14, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
Cane Creek's SCR-5 levers work well with Avid's road disc calipers. The hoods on the Cane Creek levers are reminiscent of 2nd-generation Campy integrated levers.
One reviewer said these are great for small hands. This is NOT me; I have gorilla hands. My present Dia Compe brake levers are small, thin and uncomfortable. This is the prime reason I want more real estate on my hoods...to better fit my hands.
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Old 07-21-14, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bobframe View Post
One reviewer said these are great for small hands. This is NOT me; I have gorilla hands. My present Dia Compe brake levers are small, thin and uncomfortable. This is the prime reason I want more real estate on my hoods...to better fit my hands.
They make compact and regular-size versions, so maybe the reviewer was referring to the compact model.

SRAM's stand-alone levers have fairly sizable hoods.
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Old 07-21-14, 03:34 PM
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I went with the compact Tektro 341. Nice, cheap and mostly comfy. I wish the plastic around the release button was more rounded, I keep threatening to Dremel that to soften the edge a bit.

The funky lever shape took a bit of getting used to coming from olde SLR levers.
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Old 07-21-14, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MileHighMark View Post
They make compact and regular-size versions, so maybe the reviewer was referring to the compact model.
I think the review was for the full size version...Cane Creek #SCR-5 and not the SCR-5C. https://www.amazon.com/Cane-Creek-SCR.../dp/B0025UIORY

I'd like to come back to my original question....can I use STI "Brifters" simply as brake levers with Avid BB7 Road disk brakes?
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Old 07-21-14, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bobframe View Post
I think the review was for the full size version...Cane Creek #SCR-5 and not the SCR-5C. Amazon.com : Cane Creek SCR-5 Aero Brake Levers Black : Bike Brake Levers : Sports & Outdoors
I had the Tektro version and the bodies were roughly the same length as the SRAM shifters on my other bike. Much beefier than traditional aero levers. However, they don't have a big bulbous end on them like some of the Shimano levers, so they work well for those with smaller hands. That won't prevent them from being comfortable for larger hands too.

I'd like to come back to my original question....can I use STI "Brifters" simply as brake levers with Avid BB7 Road disk brakes?
Yes, STI dual-control levers are "short-pull" which is what the road BB7's want.
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Old 07-21-14, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Kopsis View Post



Yes, STI dual-control levers are "short-pull" which is what the road BB7's want.
And any reason why STI dual-control levers can't serve simply as brake levers?
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Old 07-21-14, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bobframe View Post
And any reason why STI dual-control levers can't serve simply as brake levers?
Not sure if Shimano shifters would be "wobbly" with no shifter cable pull on the lever. On my 1x10 cyclocross bike I use a regular SRAM Rival left shifter as a brake lever only and it works great.
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Old 07-22-14, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Kopsis View Post
Not sure if Shimano shifters would be "wobbly" with no shifter cable pull on the lever. On my 1x10 cyclocross bike I use a regular SRAM Rival left shifter as a brake lever only and it works great.
Is there a difference in design between SRAM and Shimano shifters that would cause the Shimano shifter to be wobbly?
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Old 07-22-14, 06:55 AM
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With Shimano you shift to a larger cog or chainring by pushing the entire brake lever inward. Derailleur cable tension resists the sideways motion, so it takes a deliberate push to move the brake lever sideways. I'm not really a Shimano user, so I can't say how "loose" the lever will feel if there's no tension.

With SRAM, you use the lever behind the brake lever for both up and down shifts. SRAM brake levers can't move sideways, so the lack of derailleur cable tension can't have any effect on the brake lever itself. This is also true (well, the no sideways brake lever movement part) of Campagnolo and Microshift.
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Old 07-22-14, 07:02 AM
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Also worth noting, the SRAM S500 brake levers are essentially just standard SRAM shifters without the shifter "guts". Exact same ergonomics as the regular shifters -- they even use the same rubber hoods. They would be compatible with BB7 road calipers. A full set runs about $80 new online.
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Old 07-22-14, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Kopsis View Post
Also worth noting, the SRAM S500 brake levers are essentially just standard SRAM shifters without the shifter "guts". Exact same ergonomics as the regular shifters -- they even use the same rubber hoods. They would be compatible with BB7 road calipers. A full set runs about $80 new online.
That's a Bingo.
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Old 07-22-14, 01:48 PM
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If you are running road BB7's there is no reason your Shimano STI levers won't work. They are a little heavier than bare levers and will swivel under pressure but they will operate the brakes and stop the bike. Since you already have them all you need is a some time and effort to try them out.
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