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Vintage brake lever installation help

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Vintage brake lever installation help

Old 08-04-14, 03:45 PM
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bobdonkey
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Vintage brake lever installation help

Hi there

I am trying to install these brake levers on my fixie (an old road bike) - the levers are from an even older Raleigh Misty bike. I cannot figure out where the cable goes, I am guessing through the hole in the top, but if so how do secure the casing so that it too does not go through the hole, as the hole is bigger than the casing. Am I missing a part, if so what can I put on the top in order to secure the casing?

Thanks

Pics attached of the levers.

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Old 08-04-14, 03:49 PM
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The levers came with ferrules that fit into the hole on top and were necked down to accept the cable housing. Any older bike shop should have suitable ones in a drawer of "obsolete parts". BTW, those "suicide" side levers are ineffectual and should be removed.
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Old 08-04-14, 03:53 PM
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The reason I am installing them is because I want to be able to brake easily when holding the top, the current ones are almost impossible to use from the hoods. I am putting on clarks pads which are pretty effective. Are they really that bad?!
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Old 08-04-14, 03:53 PM
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Are you sure that you have all of the pieces for those brake levers?

There should be a ferule that goes in the hole in the top. The ferule holds the cable housing and the whole assembly is held in place by cable tension once you have the whole brake set up. An old, dusty bike shop will have a few of those ferules stashed away someplace. I'd expect them to be pretty cheap.
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Old 08-04-14, 04:00 PM
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I don't have the ferules...will try and find some, thanks.

Bit worried about the suicide lever comment, but having done some googling they don't seem that dangerous to me, as long as the brakes are setup right they should be quite effective. Currently both brakes lock up with a medium amount of pressure, so I don't think too little braking will be a problem.

Or I could install some interrupter levers I suppose...but I like the old school look.

Last edited by bobdonkey; 08-04-14 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 08-04-14, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bobdonkey View Post
I don't have the ferules...will try and find some, thanks.

Bit worried about the suicide lever comment.
Educate yourself:
https://www.google.com/webhp?sourcei...brake%20levers
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Old 08-04-14, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bobdonkey View Post
I don't have the ferules...will try and find some, thanks.

Bit worried about the suicide lever comment.
They will "work" but they're not nearly as good a braking from the hoods.

The ferrules you want look like this. Sometimes they are called "acorns."



As a note, when you route the brake cables, route them behind the bars like the photo below. I see lots of people routing them in front of the bars, and it just looks goofy.

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Old 08-04-14, 04:28 PM
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just reach for the chicken wing levers early .. when the speed reduction is planned and casual.

develop a habit, reflex, of reaching for the drops and the actual brake levers if you have to stop Quickly.

the other part is pushing your back side backoff the saddle and low , so as to not do a front stoppie
&/or go over the bars, bike and all on top of you..
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Old 08-05-14, 05:30 AM
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The inexpensive Bell brake cable sets have the ferrule included:
Robot Check,
New Bell Sports Bike Fix Repair Gear Brake Cable Set Bicycle Sports 1006624 | eBay

It's shown in the product photo FYI.
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Old 08-05-14, 05:32 AM
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The inexpensive Bell brake cable sets have the ferrule included:
Robot Check,
New Bell Sports Bike Fix Repair Gear Brake Cable Set Bicycle Sports 1006624 | eBay

It's shown in the product photo FYI.

I'd go with interrupter levers suggestion as well.
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Old 08-05-14, 05:51 AM
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Can't use interrupter levers with non-aero brake levers.

Turkey wing levers like yours are okay for slowing down, for emergency stops use the main levers. Adjust your pads as close as possible to the rims, to help the turkey wings work.
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Old 08-05-14, 06:07 AM
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I had safety levers on three road bikes (along with center-pull brakes) that I rode in the late 60's, and 70's, putting thousands of trouble-free miles on those bikes (a set of tires used to last me about 3 months before I wore them out). I never had any problems with braking and there were some severe/steep downhill descents on the roads that I rode daily (sometimes while driving on the same roads I wonder how I used to ride up the same hills on the way home each day). Of course I was much younger then, did all of my own bike maintenance, and I was always careful to make sure that the brakes and shifters were working and adjusted properly (at one point I did have some problems under severe braking with the tires and tubes slipping on the rims and cutting the schrader valve stems).

The Weinmann versions of the safety levers and brake calipers (both side-pull and center-pull) seemed to be better made than the Dia-Compe brake parts, and I installed Weinmann brake parts on all my bikes if they came with Dia-Compe.

Where you choose to route the brake cables from the non-aero brake levers is a matter of taste. I don't remember seeing a single new bike in a shop with the brake cables running behind the handlebars. Personally, I think cables running behind the handlebars looks goofy, and would think it would interfere with your hands on the flats of the handlebars (I have always ridden on the flats a lot). I want the brake cables out in front, and out of my way if/when I switch hand positions quickly.

Last edited by RoadGuy; 08-05-14 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 08-05-14, 07:46 AM
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Ok thanks for all the help. I think I will try them out, I can always go back to standard ones if I have issues. Cheers.
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