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New aero brake levers or vintage aero?

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New aero brake levers or vintage aero?

Old 03-29-16, 10:00 AM
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New aero brake levers or vintage aero?

I'm making the switch from non-aero to aero brake levers. There's vintage dura-ace on ebay or, for about the same price and with brake cables included, I could get something like new shimano L-R400 levers.

I wondered if ergonomically speaking, if the newer ones are more comfortable. I'm not racing so I don't need the latest and greatest type-r superfast levers. I'm looking to just clean up the front and something that's comfortable. I wasn't sure if newer designs had changed so much that new aero are certainly better over vintage aero.
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Old 03-29-16, 10:04 AM
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For me, the best brake handles are the ones which best fit my hands. I tend to favor Weinmanns, DiaCompes, and Shimanos and to avoid Modolos, Campagnolos, and Mafacs, all of which I find difficult to grab quickly and securely for a sudden panic stop. I do appreciate the additional 10% leverage the aero brake handles offer.
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Old 03-29-16, 10:06 AM
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Ergonomically, it's sort of a personal preference item. I happen to like old 105 levers that look much like the R400; I also like old Dia Compe AGC levers a lot. Lots of people prefer the larger Tektro aero levers.
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Old 03-29-16, 10:07 AM
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Newer levers tend to have longer, flatter, wider upper surfaces on the hoods. They may be more comfortable to ride on. They may stretch you out a little bit. Some of them look very non-C&V.
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Old 03-29-16, 10:08 AM
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The new tektros are nice. Keep in mind the old aeros might be harder to find hoods for. I'd probably buy new if I was in the market.
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Old 03-29-16, 10:11 AM
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The new Tektros are more comfortable for me with a bigger "platform". I tend to ride a lot with my hands on the brakes or bend of the bar.
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Old 03-29-16, 10:12 AM
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I would look for good spring action and a quick release. Most good aero levers from mid-to-late 80s should be fine for that.

If you want the latest and greatest, check out TRP RRL SR levers. Very ergonomic and function wonderfully. I think they look really nice, even though they are shaped somewhat differently than vintage levers. TRP is Tektro's high-end brand/branch.
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Old 03-29-16, 10:21 AM
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Previous posters have already got it: modern levers tend to be slightly wider, making them a tad more comfortable under most riders' palms (note that opinions may vary depending on hand size and riding posture). But between the two OP mentioned there's not much difference, the R400 levers are made on the same pattern as Shimano's older levers, I'm not sure if they're any wider than the average late 80's/early 90's Shimano lever or not. I would advise against picking the old DA levers unless you're matching an old DA group though, not because of how they function/feel, but because of the difficulty of finding matching replacement hoods in the future.
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Old 03-29-16, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by scozim
The new Tektros are more comfortable for me with a bigger "platform". I tend to ride a lot with my hands on the brakes or bend of the bar.

Love the Tektros. The lever curves back considerably, making a nicer reach when on the drops. The only drawback is how deep the bolt is located, so you need a long hex wrench when adjusting them. But they do have a nice big platform.
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Old 03-29-16, 01:23 PM
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As mentioned a couple times above, whatever your choose, make sure you can get hoods that fit. I find that my hands will get used to anything -- even hoodless levers.
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Old 03-29-16, 01:41 PM
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Good points made by all. Thanks!
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Old 03-29-16, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Sammie1
I'm making the switch from non-aero to aero brake levers. There's vintage dura-ace on ebay or, for about the same price and with brake cables included, I could get something like new shimano L-R400 levers. I wondered if ergonomically speaking, if the newer ones are more comfortable. I'm not racing so I don't need the latest and greatest type-r superfast levers. I'm looking to just clean up the front and something that's comfortable. I wasn't sure if newer designs had changed so much that new aero are certainly better over vintage aero.
when i first started rebuilding c&v bikes, i did the same thing and maybe for the same reasons -- to "clean up the front" and for comfort.

long story short, i ended up going back to vintage campy non-aeros on two of these conversions (keepers). not only did the aero levers look wholly out of place after i had gathered enough of an eye in experience, but i actually now like the feel of non-aeros much more. it helps to use non-aero hoods that look good and are comfortable. for me, that's dia-compe 204s.

it was an expensive way to learn about levers, but the experience taught me a lot.
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Old 03-29-16, 05:21 PM
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I too am fond of the late 80s Shimano 1051 aero levers.

Originally Posted by due ruote
Ergonomically, it's sort of a personal preference item. I happen to like old 105 levers that look much like the R400; I also like old Dia Compe AGC levers a lot. Lots of people prefer the larger Tektro aero levers.
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Old 03-29-16, 05:57 PM
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Another vote for Tektros. I tried the skinny pointy little Shimano things for a while but they just didn't feel good.



Can't believe this is the best photo I have of them:


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Old 03-30-16, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott
Another vote for Tektros. I tried the skinny pointy little Shimano things for a while but they just didn't feel good.



Can't believe this is the best photo I have of them:


The TRP RRL is a little different in shape from the Tektro RL340 or R200, but I agree - the RRL is an EXTREMELY comfortable lever for me. I find myself wishing I could have the same shape lever on all my bikes, but 3 of them have STI setups....





Last edited by agmetal; 03-30-16 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 03-30-16, 10:33 AM
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I put Tektro RL340's on my '72 Peugeot UO-8 and I liked 'em so much I bought them for two other bikes. Really comfy, and it's easy to reach and pull the levers from either the hoods or the drops. The Campy-style quick release button on the lever is a handy touch as well, especially if your calipers don't have a QR.
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Old 03-30-16, 05:04 PM
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I am liking these. I'm having trouble finding them with brown hoods. I can find the brown hoods sold separately however.

https://www.tektro.com/_english/01_pr...r&sort=1&fid=3

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Old 07-25-16, 02:38 PM
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I am having issues - please help...

Have those Tektros on my 84 Guerciotti now and like how I can run the cable and housing through the brake hoods for that sleek look. However I wanted the look with campy so I bought campy "victory" levers from (circa mid 80's) and they don't have the hole in the back of housing. I don't really want to have the "loop" look..

Please help..
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Old 07-25-16, 02:39 PM
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Any ideas...
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Old 07-25-16, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jessie78660
I am having issues - please help...

Have those Tektros on my 84 Guerciotti now and like how I can run the cable and housing through the brake hoods for that sleek look. However I wanted the look with campy so I bought campy "victory" levers from (circa mid 80's) and they don't have the hole in the back of housing. I don't really want to have the "loop" look..

Please help..
AFAIK there is no way to force non-aero levers to have aero routing, so whether or not you have the "loop" look is entirely down to the levers you buy, and aero levers were introduced in '85 or so.
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