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Chorus brake levers in non-aero configuration

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Chorus brake levers in non-aero configuration

Old 06-06-18, 07:42 AM
  #1  
Vince Hoffmann
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Problems with brake levers in non-aero configuration

Anyway... I've got an old Athena brake set that I want to set up with the cables coming out of the top. From what I understand, you can set up the levers with either hidden cable or traditional non-aero. OK, I want to put these levers on a vintage ride, so I put the cable thru non-aero style. Trouble is, the cable barrel holder in the lever slides back and forth in it's slotted groove and the cable doesn't move an inch! There appears to be a missing plug that goes in the lever to keep the barrel holder in one position. Anyone seen this or know what I'm talking about?

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Old 06-06-18, 10:00 AM
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I've never set up any of my Chorus levers to non-aero configuration yet, but I suspect that all you might need is a ferrule (a reducer) to use as a stop for the cable casing at the top of the lever body.
A well stocked bike shop should be able to dig up a couple for you that could work.....
BTW, all thst is missing from the top of your levers might be just the small plastic blanking plugs that seals up the holes for the cable so junk or rain does not get in there and also just for aesthetics.

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Old 06-06-18, 10:11 AM
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Is this thread about C-Record, Chorus or Athena levers? I see all three mentioned in the OP, and they are different.

I have Athena levers. There is a "barrel" that looks like 1cm knurled circle in the sides of the lever itself, and that's what holds the cable head. It is a circle so it can rotate depending on where then cable is pointed. If you have the cable set up for aero, the cable angles straight back and goes over a curved plate mounted above and behind the barrel. If you are going out the top, the curved plate isn't involved and the cable doesn't touch it, but goes straight from the barrel and up through the hole in the top, just like any other traditional lever.

The lever body doesn't need any special insert to function, but a housing end cap would be a good idea.

So what's not working?
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Old 06-06-18, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Is this thread about C-Record, Chorus or Athena levers? I see all three mentioned in the OP, and they are different.

I have Athena levers. There is a "barrel" that looks like 1cm knurled circle in the sides of the lever itself, and that's what holds the cable head. It is a circle so it can rotate depending on where then cable is pointed. If you have the cable set up for aero, the cable angles straight back and goes over a curved plate mounted above and behind the barrel. If you are going out the top, the curved plate isn't involved and the cable doesn't touch it, but goes straight from the barrel and up through the hole in the top, just like any other traditional lever.

The lever body doesn't need any special insert to function, but a housing end cap would be a good idea.

So what's not working?
Ok, maybe I'm still confused on what kind of brake levers I have... I'm (fairly) sure they are Chorus "Athena" but I've also been told they are C-Record "Athena".. here is a pic of what I have...
The problem is that there is a slot in the body that allows the cable barrel holder to slide back and forth. It seems that I would need an insert or some sort of piece that prevents this part from sliding in the slot. The brakes can be set up either aero or non because the barrel holder rotates... but the slot has me befuddled.



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Old 06-06-18, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Vince Hoffmann View Post
Ok, maybe I'm still confused on what kind of brake levers I have... I'm (fairly) sure they are Chorus "Athena" but I've also been told they are C-Record "Athena".. here is a pic of what I have...
The problem is that there is a slot in the body that allows the cable barrel holder to slide back and forth. It seems that I would need an insert or some sort of piece that prevents this part from sliding in the slot. The brakes can be set up either aero or non because the barrel holder rotates... but the slot has me befuddled.
Campagnolo made several different groups, and C-Record is one, Athena is another and Chorus is a third. These groups used similar levers, and those levers changed over time.

This is an example of the lever that can be used aero or non-aero. The big circle on the side is the cable drum, which allows the cable to go straight back or straight up. You don't have these:



The levers you have appear to be the kind they started using around '94, which have a hole in the front of the lever to insert the cable. While these levers used the old aero/non-aero bodies, I believe they are aero only because you can't change the cable angle any more, and no one was doing that by '94 anyway.

So unless I'm very mistaken about the internal construction of your levers, they aren't made for non-aero, despite the hole in the lever body.

I would guess yours are Athena and not C-Record, but they could be Chorus.
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Old 06-06-18, 01:59 PM
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Well dagnabbit!

I suppose I could jury rig a stopper out of chicken wire and a piece of driftwood...
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Old 06-06-18, 02:45 PM
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Uhmmm..... I believe that hole on the front of the lever is for accss to the handlebar bar clamp allen headed bolt, when installing or removing the lever. I guess it will work to thread in the cable from the front too, but I never thought of doing that yet.
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Old 06-06-18, 02:54 PM
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I think I know what you are talking about. The cable stop barrel/pivot rides in two small slots at each side if the lever, so it kinda goes backwards and forward when no tension is applied to it by a cable. I know that there's no problem with those slots when configured for aero cable routing, but I suspect as you mentioned, it might not let the lever apply tension if pulling at the cable vertically as you would have with the cable on the non-aero position. As I noted, I have not tried my levers at the nob-aero position so I have not had to deal with the problem. My levers do not have any sort of insert to add to keep the cable stop barrel from shifting on those slots so I do not have any idea st this point on how to fix the problem
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Old 06-07-18, 04:32 AM
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Campy Brake Levers Parts

Some Campy levers from the late 80's were convertible from external cable routing to aero. 1987 Victory levers were as well as 1988 Athena and Chorus levers. 1988 CdA and C-Record were aero only.

There were a parts kit to convert external to aero routing if they weren't already set up that way. They included plastic plugs for the holes in the rubber hoods and removable cable guides. The cable guides are easy to pry out but harder to get back in. When the guides are in place they can interfere with external routing.

These are probably for 1987 Victory levers??



1988 Chorus and CdA ???



Parts breakdown 1986 C-Record Levers





Parts breakdown 1988 Chorus Levers:


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Old 06-07-18, 10:05 AM
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Look at some pics on velobase, perhaps that can narrow it down:
Athena:
VeloBase.com - Component: Campagnolo BL-02AT CG, Athena

Chorus:
VeloBase.com - Component: Campagnolo Chorus (1993)
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Old 06-07-18, 10:17 AM
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I believe that the levers the OP is referring to were introduced in 1991 and were the follow-up to the design in the previous post . Attached is a poor scan of these levers' parts diagram from VeloBase. I haven't seen these used in a non-aero application and the diagram doesn't show any optional parts for the different routing styles.
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Old 06-07-18, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I believe that the levers the OP is referring to were introduced in 1991 and were the follow-up to the design in the previous post . Attached is a poor scan of these levers' parts diagram from VeloBase. I haven't seen these used in a non-aero application and the diagram doesn't show any optional parts for the different routing styles.
Yup, that's the lever I described. Notice how the cable barrel rides on two small slots. I'm now thinking that these levers were really not meant to do an non-aero configuration. Maybe the hoods and lever body were just convenient parts bin sourced by Campy from earlier convertible designs.
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Old 06-07-18, 04:32 PM
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I have a pair of that style lever that I'm using non-aero. I think that the piece that goes in there for aero routing would keep the barrel from moving but I didn't have them so I came up with my own fix.

I purchased a piece of Kydex on eBay, cut out a strip the width of the opening and about 1.5 times the length of the slot. I heated it and folded both ends back over themselves; once I inserted it into the slot I then heated it a bit more and moved the folded parts back towards the ends to hold it in place. I did this a about 3 years ago and I haven't had any problems with it yet.

It's hard to get a pic of what I did but this should give you an idea.

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Old 06-07-18, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Choke View Post
I have a pair of that style lever that I'm using non-aero. I think that the piece that goes in there for aero routing would keep the barrel from moving but I didn't have them so I came up with my own fix.

I purchased a piece of Kydex on eBay, cut out a strip the width of the opening and about 1.5 times the length of the slot. I heated it and folded both ends back over themselves; once I inserted it into the slot I then heated it a bit more and moved the folded parts back towards the ends to hold it in place. I did this a about 3 years ago and I haven't had any problems with it yet.

It's hard to get a pic of what I did but this should give you an idea.

So the kydex piece keeps the cable head barrel toward the front of the slot it rides in. Did you ever try it without the kydex to see if the barrel even needs to be held forward? It seems like if the cable was running up and slightly forward to go out of the top hole, that would restrain the barrel enough.


I'm wondering if this concern by the OP and yourself about the slot is unfounded, and if you just hooked the cable up the way you want it would work fine because there's no reason for the barrel to move backwards in the slot.
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Old 06-07-18, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
So the kydex piece keeps the cable head barrel toward the front of the slot it rides in. Did you ever try it without the kydex to see if the barrel even needs to be held forward? It seems like if the cable was running up and slightly forward to go out of the top hole, that would restrain the barrel enough.
I tried it without anything in the slot at first, hence my solution. When the brake lever is pulled the barrel does move to the back of the slot so it only pulls a small amount of cable at the brake....nowhere near enough for the brake to work.
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Old 06-07-18, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Choke View Post
I tried it without anything in the slot at first, hence my solution. When the brake lever is pulled the barrel does move to the back of the slot so it only pulls a small amount of cable at the brake....nowhere near enough for the brake to work.
So either there is a part required, this version was never intended for non-aero routing and is just using existing bodies or the design doesn't work as intended.

Personally, I think there was no intention of these being used as non-aero. If you look at the second C-Record version in the diagram T-Mar posted, you'll see that Campagnolo removed all the material from the front of the lever body where the housing stop should be - probably to reduce weight. The delrin Athena and Chorus bodies were left alone as they were already lighter.

So I don't think they are supposed to be used as non-aero, but Choke found a clever solution.
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Old 06-09-18, 08:02 AM
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Thanks for all of your input everyone. I believe this brake lever was never made to be used in any configuration other than aero. Since I've never found any extra parts intended to lock the barrel in one position, I made my own from a piece of birch wood. The wood fits very tight but still allows the barrel to rotate when the lever is pulled.





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Old 06-09-18, 08:22 AM
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This thread is timely for me. I have a set of Chorus levers exactly like yours @Vince Hoffmann.

I was intending to use them on my Masi so that the bike could be ridden in Eroica-type events. The usual configuration will be Chorus 10s shifter/brakes. My plan was to fit these, cut the cables and housings to length, and then put them aside. I'll have to re-wrap the bars to install them, but that only takes a few minutes. Adding a set of VO DT shifters, which don't require any housing, just cable, it's ready to go.

EDIT: Maybe filing a radius in the top of the slot at the front would provide a way to more easily keep the barrel at the front. There is plenty of metal there, so it shouldn't cause any weakness.

I might look into 3D printing a spacer to use in these levers, radiused at the front for the barrel. Maybe I should just build it without shifter/brakes from the start and leave it with brakes and DT shifters. I could sell the Chorus shifter/brakes easily. Something to consider...
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Old 06-09-18, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by speedevil View Post

EDIT: Maybe filing a radius in the top of the slot at the front would provide a way to more easily keep the barrel at the front. There is plenty of metal there, so it shouldn't cause any weakness.
.
I radiused the face of the wood block to do exactly that. I think it took me a total of 15 minutes to cut and shape the pieces. I think you should avoid modifying the lever housing just in case you want to use them for again in their original configuration
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Old 06-09-18, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by speedevil View Post
This thread is timely for me. I have a set of Chorus levers exactly like yours @Vince Hoffmann.

I was intending to use them on my Masi so that the bike could be ridden in Eroica-type events. The usual configuration will be Chorus 10s shifter/brakes. My plan was to fit these, cut the cables and housings to length, and then put them aside. I'll have to re-wrap the bars to install them, but that only takes a few minutes. Adding a set of VO DT shifters, which don't require any housing, just cable, it's ready to go.

EDIT: Maybe filing a radius in the top of the slot at the front would provide a way to more easily keep the barrel at the front. There is plenty of metal there, so it shouldn't cause any weakness.

I might look into 3D printing a spacer to use in these levers, radiused at the front for the barrel. Maybe I should just build it without shifter/brakes from the start and leave it with brakes and DT shifters. I could sell the Chorus shifter/brakes easily. Something to consider...
If you wanted to make the bike switchable, I would get a second bar and stem. Pull the shifter/brakes bar and stem off complete along with the cables and housings as one unit, install the eroica bar/stem/levers with its own cables and tape, then swap the DT cable stops for shift levers with their own cables. Once you have it set up the actual swap should take 20 minutes to tighten the stem and adjust the four cables.


I think eroica events are now allowing aero levers, BTW.
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Old 06-09-18, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
If you wanted to make the bike switchable, I would get a second bar and stem. Pull the shifter/brakes bar and stem off complete along with the cables and housings as one unit, install the eroica bar/stem/levers with its own cables and tape, then swap the DT cable stops for shift levers with their own cables. Once you have it set up the actual swap should take 20 minutes to tighten the stem and adjust the four cables.

I think eroica events are now allowing aero levers, BTW.
Good suggestion on a second stem/handlebar set - would definitely make the swap faster and easier. But now I'm thinking that maybe I should just build it with DT shifters and use the levers I have in the aero configuration. I recall reading that Eroica-type events are now allowing aero brake levers, so using them with the DT shifters means it would be ready to go any time. Not sure about shifting 10s Chorus with DT shifters, but after some practice to get the feel of it, I should be reasonably OK with it.
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Old 12-17-18, 03:13 AM
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@speedevil did you do the 3D printing? Where is the file available?
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Old 12-17-18, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by pbekkerh View Post
@speedevil did you do the 3D printing? Where is the file available?
I have not pursued a 3D printing of the spacer. My frame is being touched up now, so the build is not yet underway. I have 3D printed some other items for my shop and the usual minimum quantity is 10, sometimes more depending on which printer you choose. When I get a little closer to installing the brake levers, I'll see what I can do.
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Old 12-17-18, 08:11 AM
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Ok, I just finished my Colnago Sprint. I'll wait and see what you come up with. For now I stuffed a piece of teflon in there.

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Old 12-17-18, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by verktyg View Post
Some Campy levers from the late 80's were convertible from external cable routing to aero. 1987 Victory levers were as well as 1988 Athena and Chorus levers. 1988 CdA and C-Record were aero only.

There were a parts kit to convert external to aero routing if they weren't already set up that way. They included plastic plugs for the holes in the rubber hoods and removable cable guides. The cable guides are easy to pry out but harder to get back in. When the guides are in place they can interfere with external routing.

These are probably for 1987 Victory levers??

1988 Chorus and CdA ???


Parts breakdown 1986 C-Record Levers


Parts breakdown 1988 Chorus Levers

verktyg

Good post , thank you.
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