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The TRP RRL

Old 10-26-19, 03:51 PM
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The TRP RRL

Recently I overhauled my Surly LHT, one of the things I changed as an upgrade was the removal of my Gran Compe aero levers and the installation of a set of TRP RRL brake levers . Obviously the TRP are more ergo than the Gran Compe Aero and if you like riding in the hoods the (which I do ) TRP are hands down superior for this . What did not know until I began riding them ... was they are superior from a braking perspective . I am using the exact same cantilever brakes I was before . However now I can easily stop the bike with one finger on the levers .. I was shocked at how much of a difference they levers made in braking performance. So much so I am considering now considering placing TRP RRL levers in every C&V bike in my fleet that I ride regularly .


just my two cents and your milage may vary .

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Old 10-26-19, 03:57 PM
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I've used them on a couple of my C&V bikes too and really like them. Great performance, comfortable under hand, and look perfect on classic bikes.



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Old 10-26-19, 04:43 PM
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Glad they work for you. My preference is the Cane Creek lever. Just my take on it.
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Old 10-26-19, 04:44 PM
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I've grown to like the new "aero" brakes.

There are several "modern" brake styles.
  • TRP RRL
  • Origin 8 Classique
  • Couple of Tektro models depending on pull. (RL340 = short pull, RL520 = long pull) Plus a few others.
  • Cane Creek??
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Old 10-26-19, 09:18 PM
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Ive heard a lot of good things about those TRP levers. My current faves are these Shimano Exage Sport aeros that were a $10 Ebay find, as I was putting this stripped '78 Super Course frame together. Comfy hoods, nice lever feel and detail. I build riders, not correct museum pieces.

Combined with bar end shifters it gets pretty busy under the bar tape.

I have Campy aeros on my '78 Peugeot PN10, but like the Exage feel better.

Last edited by Slightspeed; 10-26-19 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 10-26-19, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I've grown to like the new "aero" brakes.

There are several "modern" brake styles.
  • TRP RRL
  • Origin 8 Classique
  • Couple of Tektro models depending on pull. (RL340 = short pull, RL520 = long pull) Plus a few others.
  • Cane Creek??
I've used most of these (apart from the TRP,) and found them all to be a big improvement over nearly any vintage levers. Brake levers, pedals and saddles are the components I don't mind modernizing on my vintage bikes, the performance & comfort increase are well worth it. I've been tempted to try the RRL levers, but haven't done it yet, they are a bit weird looking
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Old 10-27-19, 11:23 AM
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I'm pretty sure TRP "is" Tektro (could be wrong) but I've had the long reach TRPs on my Dinucci for a season (actuated by Campagnolo Chorus 9 speed levers) and they are really great brakes. Smooth, pull is just right, plenty of braking authority and no noticeable flex. I'm running the KoolStop pads with "Kustom" holders and orbital mounts.

These were pretty much the only brakes with enough drop for this bike. Reasonably priced too !

Mark Petry
Bainbridge Island, WA USA


Last edited by mpetry912; 10-27-19 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 10-27-19, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912 View Post
I'm pretty sure TRP "is" Tektro
Yeah, I believe TRP is "Tektro Racing Products".
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Old 10-27-19, 12:38 PM
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Right. I learned on Global Cycling Network that TRP is their higher line of stuff. The video showed a factory tour, and they do actually have a higher quality standard for TRP stuff. Though the regular stuff is good enough for me.
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Old 10-27-19, 10:04 PM
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I have used the TRP on a budget busting VO Rando build about 6 years ago liked them but they are spendy


I liked the Origin8 classic drilled and they are less than the TRPs



I know the Tektro RL340 Ergo Brake Lever aren't everyone's cup of tea looks wise but I love how they feel in my hand and they are easy on the pocket book

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Old 10-28-19, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
Glad they work for you. My preference is the Cane Creek lever. Just my take on it.
Do you mean the SCR-5? I'd like to find a set with brown hoods... one of these days...

Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami View Post
I've used most of these (apart from the TRP,) and found them all to be a big improvement over nearly any vintage levers. Brake levers, pedals and saddles are the components I don't mind modernizing on my vintage bikes, the performance & comfort increase are well worth it. I've been tempted to try the RRL levers, but haven't done it yet, they are a bit weird looking

I've done the RRL and the IRD ZST drilled levers- I think the IRD levers look more "classic-y," but I prefer the Tektros- they feel much more "quality."

1990 Miyata 1000LT by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr

Originally Posted by SamSpade1941 View Post
Recently I overhauled my Surly LHT, one of the things I changed as an upgrade was the removal of my Gran Compe aero levers and the installation of a set of TRP RRL brake levers . Obviously the TRP are more ergo than the Gran Compe Aero and if you like riding in the hoods the (which I do ) TRP are hands down superior for this . What did not know until I began riding them ... was they are superior from a braking perspective . I am using the exact same cantilever brakes I was before . However now I can easily stop the bike with one finger on the levers .. I was shocked at how much of a difference they levers made in braking performance. So much so I am considering now considering placing TRP RRL levers in every C&V bike in my fleet that I ride regularly .
Several years ago I got a set of 6400 series brakes and levers- and the braking was SO much better than regular single pivot side pulls and non-aero levers. I attributed about 50% to the dual pivot brakes in the front and 50% to the aero levers- they just seemed easier.

When I redid another bike, I got a set of Aero Gran Compes and was using them on cantis- where I'd previously been using an old set of non-aero 600 brake levers. I swear the braking was worse. No matter how I tweaked them, I liked the feel of the AGC levers, but preferred the performance of the old non-aero levers. That was the only instance of me using the AGC levers and the only bike I had them on- but I think the leverage points are different- IMO- those just aren't great levers for cantis. Maybe.

Congratulations on discovering the RRL levers! Again, I thought they looked goofy (I think the Rivendell site said something like 'a Millenial's idea of what vintage aero levers looked like'), but at some point they looked funky cool, and then after riding them- you didn't care what they looked like.
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Old 10-28-19, 09:08 AM
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@The Golden Boy

are the brown hoods hard to find now?
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Old 10-28-19, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
@The Golden Boy

are the brown hoods hard to find now?
no they’re not .. readily available on eBay
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Old 10-28-19, 11:06 AM
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@The Golden Boy I am coming to the same conclusion , when I had the Aero Gran Compe levers on my LHT the braking was less than inspiring .. I currently have Aero Gran Compe levers on my SOMA Stanyan and have a similar experience , lack luster performance .

I am contemplating installing either Gran Compe Evo levers or just getting another set of TRP RRL levers because I know they work well . I really don’t want to because I love the way the AGC levers look but I’m more concerned with performance than aesthetics.

Last edited by SamSpade1941; 10-28-19 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 10-28-19, 12:27 PM
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I like them TRP RRL things. I wish there were a bit longer reach, but they are so ergonomic that they work well anyway. If you like to brake from the hoods like 99% of modern riders, these are the only way to go if you don't want brifters. I for one prefer the feel of a lever that isn't trying to wiggle around when you squeeze it. Subjectively, the aluminum makes them feel more direct than a carbon/plastic brifter lever; they just have better feedback. The levers are alloy but the body is carbon so they are quite light -- if you care about that.

I had to replace the hoods after two years because they were splitting, but for me that is typical. I prefer the black to the brown ones. Either way they look reasonable on a vintage or traditional steel bike.

On a couple occasions, people have asked me why my levers have holes in them. . Apparently this is quite odd to someone that didn't grow up with drilled levers. I never even thought about it.

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Old 10-28-19, 01:23 PM
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I have them on my Ironman and love them.
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Old 10-28-19, 02:48 PM
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No pic, but I got blasted for putting them on my Gordon that I built up for one of the Velo Cult shows with NOS 600 calipers. They are Origin 8's that were reasonable $$$, work great and look great for me.
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Old 10-28-19, 03:09 PM
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The TRP RRL
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Old 10-28-19, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
@The Golden Boy

are the brown hoods hard to find now?
Apparently so- when you brought them up- I vaguely remembered that I couldn't find them when I was building up my Miyata. Just doing a cursory search only showed 'out of stock.'
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Old 10-28-19, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SamSpade1941 View Post
@The Golden Boy I am coming to the same conclusion , when I had the Aero Gran Compe levers on my LHT the braking was less than inspiring .. I currently have Aero Gran Compe levers on my SOMA Stanyan and have a similar experience , lack luster performance .

I am contemplating installing either Gran Compe Evo levers or just getting another set of TRP RRL levers because I know they work well . I really don’t want to because I love the way the AGC levers look but I’m more concerned with performance than aesthetics.
Here's the thread when I switched them- but all the PeeBucket pictures are fuzzed out now. Thanks PeeBucket.

New Cockpit On My Trek 720!


The EVO levers got a lot of consideration from me- but the main thing against them is that they seem to be designed like old school aero levers- narrow- not supportive like the RRLs or other new school aero levers like the SCR-5 or R600/R400 or the IRD ZST levers. But they do seem to have that Gran Compe lustre that makes GC worth it. IMO. I ended up going with the IRD levers because they had that shape (but not brown hoods)- I also like the drilled aspect- even if it's not aero, even though it takes about a quarter gram off the levers... I think it looks pretty cool.
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