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Aero levers hard for me to deal with

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Aero levers hard for me to deal with

Old 03-01-21, 04:56 PM
  #26  
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My only aero lever bike, also my newest bike at 1982. I think it still has a classic look without the cable arches. These are Gran Compe brakes NGC400 , not sure of the year. The bike came with the Campy NR brakes in a box but decided to leave it this way. I replaced the cables and wrapped the handlebars and called it a day. Easy to set up and stop real good!
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Old 03-01-21, 10:05 PM
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I've had one set of AGC aero levers. I really did not like them. I was using them with Shimano cantis- there should have been no pull issues- they just didn't work well for me.

I have a set of 6400 series aero levers- and they're fantastic.

Originally Posted by Classtime View Post
I didn't know that Shimano made a non-Aero SLR lever.
Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
They actually made two non-aero SLR models: the original 1050 (105) and the original 6400 (600 Tricolor).
More popular in Europe than the US.
MUCH more effective braking devices.
There are still new ones out there if you look hard and are willing to pay.
There were Dura Ace 7400 non-aero levers.

NOS Shimano Dura Ace BL-7400 Brake Levers: Original Black Hoods - Non Aero - Bike Recyclery

Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I'm sorry to all of you who posted photos of vintage bikes with Cane Creek or Tektro levers. UGLY and bulbous, they don't fit with any aesthetic. I know because I've tried to use them in the past.

I like the look of the TRP levers, though, if you must go modern.
I can't imagine anyone thinking that the TRP RRL levers are in any way more "classic" looking than levers like the SCR-5 or the RL340.

I have 2 bikes with the drilled RRL levers and one with the IRD drilled levers. I got the IRD levers because I couldn't find the SCR-5 with gum hoods. I absolutely think the RRLs are hideous in a "classic" sense, they stick up far higher, stick out farther, and are far more bulbous, ugly and at odds with any classic aesthetic- ESPECIALLY compared to the other ergo options that aren't like the thin, pointed early aero levers.

IMG_1703 by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr

M1000LT Bars n Bag by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr

IMG_0218 by Dave The Golden Boy, on Flickr

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



I LOVE my RRL levers- they're the most comfortable levers I've used- they do have a certain look to them, but that look is not "classic" notwithstanding brown rubber, silver levers with holes drilled through them.
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Old 03-02-21, 05:02 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
One early 1980s exception for period correctness are the Shimano AX groups, which introduced the aerodynamic brake lever concept.

AX aero. Some had a removable grommet if you didn't want aero. These NOS do not.
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Old 03-02-21, 07:34 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
One early 1980s exception for period correctness are the Shimano AX groups, which introduced the aerodynamic brake lever concept.
One more early 80ies period correctness - If you were in a sponsored team and Campagnolo supplied you with their own (pre C-record) aero handles. Or you could always make your own.

Home made:





Campagnolo made:




Two different solutions (upwards or downwards routing of the cable)

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Old 03-02-21, 07:47 AM
  #30  
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There were Dura Ace 7400 non-aero levers.

Yes, however they were not SLR levers with improved leverage.
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Old 03-02-21, 07:49 AM
  #31  
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I think these are the only current production non-aero levers: Dia-Compe GC202H. But I cannot accept the poor hood fit.


The Wrong Hoods?
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Old 03-05-21, 08:26 AM
  #32  
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All my bikes(79-92) have aero levers.
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Old 03-05-21, 10:05 AM
  #33  
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I am intrigued by that conversion of the Campy NR levers to aero. Maybe I'm seeing it wrong but it seems like the brake cable must make a tortured 90 degree turn to reach the cable anchor point in the lever. Does it offer the aero lever's big advantage, better leverage? Is it comfortable having the housing under the tape on top of the bars?
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Old 03-05-21, 10:06 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
Maybe opening a can of worms here, but I don’t think I can accept aero levers on my vintage stuff. Granted much vintage stuff is from the aero era and most here are more adept than I at getting things smooth, so period correct is correct and acceptable.

One of my vintage 85 bikes however came with aero levers specified for the 86 model, so I was recently putting on new cables. It is my only experience with aero, and it came out okay with the shimano 600 calipers and Dia Compe AGC levers, but I suffered philosophically doing it. Years of trying to route cables with the least amount of bend with all those gentle curves are ingrained in my mind. I am old and slow too.

New eBay purchase of some non aero 6207 levers coming. My excuse is it was what this used bike came with originally. Anyone else feel this way? As an aside, my miyata with the non aero SLRs and cantis is freakin awesome.
I suspect you and I are similar in age. Given a choice in the build of my 650b rando with DT friction shifting (a 2013 frame), I chose aero levers (TRP RRL, same as Dave the Golden Boy showed) because their lever sticks out sideways and is easier to grip from the hooks, ramps, and tops. Plus the pivot point gives an increase in leverage over the 6207 levers you bought and the vintage Weinmann and Campagnolo Record levers I grew up on.

Functionally I believe aero levers are usually better, because of leverage. I do not care about speed advantages, especially in my upper '60s. I also don't find the appearance (period correctness) irritating. I do have to take several tries to get the cable routing to the rear brake optimal, in the leap from the handlebar to the top-tube.

I always liked Campagnolo and Modolo levers more than Shimano 6207s. That 6207 group cane to me on two bikes I bought back in the day - I still have the great frames, but have long abandoned all the Shimano 600 stuff. One (a great 1980s Mondonico) is converted to Campy indexed 2x10 and the other (1984 Trek 610) is 2x7 friction shifting, a "rando cheepo." It's also what I try out all my wierd ideas on, the "mule."

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Old 03-05-21, 11:19 AM
  #35  
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I like a clean look. Aero levers do that for me. I fell no compulsion to have loopy cables cos the bike is old. As for brand I just use whatever is on hand - usually Shimano but others work too AFAIC. Braking power is a non-topic for me. I hardly use the brakes, pads last until they're rock hard and near 40 year old rims still look like new. As an extension of that the only real objection I have to brifters are the loopy cables and the later models that avoid that also seem to avoid the super shifting of the older ones. But that might just be me.
be safe
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Old 03-05-21, 12:09 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Steel Charlie View Post
As an extension of that the only real objection I have to brifters are the loopy cables and the later models that avoid that also seem to avoid the super shifting of the older ones. But that might just be me.
be safe
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One of the reasons, though not a big one, why I picked Campagnolo Ergos. Replacing looping brake cable for looping shift cables didn't make sense to me.
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Old 03-05-21, 12:30 PM
  #37  
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The thing that got me excited about aero levers was one more hand position - you can put your palm further forward on the tops of the aero levers. I sit much more upright nowadays, so it's really not a big deal.
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Old 03-05-21, 03:51 PM
  #38  
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Golden Boy

Dave, didn’t that 1990 Miyata 1000LT come with those fantastic SLR non aeros like on my 89? I’m still learning, but I thought they were great. In fact the 89-90 LT seems to be a fantastic melding of the vintage and the “vintage modern”. Oh well, I am still learning.
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Old 03-05-21, 04:21 PM
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Learning, learning. I really wasn’t aware that the aeros were alleged to have more mechanical advantage. Looking at the design, I can see how it might be so. In my case with the AGCs, the increased leverage may just offset the affect the added friction from the increased bends. Indeed, I just got the bastardized bike back to riding condition and went for a short 1 mile ride with the AGCs and they felt fine. I bet I would be happy either way, and the feel would be similar. The caveat here is period correctness.
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Old 03-05-21, 05:14 PM
  #40  
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Interestingly enough, I just installed Suntour aero levers and some first-gen black D-A calipers on my '79 Raleigh commuter. It's single-speed and I thought the cleaner look would suit it:





The levers were taken from the same bike as the Cyclone crankset, but I've always liked the slotted or drillium look on brake levers so I'm back-and-forth about them appearance-wise.

Previous setup was MAFAC Racers with Weinmann levers. Overall it's a real improvement I think, with the brakes almost disappearing into the bike.

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Old 03-05-21, 07:25 PM
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I don’t think there is anything cleaner looking about aero levers! AND, when ergo/STI is mixed up with those criss crossing brake cables, it makes for a real eyesore and impediment to enjoying the front end of the bike.
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Old 03-05-21, 08:17 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by MKahrl View Post
I am intrigued by that conversion of the Campy NR levers to aero. Maybe I'm seeing it wrong but it seems like the brake cable must make a tortured 90 degree turn to reach the cable anchor point in the lever. Does it offer the aero lever's big advantage, better leverage? Is it comfortable having the housing under the tape on top of the bars?
Often in those days, we ran the housings through holes drilled into the handlebar.

The cable did make a short-radius bend inside of the lever, but did not have to slide there at all, so if the wire were pre-bent to leave it stress-relieved under tension, there was no detriment to the feel of actuation.

Here's a bike of mine having carbon-lined butted frame tubes with .2mm wall thickness, also featuring drilled aero routing through the bars:

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Old 03-05-21, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
Here's a bike of mine having carbon-lined butted frame tubes with .2mm wall thickness, also featuring drilled aero routing through the bars:

That paint is awesome. It's like a sunburst Gibson.
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Old 03-05-21, 10:24 PM
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Thanks, Fahrenheit531, it's made in France but with German flag colors.
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Old 03-06-21, 12:24 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
snip...

The cable did make a short-radius bend inside of the lever, but did not have to slide there at all, so if the wire were pre-bent to leave it stress-relieved under tension, there was no detriment to the feel of actuation.

snip...
This above exactly. I wrote about it here (warning - long):
Page 2 and onwards
3Rensho Super Record Export Aero (SRA)

And a small film if clicked on:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/453061...7692106175644/
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Old 03-06-21, 10:04 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
Dave, didn’t that 1990 Miyata 1000LT come with those fantastic SLR non aeros like on my 89? I’m still learning, but I thought they were great. In fact the 89-90 LT seems to be a fantastic melding of the vintage and the “vintage modern”. Oh well, I am still learning.
Yes it did- but they were chewed up and awful. The frame was in good shape, a lot of the parts were sorta beat, and the DS crank, seat post, and pedals, were all replaced with inexpensive or beat old stuff.

Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
Learning, learning. I really wasn’t aware that the aeros were alleged to have more mechanical advantage. Looking at the design, I can see how it might be so. In my case with the AGCs, the increased leverage may just offset the affect the added friction from the increased bends. Indeed, I just got the bastardized bike back to riding condition and went for a short 1 mile ride with the AGCs and they felt fine. I bet I would be happy either way, and the feel would be similar. The caveat here is period correctness.
My 86 Trek 400 Elance came with Z series non-aero brakes and levers- the switch to the 6400 stuff was night and day. I think the braking difference of aero levers and dual pivot brakes in the front is all the difference in the world compared to non-aero single pivot- regardless of how smooth the bushings are. I tend to prefer Suntour/Sugino/Dia/Gran Compe over Shimano- but, for goodness sake- SLR brakes are so smooth and so good and brake so well.

Good cables, good housings, good levers and good brakes- there's no thought of "added friction from the increased bends." It's just strikingly better braking. I don't care about the "clean" look.

This stuff can be a slippery slope- you try one part (or set of parts) and then you get to thinking about another part- or set of parts (usually goaded by dorks like me) and there you are dropping bank on fancy pants parts you didn't know or care that existed before last week... *sigh*.
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Old 03-06-21, 10:17 AM
  #47  
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Thanks, and exactly what you said about chasing perfection. Too much winter idle time. Warmer weather for rides would be better.
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Old 03-06-21, 09:15 PM
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Agree completely! Was less than satisfied with the braking ability on my 78 Davidson with first gen Dura Ace.
Already had new, modern cables and housing, so replaced the pads with new Shimano ones. Not much better.
Replaced the calipers with Tektro 539’s which are dual pivot. Better, but still numb feeling with the DA levers.
Installed non aero Shimano 1050 levers, and BINGO it stops on a dime, modulates nicely, just like brakes are supposed to.
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Old 03-06-21, 09:45 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by rccardr View Post
Was less than satisfied with the braking ability on my 78 Davidson with first gen Dura Ace.
I wonder what the issue was. I have first gen DA on the '72 Torpado. Didn't even change the pads. Works great.


.

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Old 03-06-21, 10:02 PM
  #50  
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I grew up and raced before there was a choice. Spent more than a few hours on my long solo training rides fantasizing about surgery to open up the web between middle and index fingers so I could drape my palms over the hoods - exactly what we see the pros doing all the time these days. Saw my first aero lever and said "that's it!" No nostalgia here, I would have traded for those levers in a flask in 1977,

Someone here doesn't like the Tektro and Cane Creek levers. For me, again, function. They fit my hands really well and simply disappear on rides. Some of the best for smooth undersides that don't chafe my hands while climbing. (Not perfect and I do now wear long fingered gloves for major climbing days on the fix gear. The old Mafac Racers are the best I've ever used there.) The Tektros work; really well. Don't last forever but do last a long time and have hoods that go a long ways. Easy to work on. I would have bought them in a flash if they were available 45 years ago. Better levers in many respect than the Grand Comp levers on my Fuji Pro. (Though I zero issues with those caliper and the levers had a feature that saved me a race - releases that did nor snap back when the levers were used. I flipped the front release off after a crash and the front rim was hitting the pads. Reaching down to the caliber with that wobble? I'm quite glad I never had to take my hand off the bar to do it.)

Some of the Tektros have similar releases, some snap back.

Oh, wrapping the tape around the housings outside the bar? I locate the housing to lie under the second knuckles. Feels so natural I no longer like round bars without the housings. It's an easy, smooth bend down to the TT or front brake.
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