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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 02-28-21, 01:05 PM
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Aero levers hard for me to deal with

Maybe opening a can of worms here, but I donít 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.
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Old 02-28-21, 01:15 PM
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Old 02-28-21, 01:29 PM
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I'm a fan of aero levers at least on some vintage bikes. You get better brake modulation plus a larger surface to grab and a 2d quick release which is handy when trying to get a 32c tire in and off the bike. This is my 1979 Trek 510 which is vintagy (new word of the day, except for the brake levers and pedals.
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Old 02-28-21, 01:57 PM
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I'm with the op. Non-aero levers look way better on pre-'86 c&v, and are far easier to route, especially with a stem height that can change over months of use.
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Old 02-28-21, 02:06 PM
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Plenty of other sources of consternation and regret. Use the levers that make you happy. I like both, but I can appreciate attractively swoopy cables.
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Old 02-28-21, 02:26 PM
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My first experience on aero levers was my 1982 Medici and I was going to change them out until I rode the bike and realized how nice they are. I wouldn’t go to changing any of my seventies bikes over but they were surprisingly easy to figure out . I put new cables on the bike and they work great.
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Old 02-28-21, 02:34 PM
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I replaced the original long reach Modolo non-aero levers on the 1982 Bianchi with short reach Shimano aeros, as part of a brake system upgrade that include KoolStop salmon pads. For me, the enhanced braking power and control (greater mechanical advantage and better fit to my hands) outweigh any arguments in favor of national or period "purity." Of course, the decision is arguably easier to make with simple lugs and a monochromatic paint job, rather than with my ca. 1960 bikes (the three Capos and the Carlton), all of which have ornate lugs that stand out with either chrome, nickel, or two-tone paint. They still have the original Weinmann levers, which fits my hands well, and Weinmann Vainqueur 999 centerpull brakes, which look so right on them.
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Old 02-28-21, 02:59 PM
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If those AGC levers have good hoods, you should put them on the for sale or trade thread. Plenty of people like them a lot, and the hoods are hard to find.
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Old 02-28-21, 04:16 PM
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I have them on for now

Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
If those AGC levers have good hoods, you should put them on the for sale or trade thread. Plenty of people like them a lot, and the hoods are hard to find.
I have the AGCs on now with new cables and such. They donít insult my inner self too much as they were actually stock on the next model year, so I will see. I did get a bit heavy handed with them and drilled and tapped them for the infamous Mirrycle lever mounted mirror that all my other bikes wear. Sorry, I said I was old and slow, so why not? Maybe I will be pleased and the 6207s can sit in the stash.
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Old 02-28-21, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sd5782 View Post
I have the AGCs on now with new cables and such. They donít insult my inner self too much as they were actually stock on the next model year, so I will see. I did get a bit heavy handed with them and drilled and tapped them for the infamous Mirrycle lever mounted mirror that all my other bikes wear. Sorry, I said I was old and slow, so why not? Maybe I will be pleased and the 6207s can sit in the stash.
And here I thought that I was the only one here weird enough to drill/tap a D-C aero lever for the old Mirrycle swivel-morror!

Recalling that there wasn't a whole lot of metal there, so used a 4mm bolt iir.
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Old 02-28-21, 05:08 PM
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Actually a lot of metal and I used a metric equivalent 1/4” bolt. Regarding posts of better feel with the aero levers, I wonder if it is just the newer designs that deal better with the tight cable routing by having springs at both ends. My Miyata SLR 1050s were made both ways I think. The non aero is amazing, but the aero I’m sure is nice and perhaps nicer than many of the old non aeros. Apples to oranges I’m thinking.
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Old 03-01-21, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
If those AGC levers have good hoods, you should put them on the for sale or trade thread. Plenty of people like them a lot, and the hoods are hard to find.
There are a set of AGC levers and calipers in the sale sub forum.

FS Aero Gran Compe brakeset



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Old 03-01-21, 06:55 AM
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My first aero lever set up was an attempt to "Modernize" my fairly new Colnago at the time. The first impression was that there was a big open hole in front of me! Really hard to get past that. I reasoned that adapting to changes in my life was a frequent occurrence and tried it out for a short time. Along with that came the conversion to a thread less stem. Didn't like the look so changed it back. Black walls might have helped.
BHBDS Cropped on Flickr
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Kinda liked this look ....
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but was flamed on here by so many that I decided that period correct should be attained.
1983 Colnago Superissimo on Flickr
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Old 03-01-21, 07:09 AM
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The 1986 Centurion Ironman spec'd Dia-Compe AGC levers with New 600EX calipers. I always found that strange, since new 600EX did have an optional aero lever, the BL-6209.
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Old 03-01-21, 07:14 AM
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One early 1980s exception for period correctness are the Shimano AX groups, which introduced the aerodynamic brake lever concept.
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Old 03-01-21, 07:17 AM
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I didn't know that Shimano made a non-Aero SLR lever. The combination of dual pivot short reach calipers and the smooth cable runs and springs of non-Aero levers solves a few problems for me. If I don't want to hunt down vintage SLR levers, what current production NON-AERO drop bar levers are as smooth as aero SLR? If GC 202H is all there is, do the hoods fit nicely? I have some Gran Compe 07H levers whose hoods are clearly made for some other lever body shape.
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Old 03-01-21, 08:18 AM
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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.
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Old 03-01-21, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
My first aero lever set up was an attempt to "Modernize" my fairly new Colnago at the time. The first impression was that there was a big open hole in front of me! Really hard to get past that. I reasoned that adapting to changes in my life was a frequent occurrence and tried it out for a short time. Along with that came the conversion to a thread less stem. Didn't like the look so changed it back. Black walls might have helped.
BHBDS Cropped on Flickr
P1000192 on Flickr

Kinda liked this look ....
P7021663 on Flickr

but was flamed on here by so many that I decided that period correct should be attained.
1983 Colnago Superissimo on Flickr
the Splash tape.

I like the AGC levers, installed them on a 1972 bike back in 1985. Cinelli bars. I drilled the bars - the exit at quite an angle to keep the cable turns as fair as possible. Much care to file and polish out scratches and gouges.
ready for my last set of ďbankedĒ hoods
AME made them at one point.

Aside from the hoods the item to keep track of are he aluminum furreles with the hemisphere end to keep the cable run as smooth as possible. Modern lined housing is important too.

I really like the calipers too but do not have a bike with short enough reach. There is also the need for a quick release in the system unless one is running very narrow tires.
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Old 03-01-21, 08:59 AM
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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.


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Old 03-01-21, 09:32 AM
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So far I've avoided aero. (a) with no loop of brake cables, it looks like something is missing form the bike. (b) excepting a few early ones, all have a shape that's jarring to my eye, from slightly different compared to pre-aero to full-on Elephant Man.

Fortunately, I don't have any issues with reach/grip/leverage using the old stuff... or I'd have to compromise. And, oddly, my hands are not particularly large.

Those who embrace aero, brifters, etc. certainly have more choices.
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Old 03-01-21, 11:32 AM
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I go with aero levers so that I won’t get shamed on BF for either not routing on the correct side of the bars or leaving the cables too long or both.
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Old 03-01-21, 01:44 PM
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I will try them

Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The 1986 Centurion Ironman spec'd Dia-Compe AGC levers with New 600EX calipers. I always found that strange, since new 600EX did have an optional aero lever, the BL-6209.
I did kill some time putting new cables and a mirror on the AGCs, so I will ride it a bit like that, and yes it is with the 600EX calipers. Still cold in this part of the country so needed a project. I figure my inner self will tell me to put the eBay 6207s on the bike after a bit though.
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Old 03-01-21, 01:57 PM
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Love them

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.
And not knowing much at all about such things, I happened to fall into the non aero SLRs on an 89 Miyata 1000 that I bought. Braking in the flatlands here had never been a priority like for others in the hills. Those SLRs with the shimano cantis have loads of power and great feel. I am forever spoiled now. Old stuff for others but an eye opener for me.
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Old 03-01-21, 02:01 PM
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Those AGC levers are some of my favorites so I'm biased. I also love being able to gently massage the palms of my hands on the pointy ends during long rides, something not entirely satisfactorily available on newer ergo/STI levers.

But I'm not running out to change out all my older non-aero levers. Whatever makes you happy and keeps you riding is the correct answer.
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Old 03-01-21, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The 1986 Centurion Ironman spec'd Dia-Compe AGC levers with New 600EX calipers. I always found that strange, since new 600EX did have an optional aero lever, the BL-6209.
Oh wow! My '86 Vitus 979 also came with a complete 600EX group (hubs/freewheel/RD/FD/crankset/BB/headset/shifters/brakes, EXCEPT for the levers which were AGC! It made no sense to me when I purchased it from the original owner, and I just assumed he'd replaced them. Perhaps this was not uncommon for a small window of time... perhaps a temporary 6209 supply issue? Or were the AGC levers considered superior in any way at the time?

I've since located a set of 6209 levers, but haven't made the switch yet. I do love how the AGC levers feel, but they are the rare black-anodized version which displeases me to an irrational extent.
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