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Converting Downtube shifters into a a brake lever

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Converting Downtube shifters into a a brake lever

Old 04-03-14, 02:04 AM
  #1  
furbball
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Converting Downtube shifters into a a brake lever

Is it possible to convert the DT shifters into Downtube brake levers?
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Old 04-03-14, 02:40 AM
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I don't think I understand your question, but I'm going to say no anyway. Do you mean run a cable from your DT shifter to a brake caliper? Most shift cables are thinner than brake cables, so a brake cable may not fit in the shifter and/or a shift cable would slip in the brake caliper. Plus, the direction of the cables leaving the shifters would cause some routing issues, especially having to make a 180 toward the front brake caliper. You wouldn't want indexed shifters, obviously. Most friction shifters rely on tension holding the shifter in place and working against the tension in the derailleur springs. If you loosened the tension bold on the shifters to allow the spring in the brake caliper to reset the shift lever, it would likely give you a wobbly shifter. Plus, I doubt you would be able to put adequate force into the shifters to create sufficient braking force. Last but not least, do you want to be reaching for the down tube when you need to brake? But I'd love to see it, so don't let any of this stop you from trying!
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Old 04-03-14, 02:49 AM
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besides for a chainstay ubrake the cable routing would have to be pretty bizarre. and shifter cables are thin. so even if are able to pull it off i wouldn't rely on it

Last edited by frantik; 04-03-14 at 03:07 AM.
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Old 04-03-14, 02:57 AM
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Don't realy understand the question but in every likely interpretation I can think of the answer is no, hell no or or for love of god please don't. If you want to run a suicide lever most ss/fg or bmx levers will mount on the downtube definetly not recomeded. Most of the idiots run a BMX lever inverted on the top tube still a very bad setup.

Last edited by zukahn1; 04-03-14 at 03:06 AM.
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Old 04-03-14, 03:06 AM
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in the SSFG forum someone came up with the idea of a brake lever on the seat post connected to a rear brake. cause brakes on the handlebars are just lame
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Old 04-03-14, 03:50 AM
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Originally Posted by furbball View Post
Is it possible to convert the DT shifters into Downtube brake levers?
It's possible, but I would only consider the idea for a secondary brake, like a drag drum or disk brake similar to what's available for tandems.

Brad
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Old 04-03-14, 04:02 AM
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I would add to his but I don't want to be chastised by the admin (again) for having a opinion of the mental aptitude of the op. Even though I see others posting in similar fashion all across the forums.
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Old 04-03-14, 04:15 AM
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This sounds like a FGSS lurker trolling. /b is that way. ------>

If the OP is serious about this and you're correct, frantik, then this is the stupidest ****ing dumbass hipster idea I've heard in forever - the latest in a long list. A true candidate for the Darwin Awards if I've ever heard one.

Downtube shifters were designed to do a specific job - shifting and holding gears. They were not designed with the travel requirements of braking in mind. The cables are thinner, and more likely to snap under severe tension of braking. Even in friction mode, one introduces something very bad into the braking system - e.g. friction - unless one runs with the left and right shifters so completely loose that Loctite is required to keep the mounting bolts in place.

And the brake goes where, exactly? The fork (the only logical place)? How does one route the cabling, given the recesses for the cable stops are in the complete opposite direction?

Or perhaps the brake is to be mounted on the chainstay... Doesn't that Dan's Comp brake mount add weight to the bike? If it's the seatstay bridge, how exactly does one route the cabling for proper tension? Or is it that the brake cable housing extends from the derailleur cable stop up to the brake itself? The thing is inevitably going to be a bungee cord. And then that does what to the so-called "clean" brakeless look they're aiming for?

I have a fixed gear bike, too. It has brakes, with levers mounted on the handlebars, where they belong. There are two of them, in fact, one for each brake. And the cables are in the normal places. Friction is low, as it should be - and there's more-than-adequate spring tension to return the brake levers to original positions. But then I use the bike for training on road, and not as some kind of fashion statement to show everyone how ironic I can be.
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Old 04-03-14, 04:33 AM
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Maybe I'm old school but what's wrong with running proper brakes and bars on SS/FG about 2lbs extra dead wieght actual increase in perfomance if used correctly for street use and no real decrease in dependabilty maintnence it just seems silly not too.
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Old 04-03-14, 06:04 AM
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okay, so trying to be cooperative here, I'm guessing that it's possible to fashion a slotted steel clamp similar to the DiaCompe non-aero lever clamp, but larger for the 28.6mm downtube diameter. Then, one could mount a brake lever in a centered SunTour symmetric type location, with the cable running downward to a rear brake by making an S-turn, like with older womens frames. It would be a poor braking solution, to be sure...

OP, what is the origin of the question? Why?
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Old 04-03-14, 06:20 AM
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Converting Downtube shifters into a a brake lever

Another option is to rig up an anchor to the DT shifters. Move the DT lever and drop the anchor. Works well on my steampunk fixie.
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Old 04-03-14, 06:30 AM
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Those crazy fixie guys...




Or, you could mount a brake lever on the top tube (BF from 2006!)

Last edited by rm -rf; 04-03-14 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 04-03-14, 06:34 AM
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Follow-Up on Post #10

Giving it more thought, I'm sure that I could fashion an older Dia-Compe style non aero lever to a downtube. But follow this...if one used the right lever WITH the turkey lever, and positioned it low enough, one could make a sort of food brake. The rider would place the left food on the lever and press away and slightly upward. Although I wouldn't vouch for the strength of that alloy lever in a critical situation...

Although I could rig one of these in an hour in my shop, I'm certain that I would never ride one. Even if one lived above a dispensary in Colorado...
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Old 04-03-14, 06:51 AM
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The thoughts that come to my mind are,
Yes, you could; but
shift levers are short and provide insufficient leverage,
the down tube is the wrong place for a brake lever, and
cable routing would be inelegant,
But it would be a good way to rig a drag brake for a tandem.
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Old 04-03-14, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
It's possible, but I would only consider the idea for a secondary brake, like a drag drum or disk brake similar to what's available for tandems.

Brad
Drag brake was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw this. I think I've most often heard of people doing that with a bar end shifter, but it probably could be done with a downtube as easily.
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Old 04-03-14, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Drag brake was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw this. I think I've most often heard of people doing that with a bar end shifter, but it probably could be done with a downtube as easily.
I run a friction shifter mounted to the stem of my tandem as a drag brake. Works well.
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Old 04-03-14, 07:22 AM
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I use one for my drag brake too, but for main brakes @rhm nailed it even if you used barcons on bull horns.
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Old 04-03-14, 09:41 AM
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Yeah, bro it could work and would be amazing. Do they make anodized dt shifters to match my deep vees? My main concern is if the laces on my sneakers should MATCH the neon green deep vees, or offset it with an awesome purple or something.
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Old 04-03-14, 09:59 AM
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Stem shifters would work.
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Old 04-03-14, 09:59 AM
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don't you guys ever learn? Obviously this is an April Fools joke from somebody who's a late riser in another time zone...and of course as post number 12 proves: it not only can be done, but already has been. So, joke's on you Mr. Furbball
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Old 04-03-14, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
don't you guys ever learn? Obviously this is an April Fools joke from somebody who's a late riser in another time zone...and of course as post number 12 proves: it not only can be done, but already has been. So, joke's on you Mr. Furbball
I think it would be an exciting project especially if the rider has the levers set to index mode.
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Old 04-03-14, 05:02 PM
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I think the best approach is to just forget about the shifter and brake altogether and just jam your feet into the front spokes. If you've had enough absinthe you won't even feel the asphalt, and will have a really cool story to tell your bros afterward.
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Old 04-03-14, 05:18 PM
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In my garage, anything is possible. I have a welder and a big ass chop saw. I've done some pretty stupid things with those tools.
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Old 04-04-14, 06:15 AM
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Just a thought- being condescending might be just as bad as being 'hip'.
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Old 04-04-14, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by kunsunoke View Post
I think the best approach is to just forget about the shifter and brake altogether and just jam your feet into the front spokes. If you've had enough absinthe you won't even feel the asphalt, and will have a really cool story to tell your bros afterward.
When I was 14 decades ago, I would ride my track bike to work after school, about a 3 mile trip including some hills and descents. It was the only way to get myself and bike to a ride to the velodrome after work and make the evening workouts. But I was boring and stopped at red signals.
I am really surprised that the current crop of fixed gear guys have not rediscovered what was handed down to me long ago, a think palmed glove, great for brushing off potential flat debris and useful as a brake when applied to the top of the front tire.

I wore a gymnasts glove over my riding glove having stitched a heavy section of leather to it, as I did not have a sacrificial riding glove to burn up.
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