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Do I need new brake levers to convert V-brakes to caliper brakes?

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Do I need new brake levers to convert V-brakes to caliper brakes?

Old 07-15-10, 04:12 AM
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SnowTown
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Do I need new brake levers to convert V-brakes to caliper brakes?

thinking of changing the Avid V-brakes on my bike to ultegra caliper brakes. Can I use my existing brake levers? If so, do I also need new cables?

thanks.
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Old 07-15-10, 04:43 AM
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Cable may work but V brake levers and road levers are not interchangeable. Road brakes the cable travel less distancel but the lever has a tigher fulcrum point (the pull is stonger for the amount you move the lever). You will at the very least need a tavel agent.
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Old 07-15-10, 05:14 AM
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Road and MTB cables more often than not use different barrel ends on the cables. Plus as Grim said, the pull is different between caliper and V-Brake
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Old 07-15-10, 06:48 AM
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The cable is really a non-issue, since the caliper itself doesn't care what shape is at the other end of the cable. But here is Sheldon on brake lever interchangeability:

Direct-pull brake levers used with any other type of brakes will feel nice and solid when you squeeze them, but due to their lower mechanical advantage you'll need to squeeze twice as hard to stop as you should...
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/canti-direct.html#levers

If you change them make sure you get levers sized for your bars, or shims that will make the levers fit your bars.
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Old 07-15-10, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by vautrain View Post
The cable is really a non-issue, since the caliper itself doesn't care what shape is at the other end of the cable. But here is Sheldon on brake lever interchangeability:
Cables will be an issue with the lever interchange if inded the barrels on the handle end are different. MTB brake levers certainly have different barrels than brifters. Reason most new cable sets come double ended so you can cut off the one you need. .
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Old 07-15-10, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
Cables will be an issue with the lever interchange if inded the barrels on the handle end are different. MTB brake levers certainly have different barrels than brifters. Reason most new cable sets come double ended so you can cut off the one you need. .
Right, I'm just saying the cable end is a non-issue if the lever doesn't change. Although if the lever change is to a CX-type bar top lever, it is also a non-issue, since they aren't specific to cable ends.
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Old 07-15-10, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
... Reason most new cable sets come double ended so you can cut off the one you need. .
Intended joke?
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Old 07-15-10, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Pig_Chaser View Post
Intended joke?
I think so.
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Old 07-15-10, 01:34 PM
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Your also going to have a bit of trouble with brake reach. Most all of the time, V brakes are intended for forks with a considerable amount of clearance for wider tires, while callipers are intended for tighter fits. It's quite possible (almost certain actually) that the calliper will not reach to the braking surface of the wheel.
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Old 07-15-10, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
Reason most new cable sets come double ended so you can cut off the one you need. .
Exactly. Got some like this from Jagwire for my Cane Creek Drop V levers.
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Old 07-15-10, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Pig_Chaser View Post
Intended joke?
Not really. I buy better level Jagwire cables, and that's how they come. a single 6' or so cable that has the different ends on each end. you snip the one off the end of the cable and you're left with a cable with a barrel and a raw end.
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Old 07-16-10, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
Your also going to have a bit of trouble with brake reach. Most all of the time, V brakes are intended for forks with a considerable amount of clearance for wider tires, while callipers are intended for tighter fits. It's quite possible (almost certain actually) that the calliper will not reach to the braking surface of the wheel.
do you think they'll reach judging from these pics? I've never own a real road bike so I don't really know how much clearance a usual road bike fork might have. Is there any simple brake lever for caliper brakes that might fit the existing handle bar? Thanks.


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Old 07-16-10, 12:07 PM
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Are you trying to adapt a road caliper to that wheel and fork? If so you are likely to have many more issues besides cable pull. First off you need to know if that fork was designed for a road caliper brake. The hole in the fork crown may only be designed for a reflector, cable hanger...

As is I'd be surprised if the arms on a road caliper would reach the braking surfaces on that wheel.

Why do you want the change?
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Old 03-20-11, 11:53 AM
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this is not the answer your were loooking for, v brakes & most brakes that are used on modern bikes are caliper brakes. as long as the rim has brake pads fhat squeeze from each side you have a caliper brake. you need to brush up on your terminology.
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Old 03-20-11, 06:20 PM
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i had to scroll down all the while thinking the there was a terminology issue as well. Cantilever, side pull, center pull and v brakes I think are all caliper brakes...
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Old 03-20-11, 10:26 PM
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OK, the way I read the OP is:

Has V-brakes. Wants to put sidepulls (road-style) on the bike AT THE WHEELS. Wants to know if the V-brake's LEVERS will work.

Since the sidepulls don't need as much cable pull to work, you will pretty much NEED to run the calipers loosely adjusted, away from the rims. Run them tight, and you will have almost no lever movement.

I have to ask why you want to downgrade your braking power, though.
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Old 03-26-11, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by merkong View Post
i had to scroll down all the while thinking the there was a terminology issue as well. Cantilever, side pull, center pull and v brakes I think are all caliper brakes...
Yessss... but they are designed with different lever/pull ratios, that's why we get picky about how exactly we label them. See the link to Sheldon's site for the final word as to what goes with what.
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Old 03-27-11, 06:03 AM
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If it is possible with a long reach brake, it might work but I can't see the sense in it since you'll still have bare brake posts on the fork/seat stays. Plus, v-brakes tend to be more powerful than regular dual pivot side-pull road brakes.

It's a better idea to use the brakes your bike is designed to use.
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Old 03-27-11, 06:45 AM
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Agreed. I wish I had the brake posts for V-brakes on my favorite ride. I make due, but what a pain in the butt to change tires in the seasons.
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