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Uncomfortable road bike brake levers

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Uncomfortable road bike brake levers

Old 10-13-16, 10:53 PM
  #1  
zoom996
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Uncomfortable road bike brake levers

https://i.imgur.com/frBfys4.jpg

This is a picture of the brake levers. I want to put hoods on them but am unsure of the brand to find ones that fit properly. Does anyone have any idea of the brand?

Also, the angle of the levers make it difficult to get a good grip from the top to apply a strong amount of force to be able to stop quickly. Moving the levers won't change that angle from the top which is how I like to ride. It is hard to ride in the drops due to my back pain. Does anyone have any ideas on this problem?

Thank you.

Last edited by zoom996; 10-13-16 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 10-14-16, 09:19 AM
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Replace them with modern levers. These ones are meant for braking primarily from the drops, and aren't designed for the style of riding where you spend long periods of time on the hoods themselves.
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Old 10-14-16, 12:55 PM
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I put Tektro levers on my bike with bar-ends. TEKTRO USA

You'd lose the vintage brake cable thing because these are "aero" levers. OTOH, a big part of having comfortable hoods is having somewhere to put your thumb in the low position which requires routing the brake cables along the bars.
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Old 10-15-16, 11:02 PM
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Thanks. I will try the modern levers.
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Old 10-22-16, 08:42 PM
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Working on that myself for my vintage Italian road bike--very old school. Heading toward TRP RRL SR Retro Brake Levers Silver. Thinking about upgrading the brakes too. Maybe Campagnolo Skeleton Dual Pivot brake set. Like you, want to feel comfortable and safe on the hoods, and not just when in the drops.
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Old 10-24-16, 12:15 AM
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Yeah LouB, I may put integrated shifters on there and make it super comfy and easier to use than the down tube shifters on there now. Trying to decide if it's worth the effort.
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Old 10-24-16, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by zoom996 View Post
Yeah LouB, I may put integrated shifters on there and make it super comfy and easier to use than the down tube shifters on there now. Trying to decide if it's worth the effort.
Intergrated shifters? You mean brifters? On that bike? Here in Portland, if it can be done to a bike, it has been done to a bike, but, really, you have to have at least a seven speed freewheel before a brifter becomes a practical upgrade, I think. The tandem below was a Shimano 105 9sp setup. Cheap brifters would have been ~200 at the time. I opted for Tektro levers and downtube shifters. I could have gone bar end but downtube shifters still offer the cleanest, lowest drag, cable routing of anything other than electronic. That is a custom clamp on shifter boss because that downtube is 2.25" in diameter, and those are top of the line Shimano indexed downtube shifters. The best shifting performance possible for less total outlay than half the cost of the cheapest brifters on the market. Go to any large enterprise complex and where all the bikes are parked you will see that almost half of them are rocking downtube shifters. Does that help you decide?
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Old 10-25-16, 07:24 AM
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Leisestrum, it doesn't make it easier. It's harder to put brifters on a bike like this. I hate that because I really like the frame and I want to have more fun riding it. I have the parts to change it over except the shifter boss and I have to check the spacing on the rear dropouts for a wheel. I may have a wheel too. I have to weigh it out for myself to see if it's worth it.
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Old 10-25-16, 08:50 AM
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I went ahead and ordered the TRP RRL SR Retro Brake levers and the Campagnolo Skeleton Brakes. Let you know how they fit, feel and work.
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Old 10-26-16, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by LouB View Post
I went ahead and ordered the TRP RRL SR Retro Brake levers and the Campagnolo Skeleton Brakes. Let you know how they fit, feel and work.
Ok. Thanks.
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Old 10-27-16, 09:31 AM
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There are Cable out the top premium brake levers you can Win on the auction side made by Campag and Modolo.
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Old 10-31-16, 11:40 AM
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Here's my Torpado with the TRP Aero levers. Couple of advantages: better brake leverage and more confortable "On the hoods" riding position. Still need to take it out for a long ride, but so far-around the block--feels good--feels better than the old non Aero levers.
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Old 10-31-16, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by LouB View Post
Here's my Torpado with the TRP Aero levers. Couple of advantages: better brake leverage and more confortable "On the hoods" riding position. Still need to take it out for a long ride, but so far-around the block--feels good--feels better than the old non Aero levers.
Those look way more comfortable. Remember to keep your elbows a little bent at all times, and enjoy.
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Old 11-01-16, 01:58 PM
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Road 15 miles with the new aero levers this morning and yup, as adverised, much nicer ride. Better hand positions and can actuate the brakes from the hoods better. As soon as the Campy skeleton dual pivot brakes come and I get them installed, let you know how that feels and works. She's doing good for a 32 year old bike!
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Old 11-01-16, 04:18 PM
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Beautiful levers!
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Old 11-01-16, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by zoom996 View Post
https://i.imgur.com/frBfys4.jpg

This is a picture of the brake levers. I want to put hoods on them but am unsure of the brand to find ones that fit properly. Does anyone have any idea of the brand?

Also, the angle of the levers make it difficult to get a good grip from the top to apply a strong amount of force to be able to stop quickly. Moving the levers won't change that angle from the top which is how I like to ride. It is hard to ride in the drops due to my back pain. Does anyone have any ideas on this problem?

Thank you.
I see that your downtube shifters are the Suntour Power ratchet shifters. Those were often used on bicycles that had Dia-Compe 500 brake calipers and Dia-Compe brake levers similar to yours. You might be able to find hoods for those levers on Ebay or in a bicycle shop that's been around since the mid 1980's. I recently bought NOS gun hoods for similar levers at a shop just outside of a city near me and in the country. I also got NOS Uniglide cassettes and NOS Dura Ace AX brake caliper rubbers there.

Dia-Compe also made Aero brake levers that'd fit nicely.

Btw, if you do go to Brifters or Campy Ergos you'll need a new rear derailler too.

Cheers
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Old 11-01-16, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by zoom996 View Post
Leisestrum, it doesn't make it easier. It's harder to put brifters on a bike like this. I hate that because I really like the frame and I want to have more fun riding it. I have the parts to change it over except the shifter boss and I have to check the spacing on the rear dropouts for a wheel. I may have a wheel too. I have to weigh it out for myself to see if it's worth it.
You can get adapters to fit on downtube shifter bosses and those adapters are where the cable housing would end. Guess what? great news! You can remove the Suntour shift lever parts from the shift lever clamp and then put the adapters on the studs that are under those shift levers. The studs are just like the brazed on studs on other frames. You don't even need to remove that Suntour shift lever clamp from the frame.

Cheers
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Old 11-02-16, 11:10 PM
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Thanks LouB and Meile Man,

I decided to put aero levers on there. Still deciding which ones. I like the look of yours LouB. Hopefully they come in black. I want to know how those Campy brakes work out too.

It's not worth the effort to go through the change over to brifters.
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Old 11-03-16, 09:27 AM
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yup, they come in black and are very cool. Let you know when I get the brakes on. Ordered them from Riddle in the UK so may take a couple of weeks. Update when I get them on.
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Old 11-11-16, 07:42 PM
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So, got the Campy brakes installed--dual pivot on the front. Road a few miles. Tomorrow I'll give them a serious trial.
So far, very happy. The new levers in compbination w the new brakes makes for a much more comfortable and safe ride for me. I have more stopping power and better brake modulation. So far, so good
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Old 11-15-16, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by LouB View Post
So, got the Campy brakes installed--dual pivot on the front. Road a few miles. Tomorrow I'll give them a serious trial.
So far, very happy. The new levers in compbination w the new brakes makes for a much more comfortable and safe ride for me. I have more stopping power and better brake modulation. So far, so good
It's offical. I love this combo: Campy dual pivot (front) brakes with the TRP aero levers. Road some big hills today, modulation and control was perfect for me and they actually stop the bike--always a plus. (and the combo looks good too)
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Old 11-16-16, 06:23 PM
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That's awesome Lou. Those brakes look like their worth a million bucks.
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