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V brakes with drops.

Old 12-11-06, 11:16 AM
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V brakes with drops.

I know they need some kind of adaptor. Can someone tell me what it's called?

Thanks
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Old 12-11-06, 11:51 AM
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Problem solvers "travel agent" pulley adapters.

Or you can get special road levers that work with v-brakes, "dia-compe 287-V" levers, about $50.
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Old 12-11-06, 11:58 AM
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travel agents

graham posted while i was looking for the link

Last edited by zzzwillzzz; 12-11-06 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 12-11-06, 03:42 PM
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Thanks for that, chaps, much appreciated.
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Old 12-11-06, 04:21 PM
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Tektro Mini V-brakes work without adapters on Shimano STI shifters.
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Old 12-11-06, 04:28 PM
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Here's the one I use.
Just follow the directions (non-braided cable, and set at 2 o'clock position, and they work like a charm.
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Old 12-11-06, 05:45 PM
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I've been using Dia Compe 287-V levers on my touring bike. They work okay, but they have cable friction problems. It took me a little while to get them to work right. Now they're all dialed in and they work great. I like them just fine. If I had to do it again, though, I'd go for cheaper levers with cantis. I don't know that I personally would want to bother with travel agents. Reports are mixed, and I would want normal brakes and levers specifically so I don't have to mess with a finicky set-up.
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Old 12-11-06, 07:51 PM
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As you know better than I do the 287s are designed to be optimal for cantis also, though not required for cantis. So you are covered either way. How did you get them to work? Some people say the covers are uncomfortable, so I was tihnking of trying to mold my own out of something maybe leather or 2 part silicon.
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Old 12-11-06, 08:57 PM
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Why did you need something for v-brakes? I have a trek 920 with drops on it and it has V-Brakes, works just fine. Am I doing something wrong, or something right?
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Old 12-11-06, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidARayJaxNC
Why did you need something for v-brakes? I have a trek 920 with drops on it and it has V-Brakes, works just fine. Am I doing something wrong, or something right?
What brake levers and calipers do you have on the bike?

Maybe you should take a quick picture of the front brakes and handlebar.
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Old 12-11-06, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby
I would want normal brakes and levers specifically so I don't have to mess with a finicky set-up.
It's not finicky at all, if you can follow simple directions.
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Old 12-11-06, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
What brake levers and calipers do you have on the bike?

Maybe you should take a quick picture of the front brakes and handlebar.
Cant right now, but I had standard MTB v-brakes, but I wanted the drops for touring, so I got some of them fance drop brake levers and it works great. In fact, I wad wondering why people insist on using calipers.
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Old 12-11-06, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
It's not finicky at all, if you can follow simple directions.
I agree that the travel agents were straightforward to set up. Although there are threads where people complain about them.
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Old 12-11-06, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Peterpan1
As you know better than I do the 287s are designed to be optimal for cantis also, though not required for cantis. So you are covered either way. How did you get them to work? Some people say the covers are uncomfortable, so I was tihnking of trying to mold my own out of something maybe leather or 2 part silicon.
No, these levers don't go both ways. Dia Compe makes a version of the 287 that is intended for cantilever or other standard cable pull brakes (called, oddly enough, the 287). The 287-V is a model specifically intended for v-brakes, and the basic appearance and design is the same, but it is a separate product.

Getting the levers to work right is mostly about good cable routing and lever placement. Placing the levers too low on the forward curve of the drops will make friction a lot worse. Put them up where they belong, route cables smoothly and make sure to make clean cuts in your housing. You can compensate for high friction by increasing brake spring tension, but this destroys the feel of the brake. It's acceptable on the rear brake, but a very bad idea on the front brake.

As for comfort, I find them to be acceptable, but that's all. The hoods are shaped okay, but are a little bit narrow. I can understand how some would begin to find them uncomfortable. They don't bother me any more than any other road lever I've used, but I know for a fact that more comfortable levers exist. I do need to move my hands occasionally to prevent discomfort. Good luck making your own hoods!
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Old 12-12-06, 04:43 AM
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Why does it matter? I dont understand why you need a special lever for v-brakes and another for cantilevers. If it pulls the brake arms then the brakes should work. Can someone explain to me why you HAVE TO have special levers for different kinds of brake systems.
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Old 12-12-06, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidARayJaxNC
Why does it matter? I dont understand why you need a special lever for v-brakes and another for cantilevers. If it pulls the brake arms then the brakes should work. Can someone explain to me why you HAVE TO have special levers for different kinds of brake systems.
Levers designed for caliper and canti brakes only pull half the amount of cable as V-brake levers. If you try to use V-brakes with drop bars without an adapter, you will have to set your pads extremely close to the rims and still may not get enough travel for effective braking.
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Old 12-12-06, 08:16 AM
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Shimano and Avid have brakes designed for use with road levers.
Avid Shorty 4 and Avid Shorty 6 with cartridge style pads.
Shimano BR-R550 pictured below.
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Old 12-12-06, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by n4zou
Shimano and Avid have brakes designed for use with road levers.
Avid Shorty 4 and Avid Shorty 6 with cartridge style pads.
Shimano BR-R550 pictured below.
ANY cantilver brake will work fine with road levers.
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Old 12-12-06, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by DavidARayJaxNC
Why does it matter? I dont understand why you need a special lever for v-brakes and another for cantilevers. If it pulls the brake arms then the brakes should work. Can someone explain to me why you HAVE TO have special levers for different kinds of brake systems.
I think you are confused to what a cantilever and a v-brake is..

Here is a good webpage with the skinny:
https://sheldonbrown.com/cantilever-adjustment.html

The first two pictures on the page are "v-brakes" and "cantilever" brakes, respectively.
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Old 12-12-06, 10:17 AM
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https://www.somafab.com/aerolevers.html

just got these at the bike shop. i'm putting a lht together with vbrakes, that i yanked from my mtb. the store owner said these should work with vbrakes. paid $30 for a new set. Not sure how they work, haven't had a chance to try them yet.
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Old 12-12-06, 04:02 PM
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Some brake observations, not necessarily recommendations: I've successfully run v-brakes (Avid SD-7) with (2000?) Shimano 105 brifters on my cyclocross bike for several seasons (despite several people saying it wouldn't work). Great braking power, no clearance issues, sheds mud fine. I also have newer (2004?) Shimano 105 brifters with cheap Tektro v-brakes on my touring bike, which works ok, but not as well as with the Avid brakes. They brake very well, but do have to be adjusted closer to the rim than I'd like. As an experiment, I tried to set up my wife's bike with Cane Creek SCR-5c (compact) levers (similar to the Tektro/Soma levers mentioned above) with v-brakes, and it did not work. I tried using travel agents to fix it. It worked fine with a 90 degree travel agent on the front, but there wasn't room for one on the rear. So I tried an in-line travel agent, and it did not work, too much friction for the brake springs to overcome. The Cane Creek ergo-style levers are definitely intended to be used with cantis. The Tektro/Soma levers appear similar, but perhaps their innards work differently. I recall looking at the Tektro box and it said they are short-pull (canti) levers. Like I said, just some observations.
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Old 12-12-06, 06:08 PM
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I run the travel agent adapter up front. Pretty easy to set up. Can't get rid of a bad squeal though....

Close-up of my setup.
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