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Touring bike build (drop bars & linear pull brakes)

Old 06-11-12, 03:03 AM
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OndrejP_SK
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Touring bike build (drop bars & linear pull brakes)

Hi,

In the last couple of months I've been building up this Kona frame as a touring bike. I've tried flat MTB handlebars as well as "butterfly" a.k.a. trekking bars, but I haven't been comfortable with them. The most recent incarnation uses Shimano 105 aero + Tektro crosstop brake levers and V-brakes.





I've been alittle worried how will it work (after reading about the incompatibility of road brake levers and linear pull brakes), but it seems to work just fine. I needed to adjust the cable length just enough to be able to disconnect the brakes and remove the wheel. There are no adjusters on the aero levers or the brake, so the only way of adjusting the lever travel is by the adjusters on the crosstop levers. The lever travel is a little longer than usual on a road bike, but the stopping power is much stronger than the same brakes with MTB brake levers (due to the higher leverage of the road brake levers).


BTW: I've used Shimano 7-speed MTB thumbshifters with stamped mounting braket and bent it slightly open to mount on 24mm road handlebars. (the XT thumbshifters use aluminium bracket). The cassette is 8-speed 11-28. Paired with 22-36-44 chainrings, this gives me 20-100 gearinches and reasonable steps, while still using the cheaper and more durable 8-speed parts. Most of the time I'll be in he middle chainring. With the stock 32t I would be using too small rear sprockets. Moreover the 36+44 combination works like something like "1 and a half step". (simulation in Mike Sherman's gear calculator)

Last edited by OndrejP_SK; 06-11-12 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 06-11-12, 03:34 AM
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That is a very nice bike. Probably the best vintage mtb style touring bike i've seen so far.
I'm a bit surprised to see that the levers/v-brakes combination actually works. What is the clearance between the rim and the brake pads? How is the modulation?
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Old 06-11-12, 03:50 AM
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Thanks for the compliment.
I don't know how much clearance there is, but my wheels are straight and true so no rubbing. The modulation is more sensitive than it would be with linear pull levers. It's perfectly usable, just a bit more sharp. An unexperienced rider could easily fly over the bars
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Old 06-11-12, 04:50 AM
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I use a similarly "incompatible" setup on my touring bike: Tiagra 4500 shift/brake levers with Avid linear pull brakes. The clearance is pretty tight, but as long as I keep my wheels in good true I find that the setup works quite well with good brake modulation and I can still lock the wheels if I want.

If you're worried, you can always pick up a Travel Agent (https://problemsolversbike.com/products/travel_agents/) which is supposed to solve the compatibility issues. I have a pair, but I've never installed them since I've been running the said setup for ~5K miles with no problems.
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Old 06-11-12, 07:23 AM
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Looks good. What are the tires? You might want to consider a front rack as well. They are somewhat limited for shock forks, but they exist. Tubus makes one. One possibility is to get a spare solid fork for touring and keep the shock fork for commuting. Also consider fenders. It is a lot more pleasant riding in the rain when you arenít getting sprayed by your own wheels. I like the inline brake levers. I first became aware of them a few years ago. Where have they been all my life? I also favor indexed barcons, but that is a matter of personal preference.
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Old 06-11-12, 08:03 AM
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The tires are Schwalbe Marathon 26x1.75 and yes - you guessed it - I'm also planning to use front rack. It's made by Sport-Arsenal a company from Czech Republic.

Here is a picture of the "previous incarnation" of this bike:
(still with MTB compact double crankset and flat handlebars)


And one more picture from testing the "butterfly" handlebars and the front rack with panniers attached and loaded.


(Pictures are linked from the velospace profile of this bike https://velospace.org/node/42280)
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Old 06-11-12, 08:03 AM
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looks great, any lockout for the fork? I've become a fan of frame bags after using a Revelate medium bag on my Cross-Check. I bet a tight bundle under your bars and a frame bag could take the place of front rack/bags.
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Old 06-11-12, 08:36 AM
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Did you add a travel agent roller instead of a noodle on the brake?

You can get them with a barrel adjuster on them,
to augment the adjuster on the top mount cross lever..

The travel agent, [QBP] has 2 pulley diameters,
the cable spirals from the smaller to the larger.

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-11-12 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 06-12-12, 01:01 AM
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Dear fietsbob - nope I haven't used travel agent. This thread is about my touring bike build on which I haven't used travel agent and got away with it. It's perfectly usable combination of road brake levers and linear pull brakes. The comment about the only adjusters being on the crosstop levers was just to say that the crosstop levers offer an added bonus to being handy for actual braking
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Old 06-12-12, 01:19 AM
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So this has proven itself serviceable over several years,
and 10K+ KM on tours already,?

a short pull aero lever, and a cable pull hungry long type2 lever
needs a RCH of never out of true rim-pad clearance IMHO.

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-12-12 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 06-12-12, 01:26 AM
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your build is nice, sort of like a Thorn Sherpa.
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Old 06-12-12, 08:50 AM
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You might have handling problems with that front rack. I find the best handling when the center of gravity in the front panniers is centered on the hub (or immediately above the hub) and yours is set up so that the weight might be too far back. If it works, great. But, if you have any shimmy, try shifting the weight in the front panniers.

I have 8 speed gear on both of my touring bikes, I see no need to go to 9 or 10 or 11 or whatever they are up to these days.
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Old 06-12-12, 03:57 PM
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So this has proven itself serviceable over several years,
and 10K+ KM on tours already,?
a short pull aero lever, and a cable pull hungry long type2 lever
needs a RCH of never out of true rim-pad clearance IMHO.
No. Not yet. Maybe I'll have to change this setup someday. I promise to report back after some serious touring miles.


You might have handling problems with that front rack. I find the best handling when the center of gravity in the front panniers is centered on the hub (or immediately above the hub) and yours is set up so that the weight might be too far back. If it works, great. But, if you have any shimmy, try shifting the weight in the front panniers.
Thanks. I noticed that and have later moved it as far to the front as the rack allows. The test ride with front panniers proved successful, I can ride without hands and the bike is stable but controlable.
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Old 06-12-12, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by OndrejP_SK View Post
Hi,

In the last couple of months I've been building up this Kona frame as a touring bike. I've tried flat MTB handlebars as well as "butterfly" a.k.a. trekking bars, but I haven't been comfortable with them. The most recent incarnation uses Shimano 105 aero + Tektro crosstop brake levers and V-brakes.





I've been alittle worried how will it work (after reading about the incompatibility of road brake levers and linear pull brakes), but it seems to work just fine. I needed to adjust the cable length just enough to be able to disconnect the brakes and remove the wheel. There are no adjusters on the aero levers or the brake, so the only way of adjusting the lever travel is by the adjusters on the crosstop levers. The lever travel is a little longer than usual on a road bike, but the stopping power is much stronger than the same brakes with MTB brake levers (due to the higher leverage of the road brake levers).


BTW: I've used Shimano 7-speed MTB thumbshifters with stamped mounting braket and bent it slightly open to mount on 24mm road handlebars. (the XT thumbshifters use aluminium bracket). The cassette is 8-speed 11-28. Paired with 22-36-44 chainrings, this gives me 20-100 gearinches and reasonable steps, while still using the cheaper and more durable 8-speed parts. Most of the time I'll be in he middle chainring. With the stock 32t I would be using too small rear sprockets. Moreover the 36+44 combination works like something like "1 and a half step". (simulation in Mike Sherman's gear calculator)
The correct road brake levers for linear pull brakes would be this.

https://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ls&ProdID=1453

Other than that, it's a very nice build! I love the retro thumb shifters. I have a thumb shifter myself on my touring folding bike.
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Old 06-12-12, 05:33 PM
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RE miles in service:
No. Not yet. Maybe I'll have to change this setup someday.
Bench tests often will be less than suitable on the road..

The V brake pull drop bars will have different pull rates
to all but Paul's Top Mount lever with it's pivot pin fulcrum moved
to the B location..

The Travel agent piece will do the travel pull modification ,
and still use the lever sets you have..
and have proven their functionality..

FWIW,my favorite Trekking bar setup,
uses Magura's HS33 Hydro Stop Rim brakes .
or the Avid BB7 disc brakes . Have 1 0f each

my Cross bike uses Cantilever brakes , same Shimano Lever
+ cross top mount 2nd levers..
they, cantilevers, need much less cable pull to work..

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-14-12 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 06-12-12, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by pacificcyclist View Post
The correct road brake levers for linear pull brakes would be this.

https://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ls&ProdID=1453
I have gone with Cane Creek SCR 5 levers but now wonder if I have got the wrong ones as I am not able to get a good pull on the levers, i.e., it is soft and I can run out of lever pull.

Other than that, it's a very nice build! I love the retro thumb shifters. I have a thumb shifter myself on my touring folding bike.
I agree. Very nice and apologies for high jacking the thread.

Andrew
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Old 06-12-12, 07:01 PM
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Andrew, it is a short pull lever. We've got them specifically to use with BB7_road and it works absolutely fine. I am not aware of a V-brake version of this lever.
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Old 06-12-12, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mikhalit View Post
Andrew, it is a short pull lever. We've got them specifically to use with BB7_road and it works absolutely fine. I am not aware of a V-brake version of this lever.
Thanks.

After posting my comment I did a bit more research and realised that I had ordered/fitted the wrong levers For some stupid reason I thought the SCR-5 where the equivalent of the Tektro RL520. Stupid stupid stupid.

Now doing an urgent order on Chain Reaction Cycles to get some Cane Creek Drop V levers, i.e., the correct ones for v-brakes as I need them in a hurry for my Dreaming Tour.

Lesson learned ... do the research properly!

Regards
Andrew
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