Levers advice

r0msey Posts: 31
edited October 2009 in Workshop
I'm trying to get my girlfreind back into cycling, I've commissioned an old road bike, with straight bars. She complains the brakes are too tight for her to pull, and too far away. I think the current levers are early LX/Deore MTB ones already set to 'short' pull. The brakes are not V-brakes just standard side pull old race style. Short of upgrading the brakes, what levers will give most power for a 'short' pull (and a not a very strong pull at that), I'm basically after bang for my buck on pulling power. (or will some soft compound brake pads increase effective braking - wear speed not important, this bike'lll only be used for leisure purposes at weekends...)

Cheers, r0


  • skyd0g
    skyd0g Posts: 2,540
    Before you start replacing anything, have you checked that all the pivot points are running smoothly? It may also be worthwhile to strip & check all the cables are free-running and lubed as well. :wink:
    Cycling weakly
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    edited October 2009
    The levers may pull the wrong amount of cable for the calipers. I'm not familiar with those old type calipers, but if they are designed for road levers and you have levers designed for v-brakes then they won't work very well. My other half has road calipers with bmx levers (these) on her flatbar road bike and it works well (as it should since these pull the same amount of cable as road brake levers). The levers only cost £8 so no big deal if they don't improve things.

    But I agree - check the cables first.
    More problems but still living....
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    The cable pull ratios for MTB and road brakes is different - and there are even differences between different types of MTB brakes and road brakes. Generally, modern brakes are far more powerful and effective, so would suggest you look at a modern pair of levers and calipers if you're wanting effective braking. There are dedicated flat-bar levers designed for road bike calipers too- MTB levers generally pull more cable per actuation, therefore on a road brake they might be too 'grabby' with little feel. Softer pads also help to improve braking but wear quicker tho.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • maddog 2
    maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    older MTB cantilever levers will work fine with modern dual pivot roadies brakes.

    your problem is, I suspect, that the brakes you have aren't very good and/or they are not free to move. Ditto the cables.

    Fit some decent dual pivots and nice new cables and you'll be fine.

    V-brakes levers won't work as the pull too much cable. Cantilever levers have a pivot length of about 20mm. V brake levers are more like 30mm +.
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer