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V-Brake levers for drops

Posted: 1 Mar 2009, 3:46pm
by bikepacker
I am fitting a dropped bar tourer with v-brakes. On my own bike I use Dia Compe 287v levers which work okay. I see that Tektro do some RL520 levers which are advertised to do the same but at almost half the price. Do any of you have experience with these Tektro levers?

Re: V-Brake levers for drops

Posted: 1 Mar 2009, 4:44pm
by natmat
I can only comment on the Tektro, rather than compare the two. So here's my 2p...

In my opinion, the V-brake drop-levers required too much grip strength to operate for longer rides, or rather for long periods of downhill braking. Compared to cantilevers on drops, the V-brakes required much more effort to pull and were just too tiring to use with hands on the hoods. So I ditched them after a short period in favour of the original canti-brakes. Cantis maybe not quite as good at stopping, but stop they do and required very little effort.

So, I don't recommend the Tektro ones.

Nat.

Re: V-Brake levers for drops

Posted: 1 Mar 2009, 9:33pm
by rogerzilla
I can tell you from experience that the Dia-Compe 287V levers are hopeless. They're badly made (a crude hack of the normal 287) and they still don't pull enough cable for comfortable pad-rim clearance.

If you have dropped bars, get Tektro wide-profile cantilevers instead.

Re: V-Brake levers for drops

Posted: 2 Mar 2009, 8:52am
by Si
Did my first ride with the tektro lever mated to XTR V brake (and rubbish pads). (only swopped the front over due to V brake not fitting rear with current rack)

I'm very impressed. They've a lovely smooth action, the hoods are comfortable, the lever shape is great for braking from the hoods, and it was certainly more powerful than the canti (campag frogs legs type) that it replaced despite having rubbish old pads in it. In fact, on the whole ride, which had a few long twisty downhills and some traffic, I didn't feel the need to brake from the drops once.

The XTR V with the same pads were on my old MTB before, mated to a XTR flat bar lever. The braking power and control with the tecktro drop bar lever seems just as good as with the old flat bar set up.

I'm now looking to replace the cantis on other bikes as funds allow.

Re: V-Brake levers for drops

Posted: 2 Mar 2009, 10:47am
by DougieB
I use the Tekto RL520 levers, with Avid v-brakes. I find them really good, plenty of stopping power from above or on the drops. For longer down hill sections I'm usually on the drops anyway, so haven't experienced a problem with tired hands.

Re: V-Brake levers for drops

Posted: 2 Mar 2009, 1:54pm
by MartinC
I've tried both the DiaCompe and Tektro levers. I'll endorse what's been said about the DiaCompe V levers. They work but I seemed badly designed - the noodles at the brake levers seemed a wierd idea. Tektro (or the Cane Creek badged versions) are much better and to me work fine. My hands are reasonabley strong, I guess, so I've not noticed that they need excessive pressure.

Re: V-Brake levers for drops

Posted: 2 Mar 2009, 5:39pm
by jayd
I set up an MTB conversion with the Dia- Compe levers and basic Tektro V-brakes last summer and had no problems with it. The little noodles coming out of the hoods weren't too fiddly, and I dispensed with the superfluous looking adjustable noodles (used the tektro ones) for the other end and fitted the cabling as neatly as I could. The results were better than the previous canti set -up, but not having tested the bike over long distance (donated to a friend shortly after) I can't say how they'd behave on the long haul. All bits off Ebay.

Re: V-Brake levers for drops

Posted: 2 Mar 2009, 8:34pm
by georgew
I'm not sure of the purpose of the noodles on the hoods of the Tektro levers. However I've just used cut-down noodles on Shimano Sora levers to guide the gear cables out of the way of a decent-sized bar bag which wouldn't otherwise fit. Not my idea but an elegant solution in my opinion.

Re: V-Brake levers for drops

Posted: 8 Mar 2009, 12:08pm
by Si
This topic comes up quite oten so have moved the thread to Too Good to Lose.

Re: V-Brake levers for drops

Posted: 19 Mar 2009, 7:39pm
by AndrewLee
I use V brakes with 105 sti levers and they work really well. I bought a couple of gadgets called travel agents from Bob Jacksons when I had the bike refurbed once. They are two concentric pulleys which double the distance of cable pulled - great breaking control and effort. I fitted in-line adjusters as well. The travel agents or similar would make any lever work with V brakes.

Cheers

Re: V-Brake levers for drops

Posted: 20 Mar 2009, 9:40am
by Si
Travel Agents get very mixed reviews.

I had them coupled to Sora STI levers. They were extremely snatchy and just plain nasty to use in the wet. I soon got shot of them. I would imagine that on a heavier rig (eg tandem) the snatchiness would go.