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Need new brake levers and advice - cantis or V brakes?(4 posts)

Need new brake levers and advice - cantis or V brakes?GlowBoy
Feb 24, 2003 1:54 PM
I need to get new aero brake levers for my 'crosser. If I stick with canti brakes, I can go with the Tiagra levers for $40 from Harris Cyclery. That's tempting because the money's reasonable and Sheldon says these are the best levers ever made.

... or I could get the Dia-Compe 287-V levers and convert to V brakes. Now I've got my existing Avid cantis dialed in pretty well, and they have more than enough power for 'cross racing and open-road riding ... but on my rainy, urban Oregon commute I really could use more braking power. The V brake route would end up running me $80-90, including the brakes.

I'm strongly tempted to convert to Vs, but I'm concerned about the Dia-Compe levers because I don't know what Sheldon means about the Shimanos being "nicer". Does he mean they're more comfortable? If so, that would be a big deal to me, because I spend a lot of time riding on the hoods, and older (non-aero) Dia-Compes that I've tried are distinctly uncomfortable to me.

Advice, anyone?
re: Need new brake levers and advice - cantis or V brakes?rockdogger
Feb 24, 2003 4:01 PM
I have used both levers and the shimano's are a little smoother action wise. The 287v's are still really nice though. The v's have a little more stopping power and the 287 v's come with a cool barrel adjuster noodle. The comfort level is about the same. The 287's are a little more pointed at the top and the rubber has a slightly differant feel. If you really want v's go with the diacompe. Either way, you can't go wrong. The shimano's are nice, but not so much nicer I'd stick with them if you really wanted v's. If you stick with the canti's the shimano's are definitely the way to go. My hardly used 287v's are on ebay right now and a much lower cost than new anywhere.
re: Need new brake levers and advice - cantis or V brakes?ChazWicked
Feb 25, 2003 12:25 PM
I'm not super familiar with the various brake combos you have going but you can get a lot more power out of canti brakes by installing v-brake style cartridge pads. I run those plus the wtb dual compound pads for really solid braking power under all conditions. Something to consider for your evaluation. Good luck

-chaz
'K, thanks. Vs it is.GlowBoy
Feb 25, 2003 9:03 PM
I asked the same question on the SS board and the responses seem to be unanimous that the Dia-Compes are quite nice. Thanks for the feedback! I'm gonna do the V thing.

I've already dialed in my Avids really well (and they don't even squeal much!) and installed red Ritchey v-style pads, which has helped immensely in wet conditions, and they stop as well as any cantis I've ever used. But they're not even close to Vs, really. Cantis are great for 'cross racing, because the reduced braking power allows for better modulation and is a good match for the reduced grip available. But I've got a lot more traction than that on pavement, even when it's wet, and I'd like to be able to actually use it.

I used to commute regularly on an MTB with V brakes ... I love my 'crosser, but its braking abilities don't give me the confidence to ride in traffic that I used to have with the mountain brick. This upgrade should restore that old confidence. I'm, uh, confident of it!

- Dan