Brake Lever - Caliper Compatibility

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Rob3rt, 10 Apr 2010.

  1. Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Man or Moose!

    Location:
    Manchester
    Sorry if this is a silly question, but, Im looking to buy some TT brake levers (the sort that plug into the ends of bullhort/aero base bars) and brake calipers for use as a front brake on my fixed wheel bike.

    I understand that basically the lever pulls the cable, the cable pulls the caliper, but are there any compatibility issues between some levers and calipers, or can you use any lever with any caliper?

    Also whilst I am talking about brakes, when buying a brake caliper, will pretty much any standard caliper fit? I understand that you get longer and shorter arms on some, but mostly you just see for example a Shimano 105 brake, and are not presented with sizing options.

    Finally, is there much difference between a Tiagra and 105 brake system? Just weight and aesthetics?


    I was looking at getting a black 105 front brake and the following levers, or something very similar.

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=27938
     
  2. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Location:
    Chandler's Ford
    I think all Shimano's current Tiagra & 105 road calipers are the same short drop. 49mm max IIRC

    You need to check that your frame compatible with the calipers.
    If your frame has lots of clearance (say for mudguards on 28mm tyres) you might need deep drop brakes.

    No probs with lever compatibility on either type of caliper AFAIK

    *****

    if you buy a pair of TT levers and have one looking for a home, I might be able to take it off your hands.
     
  3. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Resistance is futile! Moderator

    Location:
    Stevenage
    Just to confirm - long drop and short drop brakes both work fine with a standard road lever. Been there, done that. No problem.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Man or Moose!

    Location:
    Manchester
    Thanks for the info and I will definatelly have one spare that you could give a home too (I almost commented in my 1st port how annoying it is they are always sold in pairs :rofl:), I only need the one I think, not sure if there is any point putting one on the rear of a fixed wheel bike, plus no cable routing lugs, cable ties are not in keeping with my OCD!

    My frame is a fuji track, clearence is pretty minimal/normal as far as I can see, Ill have a measure in a bit.
     
  5. briank

    briank New Member

    The forks of that track frame are drilled for a caliper of course?

    Of course they are, silly question.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Man or Moose!

    Location:
    Manchester
    Yup the forks and rear are both drilled for calipers :rofl:
     
  7. dave r

    dave r Dunking Diddy Dave Pedalling Pensioner

    Location:
    Holbrooks Coventry
    My pearson has a back brake on it, I have found it most useful in slippery conditions, combining leg braking with gentle use of a back brake rather than relying on the front and risking a face plant.
     
  8. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Location:
    Chandler's Ford
    I left the back brake on when I built up my cheapo fixed, as a sort of just in case I decided to change it to SS. Not going to happen now, so when I find a cheap bullhorn to replace the existing drops, the back brake will come off, and I'll want the TT lever.

    TBH my leg braking is pretty feeble, after one seriously brown trousered descent I now only use the fixed if I know there are no serious downhills on my route.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Man or Moose!

    Location:
    Manchester
    Yup I see where you are coming form regarding maybe running it as SS. I will never run my bike single speed, I dont see the point, I want to do 10 mile TT's, maybe the occasional 25, if im ever fit enough :laugh: which are mainly flat routes (if they werent I'd race a geared bike anyway), I cant see any advantage at all for what I want to use the bike for, and if this ever changes (i.e. a weekend pootler, or commuter) then the front end set up will require a lot of re-jigging (since it will be very low and aggresive and not exactly set up for comfort) anyway so I'll think of this later and amend braking choices then.

    My leg braking is sufficient in all but an emergency in the region I cycle, but I have wanted a brake for a while, for emergencies (and now I feel it would make me faster over a distance by allowing me to expend less effort slowing myself down saving this energy for going fast, also I guess it facilitates later braking, hence more time spent at higher speed), since Im changing the bikes handlebar setup to a TT set up, then there was no point buying brakes and levers for the current bars and then having to replace the levers within a matter of a month or so, so I delayed the purchase until I had the financial cushion to pay for it all(calipers, levers, base bars and cables) in one go. But then I got knocked off on saturday (brakes or no brakes, there was no options available, it was unavoidable and completelly the drivers fault, to which he admitted, he side swiped me when pulling into a side street, I was beside his rear passenger door, he didnt check his mirrors and just turned, so I nailed the passenger door) and it made me think how much worse it could have been and am now just forking out for the setup asap.

    I should never have delayed the purchase of brakes, but lesson learnt I guess, the "I'll buy them tomorrow" attitude has ben knocked out of me. Having brakes wouldnt have done anything in the accident though, well maybe they would have done more damage to his car but nothing towards taking the edge off or avoiding the incident.
     
  10. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Location:
    Chandler's Ford
    Sounds nasty, hope not too much damage to you/bike.

    PM when you have a spare lever that you want to convert into (a small amount of) cash.
     
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