brake lever help!

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Alex Graham, Mar 12, 2003.

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  1. Alex Graham

    Alex Graham Guest

    Hi,

    For my cheapo fixed bike, I need to buy some brake levers, and am faced with the choice between
    Shimano Exage 300EX (12.99GBP) or Shimano BL-R400 Super SLR aero. The R400s look a bit nicer, but
    are they worth the extra 7 quid?

    And what does SLR mean? And why are some levers 'aero' and some not?

    Help would be greatly appreciated!

    -Alex

    --
    ----------------------+ Alex Graham | [email protected] | ----------------------+
     
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  2. Alex Graham wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > For my cheapo fixed bike, I need to buy some brake levers, and am faced with the choice between
    > Shimano Exage 300EX (12.99GBP) or Shimano BL-R400 Super SLR aero. The R400s look a bit nicer, but
    > are they worth the extra 7 quid?

    The BL-R400s, a.k.a. "Tiagra" are the finest drop-bar brake levers ever made. The Exage units are
    slightly cheesier, but also pretty good. I thinkthe Exage units have a quic-release built into the
    lever, which is a good thing, but not essential.

    > And what does SLR mean?

    "Shimano Linear Response." In plain English, it is Shimano buzzwords for brake levers that include a
    return spring.

    And why are some levers 'aero' and some not?

    Actually, both of these questions and many more are answered by my online Bicycle Glossary. Check it
    out at http://sheldonbrown.com/glossary

    Here's the entry on "Aero" brake levers:

    "Æro brake levers

    "Refers to brake levers made for drop handlebars. Older designs had the cables exit up from the
    front of the brake levers, arching over the handlebars. The newer style, where the cable exits out
    the back of the lever and runs under the handlebar tape is referred to as "æro" because it
    eliminates the wind drag of the exposed cables.

    "Æro levers are generally an improvement over the older type. The pivots are located differently,
    making it possible to get fairly serious braking from the position where the rider's hand is on
    top of the lever hood. Non-æro levers would permit the use of this position for gentle
    deceleration only.

    "Æro brake levers usually have more mechanical advantage, which is good in general, but may cause
    problems when they are used with cantilever or drum brakes that require more cable than
    conventional calipers.

    In France, exposed brake cables remained popular longer than elsewhere, because French cylcists
    sometimes like to transport baguettes home from the boulangerie by resting them crosswise across the
    brake hoods. The cables help hold the loaves in position."

    Sheldon "Cyclexicographer" Brown +----------------------------------------------------------+
    | Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when | they do it from religious conviction. --
    | Blaise Pascal |
    +----------------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton,
    Massachusetts Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts
    shipped Worldwide http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  3. Alex Graham

    Alex Graham Guest

    Cool - pretty good value then. So are the R600 levers not much better than R400 despite being more
    expensive?

    Im using them with cantilever brakes which have a QR type thing already so Ill probably go for
    the R400s!

    Thanks,

    -Alex

    --
    ----------------------+ Alex Graham | [email protected] | ----------------------+
     
  4. Alex Graham wrote:

    > Cool - pretty good value then. So are the R600 levers not much better than R400 despite being more
    > expensive?

    The plastic trim piece on the R600 levers is black; on the R400s, it's gray.

    I haven't seen any other difference aside from the price.

    Sheldon "I Can Live With Gray, Matches My Beard" Brown +-------------------------------+
    | It's never too late to have | a happy childhood | --Jacek Rudowski |
    +-------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts Phone 617-244-9772 FAX
    617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide http://captainbike.com
    http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  5. Jeff Wills

    Jeff Wills Guest

    SLR is Shimano Linear Response- marketing speak for "there's a little return spring in the lever."

    "non-aero" brake levers route the brake cable through the top of the lever. Heck, Eddy Merckx won
    five Tour de Frances on non-aero levers- is that good enough for ya? :cool:

    Both of the Shimano levers you mention are "aero": the brake cable along the handlebar. I can't see
    where the more expensive levers would make a difference to you.

    Jeff

    Alex Graham <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi,
    >
    > For my cheapo fixed bike, I need to buy some brake levers, and am faced with the choice between
    > Shimano Exage 300EX (12.99GBP) or Shimano BL-R400 Super SLR aero. The R400s look a bit nicer, but
    > are they worth the extra 7 quid?
    >
    > And what does SLR mean? And why are some levers 'aero' and some not?
    >
    > Help would be greatly appreciated!
    >
    > -Alex
     
  6. On Wed, 12 Mar 2003 13:33:31 -0500, Alex Graham wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > For my cheapo fixed bike, I need to buy some brake levers, and am faced with the choice between
    > Shimano Exage 300EX (12.99GBP) or Shimano BL-R400 Super SLR aero. The R400s look a bit nicer, but
    > are they worth the extra 7 quid?
    >
    > And what does SLR mean? And why are some levers 'aero' and some not?
    >
    > Help would be greatly appreciated!

    I agree with Sheldon Brown's assessment that the Shimano aero brake levers are the best, most
    comfortable brake levers ever put on a bicycle. They fit my hands as though Shimano borrowed them
    while they were designing the levers. Simply perfect. I know the BL-R400s are that shape; I know
    nothing of the Exage's. AFAIK the only current non-brifter aero brake levers Shimano is selling are
    the 400s and the Dura Ace version, which are identical except for trim color.
     
  7. Sheldon Brown wrote:
    >
    > In France, exposed brake cables remained popular longer than elsewhere, because French cylcists
    > sometimes like to transport baguettes home from the boulangerie by resting them crosswise across
    > the brake hoods. The cables help hold the loaves in position."

    Now that's just silly.

    However, I can report that the top of a Profile aero bar is an excellent place to carry a take-out
    order of pierogi. One bungee cord is all it takes. ;-)

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  8. M Gagnon

    M Gagnon Guest

    "Sheldon Brown" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    > "Æro levers are generally an improvement over the older type. The pivots are located differently,
    > making it possible to get fairly serious braking from the position where the rider's hand is on
    > top of the lever hood. Non-æro levers would permit the use of this position for gentle
    > deceleration only.
    >
    > "Æro brake levers usually have more mechanical advantage, which is good in general, but may cause
    > problems when they are used with cantilever or drum brakes that require more cable than
    > conventional calipers.
    >

    So what would happen if one were to use 1980-style Dia-Compe non-aero levers with v-brakes? Would
    the brakes work? Would the released brakes stay far enough from the rims?

    Regards,

    --
    Michel Gagnon -- Montréal (Québec, Canada) mailto:[email protected]
     
  9. An excerpt from my Bicycle Glossary:

    >>"Æro levers are generally an improvement over the older type. The pivots are located differently,
    >>making it possible to get fairly serious braking from the position where the rider's hand is on
    >>top of the lever hood. Non-æro levers would permit the use of this position for gentle
    >>deceleration only.
    >>
    >>"Æro brake levers usually have more mechanical advantage, which is good in general, but may cause
    >>problems when they are used with cantilever or drum brakes that require more cable than
    >>conventional calipers.

    Michel Gagnon a demandé

    > So what would happen if one were to use 1980-style Dia-Compe non-aero levers with v-brakes? Would
    > the brakes work? Would the released brakes stay far enough from the rims?

    Direct pull brakes, such as V-Brakes (TM) require twice as much cable pull as conventional brakes.

    If you used this combination, either the brake levers would bottom out against the handlebars before
    the brake was fully applied, or, the brake shoes would not retract far enough to clear the rim when
    the brakes were released.

    Sheldon "Don't Do It" Brown +------------------------------------------------------+
    | There are strange things done in the midnight sun, | by the men who moil for gold, | The Arctic
    | trails have their secret tales, | That would make your blood run cold... | --Robert Service |
    +------------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
    Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
    http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  10. > Michel Gagnon a demandé
    >
    > > So what would happen if one were to use 1980-style Dia-Compe non-aero levers with v-brakes?
    > > Would the brakes work? Would the released brakes stay far enough from the rims?
    >
    > ...
    >
    > If you used this combination, either the brake levers would bottom out against the handlebars
    > before the brake was fully applied, or, the brake shoes would not retract far enough to clear the
    > rim when the brakes were released.
    >
    > Sheldon "Don't Do It" Brown

    Thanks

    Michel Gagnon
     
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