East German Tour Tips and A Little Advice on Brake Levers


New Member
Jun 6, 2011
Hello there everyone,

SO I'm setting off on a tour of East Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and Italy in a couple of week and I just wondered if anyone had done any similar trips and had any advice/ tips about some nice roads to check out, or generally any thoughts.

Also I'm trying to buy some new brake levers (for drop handle bars) to work with my centre pull cantilever brakes, but I'm en route to a serious headache due to confusion over what brake levers will and won't work with such brakes and which will only work with v brakes. Basically I want the cheapest brake levers going (as long as they won't fall apart after 10 miles), that I can buy somewhere that will ship them out to me in a couple of days (to the UK)... any suggestions?
I was thinking the Shimano R400 (24.99 chainreaction.com), or the Tektro RL520 (17.99 chainreaction.com)... you may have noticed these are literally the two cheapest brake levers on the site - I've already invested in (exhausted my funds on) a new Deore drivetrain and I thought that I was going to be able to keep one of the brake levers already on the bike I'd picked up (an old Dawes Sterling reynolds 501) and fit another brake lever I had lying around, but one has a white housing and the other black, and one a cable which fits in via the top of the lever and the other via the back... I know it's silly, but they just won't look right together, and if we're honest if you're riding a bike for 2000 miles, having something that you look at each day and think 'ooh what a lovely bike I have', is going to be reasonably important (if not the most important thing going).


P.s. I'll stick up a photo when I've finally got everything assembled.
generally speaking road levers work ok with cantilevers,
with v-brakes you get this funny feel like it is too soft pulling,
speaking of STI and modern type levers but it should be the same for the Shimano R400,

at least you have already tried the levers you had so other than the esthetics you know they work ok ?
cheers mate. Actually I've not tried them really as I bought the bike second hand and stripped it immediately.
I suppose we will see...

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