help needed removing brake levers



charly h

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Oct 10, 2005
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Hello!!
I want to get my handlebars off to trim them down and then move my brake levers up a bit, but how do I get the levers off so I can remove the bars? I can't see any screw anywhere. Also, once I have got the bars off, is the clamp thing that keeps the brakes fixed securely on the bars reusable? Or should I buy a new one? And, do you reckon that if I'm doing all this replacing the cabling would be a good idea as a regular maintenace thing - the brakes work OK, but not quite as sharp as I'd like - the pads are new though.
Thank you in advance for your wisdom!:)
 

Don Shipp

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May 20, 2005
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charly h said:
Hello!!
I want to get my handlebars off to trim them down and then move my brake levers up a bit, but how do I get the levers off so I can remove the bars? I can't see any screw anywhere. Also, once I have got the bars off, is the clamp thing that keeps the brakes fixed securely on the bars reusable? Or should I buy a new one? And, do you reckon that if I'm doing all this replacing the cabling would be a good idea as a regular maintenace thing - the brakes work OK, but not quite as sharp as I'd like - the pads are new though.
Thank you in advance for your wisdom!:)
You don't say what sort of brake levers you have, but if there is no obvious way to remove them then the bolt that you have to undo is probably behind the brake cable.
Unhook the cable from the lever. If this is hard, then remove the wheel and squeeze the pads together by hand to slacken he cable, it will now come free quite easily.
Pull on the lever and look in at the front. You will see a bolt, probably with a slotted head that can be turned with a flat bladed screwdriver. Turn this anti-clockwise, and the lever will become loose and can be slid off the bars. Turn it too much and it all just comes to bits.
All parts can be re-used when putting it back together, but if you want to replace the cables with better ones now would be a good time.
 

charly h

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Oct 10, 2005
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Yeah, doh! I realised that after I put the post up. The levers are weinmann ones with the additional dual lever, and my bars are drops.

Thanks for your advice though, I'll have a butcher's in a bit, and hopefully all will proceed smoothly :D .... do you think that new cables would improve braking performance?

Don Shipp said:
You don't say what sort of brake levers you have, but if there is no obvious way to remove them then the bolt that you have to undo is probably behind the brake cable.
Unhook the cable from the lever. If this is hard, then remove the wheel and squeeze the pads together by hand to slacken he cable, it will now come free quite easily.
Pull on the lever and look in at the front. You will see a bolt, probably with a slotted head that can be turned with a flat bladed screwdriver. Turn this anti-clockwise, and the lever will become loose and can be slid off the bars. Turn it too much and it all just comes to bits.
All parts can be re-used when putting it back together, but if you want to replace the cables with better ones now would be a good time.
 

Daremo

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Jul 29, 2003
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Yes, getting a good cable/housing combo will help performance some. Ideally you would run the braided STI type housing for best performance, but usually brake cables are a bit thicker and will not fit well into the STI type housing.
 

Don Shipp

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May 20, 2005
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charly h said:
Yeah, doh! I realised that after I put the post up. The levers are weinmann ones with the additional dual lever, and my bars are drops.

Thanks for your advice though, I'll have a butcher's in a bit, and hopefully all will proceed smoothly :D .... do you think that new cables would improve braking performance?
Replace with cables that have a compression resistant casing. You will be able to recognise them in the shop by their outrageous price tag.
Using gear cable casing with your brake cables is one way of doing it. You WILL need good quality cable cutters, not just wire cutters or snips.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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Daremo said:
Yes, getting a good cable/housing combo will help performance some. Ideally you would run the braided STI type housing for best performance, but usually brake cables are a bit thicker and will not fit well into the STI type housing.
That's just BS.You don't use derailer housing for brakes.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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Don Shipp said:
Replace with cables that have a compression resistant casing. You will be able to recognise them in the shop by their outrageous price tag.
Using gear cable casing with your brake cables is one way of doing it. You WILL need good quality cable cutters, not just wire cutters or snips.
More BS.You don't use derailer casing for brakes. Bulk brake housing cn be had for $1 a foot at LBS.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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charly h said:
Yeah, doh! I realised that after I put the post up. The levers are weinmann ones with the additional dual lever, and my bars are drops.

Thanks for your advice though, I'll have a butcher's in a bit, and hopefully all will proceed smoothly :D .... do you think that new cables would improve braking performance?
Not much you can do to improve the crappy brakes you have.
 

Don Shipp

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May 20, 2005
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boudreaux said:
More BS.You don't use derailer casing for brakes. Bulk brake housing cn be had for $1 a foot at LBS.
The cheap stuff feels soggy. Gear cable outer and expensive, compression resistant brake cable casing gives much sharper braking.
 

Don Shipp

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boudreaux said:
Not much you can do to improve the crappy brakes you have.
But better cable housing does help a lot; I know this because it's what I do.
One day I may invest in better brakes.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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Don Shipp said:
The cheap stuff feels soggy. Gear cable outer and expensive, compression resistant brake cable casing gives much sharper braking.
Derailer casing will split, and isn't intended to be sued as brake casing.I use the Bulk stuff with record and DA setups and there is nothing soggy about it. Brake casing by definition is compressionless. Real cheap stuff from wallymart should be avoided. The Bulk stuff from LBS, nashbar or loosescrews simply works and doesn't cost a left nut.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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Don Shipp said:
But better cable housing does help a lot; I know this because it's what I do.
One day I may invest in better brakes.
Anythig above wallymart casing would be an improvement over what he has. Read what he is starting with: ...Cheap aZZed suicide levers and likely equally crummy calipers and probably old hard glazed pads.
 

Don Shipp

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May 20, 2005
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boudreaux said:
Anythig above wallymart casing would be an improvement over what he has. Read what he is starting with: ...Cheap aZZed suicide levers and likely equally crummy calipers and probably old hard glazed pads.
Probably centre-pulls.
It would be a good idea to remove the top levers.
 

charly h

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Oct 10, 2005
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Thanks for the tips Don, and impressive display of restraint! ;) The dual levers do give soggy braking, the braking is much better just from the levers themselves ... and the cables are definitely pretty ancient ... think it's time to invest in a bit cabling and an afternoon's bike wreckin however, and we'll see what happens!
 

Ozark Bicycle

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Oct 28, 2005
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Don Shipp said:
Replace with cables that have a compression resistant casing. You will be able to recognise them in the shop by their outrageous price tag.
Using gear cable casing with your brake cables is one way of doing it. You WILL need good quality cable cutters, not just wire cutters or snips.
"Using gear cable casing with your brake cables" is a good way to have the casing fail, lose your brakes, crash and need the tender mercies of both a dentist and a plastic surgeon.

Never, _ever_ use modern, parallel-stranded ("compressionless") derailer housing for brake applications. It will almost surely fail, with dire results.
 

Ozark Bicycle

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Oct 28, 2005
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boudreaux said:
Not much you can do to improve the crappy brakes you have.

That's classic OSAF.

IME, modern cables and housing, along with modern pads can yield good results with older brakes. The suicide/safety levers are another issue. They will never yield good stopping power. They can, however, modulate your speed from an upright position, if that's what you want to do.
 

Don Shipp

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Ozark Bicycle said:
"Using gear cable casing with your brake cables" is a good way to have the casing fail, lose your brakes, crash and need the tender mercies of both a dentist and a plastic surgeon.

Never, _ever_ use modern, parallel-stranded ("compressionless") derailer housing for brake applications. It will almost surely fail, with dire results.
O.K. then I'll go along with that. But it is possible to buy compressionless cable housing that is intended for brakes. I have some "Flying snake" cables in reserve against the time that my current set-up fails. (That has Flack Jacket outers.)
Concerning upgrading generally, once you start it can get expensive quite quickly, don't put an expensive groupset and wheels on an old gas-pipe frame. If you have a good frame, it might be worth it.
 

Ozark Bicycle

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Oct 28, 2005
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Don Shipp said:
O.K. then I'll go along with that. But it is possible to buy compressionless cable housing that is intended for brakes. I have some "Flying snake" cables in reserve against the time that my current set-up fails. (That has Flack Jacket outers.)
Concerning upgrading generally, once you start it can get expensive quite quickly, don't put an expensive groupset and wheels on an old gas-pipe frame. If you have a good frame, it might be worth it.


Buying new, high quality brake housing is no more expensive than "compressionless" derailer housing. All together, new brake housing, cables and pads would run around US$20-25. A good deal for bringing old brakes up to snuff.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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Ozark Bicycle said:
Buying new, high quality brake housing is no more expensive than "compressionless" derailer housing. All together, new brake housing, cables and pads would run around US$20-25. A good deal for bringing old brakes up to snuff.
Except some old **** will never be up to snuff no matter how much money you throw at it.
 

Don Shipp

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Ozark Bicycle said:
Buying new, high quality brake housing is no more expensive than "compressionless" derailer housing. All together, new brake housing, cables and pads would run around US$20-25. A good deal for bringing old brakes up to snuff.
We might say "Up to scratch." Snuff means kill or die.