v BRAKES AND DROP BAR TIAGRA SHIFTERS.



bob161069

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May 16, 2007
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Does This Combination Work. Tiagra Sti Shifters And V Brakes And Whats The Best Solution To Drop Bar And V Brake. Want To Turn Flat Bar Road Bike To Drop Bar Roady. Im Told That V Brakes Wont Work With Sti Shifters
 

artemidorus

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Mar 10, 2004
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Your advice is incorrect. Ordinary v-brakes will work with ordinary sti levers, with some provisos. Although this combination leads to very powerful braking, the main problem is that the lever will "bottom-out" against the drop if the system is not kept perfectly adjusted. The rim must be absolutely true and undamaged. The calipers must be perfectly centered. The cable must be kept as short as possible, so that the pads, at rest, are almost skimming the rim. You must actively keep shortening the cable as the pads wear. Because you will have no cable release lever, you will need to keep an allen key handy for loosening the cable anchor bolt to allow removal of the wheel.
This may all sound like a pain, but you are rewarded with a system that is much more powerful than a standard road dual-pivot side-pull system, or a non-linear-pull cantilever brake.
I'm using this system as the front brake for my commuter and it works very well. If you don't already own the standard v-brake calipers, it may be worthwhile buying mini v-brakes as george has suggested above.
 

John M

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Jun 21, 2005
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bob161069 said:
Does This Combination Work. Tiagra Sti Shifters And V Brakes And Whats The Best Solution To Drop Bar And V Brake. Want To Turn Flat Bar Road Bike To Drop Bar Roady. Im Told That V Brakes Wont Work With Sti Shifters
You can use the STI with V brakes with a cable pull adapter called the Travel agent, made by problem solvers.

This is a link to one online supplier in the US, but they are widely available and any good LBS can get them

http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?page=8&description=Travel+Agent+Each+Barrel+Adj+Black&vendorCode=PS&major=6&minor=8
 

alfeng

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Jul 23, 2005
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artemidorus said:
Your advice is incorrect. Ordinary v-brakes will work with ordinary sti levers, with some provisos. Although this combination leads to very powerful braking, the main problem is that the lever will "bottom-out" against the drop if the system is not kept perfectly adjusted. The rim must be absolutely true and undamaged. The calipers must be perfectly centered. The cable must be kept as short as possible, so that the pads, at rest, are almost skimming the rim. You must actively keep shortening the cable as the pads wear. Because you will have no cable release lever, you will need to keep an allen key handy for loosening the cable anchor bolt to allow removal of the wheel.
This may all sound like a pain, but you are rewarded with a system that is much more powerful than a standard road dual-pivot side-pull system, or a non-linear-pull cantilever brake.
I'm using this system as the front brake for my commuter and it works very well. If you don't already own the standard v-brake calipers, it may be worthwhile buying mini v-brakes as george has suggested above.
A "normal" length V-brake can be used on the rear AS IS if the wheel is true ... I used Ultegra 6500 levers on a "hybrid" frame, briefly, and any concerns about lack of modulation for the rear went away after the first ride. Again, as noted, the wheel should be TRUE!

Also, as John M noted, the front V-brake will need a travel agent. I did NOT use a travel agent for the rear brake.





Now, as far as carrying an Allen key to release the cable, I've tried to explain this once before (might have been outside this Forum) and for some reason it just didn't register ... it's how I have ALWAYS (since the first pair I installed) released the V-brake ... so, having said that, here goes:
An ad hoc CABLE RELEASE on a V-brake when using a road lever is to SIMPLY remove the noodle from the toggle on the left caliper ... when you manually squeeze the calipers, the nipple on the end of the noodle will clear the toggle AND the cable will exit the slot.



Of course, this works with MTB levers, too!
 

Retro Grouch

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Dec 29, 2005
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John M said:
You can use the STI with V brakes with a cable pull adapter called the Travel agent, made by problem solvers.

This is a link to one online supplier in the US, but they are widely available and any good LBS can get them

http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?page=8&description=Travel+Agent+Each+Barrel+Adj+Black&vendorCode=PS&major=6&minor=8
That would be my choice too.

Without using a Travel Agent you would have to adjust your pads so close to the rim that you won't be able to remove your wheel without disconnecting the brake cable.

Mini v's aren't much better. If you get the version that has the barrel adjuster built into the noodle they will work but you have to readjust your brakes in order to remove your wheel.

Travel Agents can be a trip the first time that you set one up but, once you have them figured out, they aren't that bad. I've worked with Travel Agents on tandems for around a decade and have had exactly zero problems with them.
 

artemidorus

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Mar 10, 2004
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alfeng said:
A "normal" length V-brake can be used on the rear AS IS if the wheel is true ... I used Ultegra 6500 levers on a "hybrid" frame, briefly, and any concerns about lack of modulation for the rear went away after the first ride. Again, as noted, the wheel should be TRUE!

Also, as John M noted, the front V-brake will need a travel agent. I did NOT use a travel agent for the rear brake.





Now, as far as carrying an Allen key to release the cable, I've tried to explain this once before (might have been outside this Forum) and for some reason it just didn't register ... it's how I have ALWAYS (since the first pair I installed) released the V-brake ... so, having said that, here goes:
An ad hoc CABLE RELEASE on a V-brake when using a road lever is to SIMPLY remove the noodle from the toggle on the left caliper ... when you manually squeeze the calipers, the nipple on the end of the noodle will clear the toggle AND the cable will exit the slot.



Of course, this works with MTB levers, too!
Front brake does not need a travel agent.
 

artemidorus

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Mar 10, 2004
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alfeng said:
Now, as far as carrying an Allen key to release the cable, I've tried to explain this once before (might have been outside this Forum) and for some reason it just didn't register ... it's how I have ALWAYS (since the first pair I installed) released the V-brake ... so, having said that, here goes:
An ad hoc CABLE RELEASE on a V-brake when using a road lever is to SIMPLY remove the noodle from the toggle on the left caliper ... when you manually squeeze the calipers, the nipple on the end of the noodle will clear the toggle AND the cable will exit the slot.



Of course, this works with MTB levers, too!
If the cable is loose enough to be able to unclip the noodle in the system I describe, then it is too loose for the system to work with sti levers.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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artemidorus said:
Front brake does not need a travel agent.
To each his/her own!

I do know someone else (several people, actually) who's pads on their regular road calipers are so close to the rims (that's the way a local shop likes to set them up for some reason, and most of the patrons accept it that way) that it would be the same as a V-brake & STI lever without a travel agent.

Definitely, little lost in trying the front V-brake WITHOUT a travel agent as long as the installer leaves enough cable for one ... just-in-case!

Oh, and be aware that NOT having a travel agent on the front V-brake COULD (but, may not) result in the rider doing an endo!
 

alfeng

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Jul 23, 2005
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artemidorus said:
If the cable is loose enough to be able to unclip the noodle in the system I describe, then it is too loose for the system to work with sti levers.
Well, I was ONLY relating how I "release" the V-brake calipers regardless of whether it was with V-brake levers on a MTB or with STI (Ultegra 6500) levers.

As I mentioned, apparently the notion of closing the calipers by hand (at the brake calipers, themselves) & slipping the noodle out are inconceivable to some/many people.

Not much else for me to say about it -- I have been able to do it ... apparently, you & others can't.
 

artemidorus

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Mar 10, 2004
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alfeng said:
Well, I was ONLY relating how I "release" the V-brake calipers regardless of whether it was with V-brake levers on a MTB or with STI (Ultegra 6500) levers.

As I mentioned, apparently the notion of closing the calipers by hand (at the brake calipers, themselves) & slipping the noodle out are inconceivable to some/many people.

Not much else for me to say about it -- I have been able to do it ... apparently, you & others can't.
If you use sti levers and standard v-brakes, without travel agent, and leave enough slack in the cable to allow the noodle to be unclipped, then the lever will hit the handlebar when braking, before you've managed to get much braking. This is the major disadvantage of not using a travel agent. If you did use a travel agent, then use of the noodle would be allowed.
As for the endo, well I've always found that the brain quickly learns how hard it has to pull the lever for any given stop.
 

alfeng

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Jul 23, 2005
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artemidorus said:
If you use sti levers and standard v-brakes, without travel agent, and leave enough slack in the cable to allow the noodle to be unclipped, then the lever will hit the handlebar when braking, before you've managed to get much braking. This is the major disadvantage of not using a travel agent. If you did use a travel agent, then use of the noodle would be allowed.
As for the endo, well I've always found that the brain quickly learns how hard it has to pull the lever for any given stop.
OKAY. I'm sure the brain does learn "how hard to pull the lever to stop" BUT there is ZERO modulation if you don't use a travel agent on the front brake. To each his/her own.

As I have previously noted, I found that the rear brake does not require modulation ... and, a travel agent on the rear is superfluous.

Now, allowing that you may be correct regarding cable "slack" AND since I don't have the configuration OR the bike any longer, I have to conjecture as to how I did it (with ALL levers, road & MTB) -- and, I will concede that perhaps (but, not necessarily) AFTER squeezing the calipers that I first, simply unhooked the housing from the frame (the cable stops are SLOTTED on most bikes which have cantilever brake mounts, now) BEFORE slipping the noodle out of the toggle! I don't remember ... all I know is that it can be done without any extraordinary effort while otherwise adjusting the cable tension adequately when using a ROAD/(STI) brake lever ... and, ROAD brake lever movement is (as you must surely know) minimal without a travel agent when using a V-brake.

I guess MY brain was able to figure THAT part out ...

TRY IT! It will greatly expedite releasing-the-brake for EVERYONE when removing their wheels rather than un-doing the anchor bolt each time you need to fix a flat OR do other maintenance!

Gosh, if everyone has been using an Allen key to "open" their V-brake calipers for all these years, then it is no wonder that disc brakes have become so popular!

Thanks for "asking" for clarification of the process ...
 

anth

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Apr 23, 2006
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The first time I removed a wheel from a bike with V-brakes I found it was pretty easy to unhook one side from the other, I think using the process alfeng describes. I've never considered any other way to do it, and hadn't had to undo anything else though it sometimes requires squeezing pretty hard to get enough slack.

The original poster says that he has a flat bar road bike, so I'm guessing that he already has mini-Vs and wants to know if he'll need to change them. These are made for road levers, unlike the "normal" V-brakes which are meant to be used with mountain levers and are getting most of the discussion here.

If you have any doubt about which sort you have measure the calipers (the bits on the side) and post the numbers here. Measure between the centre lines between where it connects to the hanger and to the brake pad, and then between the centre lines between the hanger and the cable mount.
 

gclark8

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Apr 13, 2004
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bob161069 said:
Does This Combination Work.
Tiagra STI Shifters and V-Brakes
And Whats The Best Solution To Drop Bar And V Brake. Want To Turn Flat Bar Road Bike To Drop Bar Roady.
Im Told That V Brakes Wont Work With Sti Shifters
Bob, You will also need to change the Front Derailleur. The Flat Bar Derailleur is for MTB style shifters. I suggest a FD the same model (Tiagra Triple or Double, 9 or 10 speed) as the STI Shifters.
 

artemidorus

New Member
Mar 10, 2004
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alfeng said:
OKAY. I'm sure the brain does learn "how hard to pull the lever to stop" BUT there is ZERO modulation if you don't use a travel agent on the front brake. To each his/her own.

As I have previously noted, I found that the rear brake does not require modulation ... and, a travel agent on the rear is superfluous.

Now, allowing that you may be correct regarding cable "slack" AND since I don't have the configuration OR the bike any longer, I have to conjecture as to how I did it (with ALL levers, road & MTB) -- and, I will concede that perhaps (but, not necessarily) AFTER squeezing the calipers that I first, simply unhooked the housing from the frame (the cable stops are SLOTTED on most bikes which have cantilever brake mounts, now) BEFORE slipping the noodle out of the toggle! I don't remember ... all I know is that it can be done without any extraordinary effort while otherwise adjusting the cable tension adequately when using a ROAD/(STI) brake lever ... and, ROAD brake lever movement is (as you must surely know) minimal without a travel agent when using a V-brake.

I guess MY brain was able to figure THAT part out ...

TRY IT! It will greatly expedite releasing-the-brake for EVERYONE when removing their wheels rather than un-doing the anchor bolt each time you need to fix a flat OR do other maintenance!

Gosh, if everyone has been using an Allen key to "open" their V-brake calipers for all these years, then it is no wonder that disc brakes have become so popular!

Thanks for "asking" for clarification of the process ...
Alfeng, are you being deliberately obtuse? I, like the rest of the cycling world, have long known how to unclip the noodle to release the calipers on a standard v-brake system. I am talking specifically about the combination of an sti lever and a v-brake caliper set, without a travel agent. Noodle cannot be unclipped. Cable too tight. Anchor bolt must be released. Geddit? Your comments only lead me to conclude that you have never used such a system.
As for removing the cable housing from the frame, might work on the rear, but not on the front.
Your comment about minimal sti lever movement without the travel agent is just simply wrong - the problem is a tendency to excessive lever movement. Once again, I have to conclude that you have not used this combination.
 

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