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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Just picked up a Surly Cross Check, came with Shimano Cantilever brake levers mounted to some mountain style flat bars and Tektro Onyx Cantilever brakes.

I'm switching over to drop bars, and just want to make sure these roadie style levers will work with the existing Tektro Onyx brakes that it came with.

Found these over at Jenson...
Tektro RL520 Ergo Brake Levers
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/BL307A00-Tektro+Rl520+Ergo+Brake+Levers.aspx

Are these levers mechanical disc brake specific, or will they work fine? I'm concerned that there may be different "pull lengths" for the different brake systems.

I only have experience with mountain Vbrakes, mechanical discs, and hydraulic discs, never used the Cantilever systems before, but they don't look that complex.

Thanks and take care
 

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EPeff said:
Hi all,

Just picked up a Surly Cross Check, came with Shimano Cantilever brake levers mounted to some mountain style flat bars and Tektro Onyx Cantilever brakes.

I'm switching over to drop bars, and just want to make sure these roadie style levers will work with the existing Tektro Onyx brakes that it came with.

Found these over at Jenson...
Tektro RL520 Ergo Brake Levers
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/BL307A00-Tektro+Rl520+Ergo+Brake+Levers.aspx

Are these levers mechanical disc brake specific, or will they work fine? I'm concerned that there may be different "pull lengths" for the different brake systems.

I only have experience with mountain Vbrakes, mechanical discs, and hydraulic discs, never used the Cantilever systems before, but they don't look that complex.

Thanks and take care
They will work with cantis, just not very well. Will give you high effort and low power.

The standard Tektro levers will work fine.
 

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"They will work with cantis, just not very well. Will give you high effort and low power"
this is just a fancy way of saying they wont work. You could try using a Travel Agent to make them work.

from Sheldon Brown
Drop-bar Workarounds

If you want to use Ergo or STI brifters with direct-pull cantis, there are two workarounds available:
You can use a pulley-device, such as the QBP Travel Agent. These are a bit of a hassle to set up, but do work.
If you have a bike with skinny tires and no fenders, there are "shorty" direct-pull cantis that are more-or-less compatible with drop bar levers.
Neither of these systems is ideal, and neither is really any better than traditional center-pull cantilevers.
 

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Zoke2 said:
"They will work with cantis, just not very well. Will give you high effort and low power"
this is just a fancy way of saying they wont work. You could try using a Travel Agent to make them work.

from Sheldon Brown
Drop-bar Workarounds

If you want to use Ergo or STI brifters with direct-pull cantis, there are two workarounds available:
You can use a pulley-device, such as the QBP Travel Agent. These are a bit of a hassle to set up, but do work.
If you have a bike with skinny tires and no fenders, there are "shorty" direct-pull cantis that are more-or-less compatible with drop bar levers.
Neither of these systems is ideal, and neither is really any better than traditional center-pull cantilevers.
The Travel Agents would make them worse. They are for using short pull road levers with long pull brakes. The OP is using traditional center pull cantis, not linear/direct pull cantilevers (V brakes). Your Sheldon Brown reference is irrelevant.

If you use short pull levers with long pull brakes, you have no brakes as the brake can not move far enough to apply pressure to the rim. The brakes Do Not Work

If you use long pull levers with short pull brakes, there is plenty of cable movement to get the brake to the rim. But you must use much more hand effort to brake. The brakes Do Work, just not well.

Most short pull stand-alone road brake levers (not STI) work just fine as-is with cantilevers brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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EPeff said:
Thanks everyone for your responses, I'm glad I asked before pulling the trigger and clicking buy.

So I looked at the other two offerings from Tektro from the Jenson website. They have the R100A and the R200A.
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/BL407D07-Tektro+R100a+Ergo+Brake+Levers.aspx
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/BL407D06-Tektro+R200a+Ergo+Brake+Levers.aspx
Either of these should be OK with my canti brakes?

Thanks much for all your help
Looks like my link to the 200s did not work. (fixed)

The 200
 

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shiggy said:
The Travel Agents would make them worse. They are for using short pull road levers with long pull brakes. The OP is using traditional center pull cantis, not linear/direct pull cantilevers (V brakes). Your Sheldon Brown reference is irrelevant.

If you use short pull levers with long pull brakes, you have no brakes as the brake can not move far enough to apply pressure to the rim. The brakes Do Not Work

If you use long pull levers with short pull brakes, there is plenty of cable movement to get the brake to the rim. But you must use much more hand effort to brake. The brakes Do Work, just not well.

Most short pull stand-alone road brake levers (not STI) work just fine as-is with cantilevers brakes.
ahhh you are right shiggy ... I had them backwards, my bad ... I had to dig deep in my pile"o"bikes to find the one that has a travel agent on it and it is canti levers with v brakes
 
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