1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Adding road brake levers to MTB

    I'm putting on drop bar ends onto a riser bar mtb to use for commuting.

    Amazon.com: Origin 8 Bicycle Drop Bar Ends, Black: Sports & Outdoors

    So I don't need to worry about switching back to the regular bar/brakes to stop, I'm looking to install some road brake levers as well.

    Amazon.com: Tektro RL520 Ergo Brake Levers for Linear Pull Black/Black: Sports & Outdoors

    However, I'm a noob still and am unsure of how I would split the brake cable going from the brake to the two levers. What part would I need to connect the new levers to the brakes? Would I have two cables going from each lever to the same brake? Is there a brake cable splitter that allows me to connect two levers to the same cable?

  2. #2
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    Hi and welcome to MTBR.

    am unsure of how I would split the brake cable going from the brake to the two levers.
    Sorry I am confused. You say THE brake, implying you have only one. Don't you have front and back brakes?? (Edited to add I figured it out -- you want to keep the old levers -- duh )

    Anyway, one thing to look out for: Road bikes use a different brake system (side-pull caliper I think they call it) than mountain bikes, which typically use V-brakes or disk brakes. The amount of cable pull MAY be different. I don't know that much about it -- hopefully someone else will know.
    Last edited by DennisF; 08-23-2013 at 09:37 PM.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    On a bike with short-pull brakes, this would be pretty easy. Get a set of road brake levers and a set of interrupter levers. The interrupter levers work by interrupting the housing, not the cable. They function by lengthening the housing.

    Typically, mountain bike brake systems are long-pull. The most straightforward way to make this thing work would be to buy long-pull road and interrupter levers. Note that road handlebars have a slightly larger diameter than MTB levers - you'll need to shim the interrupters. Also, I don't know if long-pull interrupter levers exist.

    The next option would be to make the whole bike short-pull. There are short-pull V-brakes, which are popular for 'cross, and cantilever brakes that would accomplish this. You might run into tire clearance problems.

    Another option would be to buy a thing called a Travel Agent. That changes pull ratios.

    You could commit, and get drop bars, and not use auxiliary brake levers at all. If a drop bar bike fits its rider correctly, interrupters are a pretty unnecessary accessory.

    You could buy a road bike. Bear in mind that something in reasonable shape from the early- to mid-90s should cost about $300 and perform at about 97% of the efficiency of something new and ten times as expensive.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
    dru
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    He has the right type for MTB brakes. I have the same, but by Cane Creek.

    I do believe the OP wants to add cross brake levers on the flat portion of the bar.

    I'm not sure they will work though, since they are designed to pull cantilever or road caliper length, not linear or MTB mechanical disc.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  5. #5
    dru
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    Damn, Andrew, you beat me to the punch!
    occasional cyclist

  6. #6
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    in short, this is an either/or proposition.

    I use those same Tektro levers on my commuter with BB7 mtn brakes and they work well. If you want drops and drop levers, though, just commit to it and buy drop bars, forgetting those interrupter levers. those drop bar ends aren't really intended to have drop levers mounted to them. They are just an extra hand position sort of thing. The interrupter levers tend to add friction and contribute to poor brake lever feel, anyway. Maybe if you bought a set of high quality ones they'd feel better, but I get the feeling you're on more of a budget. Hence the cobbling together of the bar ends. No way at all to do it with your existing brake levers, though.

    But then you're dealing with compatibility questions with your shifters, because the clamp diameter of your mtn shifters is not the same as you would find on a road bike. And it's not quite so simple as cabling some drop bar STI levers to your mtn derailleurs in most cases. SRAM components will work most of the time, but Shimano has some funky compatibility issues introduced when Dyna-SYS mtn drivetrain stuff came out.

    Simplest would be to just throw on the drop bar ends, wrap some tape around them, and call it done, keeping your existing controls.

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