I'm getting ready to upgrade my subpar Promax V-Brakes to maybe some Avid Single Digit 7's or something. What kind of compatibility issues should I look for when replacing my brake levers? Can I use only Avid break levers, or are there others that I can use? Pardon me if this may seem like a ridiculous question, but I'm new to the sport.
The short version is all V-brake levers will work with all V-brake calipers.
Note: I said 'will' work, not work well. Some levers are garbage, some are good. Same deal for calipers, and sometimes even cheapy bits do the job admirably.
But, if you are going to upgrade the calipers, it would be a good idea to upgrade the levers too. You don't need to go with some mega-buck Avid lever if you can't swing the ca$h. I know plenty of folks who use LX/XT levers and love them, occasionally some folks even like their pro-max or Dia-compe levers too. Personal preference is the thing.
So, upgrade the calipers and see if your current levers will do the job for you. If not, start looking around. At least try and get something that you can adjust the leverage ratio on, like Avid's Speed-dial or the Servo-wave found on the XT levers.
BTW, look hard enough and you might find calipers AND levers as a set for a bargain.
Take a look at low end first. There are a bunch of good brakes uot there. Some people will rave about it but almost every V's work the same. You can save some grams here and there spending big bucks but it's not the case.
Shimano Deores are good. The levers are very good indeed and the only trade-off is they're rather heavy and not very adjustable.
Take a look at the Deores, LX and XT in that order... for the Avids, Similarly take a look from the ground up. Just stay away from the AD3 levers... any shimano stuff is better.
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