Disc brakes - What lever to use?
I am mostly a roadie but may get a 29er or cross bike with discs and need some help with disc brake levers. So far I know...
- road calipers and cantis can use the same type of levers (flat or drop bar style)
- V-brakes need different amounts of pull so they use a different type of lever
What about mechanical-discs (like Shimano Deore)? Are they similar to one of the types mentioned above or do they have a different amount of pull than either canti/road or v-brakes?
Hydraulic brakes will use the lever that comes with the system.
Mechanical disc brakes use levers that work just like vee levers, but you could use cantilever levers, too. The difference is only in how much cable pull there is.
If you go with mechanical discs, the ones to get are the Avids. At that point, just match them with any Avid lever and you'll be dialed in --get the Avid 7 levers to be happy and frugal, the Ultimates to be happy and so very stylin'...
Not a regular
Some follow up to EBasil's reply. If using flat bars you can use levers that are for canti or road calipers, but they will pull more cable and will feel a bit spongy (not a bad thing to me). The A vid levers with the speed dial will allow you to dial in the cable pull to get the right combination of brake lever feel and power. That's the combo I use on my off-road tandem w/ A vid calipers.
You mentioned a cross bike or 29er. If you are running drop bars, there are other considerations. I would recommend A vid calipers for a couple of reasons - they are very easy to install, dial in and maintain. The calipers are also available in a "Mtn" caliper and a "Road" caliper. The mtn caliper has a lever arm that is designed to be used with mtn v-levers. The road caliper has a lever arm that is designed to be used with a drop bar brake lever.
For drop bar brake levers, I would recommend Dia-Compe 287. But wait, there's more! The 287 levers are available in a 287-V model that can be used with the A vid Mtn calipers (or v-brakes). The 287 (without the V) can be used with road calipers or A vid road calipers.
Hopefully this makes sense and is on topic.
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