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  1. #1
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    Flexy Shimano BR-730 levers?

    Figured I'd get a better response in this forum than the Brakes forum.

    Is anyone using the older Shimano XT BR-730 levers? I dug a pair out of the bin at the co-op I volunteer with and am using them paired up with Avid Road BB7s for a budget dirt jumper build and having issues getting good stopping power out of the setup.

    These are meant for cantilever brakes, correct? And has anyone had issues with the levers themselves flexing and costing braking power? The barrel adjusters seem to have a huge end for the cable ferrule to sit in and the housing and brake ferrule has a lot of wobble.

    The pivots are sloppy but no worse than newer Avid levers with several years of use that are on other bikes and perform much better. The resin body seems stiff and the reach adjust is handy.

    I'm mainly trying to see if the levers are good and whether I should try to find some better fitting barrel adjusters or whether I should just spring for new levers.

    Thanks!

    Levers look like this except without the rubber hood:

    BikePro.com / Buyer's Guide / Shimano Deore XT Brake Levers - Bicycle Parts at discount prices / the Buyer's Guide / Bicycle Parts at their finest! / Professional Bicycle Source / Bike Pro

  2. #2
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTscoob View Post
    Figured I'd get a better response in this forum than the Brakes forum.

    Is anyone using the older Shimano XT BR-730 levers? I dug a pair out of the bin at the co-op I volunteer with and am using them paired up with Avid Road BB7s for a budget dirt jumper build and having issues getting good stopping power out of the setup.

    These are meant for cantilever brakes, correct? And has anyone had issues with the levers themselves flexing and costing braking power? The barrel adjusters seem to have a huge end for the cable ferrule to sit in and the housing and brake ferrule has a lot of wobble.

    The pivots are sloppy but no worse than newer Avid levers with several years of use that are on other bikes and perform much better. The resin body seems stiff and the reach adjust is handy.

    I'm mainly trying to see if the levers are good and whether I should try to find some better fitting barrel adjusters or whether I should just spring for new levers.

    Thanks!
    Yes, a lot of people are still running those levers. Yes, they are for cantilevers and roller cams and other center pull brakes. I don't really mind the pivot slop but I'm not aware of it flexing on me.

    It's not the barrel adjusters that are big, it's that they were meant for bigger ferrules, housing and cable.

  3. #3
    TrinityRiverKerplunk
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    I still use them, but the four-finger version instead of the two fingered ones. They work great; right now I'm putting an Ibis together with one XT version on the right side, and a regular Deore version on the left. I actually like the Deore version better because the barrel adjuster takes the regular mountain bike brake housing w/o having the need for those special chrome adjusters like on the XT's.

    I've experimented with reducing the sloppiness of the pivots by slightly, very slightly in fact, crushing the body in a vise after taking the lever and guts out. It reduces the up and down swaying more than anything, but don't go to far or it has to be spread open again and that sucks!

    Interestingly enough a LBS here in Seattle had about ten spanking brand new Deore versions for sale last week. I couldn't believe my eys, straight outta 1987, seriously, and BRAND NEW. Wow......
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  4. #4
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    I've experimented with reducing the sloppiness of the pivots by slightly, very slightly in fact, crushing the body in a vise after taking the lever and guts out. It reduces the up and down swaying more than anything, but don't go to far or it has to be spread open again and that sucks!.
    Remind me not to buy your stuff.

  5. #5
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    Interestingly enough a LBS here in Seattle had about ten spanking brand new Deore versions for sale last week. I couldn't believe my eys, straight outta 1987, seriously, and BRAND NEW. Wow......
    Not anymore!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    Yes, a lot of people are still running those levers. Yes, they are for cantilevers and roller cams and other center pull brakes. I don't really mind the pivot slop but I'm not aware of it flexing on me.

    It's not the barrel adjusters that are big, it's that they were meant for bigger ferrules, housing and cable.
    The levers seem great and feel great in the hand but they're the only variable when comparing road BB7 setups on my cross bike and a few other mountain bikes (with mtn specific BB7s).

    Same cables and housing but so much weaker of a brake so I was wondering if any flex was coming from the levers.

    Is the threading on the barrel adjusters standard to where I can put barrel adjusters with smaller openings into these levers that will better fit newer 5mm ferrules?

  7. #7
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    I believe I still have a pair of the cable ends that fit those levers...just floating in my parts box...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKullman View Post
    I believe I still have a pair of the cable ends that fit those levers...just floating in my parts box...
    Are they just massive ferrules that fit into the levers but still fit around a standard 5mm brake housing?

    I'll send a SASE if you want to get rid of them.

  9. #9
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    I'll try and snap a pic this weekend, but yes they are massive. I had a set of those levers moons ago.

  10. #10
    VRC Illuminati
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    I run a road BB7 with an M900 cantilever lever (not too dissimilar from the M733 you have) and I'm not having any issues with stopping power. Its a bit spongy, but otherwise just fine. Gotta make sure that BB7 is set up just right though. Older levers also used a thicker cable and housing, but the bit of play shouldn't be causing massive brake power loss.
    -eric-

    http://www.rumpfy.com

    Wanted: 400mm American Classic seatpost, 26.8 & 27.2

  11. #11
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    They were easier to find that I thought...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flexy Shimano BR-730 levers?-caps.jpg  


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rumpfy View Post
    I run a road BB7 with an M900 cantilever lever (not too dissimilar from the M733 you have) and I'm not having any issues with stopping power. Its a bit spongy, but otherwise just fine. Gotta make sure that BB7 is set up just right though. Older levers also used a thicker cable and housing, but the bit of play shouldn't be causing massive brake power loss.
    Feel like I am out on thin ice with Rumpfy here, so correct me if I am wrong... but the M900 lever is very different from both the M730 and M733. M900 is SLR Plus, with variable leverage rate, while his levers have a fixed rate. This makes a very big difference in both stopping power and pad to rim clearance- it gave more of both. There was an SLR Plus lever which looked similar to the M730 and M733- but it had a little dark plastic window on it so you could see the little SLR Plus roller moving up and down inside. The brakes
    I am an apostle of the SLR Plus levers- M900, M910, M737. They really put almost all other canti-style levers to shame.
    As for the levers being flexy- I remember trying a set myself way back when, and the pivot was kind of wobbly. I say try out the big ferrules before spending any more money; the problem may be in the cables if you are using older ones. I remember some of those older cables having a looser weave than what's out there nowadays- as you tug the lever, you put energy into stretching the cable rather than pushing the brake pads.
    undefined Absolutely must have: Black Machine Tech Zeroflex brake levers (the ones with the rotating leverage adjuster)

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