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  1. #1
    Max
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    how do those superlight brake levers perform?

    right now i'm using the old SRAM 7.0 levers, which are fairly light (140 g) and reasonably priced. however, i like the looks of those superlight brake levers la Kooka Racha, Steinbach and all the other retro-levers that weigh around 90 g.

    how are they? are they too flexy? do they break more easily in a crash?


    any thoughts would be helpful

  2. #2
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    YMMV but....

    a lot of folks here tend to love them. in my experience, they suck. i've had kooka racha levers, and i still have a pair of technogen levers in the parts bin somewhwere. yes, very light. if you want light, and nothing else matters, go for them.
    i found them to be far too flexy in the lever blades, and far too sloppy in the pivots for me-right out of the box, so to speak. with no way to take up the slop. very annoying. that said, the flex i felt may have just been me feeling so much slop while braking; not sure. either way, i hated them.

    can't comment on the steinbach, frm, and other european levers. i've not seen any of them in the flesh.

    my personal fav is the paul love lever. runs about $85, though you can get them for less if you really shop/find some on e-bay. still pretty light (~`116gms i think) and not flexy. any slop that occurs is easily fixed, as you can adjust how tight/loose/sloppy you want the levers. no return spring, though, so if you like those in your levers....

    maybe try the avid ultimates? not sure on the weight and price of those.
    i also had a pair of tektro cnc paul clones that were very nice and light, and worked quite well, but were not v-brake compatible. not sure if they ever made a v-brake version.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  3. #3
    Just passing through....
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    I like the Kookas

    Quote Originally Posted by scrublover
    a lot of folks here tend to love them. in my experience, they suck. i've had kooka racha levers, and i still have a pair of technogen levers in the parts bin somewhwere. yes, very light. if you want light, and nothing else matters, go for them.
    i found them to be far too flexy in the lever blades, and far too sloppy in the pivots for me-right out of the box, so to speak. with no way to take up the slop. very annoying. that said, the flex i felt may have just been me feeling so much slop while braking; not sure. either way, i hated them.
    I don't have any slop at all in my Kookas, just a little flex, but not that bad. I don't find it to be a better or worse feel than my Avids, just different. It does take a little getting used to, and not everyone will care for it. People usually describe the overall feel as a little "mushy" when trying them for the first time. But after 6 months of using them, I like them. They stop and modulate just fine. Also, at a tuned 86 g's, they are darn near 1/4 pound lighter than my Avids were, (I am a weight weenie after all ) I've heard the same thing about the Steinbachs regarding feel and performance. The problem is that the Steinbachs were about $130 last I checked.

    I've also crashed a few times (not due to lack of braking ) with no damage to the levers. Like any other levers, you should tighten the clamp bolt to the point where they stay still, but will rotate if given a sharp hit.

    I second the thought on the Paul's levers, they're much lighter than the Avids. They are a bit heavier than the Kookas, but give a firmer feel. I may go to these in the near future if I decide that I want that feel.

  4. #4
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    yep, the lever feel/slop with the kooka and technogen levers ....ick. the pauls FOR ME are far better. why i prefaced all that post with the your mileage may vary.

    i tried to like them, esp for the money i paid at the time. couldn't do it. now, any new mtb of mine will have the pauls. esp great combo when setup with decent quality, well trimmed cables/housing going to avid mechanical discs. love them!
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  5. #5
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    I got some Red Pauls levers I am trying to get rid of. If any one is interested.

  6. #6
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    Paul Love Levers...

    Paul's are my favourite by far, they have an excellent lightweight to stiffness ratio... if such a thing exists!

    Quite a while ago I purchased some Kooka's - because of their dreamy weight - and within 5 minutes of installing them I was offering them for sale on eBay! They may have been light but they were absolute garbage - flexing, spongy, feel like they're going to break, pathetic excuse for a return spring which they may as well not have included. Steinbach are much the same and so definitely not worth the extra $$ IMHO.

    I have to admit that Avid Ultimate's are very good option, but given the choice I would take Paul Love Levers every time... and the good news is that they appear on eBay quite regularly!

  7. #7
    Max
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    bought a set of "devil" levers, cnc-made, on a ebay blow-out for 17 €!i guess they are for cantilever brakes, but i might just give them a try. for that price, you cant go wrong


  8. #8
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    Gotta defend my Kookas

    I realize that there are some who won't like the feel of the kooka racha levers, but I didn't have any of the problems that you guys are describing, save for a little more flex than some other levers, but not nearly as bad as you guys are describing. These things are great. Yes, the return spring isn't very strong, but neither are those on the Pauls from what I've heard. I feel no significant play in the levers. They don't feel flimsy in any way, and they can take a knarly crash (I know this from experience). The ONLY problem (if you can call it that) is that I have to keep the pads adjusted closer to the rim than with other levers, just cuz they don't pull as much cable. But thats the price you pay for levers that are 30 g's lighter than the "lightweight" Pauls levers, and unless your wheels are way out of true, you never notice it. KOOKAS FOREVER!!!!!!

    BTW: How much do those devil levers weigh?

  9. #9
    Max
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    dunno...will weigh it on my new digi asap! but at 17 € it cant be too heavy

  10. #10
    Max
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    BTW: do you think these are canti brakelevers or v-brakelevers? hard to tell from the pic, and they didnt say nothing in the ebay description. but since these are brand-new, they might be v-levers. and finally, they are called "devil V - brakelevers".

    anyone who can tell me more from looking at the pivots?

  11. #11
    I love Pisgah
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    Agree

    Best cable brake levers I've tried. 115gms or so. no flex noted. Great feel.

    <img src="http://www.fototime.com/ftweb/bin/ft.dll/standard?pictid={844B2B70-44F4-4BC7-88A2-CB67B4641BDF}">

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max
    BTW: do you think these are canti brakelevers or v-brakelevers? hard to tell from the pic, and they didnt say nothing in the ebay description. but since these are brand-new, they might be v-levers. and finally, they are called "devil V - brakelevers".

    anyone who can tell me more from looking at the pivots?
    This is the first time I've see Devils but they are funky and could well be Kooka light. 17 Euros is a great price.

    For me they are definitely v-brake levers because the in the pics they have far greater modulation than cantilever brake levers.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by XC Jedi
    I realize that there are some who won't like the feel of the kooka racha levers, but I didn't have any of the problems that you guys are describing, save for a little more flex than some other levers, but not nearly as bad as you guys are describing. These things are great. Yes, the return spring isn't very strong, but neither are those on the Pauls from what I've heard. I feel no significant play in the levers. They don't feel flimsy in any way, and they can take a knarly crash (I know this from experience). The ONLY problem (if you can call it that) is that I have to keep the pads adjusted closer to the rim than with other levers, just cuz they don't pull as much cable. But thats the price you pay for levers that are 30 g's lighter than the "lightweight" Pauls levers, and unless your wheels are way out of true, you never notice it. KOOKAS FOREVER!!!!!!

    BTW: How much do those devil levers weigh?
    Another minor gripe about Kooka's is that they don't have slotted barrel adjusters to allow quick changing cables - but on the plus side the adjusters they come with are a very beatifully machined oval shape.

  14. #14
    MaL*size=
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    they look really fragile

    man, seeing those paul levers at 115gr, I think anything else its too much light for a levers do be stiff and strong enough.

  15. #15
    Nomad
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    I have Kookas and love them. They don't flex unless I REALLY crank them into the bars, and mine don't have any slop at all. I've crashed my bike more than a few times and they have come out inscathed. I solved the non-slotted barrel adjuster with my Dremel cut-off wheel, a vice, and 5 minutes of my life.
    Convince me

  16. #16
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    Been running the same Pauls for five years. Love them.

    Wayno

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