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  1. #1
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    So KCNC brake levers SUCK!

    I just got around to installing my KCNC levers and it was shocking how not good they were. The no return spring I could live with even though their lack made the levers not snappy. What really killed things was just how much the levers flexed. The blade was actually ok, but the brake lever's body was flexing very visibly and A LOT. There is no way they can stay on the bike. My current XT levers might be heavy, but they work much, much, much, much better. Maybe I'll give the Paul levers a try.

  2. #2
    Twin Six METAL
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    I'm surprised that you are having issues with these levers, I've found them to be pretty awesome for the xc racing I am using them for. Honestly, other than having to run the cable through them the way you do, I have been very pleased with them
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    I just got around to installing my KCNC levers and it was shocking how not good they were. The no return spring I could live with even though their lack made the levers not snappy. What really killed things was just how much the levers flexed. The blade was actually ok, but the brake lever's body was flexing very visibly and A LOT. There is no way they can stay on the bike. My current XT levers might be heavy, but they work much, much, much, much better. Maybe I'll give the Paul levers a try.
    Light levers usually don't hava e a return sping! You don't need it at all...that is when your cables are in good condition which doesn't seem the case with yours. It's the eventual drag in cables that might need a return spring. Put a set of lightweight, slick cables and you won't feel a difference.

    There might be some flex but you can adjust that! There is just 1 main bolt to clamp the levers and there is a litle too much play in there. As soo as you clamp it harder the blade might get stuck and not move freely...you need to place a thin shim under that big chainringbolt to make things thighter. You will then be rewarded with a lever which feels a lot thighter. There's such shims for chainrings. Every lbs should have some of these thin chainring-shims. try it - it works miracles!

    For me he only real downside was the missing slot in the barell adjuster which makes cable installation and removal a pain. But when you have good sealed cables you don't need to take it out all that often
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    Last edited by nino; 05-11-2009 at 11:37 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nino
    light levers don't hava e a return sping! you don't need it at all...when your cables are in good condition which doesn't seem the case with yours. It's the eventual drag in cables that might need a return spring. Put a set of lightweight, slick cables and you won't feel a difference.
    Rubbish. A return spring makes a difference (as it MUST if you think about it) but "we" accept a small loss of performance for the very small weight loss of not having one. Now, IF you were running flexy "cables" and outers you might not notice a difference......

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ash240
    Rubbish. A return spring makes a difference (as it MUST if you think about it) but "we" accept a small loss of performance for the very small weight loss of not having one. Now, IF you were running flexy "cables" and outers you might not notice a difference......
    No-why would you need them? You have return-springs in the brakes and that's all you need unless you have sticky cables.

    With slick cables like i-links you are able to reduce the amount of tension on V-brakes return springs quite much even without the help of the second set of springs on the levers.It's the cables that make a huge difference, not the tiny return-spring in the levers. Sticky cables can make you loose by as much as 50% of your V's power!! Viceversa a good set of slick cables can raise the V's brakepower by as much as 100%. THIS is a must, not the tiny return spring! Not at all.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    Maybe I'll give the Paul levers a try.
    I have both paul love letters and KCNC VB-1... and BOTH of them lack the return spring.

    Personally I like the rock solid feel, VERY nice shape, and enough cable pull of paul brake and I don't like KCNC lever very much. (it is very flexy and reach/ cable pull is too short IMO) However, KCNC brake is 2~3x lighter and It works just fine for my purpose.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nino
    There might be some flex but you can adjust that! There is just 1 main bolt to clamp the levers and there is a litle too much play in there. As soo as you clamp it harder the blade might get stuck and not move freely...you need to place a thin shim under that big chainringbolt to make things thighter. You will then be rewarded with a lever which feels a lot thighter. There's such shims for chainrings. Every lbs should have some of these thin chainring-shims. try it - it works miracles!
    The frame I'm currently using forces me to run full length housing. My new frame won't.

    I didn't try the shim. Do it go directly underneath the head of the chainring bolt?

  8. #8
    stealthbombers
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    Quote Originally Posted by raxel
    I have both paul love letters
    He's writing you too ?

  9. #9
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by ash240
    Rubbish. A return spring makes a difference (as it MUST if you think about it) but "we" accept a small loss of performance for the very small weight loss of not having one.
    Depends on what brake you are running. I run the Paul Love Compact levers with avid mechanical brakes which have a very strong actuated arm return spring. So strong, that there is zero need for a return spring on the levers.

    BB

  10. #10
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    So I messed with them this whole weekend to the point where I could really crank the bolt down tight with the levers binding, but between the long arms on my Vueltas, the short pull on the levers, and the flex in the levers, they're just way too soft. To really put the brakes on hard, the lever go all the way to the grip. I've already put my old XT levers back on there, and the KCNC have gone back on the bay.

  11. #11
    Go faster!
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    "So KCNC brake levers SUCK!" thats old news...
    try the Extralite ultralevers. I like them.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sergio_pt
    "So KCNC brake levers SUCK!" thats old news...
    try the Extralite ultralevers. I like them.
    I think I'll just play it safe and go with the Pauls this time around.

  13. #13
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    I just received my KCNC levers. I agree with Nino in that good slick cables make a huge difference. I dont have any issues with the issue of no return spring. My levers see have as much return action as my old avid FR5's. I am using these with BB7's and there is no way my lever will ever make it to my grips. There is a little flex as mentioned due to the mounting method but as nino also mentioned a washer will eliminate much of that.

  14. #14
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    Hell, I have been looking at these levers and was planning on picking up a set in the next week or so. But I will be damn, if I am going to pay $130 for some levers that I then have to go and modify just to get rid of unwanted flex. I can see replacing bolts to lighten them up further but I should not have to modify them to get them to work properly.

    I have had Pauls and was happy but am simply looking for something a little lighter. I have also looked at the TR levers but will have a look at the Extralites as well.

    Sorry for bringing the dead back to life here but that is what happens when you start using the SEARCH button!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1SPD
    Hell, I have been looking at these levers and was planning on picking up a set in the next week or so. But I will be damn, if I am going to pay $130 for some levers that I then have to go and modify just to get rid of unwanted flex. I can see replacing bolts to lighten them up further but I should not have to modify them to get them to work properly.

    I have had Pauls and was happy but am simply looking for something a little lighter. I have also looked at the TR levers but will have a look at the Extralites as well.

    Sorry for bringing the dead back to life here but that is what happens when you start using the SEARCH button!
    I have recently gotten the origin 8's ultralight levers and am very happy with them. Am using with the origin v's. Weights were a little exaggerated especially for the v-brakes. I would recommend them.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1SPD
    Hell, I have been looking at these levers and was planning on picking up a set in the next week or so.
    Dude, save the money and upgrade that frame!

  17. #17
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    Honestly, I just gotta get something that is lighter than what I have and can't stand the stupid Avid rattle any more. So I figure I will get something nice.

    Leaning towards a set of TR's or Pauls at this point. I found a set on ebay that look just like the TR's but cost like $15 less ($86 shipped). Might be the lever I go with.

    Zoe, you are right. I need to sock some money away for the frame. I am going to finish my little upgrade list I have for the winter and then ride the GT for this summer (that's the plan anyway) and hopefully be looking at a new frame by next fall. The wife will probably have a fit if I swap out the frame right now. But if I have the money and can track down a flat black Home Grown Team (honeycomb rear) or even a Zaskar I may very well jump on it. The money just has to be there.

  18. #18
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    I'm already looking for the Homegrown frame. 19" right?

    What size, year, and color of Zaskar?

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