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1985 Miyata Two Ten -- upgraded! Also 1985 Trek 420, need a bit of advice from C&V

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1985 Miyata Two Ten -- upgraded! Also 1985 Trek 420, need a bit of advice from C&V

Old 10-16-11, 09:52 PM
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1985 Miyata Two Ten -- upgraded! Also 1985 Trek 420, need a bit of advice from C&V

I've got a couple of old beauties here, both rescued from the Atlanta Craigslist extravaganza. Bought the Trek 420 with a whole bunch of good parts on it, but the frame is way too big for me at 60-62cm, so I've put all the good bits on the Miyata (58cm). Great bike, smooth ride.

Here's m'problem. I love my Albatross bar. The only thing I don't love about it is the brake lever clamp requires these awful MTB style levers, which combined with my old Dia Compe centerpulls, the braking feel is terrible.

I've got Ultegra side-pulls on the Trek, and they have a great feel and stop like they should. So, here are a couple of questions for you more knowledgable folk: (and check out the pix, I'm so digging this Miyata with the wood fenders)




1. Are these Dia Compe brakes just inherently stiff due to the springs and I have levers with less of a mechanical advantage? I've studied Sheldon's site and still stymied.

2. The brakes could feasibly be swapped out, but before I go through all that... are the Avid V-levers going to work with the Ultegras or am I going to have the same tough squeeze?

3. I would have to notch the fenders to accommodate the narrower Ultegra. I'm not sure on that one. Anybody done this?

4. The fork bolt that secures the Dia Compe brake to the Miyata is stripped. I need to solve that before I can do anything. Any suggestions on that one? I can drill it out, but in order to dismount the brake, I'd need to remove all of the shoulder material from the fixing nut.

Thanks in advance! I love working on these old bikes. Everything is so solid and well-built. The difference between Japanese (and American) manufacturing in the 80's versus Chinese manufacturing today is striking. It never fails to bring me a smile when I reuse parts from these bikes that would be considered disposable at the same price point today.
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Old 10-16-11, 09:56 PM
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Oh, and I should mention that the centerpull brakes don't allow the tire (700x32) to pass between the shoes, so I have to deflate or remove a brake shoe. Both a pain in the neck. The Shimanos have a release lever.

Last edited by crashmo; 10-16-11 at 10:07 PM. Reason: error
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Old 10-16-11, 10:07 PM
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I'm running a similar brake setup on a 210 with the original DiaCompe centerpulls and Shimano canti levers and the braking is excellent. Are you certain those are canti levers? If not, change them out and your braking should improve dramatically.
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Old 10-17-11, 04:01 AM
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Are you sure that Miyata is an '85 ? My '85 Miyata 210 has cantilever brakes.
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Old 10-17-11, 04:47 AM
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Short answers (or attempts at such):

1. No, your Dia-Compe brakes are most likely fine.

2. No, new Ultegra brakes will have same trouble with MTB levers.

3. Not done that.

4. Sounds like you will have enough parts to destroy to consider getting replacement brake assembly instead of searching for separate parts.

Longer answer:

MTB style levers will not work with any road style brakes, unless you use cable travel adjuster. Trouble is that MTB brakes use a lot of cable pull, which means less mechanical advantage at the levers. Road brakes use less cable pull, but require more mechanical advantage. MTB levers and road brakes will always result in brakes that move very quickly, but need a death grip on them to even just slow you down. One of my bikes came to me setup this way (badly done road-to-hybrid conversion), and braking on it was truly scary - until I replaced bars/levers. Either find road style levers that can be used with your bars, or get cable travel adjusters (never used them, some people love them, some hate them).

Ultegra brakes are nice, especially if they are double-pivot design, and will brake a bit better then your centerpulls (a lot of people prefer their feel as well) but you will loose a bit of 'vintage look'. They also may not have enough 'reach' to the rim, you will have to find it out by yourself. They are also not very fender-friendly, as you have discovered. I would keep the centerpulls, but this is your bike, your decision.
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Old 10-17-11, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by grinningfool View Post
Are you sure that Miyata is an '85 ? My '85 Miyata 210 has cantilever brakes.
Hmmm, not 100% sure, as I haven't found a rock-solid way to date these beasts. I just looked at the old brochure/catalog thing and convinced myself

I am learning here. It looks to be a 1983 judging by the datestamp on the crank arm. http://www.miyatacatalogs.com/2007/1...alog-1983.html

Thanks grinningfool.
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Old 10-17-11, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by olek View Post
MTB style levers will not work with any road style brakes, unless you use cable travel adjuster.
Thanks olek! That's good stuff. I guess I missed the importance of pairing up the right lever with the right type of brakes.
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Old 10-17-11, 08:42 AM
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I just installed a set of Dia-Compe non-aero road levers model #204 on some 22.2mm bars, and the clamp indicates that they will work on 22.2 to 23.8mm bars. They also have the integrated (lever) quick release, and were cheap.

I installed them on some bars similar to those Albatross bars, placed the levers in the curve, and the quick release allows me to unhook my cantilever straddle wire and remove any size tire.

This style:

Last edited by Ex Pres; 10-17-11 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 10-17-11, 08:53 AM
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From the '83 brochure.
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Old 10-17-11, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by olek View Post
MTB style levers will not work with any road style brakes, unless you use cable travel adjuster.
That's just plain incorrect.
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Old 10-17-11, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
That's just plain incorrect.
+1. I just put riser bars and MTB levers on an otherwise stock Schwinn Caliente for my girlfriend to use as a campus commuter (hey, if something's going to get stolen, it might as well be a Caliente). The brakes work just fine.

V-Brake levers may be a different story, though. If it were me, I'd try some non-V levers with the brakes you're currently running. You can get an economy pair for $10-$15, much less than swapping out the brakes.
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Old 10-17-11, 09:51 AM
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Check the stem height on that Trek, looks to be way above the maximum mark. If you don't mind the look, I am a big fan of the dual pivot Ultegra brakes, and would personally swap them onto the keeper bike, assuming reach is OK (may not be OK, as most center pull brakes have more reach).
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Old 10-17-11, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Check the stem height on that Trek, looks to be way above the maximum mark.


Nah. That's a Technomic. He's golden.
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Old 10-17-11, 09:58 AM
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A non-V brake lever should allow you to use the centerpulls.
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Old 10-17-11, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ecnewell View Post
+1. I just put riser bars and MTB levers on an otherwise stock Schwinn Caliente for my girlfriend to use as a campus commuter (hey, if something's going to get stolen, it might as well be a Caliente). The brakes work just fine.

V-Brake levers may be a different story, though. If it were me, I'd try some non-V levers with the brakes you're currently running. You can get an economy pair for $10-$15, much less than swapping out the brakes.
Yeah, I'd say make sure you aren't running v-brake levers. If you are, that's an easy fix.
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Old 10-17-11, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
Nah. That's a Technomic. He's golden.
Good eye!

Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Yeah, I'd say make sure you aren't running v-brake levers. If you are, that's an easy fix.
So! I got home this evening and took a good long ride on the 'yata, and discovered that my Avid Speed Dial levers have a leverage adjust. I cranked 'er all the way CCW and it's almost a decent braking feel! .. Almost. I will investigate some canti levers soon, but this should keep me riding.

As for the Trek with the Ult's... I am going to sell the bike, or at least the frame very soon. Should I keep the Ultegra brakes or let them go? Seems like the nicest components on the bike, those and the moustache bar. Will they increase the resale or just be good parts on there for no reason?

Last edited by crashmo; 10-17-11 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 10-18-11, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by crashmo View Post
Good eye!
As for the Trek with the Ult's... I am going to sell the bike, or at least the frame very soon. Should I keep the Ultegra brakes or let them go? Seems like the nicest components on the bike, those and the moustache bar. Will they increase the resale or just be good parts on there for no reason?
The choice is yours. Realize that if you leave them on the bike, they will not affect the price in any way. A set of Ultegra calipers in great shape should bring $50 to $75 or so on ebay. Myself, I would replace them, as I have a bin full of parts. But if you don't the hassle of replacing them is probably not worth it.
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Old 10-18-11, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
That's just plain incorrect.
+2 In fact the Dia Compe sidepulls on my errand bike work better with mountain levers.
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Old 10-20-11, 05:57 PM
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The Avid levers with the leverage adjusted all the way in (or out, whatever, the pivot point moved closer to the bar) the brakes feel fairly good! In fact, I think I'll ride for awhile and see if I can live with it.

Thanks for everyone's help!
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