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Do caliper and v-brake levers have the same pull ratio?

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Do caliper and v-brake levers have the same pull ratio?

Old 07-03-22, 05:35 AM
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hhk25
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Do caliper and v-brake levers have the same pull ratio?

We all know cantilever brake levers have a shorter pull than v-brake but what about caliper?

Iím putting together a single speed from bits and pieces I have laying around. I have caliper brakes in the rear and v-brake in the front. Can I use caliper brake levers for both?
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Old 07-03-22, 05:45 AM
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Caliper brakes have the same pull as cantilevers, shorter pull than linear pull (v-brakes).
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Old 07-03-22, 05:46 AM
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I'm pretty sure caliper and canti have similar pull, and v brake is the outlier. So without a v-brake lever, you may be out of luck.
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Old 07-03-22, 06:43 AM
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There's a range of real leverages (cable pull ratios) with single pivot calipers and cantis but they are generally lumped together and considered a single family of cable/pad movement ratio. And with cantis some amount of adjustment for cable pull is possible with varying the straddle cable length. Mixing lever and caliper/canti leverages won't make the brakes not work, just not at the leverage that the company intended. As with any new combo that you haven't tried before don't install grips or tape before confirming that the new combo works for you. Andy
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Old 07-03-22, 07:19 AM
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I would try it and see if it feels ok for you, my bike had cantilevers and I had to replace the rear brake. I put a V-brake on the rear and use the V-brake levers on the front and rear. It is fine for me.
If it doesn't work for you, they do make levers that can be changed from long pull to short pull.
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Old 07-03-22, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by hhk25 View Post
We all know cantilever brake levers have a shorter pull than v-brake but what about caliper?

Iím putting together a single speed from bits and pieces I have laying around. I have caliper brakes in the rear and v-brake in the front. Can I use caliper brake levers for both?
Generally - I'd say no.

You will likely see V-brakes move too little by the time calliper lever reaches the bars (great mechanical advantage though, and if you manage to run the pads just a fraction of a millimetre from the rims, stopping power might be good until the pads wear out just a wee bit).

Definitely doesn't cost giving it a try, but I'm not an optimist.

My notes on mechanical brake cable pull ratios.
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Old 07-03-22, 10:34 AM
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You can use caliper levers for both brakes if you use a Travel Agent on the front. These convert the short-pull lever to long-pull brake. They also can replace the "noodle".


This "Travel Agent" is set to a 1:1 ratio to replace the noodle.
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Old 07-03-22, 10:43 AM
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V-brakes come in varying arm lengths. The longer the arm, the more cable pull is required.

https://www.gravelbike.com/v-brake-arm-lengths/

If you have on hand a long arm V-brake, I'd put it on the rear wheel and adjust it as close to the rim as possible. It won't be ideal, but the rear brake isn't as critical as the front brake.
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Old 07-03-22, 05:06 PM
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Thanks a bunch for the replies. The bike is flat bar so I can put a v-brake lever on the front. It won't match the rear brake lever but nothing on the bike is really going to match anyways. It's a fun little project. I'll post pics after.
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