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I'm planning on changing my commuter handlebar to a drop handlebar. As the diameters are different, I need to know if the new brake lever will work with the existing v-brakes.

(My intention is to remove the handlebar+levers+shifters and install a drop handlebar + ultegra bar end shifter + whatever shimano brake lever that works fine.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Not typically. They have different pull ratios. However, you can get a device called a travel agent to make this work.

Some companies such as Paul's make a cyclocross specific v brake such as the Mini Moto which have the same pull ratio as road brake levers.

If you're not using brifters and have separate brake levers and shifters, you can buy linear pull drop bar levers like Tektro RL 520 that will work with your v-brakes without buying separate travel agents.

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Should I be good to go with this shifter, this brake lever and the travel agents you mentioned? My derailleur is a shimano altus. :) –  bsiq Sep 26 '12 at 16:58
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Actually, if you're not using brifters and have separate brake levers and shifters, you can buy linear pull drop bar levers like Tektro RL 520that will work with your v-brakes without buying separate travel agents. amazon.com/Tektro-RL520-Lever-Set/dp/B003UWJO0W –  Benzo Sep 26 '12 at 17:04
    
Even better, thanks! –  bsiq Sep 26 '12 at 19:16
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