I would like to try the drop handlebar on my touring bicycle that has V-Brakes, and Shimano 9x3 speeds. Are there drop handlebar levers (integrated shifters would be great), that have correct pull ratio for V-brakes?

If there are brake levers but no shifters, where would be a good place to put my existing (deore shifters) on the drop handlebar?

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    You can get the "Travel Agent" cable adapter, though there are reports that cable breakage with that is a significant problem. Jan 8, 2013 at 13:12
  • I have cantilever brakes on my touring bike, which has integrated drop bar shifters. I think the pull ratio is the same for v-brakes and cantilevers. Also see the first comment of this answer for a couple models of brakes that support v-brakes (bicycles.stackexchange.com/a/4380/163). although another comment on the same one says that cantis use the same pull ratio as calipers.
    – Kibbee
    Jan 8, 2013 at 13:33
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    @Kibbee Cantis do use the same pull ratio as calipers. Both have the road pull ratio, I don't recall the actual numbers of the ratios. In any case, V-Brakes are not the same pull ratio as cantilever brakes.
    – jimchristie
    Jan 8, 2013 at 19:37
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    @jimirings After doing a little bit of reading, I agree with you. I think the confusion is due to the fact that V-Brakes are technically called "direct-pull cantilever brakes", with V-Brakes being a trademark of Shimano. Some people probably think of V-Brakes when referring to traditional cantilever brakes.
    – Kibbee
    Jan 8, 2013 at 19:58

3 Answers 3


Sounds like you want to use your current V-Brakes, but if getting new brakes, TRP makes mini V-Brakes that are STI lever compatible, sometimes called a brifter (brakes and shifting in one lever). Most V-Brakes have a different pull ratio which is not compatible with brifters.

The TRP CX9 is for Shimano STI levers

The TRP CX8.4 is for SRAM and Campagnolo levers

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    One reason for having V-brakes is clearance for larger tires (like 42x622 with studs in winter) and mudguards on top of that. Would mini V-Brakes have enough clearance for that? Jan 9, 2013 at 7:48
  • 42-622 is 28x1.60 or 700x40 which are quite wide for a road/cyclocross type of bike. If your bicycle can handle the width, I Jan 9, 2013 at 15:03
  • You did not finish the comment. It is touring/commuter, in summer I have 37/622 marathons, but in winter 42x622 studded tires for snow and ice. (and mudguards all the time) Jan 9, 2013 at 15:12
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    Yeah, accidentally posted and then took too long to edit. - 42-622 is 28x1.60 or 700x40mm which are quite wide for a road/cyclocross type of bike. The widest I've ridden on my CX bikes is 35mm. 40mm is not that much more, if your bicycle has the clearance (chain and seat stays) to handle the width, these mini V-Brakes should handle the width... I've never ridden studs, but have seen some that are very short (almost just rivets in the tire) to inch tall spikes. It will again depend on bike clearance more than the brake clearance. In short, these mini V-Brakes should allow the 42x622 tires. Jan 9, 2013 at 15:28

Tektro makes relatively inexpensive brake levers for drop handlebars. They have a RL-340 model which works with caliper and cantilever brakes, and a RL-520 model that works with V-brakes.

I found this the hard way: I bought a Genesis single-speed cyclocross bike online, and it came equipped with mini V-brakes and the wrong levers. The biggest surprise was finding out that it wasn't an assembly error: it was like that in the specs. I ended up buying some RL-520s for $20 and replacing them myself.

I am not aware of any V-brake lever with an integrated shifter. I have never tried one, but the standard in many touring setups seems to be bar-end shifters, as the picture below.

enter image description here


I have a Surly Long Haul Trucker which came stock with dropbars and Tektro 992 “Oryx” brakes cantilever brakes and levers. I have now switched out those cantilever brakes out for Avid Single Digit 7 v-brakes and to specifically answer your question fitted Cane Creek Drop V brake levers. These are not integrated shifter levers but, so I still have my bar-end shifters.

enter image description here

For me this update has significantly improved the braking on the bike.

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