I want to install drop bars in my hybrid bike and also thinking of getting STI brake/shifter lever. The bike has V-Brakes. Is there any issues on doing this that I should be concerned about?

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  • You mention direct pull and V in the description. it is typically one or the other but not both. Do you have a small "V" shaped (straddle) cable attached to the brake arms?
    – mikes
    Mar 2, 2016 at 2:14
  • I thought so too but according to this website they are one and the same: sheldonbrown.com/canti-direct.html this are the brakes i have. Mar 2, 2016 at 4:37
  • I hope my edited answer will be clearer.
    – mikes
    Mar 2, 2016 at 9:27

2 Answers 2


Standard V brakes do not work well with STI levers, they don't pull enough cable to allow the V brake to be setup properly; you end up with the pads so close to the rim that they are always rubbing on it or needing to be adjusted and the braking can also be poor.

I know of 2 options to get around this, you get a V brake Travel Adjuster or Travel Agent - essentially a pulley that increases the amount of cable that is pulled by the STI shifter or you get some 'Mini V Brakes' as these have a shorter arm and so work with the STI shifters.

  • Not exactly STI, but these levers gevenalle.com/product/cxv integrate friction shifters with "long pull" levers for MTB brakes. (I own these and like them a lot). Of course, Travel Agents are way cheaper ($20 / wheel).
    – JP May
    Mar 2, 2016 at 21:58

Road brake levers are compatible with some cantilever brakes. If your cantilevers use a straddle cable (a small cable that attaches to each arm then to the main brake cable) they will work. If you have a single cable that attaches to both arms then they are incompatible.

  • Are your sure? OP is referring to a direct pull cantilever.
    – paparazzo
    Mar 1, 2016 at 15:29
  • I have only heard of cantilever or direct pull being exclusive unique designs, it is one or the other but can't be both.. Not sure what the OP means by direct pull V cantilever.
    – mikes
    Mar 2, 2016 at 1:55
  • After some research I guess any brake that is mounted on a post that attaches to the fork is a cantilever. Locally we refer to the types as "direct pull" (aka as mountain bike), "V" brakes are cantilever that use a straddle wire.
    – mikes
    Mar 2, 2016 at 2:30
  • Isn't terminology wonderful; where I am (in the UK) a V brake is a direct pull cantilever as shown here: sheldonbrown.com/canti-direct.html and a cantilever with a straddle wire is just a cantilever brake as shown here: sheldonbrown.com/canti-trad.html.
    – Jackson
    Mar 2, 2016 at 12:20

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