I bought a vintage schwinn that has dual brakes. If I remove the dual brakes (I think they're also called safety brakes), will it ruin my brakes? picture of my brake system

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    I'd recommend spending the 20 bucks on a new set of modern brake levers and using them as a replacement. Better ergonomics and no pre-loading of the cable tension due to the suicide lever. If you're asking if you can unbolt the suicide lever portion, you can, but I'd still opt for a modern brake lever instead. – Batman Aug 13 '16 at 4:42
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    Those brake levers were ruined in the factory that made them. – whatsisname Aug 13 '16 at 4:45
  • That's weird-looking bartape - is it some kind of foam padding tube ? – Criggie Aug 13 '16 at 4:53
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    Those are called "suicide levers" (because their use can result in a head-over crash), and they are often removed. You need to adjust the brake cable after you remove them, and there will be an ugly lug sticking out from the side of the brake hood when they're removed, but removing them will not harm anything. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 14 '16 at 2:41
  • I remember the suicide levers as not providing as much braking power, although maybe my friend just needed to adjust the brakes on his Varsity. – rclocher3 Aug 15 '16 at 16:24

You will not ruin the brake levers by removing the sissy bar. However you will need to adjust out the extra slack in the inner cable.

What you will do is take the bike further away from originality. For better or worse, that's what the bikes had back then. So if you ever imagine anyone might want to restore it, please keep all the parts aside.

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    Definitely will keep all the parts if I remove anything. I might go ahead and buy new brakes all together. The padding is foam, which I plan on replacing as well. – katie Aug 13 '16 at 5:24

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