I accidently bought a V brake set instead of U brake set (side pull calipers) for an old bike I'm fixing. I really like the levers and would like to keep them.

These are the levers I've bought: XLC BL-V05 Disc Brake Lever for V-Brake

Are V brake levers in general comaptible with U brakes?

  • 1
    Can you be more specific about what you mean by 'U brakes'? Do you mean road bike style single pivot, side pull calipers? See parktool.com/blog/repair-help/rim-brake-identification for a 'definitive' list of rim brake types. – Argenti Apparatus Sep 11 '18 at 19:09
  • 1
    V Brakes are "long pull" so they move more cable than a road caliper brake. Depends how much cable pull your U brakes expect. – Criggie Sep 11 '18 at 20:09
  • @ArgentiApparatus I guess side pull calipers. – Herr Derb Sep 11 '18 at 20:31

I found this helpful site which explains the different types and compatibilities:

Mechanical bicycle brake compatibility

  1. Types of brake levers and calipers

These are the brake lever types with their amount of cable pull per full lever travel (about 20 degree angle):

  • V-brake (also known as Direct-pull, or linear-pull), 15 mm
  • Cantilever (also known as center-pull and direct pull), 7 mm
  • Old road, 7 mm
  • New (SLR and Super SLR) road, 8 mm

Here’s a list of mechanical caliper types with their ideal amount of lever cable pull:

  • V-brake (also known as linear pull brakes), 15 mm
  • Mini V-brake, 7 mm
  • Cantilever (also known as center pull brakes), 7 mm
  • Old road calipers, 7 mm
  • New road calipers (SLR and Super SLR), 8 mm
  • MTB mechanical disc, 15 mm
  • Road mechanical disc, 8 mm
  • U-brake, 7 mm
  • Roller brake, 7 mm


Regular V-Brake levers are not comaptible with U brake calipers

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