I have an older Windsor bike that came with some long arm side pull caliper brakes. I was using it with a pair of avid fr-5 brake levers that are stated on the specs as "Compatible - All levers are compatible with mechanical disc brakes and linear-pull brakes to work seamlessly". The levers use mountain bike style brake cable ends.
They work great, but I'm curious cause from what I understand linear pull is a long pull and side pull calipers are short pull. Why does this combination work so well?
I switched to bullhorn handlebars and put in some cross top brake levers that were on a road bike (they use road bike style brake cable ends) and they can hardly stop the bike. These are I'm assuming short pull levers and in theory side pull calipers are also short pull. So why doesn't this combination work?
Do I need to find long pull levers that I can get onto my bullhorn handlebars? I can't seem to find cross top brake levers or bar end brake levers that are long pull.
This shows my brake setup. (https://i.stack.imgur.com/qW12u.jpg)
These are the caliper compatible crossroad I tried initially and that did not work with my brake setup in terms of having enough power (https://i.stack.imgur.com/sVolM.jpg)
Following Nathan's hints as to what my issue might be, this is the solution I finally went with, which is to just put my linear pull brakes on the bar. (https://i.stack.imgur.com/99m2M.jpg)