I realized a few weeks ago that whenever I spot a bike, in particular a road bike, the first detail I usually zero in on are the brake levers. Kind of odd, but I figured out that I am looking for those “helper” levers that wrap along the profile of the bar and end near the stem.
Years ago we were all told that they aren’t safe for stopping and that you won’t find them on better bikes. So you see, I’m looking to see if it’s a cheap bike, or one worth taking a closer look at. Levers = don’t bother.
The thing is…these bikes are everywhere. I’ve noticed that people are either riding box store MTBs; or they’re riding these 20 year old “racing” bikes with the handy levers. Nobody seems to be careening wildly out of control – they just seem to be getting to wherever they need to be.
I’m beginning to think there might be some kind of retro movement back to aluminum road bikes with 27″ wheels and helper levers…it just hasn’t been written about yet. And if these bikes are so terrible, hows come they’re lasting 20 years?
BTW: If you Google “cheap bicycle levers”, a bunch of Tektro and Shimano bikes pop up. Hmmm…