Saturday, April 14, 2007

Review: Campagnolo Carbon Record Brake Levers

These brake levers came on my Meridian Cascade tandem in 2002. At that time, they were an unspecified upgrade on the bike (I'd specified Campagnolo brake levers, but not the Record type), and I suffered a few remarks from folks who assumed I put it on the bike as a weight weenie measure.

But as I used them over the next 5 years, their value really grew on me (and it's not because of the weight). First of all, they never get cold. Carbon fiber is an insulator, not a conductor, so on cold mornings where metal brake levers would have frozen my fingers to the lever, they remain finger-temperature and keep my fingers happy. Cold hands are one of the most miserable things to experience, and during my 2005 tour of the alps, there were a few days where I wish I had them on my touring bike.

Secondly, these levers have a quick-release built into the lever. Together with Shimano long reach brake calipers, you end up with sufficient throw in both quick releases to clear 700x32mm tires! This is excellent.

Finally, the last 5 years have proven that they are sturdy enough for touring and heavy-duty use. Any levers that have to frequently stop a tandem on major mountain descents are definitely strong enough for any kind of use on a single bike, be it loaded touring, commuting, or just day riding.

I like these levers so much that I'm putting my money where my mouth is: I'm retiring my metal brake levers on my touring bike and replacing them with these. Highly recommended!
Post a Comment