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Improving STI lever braking power

Symptoms

I own a Tandem Two'sDay, with Shimano RSX STI shifters and Tektro "V"-style brakes. I have tried everything to provide some sort of braking on the rear but so far nothing has reached the level of a slow glide to an eventual stop. Fortunately the front brakes are solid. There just isn't enough pull with STI shifters. What can I do? How about replacing the drop bars with mountain bike-style or using barcons?

Causes

Tektro "V"-style linear-pull brakes with Shimano STI road levers are never as strong as V-brakes with V-brake levers. Using Problem Solvers' Travel Agent can help (it doubles the pull from the lever to the brake) but it will still leave the brakes soft.

Solutions

You've got some options for better braking power. The first would be to install an Arai drum brake on the rear as a drag brake and for rapid stopping. This would run about US$350 installed. The second would be to change out the bars, levers, etc., which would run about US$450 installed. The most deluxe option would be to install disk brakes. This option would run about US$725 installed. All of these options would require us doing the work here and would take roughly three to four weeks. If you are interested in any of these options, give us a call and we can work out the details. 

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