Bombproof Shimano Deore II BL-MT63 cantilever brake levers

Bombproof Shimano Deore II BL-MT63 cantilever brake levers

These Simano Deore II two finger brake levers are the proper old school brake lever of choice for any serious MTB around the beginning of the 90’ies. They most surely look like boat anchors today, and yes compared to the latest KCNC 45 gram brake levers these ARE boat anchors. But back in the day braking with two fingers instead of two was big news because it was not uncommon to use all four fingers to stop your 32 pound tank bombing down the mountain. Yes if you wanted, you could probably get them in the special 4 finger version, probably adding more than 45 gram of weight to an already heavy brake lever.

Fine, you can critize the Simano Deore II brake lever all day for being heavy but on the other hand you have in your hands very stable brake levers. Comparing these levers with low end brake levers of the time, the difference was huge. Budget brake levers where made of plastic, with steel frame inside. They felt mushy and in combination with cheap cantilever brakes did not perform well, you needed at least four finger on each lever to stop the bike well.

Shimano Deore II brake levers where much stiffer and in combination with the new SLR technology you had amazing feel at the lever. It has been a while so I cannot seem to remember if SLR was just the brake lever or the whole system (including brake cables), I guess brake cables played a huge role but the most important breakthrough was the little spring hidden inside the brake lever.

The small spring pushed on the lever so whenever you released pressure on the brake lever you had instant positive feel of the lever following your fingers.

So I guess these brake levers are a bit worn. I got them quite a while ago and used them a bit but they were as worn as they look when I got them, but even though they look worn they still have many miles to perform. And as with most old school Shimano MTB components: this stuff is BOMBPROOF!

I will let them go for 9 euro (and yes, the rubber thingies are still intact and are included).

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Posted in Shimano Deore XT on May 29th, 2010, 11:02 pm by Retro mountain biker   

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