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Vintage Components - Dia Compe Brakes

On this page: Dia Compe 189 Reverse Brake Levers

Dia Compe is the brand name of Japanese component maker KK Yoshigai. The firm was stated in Osaka, Japan, in 1930. The first product off its production line was a brakeset. Though Dia Compe has long since branched out into headsets, suspension forks and stems, brakes and brake parts are what most people rightfully think of when they see the Dia Compe name.

It was Dia Compe who invented the famous "Safety Lever" extension levers that allow a rider to put his hands on the tops of a set of drop handlebars and still stop his bike.

Swiss brake maker Weinmann was was so taken with the invention that the two firms entered a design-sharing agreement. Weinmann could make the safety levers and Dia Compe could make its own version of the highly-regard Weinmann brakes. That is why those highly polished Dia Compe brakes of the bike boom look just like Weinmanns.


Dia Compe 189 Reverse Brake Levers. Used. $30.00

Since the early 1980s when these levers were made, Dia Compe has done several redesigns. But these original 189s are simple and light. They should weigh about 140 grams each.

Dia Compe's original intent was to produce brake levers for city bikes. But racers quickly figured out that they make super aero levers. Securing the lever to the bars does require drilling a small hole for the fixing screws. Cables can be run inside the bars.

Dia Compe 189 reverse brake levers

Light, simple and effective.