Tektro’s R200 are perfect for anyone seeking modern Campag pattern levers on a Cinderella budget and great for stopping laden tourers, lightweight crossers, winter trainers and frisky fixers or indeed any other mount that doesn’t require STI/Ergo shifters.
They are basically blue-collar copies of Campagnolo’s classic design right down to the push-button quick release. Closer inspection suggests Cane Creek SC5 without the cute lizards scurrying over the hoods and with slightly less refinement where it doesn’t show but in fairness to the SC5s fittings might not be to the same quality.
Riders with smaller hands are better served by Tektro's R100A and the R200's bulkier resin bodies can feel slightly alien if you're used to the slender and relatively angular profiles of Shimano and Dia Compe levers. Some critics would suggest this bulk is a consequence of using lower strength materials but in practice, wearing densely padded gel mitts or full-finger winter weight gloves this is academic and the thick hoods provide excellent cushioning from road and light trail shock too.
Installation is much easier than their linear pull specific siblings thanks to shallower Allen bolts but can still prove a little tricky with “kitchen sink” multi tools. Shapely silver anodised levers look really classy with performance to match thanks to light, yet progressive springs delivering superb modulation and feel married to both mid range (105 equivalent dual pivots) and older style cross cantilevers. Copy cat Campagnolo quick release buttons have a reassuringly solid feel, yet are easily operated on the fly for taming buckles and punctures alike.
There’s a gloss black option should you wish to coordinate your bike’s livery but brand snobs will prefer silver as the Tektro decals are easily removed using nail varnish remover or T-cut. Similarly, the inevitable everyday nicks, scrapes and good-times are easily polished out with a soft cloth.
Classic levers with a Cinderella price tag
road.cc test report
Make and model: Tektro R200 drop levers
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Tektro's imaginatively named R200 are drop-bar road levers aimed at riders with average hands who don't use STi/ergo systems or V brakes.They're particularly good choices for tourists, crossers, fixer/singlespeeds.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Campagnolo pattern but with resin hoods, high lustre anodised aluminium levers, resin boddies, supple rubber hoods. Compatible with side/centrepull and cantilever brakes but could command Vs with "travel agent" gizmo.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These are superb levers for the money offering great modulation and feel with calliper and wider armed cantilevers alike. What's more, the super tactile hoods make for blissfull cruising- just the ticket for those long, steady winter miles.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good looks, tactile shape and great performance.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not the best with low profile cantilvers but few road levers are in my experience.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 36 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)