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Old 08-01-07, 07:41 PM   #1
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2 cross levers, 1 brake

Before I embarrass myself in the shop, I'd like to embarrass myself here first by asking you all a question:

Is it possible to run 2 cross/bmx type brake levers to a single brake? I'd like to have a pair of levers on my bars, but I only use a front brake. I realize I could just leave one unhooked if I wanted symmetry, but I really would like to have both working.

Thanks!
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Old 08-01-07, 07:52 PM   #2
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Yes! You could run two cross levers to one brake, there would have to be a peice of housing between the two and one cable running through both levers. The cable routing to the brake would be strange but it's doable.

We're talking bar-top interrupter levers aka cross levers, bmx levers wouldn't be as easy.
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Old 08-01-07, 08:03 PM   #3
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Yes! You could run two cross levers to one brake, there would have to be a peice of housing between the two and one cable running through both levers. The cable routing to the brake would be strange but it's doable.

We're talking bar-top interrupter levers aka cross levers, bmx levers wouldn't be as easy.
Thank you! I had hope this was the case. Is this something that is going to be tough for the bike shop to figure out, or should my LBS be able to handle this?
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Old 08-01-07, 08:31 PM   #4
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It is doable(I was thinking like moose) but I don't know if a shop would do it because they would be liable if it failed and you plowed into a bus full of fireworks.

To do it(assuming cross levers) you need a road cable and some housing. You want to run the housing between the two levers with enough slack to let them both be pulled tight with out making the housing tight. Then run housing to the brake of your choice. The cable wiill start at the brake that offers the best flow(For the front I would run it with the cable end in the left lever, thru the right lever and then down to the front brake) You might need to use a housing end at the lever to remove any play.
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Old 08-01-07, 08:41 PM   #5
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It is doable(I was thinking like moose) but I don't know if a shop would do it because they would be liable if it failed and you plowed into a bus full of fireworks.

To do it(assuming cross levers) you need a road cable and some housing. You want to run the housing between the two levers with enough slack to let them both be pulled tight with out making the housing tight. Then run housing to the brake of your choice. The cable wiill start at the brake that offers the best flow(For the front I would run it with the cable end in the left lever, thru the right lever and then down to the front brake) You might need to use a housing end at the lever to remove any play.
I'm hoping my LBS will do it. I'm sure this is going to sound like I probably should NOT go back to them, but they did sell me a brakeless track bike with a cog/lockring that wasn't fitted properly, so they don't seem too concerned about me plowing into a bus.

In any case, I'm pleased to hear that this is doable (thanks for the explanation!). The posts over in the SS/FG forum are saying that I need to rig up some sort of double cable using parts from a bmx giro, and I was sure it had to be easier than that.
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Old 08-01-07, 08:57 PM   #6
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A giro would not work to good unless you pulled on both brakes everytime. The giro is pulled evenly by a cable split after the lever, if you pulled just one cable it would cock the giro and you would get no braking. Finding cables with the right ends would be tough as well as giros have double ended cables to fit the lever and the giro

We had some heavy discussion at our shop about selling bikes with no brakes and now put brakes on any track bike we sell. This sucks for some but we have to cover our butts.
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Old 08-01-07, 08:59 PM   #7
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I run Tri bars(bullhorns) with one tri barend lever and a cyclocross lever on the same side. They both work the front brake. I don't like a rear brake with a fixed wheel.
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Old 08-02-07, 07:35 AM   #8
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A couple of other things I thought of...

Make sure the housing between the levers has an arc in it to allow it to flex easily, as it will be pushed by the lever. That's how cross levers work, they push the housing instead of pulling the cable. If the housing is too straight between the levers it'll work against itself.

Also, be careful, when using this setup, not to grab both levers too hard. You could break something with the added force of two levers acting at the same time. Probably the cable end would fail leaving you with no brake at all

Last edited by Moose; 08-02-07 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 08-02-07, 08:48 AM   #9
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The SS/FG guys are right, you want to use a lower gyro cable (not the whole gyro). It's a cable that looks like this:



..or find one the the cable junction boxes, like the Primo Pervert:

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Old 08-02-07, 08:02 PM   #10
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A gyro lower would not work well for this application, when you pull one lever the other cable would go slack. If the cable housing does not find it's way back into the hole, the brake could lock up. You'd always have to pull both levers at the same time. That's assuming you could lace the cables into your levers in the first place.

The "Pervert" looks dubious as well.
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Old 08-03-07, 10:08 AM   #11
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Try this:



Updated image.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.

Last edited by carleton; 08-03-07 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 08-03-07, 10:24 AM   #12
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Try this:

{excellent diagram**
carleton, thank you! That's fantastic. Would I need to add additional mods to the points where the housing stops at the brake arms, or will there be cable guides on the arms? Would it work with this model:

http://www.ecrater.com/product.php?pid=1236048

or should I just suck it up and buy the Tektro one? (the Tektro is $18 more plus shipping; I'm trying to do this project on a budget)

Thanks again for all your help. This is shaping up way better than I had expected.
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Old 08-03-07, 10:39 AM   #13
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Or what about this one?

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...Fx570+Cfs.aspx

Also, it seems like I'm going to need one of these, because it's still unclear to me how they would mount on my frame:

http://www.bikeparts.com/search_resu...p?ID=BPC320724
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Old 08-03-07, 10:43 AM   #14
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carleton, thank you! That's fantastic. Would I need to add additional mods to the points where the housing stops at the brake arms, or will there be cable guides on the arms? Would it work with this model:

http://www.ecrater.com/product.php?pid=1236048

or should I just suck it up and buy the Tektro one? (the Tektro is $18 more plus shipping; I'm trying to do this project on a budget)

Thanks again for all your help. This is shaping up way better than I had expected.
BMX brakes won't work. The arms are too long. They would reach past your rim into your spokes. You have to stick to a brake that has like a 40-50mm reach (I think).

Also, on second thought, the Tektro brakes won't work either because they require brake bosses on your fork (unless you have a cyclecross fork).

This is going to be really hard to do buying parts online. It's likely gonna be a bike shop project where they have all of the odds and ends and doo-dads in the shop. The things you CAN get online are the:
- Oval A700 brake
- The Lucky Bolt
- BMX levers (make sure they will fit your bars)
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 08-03-07, 10:48 AM   #15
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By the way,

Disclaimer: This is obviously using these parts in a manner in which they were not designed. DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK.
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Old 08-03-07, 11:26 AM   #16
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Use the cross levers, no mods necessary.
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Old 08-03-07, 11:53 AM   #17
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Use the cross levers, no mods necessary.
I have already ordered a pair of Tektro cross levers and a Shimano 105 caliper, but I thought if the above design would work better, I could always save those parts for another project. It looks like I'll be sticking with the cross levers after all, as the U-brake is sounding way too complicated.
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