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Old 12-22-08, 03:25 PM   #1
buck65
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Question on adding cross levers to a Tiagra STi setup

Disclaimer: did a search and checked Sheldon's site but didn't find what I was looking for. Also looked at a number of PDF files from the Tektro and Shimano sites.

Hi all,
I currently have a stock Bianchi Volpe appointed with Tiagra shifter/brakes on top of the hoods. I'd like to add some cross levers to this setup but am wondering how the cabling will be done. Does anyone have a tutorial on how to set this up correctly?

I haven't purchased any parts yet but am doing some install research before I dive into this project. I had a few questions that I would love to have answered?

Are the hood shifter and cross shifter cables connected in any way?
Should I just run two sets of cables to my cantilevers?
Are there any special kits that I haven't seen that accomodate both types of handlebar brake levers?


Now I'm not a mechanic, but it seems that all I need to do is attach the cross cable somewhere down the line of the hood cable....but then again I could be completely wrong. If anyone has suggestions on how to get this done, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

tony
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Old 12-22-08, 03:46 PM   #2
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Cross levers do nothing to shift cables, they operate the brakes only.
Basically you unwrap the bars, disconnect the brakes cables and pull them back. Install the cross levers, cut the housings to fit, re-run brake cables and re-wrap bars.
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Old 12-22-08, 04:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steev View Post
Cross levers do nothing to shift cables, they operate the brakes only.
Basically you unwrap the bars, disconnect the brakes cables and pull them back. Install the cross levers, cut the housings to fit, re-run brake cables and re-wrap bars.
I'd like both sets of brakes to be operational. I've seen other cross bikes with the shifter/brake/hood assemblies that work independently of the cross levers (and vice versa). I'd like to be able to do that with my bike.

For clarity purposes, I'm just wondering if I should be running both sets of brake lines together...or next to each other....or have the cross levers attach to the shifter/brake assembly brake lines.
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Old 12-22-08, 04:22 PM   #4
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Cross levers go in-line with the brake cable coming from the shift/brake lever(hence the other name "interrupter levers). You will have both brakes operational. You can apply the brakes with either lever. The cross lever works by effectively lengthening the housing thus applying the brake, operation of the shift/brake lever is not effected.
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Old 12-22-08, 04:38 PM   #5
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So should I try and wedge the "new" brake cables (from the interrupter levers) into the existing housings so they're side-by-side with the shift/brake lever cables? And then connect it to the link wires/cantilevers?

I'm guessing that I should also lube the new brake wires as to limit the amount of friction.
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Old 12-22-08, 04:53 PM   #6
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You are making this way harder then it needs to be. Follow everyone's advice and install them.
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Old 12-22-08, 05:04 PM   #7
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One wire goes from the original brake lever, through the new brake lever and then to the brake set. No other wire needed.
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Old 12-22-08, 05:11 PM   #8
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I dont know if this will clear up any confusion, but the cross levers work independently of the brifters, albeit on the same brake cable, by pushing on housing rather than pulling cable to actuate the brakes.
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Old 12-22-08, 06:12 PM   #9
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you will get a set of instructions with the cross levers when you buy them. You need to know the following things.

1. Cross levers come in 3 different sizes. 31.8mm for the bulged area (near the stem) for an oversized bar, 26mm for the bulged area of a standard non oversized road bar and 24mm if you wish to install them further outboard on the smaller diameter of either bar. The last option is useful if your stem clamp area tapers quickly on either side of the stem leaving very little mounting area.

2. Cross levers (also called interrupter levers) operate in the middle of your existing brake cable, they do not use a separate cable of their own. You mount the levers on the bars where you want them, pull the inner wire out of the housing, cut the housing at the entry point to the cyclocross lever, put the housing into the cyclocross lever from both sides (the part of your original housing on the hood side of the system into one side of the lever and the part of the original housing going to the brake into the other), rerun the inner cable and done.

After you set up the brakes again, the brake lever at the hoods will pull on the inner cable and the brakes will work. The cyclocross lever will push on the housing (making the housing longer is the same as making the cable shorter) and again the brakes will work.

Get some pictures of cyclocross levers installed and this will seem as easy as pie to you.
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Old 12-22-08, 07:13 PM   #10
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They're "wired in series" with your standard brake cables.

I just had these done last week on my Dura Ace equipped road bike.

The installation is fairly straightforward, but even so, getting everything just right (ie...sufficient opperational clearances on each side so the cables aren't binding on each other) can be a bit of a booger.

see for yourself:

Last edited by Nota; 08-22-09 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 12-22-08, 09:24 PM   #11
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Thanks for all of the great responses; I finally understand. Just purchased a set for each of my bikes this evening!
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