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Old 01-26-09, 02:46 PM   #1
rumrunn6
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additional brake levers

How is it that some bikes now have a 2nd set of brake levers?
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Old 01-26-09, 03:15 PM   #2
frankenmike 
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In line levers push the housing instead of pulling the cable.
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Old 01-26-09, 04:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
How is it that some bikes now have a 2nd set of brake levers?
On drop bar bikes there has always been an interest in being able to brake well from a more upright position. Years ago the suppliers were experimenting with the so-called "suicide levers" which looked good in theory but offered marginal performance in reality - so they quite quickly disappeared.
Nowadays we have the interrupt/cross levers, which gives the originally requested ability to brake from upright but with much better performance.
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Old 01-26-09, 04:27 PM   #4
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Interrupter Brake Levers

Secondary brake levers that "interrupt" the cable housings used with "śro" brake levers on drop handlebars. These allow the rider to brake while holding on to the top/middle section of the drop handlebar.
Instead of pulling on the inner cable, interrupter levers activate the brakes by pushing on the cable housing.

These are an updated version of the extension levers popular in the late '70s, without the drawbacks of the older designs.

This style of brake lever was first popularized by cyclocross riders, with the result that they're sometimes known as "cross levers" or "cyclocross levers" but there is actually nothing about them that makes them more suitable for cyclcross bikes than for any other drop bar application.



From Sheldon Brown, since linking to things in the glossary always fails

Last edited by fuzz2050; 01-26-09 at 04:27 PM. Reason: lost an I
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Old 01-26-09, 06:01 PM   #5
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Just another example. Work great for slowish rides with the kids and wife.
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Old 01-26-09, 08:24 PM   #6
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The thing you must be careful about is that your hands should be low with the heel of the palms behind the bars...

The problem with older "suicide levers" had nothing to do with performance if the brakes were adjusted correctly. They worked too well in fact. Broken thumbs as people flew over the bars were quite common.
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Old 01-26-09, 11:20 PM   #7
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My old school suicide levers... the problem was I couldnt get good braking in the rain... They would bottom out. Even if I adjusted my brakes to where I am just touching the drops, Im still only activating the brakes at the 1/2 way point on my suicides.

As for my new touring bike.. I installed some cross levers... they are awesome, and I can fine tune those to where I can get some gooooood hand leverage on them when braking on downhills in the rain with 50 lbs of gear. I absolutely love them for anything but road training/racing
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Old 01-27-09, 04:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
The problem with older "suicide levers" had nothing to do with performance if the brakes were adjusted correctly. They worked too well in fact.
Never had that problem, quite the opposite. The extensions would flex too much and end up too close to the bar to allow for decent braking pretty much regardless of how the brakes were set up. And, being caliper brakes, there isn't/wasn't much adjustment to be made.

The only way I could get decent braking from the suicide levers was to position the the lever quite high on the forward bend of the bar, but that pretty much negated the possibility of riding on the hoods and if you wanted to brake from the drops you had to angle your hands upwards in a fairly awkward manner.

Then again I only got to try 3 different brands. Maybe there are/were other combos of drop bars and suicide levers out there that would allow for a more determined pull on the brakes than what mine allowed for?
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Old 01-27-09, 06:28 AM   #9
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My old school suicide levers... the problem was I couldnt get good braking in the rain... They would bottom out. Even if I adjusted my brakes to where I am just touching the drops, Im still only activating the brakes at the 1/2 way point on my suicides.

As for my new touring bike.. I installed some cross levers... they are awesome, and I can fine tune those to where I can get some gooooood hand leverage on them when braking on downhills in the rain with 50 lbs of gear. I absolutely love them for anything but road training/racing
One solution to avoid bottomming out was to rotate the hoods out toward the sides so the bars wouldn't strike the handlebar durring application.
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