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  1. #1
    Member FlyingZombo's Avatar
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    Installing cyclo/ top mount brake levers on a motobecane messenger SS?

    I have a Motobecane Messenger that I use as a city commuting bike, and it works just fine,except that I kind of wish the brake levers were top mounted instead of the road bike levers it came with. I basically want them because it's a bit more comfortable than reaching farther for the brakes as I am now doing. But I'm pretty novice and was hoping you all could advise.

    1) Do I still have similar braking power with top mounted brakes instead of the normal road bike levers? I read in the forum that they can be wimpy/dangerous. Can these replace my current brakes or is it better to install them as auxiliary brakes? I ride mainly flat roads and am not a very aggressive rider, if that gives some insight.

    2) It looks like the handlebar is a 26mm so would something like this work?
    http://www.amazon.com/Tektro-Cyclo-C.../dp/B001PHZKOI
    Close-up photos of the bike are here:
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...msg_x_gallery/

    3) Besides the brake levers and cable (something like this? http://www.amazon.com/Brake-Cable-Ho.../dp/B000C128MK), do I need other components/materials? My plan was to bring the new levers/cable to my lbs and ask them to install since I'm not very well-versed.

    Thoughts? Easy? Difficult? My apologies for sounding ignorant - trying to educate myself on this stuff and feeling a bit unsure!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Interrupter levers would work fine. If installed properly they won't diminish braking ability at all. The levers are all you should need. Just remove the brake cable from the housing, cut the housing where it exits the bar wrap (use a dremmel to get a square, smooth cut), mount the lever, cut a little off the housing that will be exiting the lever if needed, run the cable back through the housing and adjust the brakes. Repeat for other side. If you're mechanically inclined and take your time, it is really easy.

    That being said, my commuter came with them but I ride the hoods 99% of the time so they rarely, if ever, get used.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    They are meant as an addition to the Aero lever, rather than Instead of them,
    the cable end is inflexible right where it is soldered /cast onto the cable,
    so flexing it right there has cause breakage of the cable , one instance shown recently.

    Putting them as a supplement to the main lever, interrupting the housing,
    puts them in a flexible portion of the inner wire..

    Pushing the housing = pulling the cable in this situation.

    Velo Orange has a Guidonnet lever that is made to go on instead of other levers,
    cable end is let rotate as it is pulled , and the lever follows the upper curve of the bar. [forward in the case of drop bars..
    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...s/br-0024.html
    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-28-10 at 04:59 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    I'll suggest the same thing I wrote for someone else.

    If you see you are approaching a situation where you MAY need to use your brakes then you MAY need to also steer aggresively. Steering aggresively with your hands in on the cross portion close by the stem is a very poor way to go. You want your hands out on the ends of the bars. And as it happens that is where the proper brake levers happen to be. So if you see something coming up where you MAY need to brake or steer suddenly your hands should be out on the ends and in the best possible place for whatever MAY occur.

    This doesn't mean I don't think that we should not have interrupter levers. For casual slowing down in safe areas of the ride they are just fine. But keep in mind that at the first sign of approaching any sort of questionable situation that your hands should shift to the drops or hoods where you can best control the bike.
    Last edited by BCRider; 12-28-10 at 08:02 PM.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  5. #5
    Member FlyingZombo's Avatar
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    Good points, all

    Thanks everyone for your input. It's all been very helpful. I'll see what my LBS says, too, about replacing vs. adding as an alternative brake but keeping the aero levers.

    But as far as the interrupter levers I listed, do you think they'd work/fit?


    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    I'll suggest the same thing I wrote for someone else.

    If you see you are approaching a situation where you MAY need to use your brakes then you MAY need to also steer aggresively. Steering aggresively with your hands in on the cross portion close by the stem is a very poor way to go. You want your hands out on the ends of the bars. And as it happens that is where the proper brake levers happen to be. So if you see something coming up where you MAY need to brake or steer suddenly your hands should be out on the ends and in the best possible place for whatever MAY occur.

    This doesn't mean I don't think that we should not have interrupter levers. For casual slowing down in safe areas of the ride they are just fine. But keep in mind that at the first sign of approaching any sort of questionable situation that your hands should shift to the drops or hoods where you can best control the bike.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingZombo View Post
    But as far as the interrupter levers I listed, do you think they'd work/fit?
    yes

  7. #7
    dbg
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    I use these in-lines on all my touring bikes and have come to depend on them. I believe they are easier to apply braking force than with the aero levers. When I build up a new touring or workout bike I always add these. But I'm now at a crossroads. I just acquired a higher end road bike than I'm used to (04 trek 5900 superlight). I have come to depend on the in-lines so much I'm tempted to add a pair to the 5900 Superlight. Somebody talk me out of it.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The cable pull /levertage of each is different . top mount pulls more,
    lower leverage,
    aero lever on the end, less, higher leverage ..

    So the overall brake adjustment , I have found, Is a compromise.

    mine: Empella top mount lever, Shimano non brifter brake lever..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-30-10 at 11:53 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    The cable pull /levertage of each is different . top mount pulls more,
    aero lever on the end, less ..

    So the overall brake adjustment , I have found, Is a compromise.
    This doesn't make sense. The interrupter has no effect on the aero levers as there is nothing in the interrupters that can compress (if they are set up properly) when the aero levers are activated. There may be a different feel to the interrupters than the aeros but there should be no change to how the aeros feel.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    I use these in-lines on all my touring bikes and have come to depend on them. I believe they are easier to apply braking force than with the aero levers. When I build up a new touring or workout bike I always add these. But I'm now at a crossroads. I just acquired a higher end road bike than I'm used to (04 trek 5900 superlight). I have come to depend on the in-lines so much I'm tempted to add a pair to the 5900 Superlight. Somebody talk me out of it.
    Did you read my thoughts in the earlier post about steering control concerns if using the top mounted interrupter levers? For that reason I would suggest you should instead be working on finding a better lever position or even switching bars to make it so that you get better stopping power when on the main outer levers.

    You need to ask yourself if it's a case of how the main levers fit you or is it a case of the levers themselves require considerably more force to apply. But no levers on newer bikes these days are inadequite unless you've installed a mixed up arrangement that is considered non-compatible. So that brings us to how you're using the levers and the set up on your bike. Do you ride mostly on the hoods? If so try to reach down further with your fingertips so you apply the pressure further from the lever pivot. Or if you're using them with your hands in the drops are your wrists at a really odd angle because you can't or don't get down into a really deep "flat back" sort of racing posture? If so then the levers are not in the proper spot for how you ride. If you're riding on the inner cross portion much of the time because you are more comfortable then it points out that you should have a shorter stem so that with only a touch more stretch you can ride comfortably on the hoods. The point being that you want to set up the bike for how you ride the MOST OFTEN so that you're comfortable with your hands at least on the hoods. The inner top portion should only be ridden now and then when you want to sit up particulary tall for an occasional break. If you find you ride up in that position most of the time to where the interrupters are used more than the main levers then I'd suggest that the bar position was set up in too aggresive a position for the reality of how you ride.

    I think a lot of us set up the bike to what we THINK it needs to be or because a racing influenced fitter says this is how it should be or because all the pictures in the brochures and online pictures look a certain way. And then we find we're riding the curves or tops all the time instead of the hoods or in the drops. When that happens it's time to re-evaluate and move the bars back and maybe up a t***** so that we get the proper outer positions into place where THEY become the primary use positions. If it means we and the bike don't look like a proper ToD racer then so be it. That's just reality and sometimes reality bites. I'd far rather move the bars to where I'm in an effective but still comfy position for the primary brake levers than I would want to find that I'm using the interrupter levers all the time and losing steering control by having my hands inwards on the tops most of the time.

    Now depending on how you ride each bike you have the optimum setup for each may differ by a lot. A touring bike used for sight seeing and focused a bit more towards comfort may well be set up with the bars well up and back compared to a work out bike intent on being ridden quickly.

    Does that help talk you out of it?
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    setting up aero lever for best performance had top mount lever travel a tiny arc to brake actuation.

    I found, to have a reasonable travel on the top lever means finding place where braking is adequate

    before the aero lever end hits the handlebar. compromise.

  12. #12
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    setting up aero lever for best performance had top mount lever travel a tiny arc to brake actuation.

    I found, to have a reasonable travel on the top lever means finding place where braking is adequate

    before the aero lever end hits the handlebar. compromise.
    Not sure why a short travel on the interrupters would be a bad thing. I adjust the aeros to be corect and the interupters work fine.

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