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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-24-06, 08:30 PM   #1
d_roche
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Double (Alternate?) Brakes

Just after I hopped off my bike to head to class, I saw a guy riding a fairly nice Cannondale ( I think 18-Speed) with some very nice components. He was holding his bar close to the stem, and I got scared for a second because he was heading into oncoming traffic, but he ''magically'' slowed. I noticed he had another set of brake levers on the flat top of his bar.

I thought it was pretty neat myself, consdiering I love to cruise with my hands on the flat top while I'm just wizzing around traffic. Thus, I've considered adding these additional levers.

What are your thoughts? How can it be done?

I assume you could just use the levers people put on their fixed gears for the front wheel.

ideas?
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Old 10-24-06, 08:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_roche
Just after I hopped off my bike to head to class, I saw a guy riding a fairly nice Cannondale ( I think 18-Speed) with some very nice components. He was holding his bar close to the stem, and I got scared for a second because he was heading into oncoming traffic, but he ''magically'' slowed. I noticed he had another set of brake levers on the flat top of his bar.

I thought it was pretty neat myself, consdiering I love to cruise with my hands on the flat top while I'm just wizzing around traffic. Thus, I've considered adding these additional levers.

What are your thoughts? How can it be done?

I assume you could just use the levers people put on their fixed gears for the front wheel.

ideas?
Cyclocross racers use that setup. They have through-levers on the top of the bar, and aero levers on the bend. Empella makes the through levers.

I'm going to set a couple of my bikes up like that.
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Old 10-24-06, 08:36 PM   #3
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Empella levers
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Old 10-24-06, 08:39 PM   #4
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is the setup difficult?

looking at my setup now, it seems you could just put a small cable from the lever right next to the cable from the levers on the drop. Same with the back, just a bit more cable and setup. I'm not sure if this is correct, but seems ok?
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Old 10-24-06, 08:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_roche
is the setup difficult?

looking at my setup now, it seems you could just put a small cable from the lever right next to the cable from the levers on the drop. Same with the back, just a bit more cable and setup. I'm not sure if this is correct, but seems ok?
The same cable is used for the dual levers, as far as I understand it (cable runs through the top levers to the aero lever). I would ask the question in the cycloscross forum if I were you. They probably know how it works there.
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Old 10-24-06, 08:43 PM   #6
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seems a little out of my reach for now...thanks for the info though, Blue.
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Old 10-24-06, 08:44 PM   #7
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cross brakes splice into the housing. you pull out your brake cable and cut the housing between the bartape and the downtube, where the levers fit. then you re-connect the cable, threading it through the cross levers. you can't slam the brakes on with these, they're more for just modulating your speed and slowing down. a real panic stop will require at least all the leverage the levers allow and more.
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Old 10-24-06, 08:44 PM   #8
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Its essentially a cable housing splitter. It works in line with the other lever.
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Old 10-24-06, 08:45 PM   #9
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ah. so just the plastic (housing) around the cable comes off and thread right through.

Seems like a 5 minute job. thanks guys
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Old 10-24-06, 08:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianJ1888
you can't slam the brakes on with these, they're more for just modulating your speed and slowing down. a real panic stop will require at least all the leverage the levers allow and more.
Do you mean you can't make a panic stop? Or that you can't make a panic stop with the top levers?
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Old 10-24-06, 08:51 PM   #11
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Yeah when I read the title I thought you were talking about having a bike with cantis and discs installed like the interupt levers mentioned above. Were the brifter does the disc and the interrupt levers handle the cantis
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Old 10-24-06, 09:02 PM   #12
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I have my giant OCR touring like that. Twin disc brakes, shimano ultegra STI shifters, then 2 top mounted brake levers in-line. I can lock up the rear wheel with either one quite easily, in fact, I get more leverage with the top levers since I can grab em at the very end and be more comfortable.
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Old 10-24-06, 09:03 PM   #13
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nice.

not that I know yet, but I think I'd enjoy the convience and functionality of the crosstop levers.
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Old 10-24-06, 10:47 PM   #14
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My commuter is a cross bike that came with them standard. They are great for commuting, where you need to sit up while playing 'dodge the mirror' thru heavy traffic.
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Old 10-24-06, 11:03 PM   #15
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dodge the mirror is fun. dodge the lady with a million shopping bags, more so.
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Old 10-24-06, 11:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_roche
dodge the mirror is fun. dodge the lady with a million shopping bags, more so.
Just bunny hop those
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Old 10-25-06, 10:25 AM   #17
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A cheap version from Performance:

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5225

baker
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Old 10-25-06, 11:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianJ1888
You can't slam the brakes on with these, they're more for just modulating your speed and slowing down. a real panic stop will require at least all the leverage the levers allow and more.
Why ever not? Well-designed cross levers should stop as well as aero levers.
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Old 10-25-06, 11:51 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by d_roche
seems a little out of my reach for now...thanks for the info though, Blue.
Performance and Nashbar both sell cheaper versions of the same thing, which work well from what I've heard. I personally don't much understand the appeal of these levers. I rarely have my hands on the tops except when I'm climbing a steep hill and am unlikely to need to slam on the brakes. I can get all the braking power I need from the hoods or drops.
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Old 10-25-06, 08:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianJ1888
you can't slam the brakes on with these, they're more for just modulating your speed and slowing down. a real panic stop will require at least all the leverage the levers allow and more.
Ya wanna bet? I can panic stop just fine with my cross levers. You just need to have them set up right.
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Old 10-26-06, 09:57 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxfyre
Performance and Nashbar both sell cheaper versions of the same thing, which work well from what I've heard. I personally don't much understand the appeal of these levers. I rarely have my hands on the tops except when I'm climbing a steep hill and am unlikely to need to slam on the brakes. I can get all the braking power I need from the hoods or drops.
They are obviously not for you. But I also see lot of people who are usually riding the tops, occasionally use the hoods, and seldom use the drops. For people who use drop bars in traffic and want to us the tops for a taller position the cross levers are nice. They are fairly easy to add and use and provide a third hand position within reach of a brake lever. I use one inline with my TT lever on my bullhorns and occasionally find it useful. Ofcourse my bars are fairly low so It is sometimes helpful to have the taller position closer to the stem.
Craig
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Old 10-26-06, 10:31 AM   #22
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CROSS LEVERS ARE HANDY.

I put a set on my geared commuter (didnt want them at first) I almost had a accident in a traffic circle one day, I was signaling a right hand exit from the circle and a car pulled out in front of me.

I Hit the front brake from the top of my right hood (I have my brakes set up this way) and almost lost it.

since all I had was the top of hood.

The "Cross" Inline levers give me a much greater saftey factor when in heavy traffic (beter control). they also work as well as My main levers.

"John"
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Old 10-26-06, 11:48 AM   #23
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I have one cross lever on the front brake of my main commuter. It's very handy, particularly when riding in slower traffic where I like to sit up for a better view. I put it on when I got the bike, my first bike with drops since the early 80's, and I wasn't sure I could handle the change from MTB style brakes.

I also find it handy when walking the bike.

Since then I've purchased a second bike with drops, and I haven't bothered to put a lever on that one. So it's not essential.
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