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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 11-30-06, 12:40 PM   #1
explody pup
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Do you use interrupter levers?

I'm getting closer to a build for early next year. I'm trying to decide if I want to intall a set of cross top levers but don't really know if I'd use them enough to justify buying and installing them.

So, racers or anyone else riding a cross bike: do you run interrupter/cross top levers and how much do you actually use them?

Thanks a dozen! Hundreds, even!
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Old 11-30-06, 01:34 PM   #2
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I have them on my bike, and I use them all the time. I can't imagine riding my bike offroad without them. In fairness, my CX bike is also my road bike, and the reach to the brake hoods is quite a bit farther than most other CX bikes I see. At the CX races, I don't see very many people with them, but I love mine.
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Old 11-30-06, 02:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explody pup
I'm getting closer to a build for early next year. I'm trying to decide if I want to intall a set of cross top levers but don't really know if I'd use them enough to justify buying and installing them.

So, racers or anyone else riding a cross bike: do you run interrupter/cross top levers and how much do you actually use them?

Thanks a dozen! Hundreds, even!

They're thirty bucks and you can resell them easily... why not find out for yourself.
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Old 11-30-06, 03:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by explody pup
do you run interrupter/cross top levers?
Nope. Here's the way I see it; on my MTB I'm almost always on the bar-ends unless I have to brake. On my CX, I ride the hoods or drops and can brake / hop / whatever from right there. I have never felt a need to use the flats by the stem on a drop bar unless I'm climbing, and when climbing I never brake!

I hope this helps!
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Old 11-30-06, 07:19 PM   #5
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I don't race. I use my CX bike as a road bike and I use mine all the time. I use them much more frequently than my 'regular' levers.
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Old 12-01-06, 08:35 AM   #6
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Personal opinion - for 'cross racing, I brake from the tops almost exclusively. I wouldn't have a bike without them.
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Old 12-01-06, 10:08 AM   #7
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Never raced but I will say that when commuting, I almost always forget that they are there...
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Old 12-01-06, 10:44 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by outofthesaddle
Personal opinion - for 'cross racing, I brake from the tops almost exclusively. I wouldn't have a bike without them.
Me too. In fact I could just due without the hoods and may very well get rid of them since I use bar end shifters. You do wqnt to have wide bars though. I use a 46 on my main bike and 44 on my pit bike. I wouldn't go less then 44.
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Old 12-01-06, 12:07 PM   #9
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I race, and only have them on my bike because it came with them, but I never use them. I would remove them, but I'm going to sell my bike after this season. My next bike will not have them. Too me, it's just something I don't need that can break. My next bike will be a single ring setup for the same reason.

I only use the tops of my bar when spinning up a straight climb. For most stuff, I guess I have my road riding habit of being on the hoods most of the of time and being in the drops for sprinting and some technical stuff.

My bike setup has a lot to do with it as well - my reach is shorter on my cross bike and the hoods are almost at the same level as my saddle, so I can dismount/remount from the hoods without going all Superman and stuff.

But still, some people love them and can't live without them. I think they are mostly moutain bikers who have better straight bar steering control then me.
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Old 12-01-06, 03:16 PM   #10
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I don't use them and after having done several races now, I don't think that they would be useful for racing. When racing I rarely have my hands on the tops. For turning and most riding I prefer to have my hands on the hoods. For sketchy descents I prefer the drops.

They might be useful for long descents when not racing, but I don't think that I'll put them on just for that.
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Old 12-02-06, 07:23 PM   #11
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i installed them on my bike, and did not really like them too much. i dont think its too big a deal to reach over from the tops to the brake hood to squeeze the lever, but its all a matter of opinion. the person who previously stated that they are only $30 and you can re-sell them has a god point...if you are curious..give it a try, or spin on a buddy's bike that has them.
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Old 12-03-06, 06:46 AM   #12
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Havent raced, but trail ride on the Jake, i had it set up last year with Pauls thumbies and cross tops, and an old set of Diacomp 287's. It worked great.Shifting and braking in one convenient package (almost) about 200 bucks cheaper than a set of brifters, and less likely to get beaten to peices.
Braking is fantastic. as good as V's.

Now I'm commuting and due to some strange luck have a right brifter (running a single ring) I now have room for a light on my bar which is good.
It looks cleaner, but the braking is not what it was, but is still very good.
Not having the cross tops on, I dont ride from the tops, ever.
I'm sure if I put them back i would.
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Old 12-03-06, 03:02 PM   #13
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Only one slightly different opinion -- I have them on my cross check. I have only run 2 races. so my race experience is very limited. I almost never use them, especially on the road, but the one place I use them and find them in valuable is on steep downhills where you want to get your weight back but still want to be on the brakes. handy for both singletrack and races at times.
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Old 12-03-06, 04:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by D0ugB
Only one slightly different opinion -- I have them on my cross check. I have only run 2 races. so my race experience is very limited. I almost never use them, especially on the road, but the one place I use them and find them in valuable is on steep downhills where you want to get your weight back but still want to be on the brakes. handy for both singletrack and races at times.
+1, that is exactly where I use them. I ride through the park and it nice to be able to stay on the tops and have the brakes if needed.
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Old 12-07-06, 03:09 PM   #15
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I actually took mine off. I found them to be useless (for me obviously). I always like to have my hands where I can shift in a second.

Just as a note. This may or may not affect your decision, but most of the B racers, and all of the A/Elite don't have the top brake levers. Not saying that you shouldn't but that let's you know what the advanced cyclocrossers do.
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Old 12-07-06, 03:58 PM   #16
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I like em because its easier to relax and take a drink of whatever without losing your braking ability. I find I ride with one hand on tops if I am riding with one hand.

I don't race though, so I can't speak about their performance in competition. They weigh like 80 grams though; its not much of a weight penalty or anything. I also like the fact that mine have an inline barrel adjuster so I can adjust the tension of my brakes on the fly (literally) if I need to.
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Old 12-07-06, 10:41 PM   #17
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i've found that in my limited racing experience (going on race #9 on sunday), i've never used them. although, there's lots of trails out here and, just as dougb described, i use mine on steep trails or occasionally when commuting. since they came on my bike i've left them on and use them once in a while, but if the bike didn't come with 'em i probably wouldn't miss them.
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