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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.

View Poll Results: to lever or not to lever
a) use levers they'll save your roadie butt 6 66.67%
b) shed the levers or look like a mt. biker 3 33.33%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-08-03, 09:31 AM   #1
bikeape
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top mount levers

i'm a cross newbie with a roadie pedigree. just got the biggest bike i could find (cannondale 2004 cross 800) and the thing's got top mount brake levers.

my question is when do they really come in handy? Most of the euro cross pictures i see don't have them.

a) to lever

or

b) not to lever
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Old 09-08-03, 10:11 AM   #2
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Haven't used them, so shouldn't really have an opinion, but pulled on a lever of a top mount on a shop bike, to see what they felt like, and the cable pulled through, rendering the brake useless (ok, that was probably a naff set-up but it didn't instill much confidence!)
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Old 09-08-03, 11:03 AM   #3
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I'm a cross newbie myself, and I ride my cross bike like a mountain bike. I just put the empella (I was already selling my first born for the bike anyway) levers on my bike, and I think they are the bomb.

If you take a look at many (most?) of the pro bikes on cyclocrossworld.com, it looks like many of the pro riders are using them. (Not that pro's using them makes them good, but there must be some value added)

I find for many of the long races I do (6+ hours, not technicall 'cross) the added hand positions (while still having the security of some brake) is really really nice.
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Old 09-08-03, 06:00 PM   #4
bikeape
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i can see that it might be a hand position thing, but they're so close together, it doesn't seem like you'd get the torque you'd have when riding the mountain bike in basically the same hand position.
maybe i'm too obsessed with weight, but it seems like an easy way to shed some ounces. i haven't check in on the weight, but these are oem cannondales levers so they're probably not the lightest
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Old 09-09-03, 01:00 PM   #5
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Use em, they help on descents so that ur weight is further back and over the back wheel. The weight is minimal---maybe upgrade and get lighter ones, shave the double chainring and then you'll save the weight of the derailleur, chainring and shifter. And then you can rationalize the double braking. Also, on my bike, the top mount levers work better and have better stopping power than the normal brake levers----btw i use the Tektros or whatever--theyre cheap.

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Old 09-09-03, 06:06 PM   #6
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considering that i race mostly in the drops, i can't imagine ever using them...
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Old 09-09-03, 07:05 PM   #7
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i almost got 'em when i got the soma cross bike, but for some odd reason i didn't.

i kind of regret that now.
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Old 09-16-03, 06:36 PM   #8
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For some of the more technical courses they are useful, I have Campy on my roadbike and get tired of the mushy Shimano feel on my cross bike. Then again, controlling speed with wise shifting and acceleration has been my key to winning in cross - not braking.
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