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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 10-06-04, 03:00 PM   #1
Phiber
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Top mount levers

My K-Wing bars will not accomodate Top Mount brake levers. Any suggestions?
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Old 10-06-04, 03:19 PM   #2
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Top mount levers are overrated.
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Old 10-06-04, 03:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Phiber
My K-Wing bars will not accomodate Top Mount brake levers. Any suggestions?
Not much you can do about that. I did notice that I rarely used the top mount levers in a cross race. I do use them a lot on my commuter bike though.

Last edited by BlastRadius; 10-06-04 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 10-06-04, 09:08 PM   #4
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I almost exclusively use top mount levers especially during a race. I am not familiar w/ K-wing bars so I am guessing they are not round and that is why they won't fit???
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Old 10-07-04, 09:37 AM   #5
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I personally have top mount levers on all three bikes (two race, one commute/rain bike). I think they are a big advantage on technical courses, especially really bumpy sections where you can ride "lighter" on the tops & carry more momentum into corners/barriers before you have to scrub some speed.

However, my team director has a good argument for not running them. If you get used to always having them there, you will most definately use them too much, ie. brake too much! Totally depends on the course though. At Star Cross I dont think i touched them more than once/twice per lap since you are powering out of grassy corners every few seconds & you get more power on the hoods or drops. To each his own though.

I agree with Blast 100% on the commuting thing, they are very useful.

No solutions for the K-Wing bar situation. I run the RD 200 bars & they are lighter & you can use top mounts.

DP
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Old 10-11-04, 09:58 PM   #6
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I just move from my old mtn bike to a real cross bike. I installed the in-line levers- I haven't used them yet and they really add a lot of brake cable slop to the system. The standard levers aren't as crisp anymore. If I was doing it over, I'd save the $50 and hour of my time dorking with setting them up. When I have to replace the cable housing in a year or two- I'll take them out of the system.

After writing this- maybe I should talk to the LBS about returning the radius levers for credit...
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Old 10-11-04, 10:35 PM   #7
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Homer,

It all depends on what you are running for STI levers & canti's. If you have say Tiagra shift/brake levers & some crappy Avids (my oppinion on Avids) then you wont get a good return on the lever when you let off the brake. Also, your cable housing & cables should always be cleaned & lubed with something like White Lightning so there is no friction. I have Empella Frog legs, Spooky's & some old LX's on my bikes & they all work great. Set up is key. If you dont use them though, take them off. As for paying $50 for radius levers, i think you should talk to the shop about that, they bent you over. Did you make it out to Stumptown on Saturday? muddy fun!

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Old 10-11-04, 10:58 PM   #8
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Like DP said, setup is key. On all my bikes with top-mounts, the return is snappy.
Do make sure you lube the inner cable, I use T-9 Boeshield but others will do too.
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Old 10-12-04, 07:03 AM   #9
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I hardly use top-mounts when I race, but I use them a lot when I am just out riding. I think my use of top-mounts are limited to steep and/or technical descents when I feel like I'm going to go over the handlebars if I am in the drops.
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Old 10-12-04, 07:44 AM   #10
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There is a bit of slop on my front brake for some reason that is why I am thinking that when I redo my bar tape that I will get rid of the aero levers and keep the top mounts. I hardly ever use the hoods preferring the drops for sprints and or fast paved sections.
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Old 10-12-04, 12:45 PM   #11
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My team price from the LBS was around $30 I think.

The carbon fork on the '05 Axis doesn't have additional holes to set pre-load on the brake return springs. The load is pretty light even with the pre-load screws tight. There just isn't enough return force to take all the slop out with the top levers.

I probably need to bend the springs a little- I'm not really excited about bending the hardened spring steel.
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Old 10-12-04, 01:07 PM   #12
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Yeah, if you only have the one hole option that sucks. If you do bend it yourself (I assume you have Avids) take my advice & wear gloves, those little springs have gotten me more than once. They are a pain to get back into place as well, a screw driver usually works best to pry it back. Good luck!!

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Old 10-19-04, 02:05 PM   #13
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The brakes are actually Shimano cantilever. The levers are Ultegra. I think it may have to do with the angled cable support on the headseat. The LBS changed out the straight one for a 45 degree when building up the bike from Bianchi (I have an Axis). I oiled the SH*&&^ out of the cable and I can still feel it binding in the 45 tube.

I think that's where the resistance is coming from. I need to change back to the straight one and see if it still does it.

I'm still surprised that the carbon fork on the Bianchi doesn't have 3 holes to set spring return on the brakes.
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Old 10-19-04, 09:16 PM   #14
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Do you have a hole in your fork crown? If so, a fork mounted cable stop will probably be your best option. I have one on my pit bike but my race bikes fork doesnt have the hole. This also cuts down on fork chatter under hard braking. Give it a try.

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Old 10-20-04, 08:09 AM   #15
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I love the top mounted brake levers (salsa) on my cross machine. I use them all the time. The only problem is when I go back to my road bike, I try to brake from the tops!
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Old 10-20-04, 08:37 AM   #16
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I love the top mounted brake levers (salsa) on my cross machine. I use them all the time. The only problem is when I go back to my road bike, I try to brake from the tops!
Funny that you mentioned that. I do that now too. In fact I am seriously thinking about putting them on my road-racing bike. At least possibly a rear one. Often when I am tired and resting in the field it is nice to rest on the tops but you have to be near a break just in case. Usually one gentle tap will do so I think a rear cross lever would work great.
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Old 10-26-04, 04:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer
My team price from the LBS was around $30 I think.

The carbon fork on the '05 Axis doesn't have additional holes to set pre-load on the brake return springs. The load is pretty light even with the pre-load screws tight. There just isn't enough return force to take all the slop out with the top levers.

I probably need to bend the springs a little- I'm not really excited about bending the hardened spring steel.
Homer,

There is a fix, but it's not cheap. The Paul's Neo-Retro cantilever brakes have variable spring adjustment, but don't require use the spring holes. They are also infinitely adjustable by means of a rotating nut which is locked in place by an allen bolt. They are also sealed, use needle bearings, and have awesome stopping power.
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Old 10-28-04, 08:41 AM   #18
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A co-worker who's into cross sent me pictures of the Paul brakes. I'm picked-up some dura ace cable housing. I'm going to try cables that are properly routed- the LBS put a couple really short radius bends in the original housing to re-use the original housings.

Hopefully that will fix it.

Otherwise it's new brakes OR lose the levers.

Last edited by Homer; 10-28-04 at 08:46 AM.
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