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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 11-15-10, 06:11 PM   #1
thirdgenbird
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interrupter lever(s) do i want them?

i am new to cx, so new infact my bike is not built yet.

what is the consensus on these? i actually already have them, but due to the long taper on my oversize bars i can only install them right next to the stem.

i have been debating only using one cross lever and last night i found this while cruising the curt goodrich site:



it almost looks like he has his rear brake on the left lever. is that normal in cross? if i do only run one cross lever which should i use? front or rear?
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Old 11-15-10, 06:38 PM   #2
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as far as having his left lever control his rear brake, thats exactly what hes got going on. It's actually quite common in cross because it allows you to more easily make adjustments to your bikes speed as your getting ready to dismount and only have your left hand on the bars [right hand on the top tube].
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Old 11-15-10, 06:54 PM   #3
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I have them, but as I become more comfortable racing, I'm using them less and less. If I get a new bike, I won't get them.

Also, had my hand slip off the bar this year and ram into the lever; lost a bit of skin there.
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Old 11-15-10, 06:57 PM   #4
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understandable.

the cross lever is then probably used while descending on the tops?
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Old 11-15-10, 07:22 PM   #5
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You'd think so, but if it's a big descent, I'm probably in the drops for better control. I tend to use them to scrub a little speed coming into corners or if there's a bottleneck a head of me.
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Old 11-15-10, 07:25 PM   #6
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on the road i spend a lot of time in the drops. i will probably go without the levers but keep them around a bit "just in case"


i am still debating swapping the levers right to left...
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Old 11-15-10, 08:05 PM   #7
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The lever swap is really just a preference thing. Just as many race cross without swapping, so give it a whirl and see how you like it
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Old 11-15-10, 08:06 PM   #8
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I almost never am on the tops in a CX race. That said, I don't have them.
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Old 11-15-10, 09:02 PM   #9
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Swapping left/right is an awful idea. Run all your bikes the same way.

Bartop levers are great for:
1. Short steep descents. Stream crossing, gullies, etc, are perfect.
2. Flat bumpy "pave" sections, where you want to drive from the bartops but maybe scrub some speed once in a while. [That's why some pros run one or two bartop levers for Paris-Roubaix.]
3. Dismounts. Left hand on the bartop and near the stem gives you a bit more control than being on the hood or drop.
4. Twisty-turny sections where you'd like to ride the tops but need brakes.

Set them up right. You want plenty of slack in the cable housing. For the front, you probably want to run the housing up and over the bar and stem rather than directly to the cable stop.
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Old 11-15-10, 09:14 PM   #10
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Here is my very limited experiance with them. I just got my cross bike about a month ago. When I do gravel road rides with the group they come in handy. I use them a bit while practicing CX in the park and in the woods. In the one CX race I've done I never touched them. When I change out the cables after the winter season I'll probably take them off.
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Old 11-15-10, 09:16 PM   #11
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Swapping left/right is an awful idea. Run all your bikes the same way.

Bartop levers are great for:
1. Short steep descents. Stream crossing, gullies, etc, are perfect.
2. Flat bumpy "pave" sections, where you want to drive from the bartops but maybe scrub some speed once in a while. [That's why some pros run one or two bartop levers for Paris-Roubaix.]
3. Dismounts. Left hand on the bartop and near the stem gives you a bit more control than being on the hood or drop.
4. Twisty-turny sections where you'd like to ride the tops but need brakes.

Set them up right. You want plenty of slack in the cable housing. For the front, you probably want to run the housing up and over the bar and stem rather than directly to the cable stop.
that part of swapping levers scared me (but i dont have any issues on a motorcycle)

so if i only run one cross lever which one should i run? my initial reaction is front, but ive not run cx before. i would put it on the left for dismounts like you suggest, but you could run the rear lever "backwards" through a bar top lever mounter on the left side.
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Old 11-15-10, 09:25 PM   #12
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Run both or none. You don't want to get stuck on the tops on a serious descent with only one brake.
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Old 11-15-10, 09:39 PM   #13
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Swapping left/right is an awful idea. Run all your bikes the same way.
Disagree about it being an awful idea. My bikes have all been (or all currently are) swapped. For the road, this is because I like to be able to control my front brake with my non-signaling hand. In the dirt...well, it's just for consistency because humans are simple creatures and why complicate things unnecessarily?
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Old 11-15-10, 09:39 PM   #14
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Run both or none. You don't want to get stuck on the tops on a serious descent with only one brake.
even if i run fixed gear
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Old 11-15-10, 10:22 PM   #15
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Like SpongeDad, I have the interrupters but have used them a lot less this year than I did last year.

They can be handy for short, steep descents where you want to keep your weight back a lot.
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Old 11-15-10, 10:25 PM   #16
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thanks all.

i will build the bike without, but keep them around a while just in case.
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Old 11-15-10, 11:18 PM   #17
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I just started racing cross this season and built up my bike without them, never have had the thought that I would want them in a race I'm rarely on the tops of my bars, pretty much always on the hoods. If anything I would recommend setting up your levers a little further up the bars so you're more upright and further back on your bike, comes in handy for descents and technical off camber stuff.
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Old 11-15-10, 11:30 PM   #18
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I just started racing cross this season and built up my bike without them, never have had the thought that I would want them in a race I'm rarely on the tops of my bars, pretty much always on the hoods. If anything I would recommend setting up your levers a little further up the bars so you're more upright and further back on your bike, comes in handy for descents and technical off camber stuff.
ive thought about that, but i think having a shorter stem and taller bars will get the job done. if not i can always readjust. deda par tape is always good for a few wraps.
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Old 11-16-10, 07:18 AM   #19
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Disagree about it being an awful idea. My bikes have all been (or all currently are) swapped. For the road, this is because I like to be able to control my front brake with my non-signaling hand. In the dirt...well, it's just for consistency because humans are simple creatures and why complicate things unnecessarily?
I'm sorry, maybe I was being ambiguous. I meant, run all your bikes the same way, whether the standard way or moto style. But don't run your road bike standard, and your cross bike moto.
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Old 11-16-10, 07:28 AM   #20
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I just started racing cross this season and built up my bike without them, never have had the thought that I would want them in a race I'm rarely on the tops of my bars, pretty much always on the hoods. If anything I would recommend setting up your levers a little further up the bars so you're more upright and further back on your bike, comes in handy for descents and technical off camber stuff.
You shouldn't depend on the hoods for gnarly descents, it's too easy to slip off, especially if your hands are wet or muddy. If you don't have bartop levers, get in the drops.
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Old 11-16-10, 04:02 PM   #21
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build bike up with the brake cables with a double ended ferrule in the housing,
cut at the point the top mount brakes would go,

then You won't have to re-tape the whole job, to Install the brakes later..
given many use a hinged bar clamp mount.
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Old 11-16-10, 07:51 PM   #22
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I found that even with wide bars my hands are in too narrow a stance for me to want to be on the tops in any high speed tech situation. So I don't use them. But everyone is different and since you have them you might as well try them out.
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Old 11-16-10, 08:18 PM   #23
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build bike up with the brake cables with a double ended ferrule in the housing,
cut at the point the top mount brakes would go,

then You won't have to re-tape the whole job, to Install the brakes later..
given many use a hinged bar clamp mount.
i am not going to bother... if i decide to install them later all you have to do is pull the cable part way out of the housing, cut the cable in two, add the bake, and push the cable back through.



if i do add the lever(s) later i am seriously debating running the brakes correctly, but running the rear brake cable "backwards" through the interrupter on the left side. this would give me a rear brake on the top of the left hand side for dismounts and a rear brake to scrub off speed (i am left hand dominate anyway)
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Old 11-17-10, 02:44 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by flargle View Post
Swapping left/right is an awful idea. Run all your bikes the same way.

Bartop levers are great for:
1. Short steep descents. Stream crossing, gullies, etc, are perfect.
2. Flat bumpy "pave" sections, where you want to drive from the bartops but maybe scrub some speed once in a while. [That's why some pros run one or two bartop levers for Paris-Roubaix.]
3. Dismounts. Left hand on the bartop and near the stem gives you a bit more control than being on the hood or drop.
4. Twisty-turny sections where you'd like to ride the tops but need brakes.

Set them up right. You want plenty of slack in the cable housing. For the front, you probably want to run the housing up and over the bar and stem rather than directly to the cable stop.
+1
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Old 11-17-10, 11:58 AM   #25
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if i do add the lever(s) later i am seriously debating running the brakes correctly, but running the rear brake cable "backwards" through the interrupter on the left side. this would give me a rear brake on the top of the left hand side for dismounts and a rear brake to scrub off speed (i am left hand dominate anyway)
IMO silly, unnecessary, and confusing.

When you're headed into a barrier section, you do the majority of any braking with both hands on the bars, and move your right hand to the top tube at the last second. You can still use your front brake to slow you down if you need to.
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