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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 04-03-12, 04:40 PM   #1
side_FX
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Shouldn't cyclocross bikes have cross brake levers?

I am toying with the idea of getting an entry level cross bike as a "do it all" type of errand bike. I like the drop bars but I also like to use the cross levers when I am in city areas. I noticed that both the Trek Lane and the Kona Jake are both missing the extra cross levers??? am I seeing that correctly? Aren't those extra levers one of the key components that makes a cross bike a cross? Is it strictly a money issue for them? I really don't think I should have to she'll out for adding levers that should already be there. I don't get it?
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Old 04-03-12, 04:58 PM   #2
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Other people don't want to shell out the extra bux to have them included,
when they hate them .
pick which side that you want to rant from,
there are opinionated groups on both sides convinced of their factoids.
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Old 04-03-12, 05:19 PM   #3
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Check out the Specialized Tricross, it has the cross levers.
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Old 04-03-12, 05:26 PM   #4
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The Kona Jake used to come with them. I don't know when they stopped. My 2008 Jake had them, but it doesn't now.

I actually find them much more useful for city/suburban riding than for actual cyclocross use. One of the negatives is that they make cable routing much more difficult than it needs to be for the front brake, and if you get it wrong they drain braking power.
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Old 04-03-12, 07:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
I am toying with the idea of getting an entry level cross bike as a "do it all" type of errand bike
Quote:
Aren't those extra levers one of the key components that makes a cross bike a cross?
Racing cyclocross is a whole different purpose for a bike, design
than just wanting a wider tire 700c wheeled bike
to run errands,
as such you are seeking a commuter It will have a lower BB shell ,
since you wont be trying to ride the side of an off camber hill
and not digging your pedal into the up hill slope.

If they stopped including something or moved a component down
the price list a bit , It was probably to hold price point in accommodation
of the component suppliers raising their prices.

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-03-12 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 04-04-12, 04:49 AM   #6
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The urban slant to the Lane in particular puzzles me. You would think that they would include cross levers since they would be good for that type of writing. I am just getting very bitter about all these companies trying to cheapen our bikes but squeezing about every last cent of profit. Charging $1200 for the Lane is too high already, at least don't shortchange us on the components.
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Old 04-04-12, 06:08 AM   #7
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Aren't those extra levers one of the key components that makes a cross bike a cross?
No. And because interrupters split the cable housing, it's slightly easier and cheaper to add them than to remove them. I wouldn't make it a factor in choosing a bike.
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Old 04-04-12, 04:02 PM   #8
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The urban slant to the Lane in particular puzzles me. You would think that they would include cross levers since they would be good for that type of writing. I am just getting very bitter about all these companies trying to cheapen our bikes but squeezing about every last cent of profit. Charging $1200 for the Lane is too high already, at least don't shortchange us on the components.
Including cross levers is a design choice. Some riders like them. Others don't. I have no need for them and my CX bike gets used for Cat 4 races, commuting and day-long go-see-the-sights-with-a-picnic-in-the-back-rack-bag rides. Some people like them and use them all the time.

Is it possible that some companies are leaving cross levers off their bikes in order to keep the bike under a certain price point or to keep a certain margin of profit? Sure. It's also just as possible that companies have gotten feedback from people actually buying their bikes that cross levers aren't that important.

Plenty of things in this world that are worth ranting about. Cross levers on new bikes is not one of them. Just buy the bike that you like to ride.
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Old 04-04-12, 05:26 PM   #9
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It was probably to hold price point
I have spoken to Kona about this and can confirm that was the consideration behind it, especially on the jake, as they are aware many jakes are purchased by non-cx riders for touring and urbanites who want something a little tougher, many of whom are not the keenest of cyclists and thus not willing to shell out lots of $$$$ for a bike, So they strive to keep the price on the Jake as low as possible, when i countered that crosstops can only really cost them about 5-10$ in parts. I was told that you have to consider that each increase in parts+increased labour get multiplied as the bike moves through the supply chain, costs during assembly get multiplied by their normal mark up, pushing up the to dealer cost, and because dealers usually charge a % mark up the increased cost to the consumer is about 2-3$ for every 1$ increase in material/parts/labour costs to the manufacturer. In the end omitting cross tops saves the consumer about $30 which combined with a cheaper front hub allowed them to keep the price the same that seasons instead of raising it by $50. Keeping it under that Magic number of 1200$ canadian which is about the upper limit for "casual enthusiasts" and commuters. The second factor was that many people said they didn't use them, but i find that hard to believe especially at the jakes level, as those who are commuting/touring/entry level CX riders would probably benefit from them the most.

I find them indispensable on knarley descents, part of that is i ride my CX bike where i should probably be using MTB, bike i love riding to the trail on the CX, blasting the trail, then riding home, riding 12k to the trailhead on my SS 29er just isn't as fun.

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Old 04-05-12, 12:43 PM   #10
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In-line levers are about the last thing I would use to define a cross bike. When I first saw them on a bike, I thought they were the greatest invention ever. When I got serious about riding a road bike, I found that I was in the drops about as much as I was on the hoods and rarely on the tops. When it came time to build my CX bike, in-line levers weren't even a consideration. I am MUCH stronger and more confident in the drops than any other position (while seated). I feel my ability to handle the bike is diminished when I'm on the tops. Why would I want a brake lever to encourage me to ride in that position?
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Old 04-05-12, 02:16 PM   #11
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I am MUCH stronger and more confident in the drops than any other position (while seated). I feel my ability to handle the bike is diminished when I'm on the tops.
The drops are a very secure location, for sure. But grabbing on the tops allows you to get your weight substantially farther back, so if you have the levers, it's a great place for steep knarly descents--and much more secure than the hoods. The tops are also very good for twisty-turny singletrack, because they put you in a more upright position, and also very good for bumpy stuff, because it's easier to hover on/above the saddle while pedaling (that's why some guys put one or two bartop levers on for Paris-Roubaix http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/...-roubaix/15408).
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Old 04-05-12, 02:32 PM   #12
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I've actually been debating whether or not to remove the cross levers on my race bike. My main motivation was to eliminate them as a source of reduced braking power, but I do hate to give up the option for steep descents. It just occurred to me that maybe I could remove just the front cross lever, since using the front brake on descents always gets me into trouble anyway.
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Old 04-06-12, 04:58 AM   #13
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My main motivation was to eliminate them as a source of reduced braking power
Huh? They could only reduce braking power if they were adding friction, but in my experience they stay quite clean and aren't a major entryway for dirt or water.
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Old 04-06-12, 05:12 AM   #14
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FWIW they aren't that hard to add yourself and really aren't that expensive..
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Old 04-06-12, 10:27 AM   #15
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Huh? They could only reduce braking power if they were adding friction, but in my experience they stay quite clean and aren't a major entryway for dirt or water.
They complicate the cable routing and add friction if it isn't perfect.
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Old 04-07-12, 09:09 AM   #16
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Like others have said, they don't make a cross bike a cross bike.

IMO, I find the inline levers very convenient. I feel more stable with my hands on the tops than on the hoods when I am ready to dismount and they allow me to shed some speed if needed.
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Old 04-09-12, 05:21 AM   #17
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I thought about adding them to my bike, but didn't. I never missed them in my first season racing. If I was riding the tops, I wasn't interested in braking. If I was going down a steep descent, I found out that I was more comfortable in the drops anyway.

That said, It's much easier to add them than take them off. You only need to cut the housing, as opposed to the addition of rewrapping the bars and replacing housing. Since they're a very personal choice, (in that you either love them, or don't want the added weight with very little opinion in between) and very inexpensive to add later, the bike companies seem to be listening to their customers and leave them off, so that the consumer can add them later if desired.
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Old 04-09-12, 07:25 PM   #18
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Old 04-10-12, 12:12 AM   #19
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TRP makes some nice CF cross levers that are probably nicer than the cheap ones that would come standard as an OE componant.
http://www.trpbrakes.com/category.ph...d=185&subcat=0

Personally, I like the idea of a simplified cable routing without the levers but I found they are very convenient. I have a cross bike but I don't race. I do use the cross levers quite a bit when I am in town or negotiating traffic/ pedestrians at slower speeds. I like to have immediate access to the brakes from wherever my hands are on the bars.
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Old 04-10-12, 11:59 AM   #20
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TRP makes some nice CF cross levers that are probably nicer than the cheap ones that would come standard as an OE componant.
http://www.trpbrakes.com/category.ph...d=185&subcat=0
I had a pair of those and stripped the threads for the barrel adjusters. The standard Tektro jobbers work great and are one or two grams heavier.
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Old 04-10-12, 12:49 PM   #21
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FWIW there are double ended housing ferrules, [QBP]
to make removing the cross levers less of a bother , if they bother you.

Or you can stick an inline cable adjuster in the gap between housing sections.
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Old 04-13-12, 08:08 AM   #22
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Personally, I like the idea of a simplified cable routing without the levers but I found they are very convenient. I have a cross bike but I don't race. I do use the cross levers quite a bit when I am in town or negotiating traffic/ pedestrians at slower speeds. I like to have immediate access to the brakes from wherever my hands are on the bars.
as another cross user, but not cross racer, I'll add another positive note like this one. I too find them handy sometimes if I am on the top bars, but also find them quite handy for steep bumpy road sections that I ride on once in a while, where it is nice to get my weight back, and also its easier on the hands when its really rough and you are braking (as opposed to being on the hoods specifically, in the drops my weight is too much forward)

I used to think they were not something needed (a friend had them put on her touring bike a bunch of years ago) but having had my Tricross for 2 seasons now, and riding in lots of urban and all kinds of riding, I personally like them. Set up properly and with good pads, they work quite well (original pads were too hard and the change to softer ones made a real diff, cross brakes included)
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Old 04-13-12, 11:13 AM   #23
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The tops are also very good for twisty-turny singletrack, because they put you in a more upright position, and also very good for bumpy stuff, because it's easier to hover on/above the saddle while pedaling
I'm not really that prone to using them for the twisty-turny stuff because the narrow spacing on my hands gives me a little less control overall. For riding across fast, straight bumpy stuff, though, it's the only way to fly.

I can see how using the top brake levers would be good for steep descents. That makes good sense. Having more control in those situations is why I'm going to go to disc brakes.
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Old 04-13-12, 03:19 PM   #24
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Again, for the Trek/GF Lane it really bothers me that would not have put those on. They'd almost be better eliminating the brakes on the drops and just leaving the cross levers if theyy were really pushing the "urban feel" they are shooting for. If you are going to charge me $1200, would those levers really cost Trek that much more?
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Old 04-13-12, 08:34 PM   #25
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Then don't buy it?
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