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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 03-16-14, 02:24 PM   #1
The B
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Interrupt brakes

Howdy

I've got interrupt brakes on my bike. I've had this bike for about 3 months, and I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've used the interrupts. I do occasionally top-bar, but it doesn't ever seem to be in places where brakes will be needed, or maybe I just always instinctively go back to the STIs when I need to brake while top-barring. Not sure.

I suspect they probably add some weight... not a pound, but also not an ounce. I feel like I'd just as soon have them off, have the benefit of more top bar room, and less overall weight in the spirit of rolling as light as possible all the time. But it'll be a pain in the ass... probably have to replace the cables and definitely have to replace the housings, as well as rewrap my bar and so on. And maybe if I trained myself to use them, I might actually appreciate them- I pretty much never ride with my hands on the hoods, always either dropped or on the top, as I have my STIs mounted really low for better reach while dropped.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-16-14, 02:59 PM   #2
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Howdy

I've got interrupt brakes on my bike. I've had this bike for about 3 months, and I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've used the interrupts. I do occasionally top-bar, but it doesn't ever seem to be in places where brakes will be needed, or maybe I just always instinctively go back to the STIs when I need to brake while top-barring. Not sure.

I suspect they probably add some weight... not a pound, but also not an ounce. I feel like I'd just as soon have them off, have the benefit of more top bar room, and less overall weight in the spirit of rolling as light as possible all the time. But it'll be a pain in the ass... probably have to replace the cables and definitely have to replace the housings, as well as rewrap my bar and so on. And maybe if I trained myself to use them, I might actually appreciate them- I pretty much never ride with my hands on the hoods, always either dropped or on the top, as I have my STIs mounted really low for better reach while dropped.

Thoughts?
If you don't need them, then you should remove them. If you are concerned about the $, then you should remove them the next time your bike is in need of a recable. According to tektro, they weight about 100 grams (Not sure if it's for a pair or single one), the extra weight probably won't kill you..
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Old 03-16-14, 03:03 PM   #3
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If you don't need them, then you should remove them. If you are concerned about the $, then you should remove them the next time your bike is in need of a recable. According to tektro, they weight about 100 grams (Not sure if it's for a pair or single one), the extra weight probably won't kill you..
If I come to the conclusion they're no used to me, I'll yank 'em that day. Some cable and housing doesn't cost anything, and I have plenty of bar tape. It's just more stuff to do, and I already have plenty of stuff to do.

I'm just curious if there are any big supporters of interrupt brakes.... if they're really more useful than I'm thinking.... or if it was some fad that came and went, and everyone has long since ripped 'em off.
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Old 03-16-14, 03:07 PM   #4
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I don't see a purpose for them, like you, I rarely ride with my hands on the tops.
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Old 03-16-14, 04:14 PM   #5
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Have 'em. Like 'em. Handy in numerous sitns but hey, its your bike.
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Old 03-16-14, 04:39 PM   #6
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Thoughts? Position your bar and shifters so that you can use all the possible positions. Perhaps think about a different bar shape if you can't make the current one work? In the process, you'll at the very least have to re-tape the bar, so you can use the opportunity to also replace the housings and remove the interrupter levers.
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Old 03-16-14, 04:40 PM   #7
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Back in the late 70s, we called them "sissy brakes."
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Old 03-16-14, 05:08 PM   #8
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Back in the late 70s, we called them "Suicide Levers"
the extension brake levers from the 70s & 80s offered so little braking power that they were actually dangerous. If you ever needed to brake quickly, using the extension levers guaranteed you wouldn't have the power you needed.
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Old 03-16-14, 10:19 PM   #9
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you say you ride with hands on tops or on drops, not on hoods. so if when on hoods, you jump over or down to brake, as you suspect.

don't do that. and you'll find them advantageous. think about it while you ride and practice it a few times even when you don't need to brake, just to get the hang of it.

some have ridden for years with interrupter levers only. no hood levers at all.
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Old 03-16-14, 10:43 PM   #10
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um... did I miss something.

How do do you have lots of cable housing and bar tape little or no oppiniin ob whether you want interrupt= brakes?

Thats like saying "I have all the free car tires but do not know if I should drive on the spare." Whilee expecting a crowd on yahoo answers to insult your question as if you were trolling them....... oh.... never mind.
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Old 03-16-14, 10:58 PM   #11
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yes the double levered brakes of the 70's were called suicide levers. the big backrest behind the banana seat was a sissy bar.

I kinda think the interrupt levers are goofy and superfluous.

changing cables/housings, and bar tape isnt very difficult and shouldnt take too long. you will want to make sure that you have enough metal caps to put one on each end of your new housing.

the weight savings is negligible.
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Old 03-16-14, 11:06 PM   #12
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They are not as useful on a road bike as they are on a cross bike or drop bar mountain bike where you often find yourself needing to shift your position as far back as possible while retaining the ability to use the brakes (usually the rear one).

They are also nice on touring bikes when you are riding on top of the bars and sitting back and want to keep the brakes at hand for modulation on descents.
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Old 03-17-14, 05:07 AM   #13
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It was a long time ago, but I'm pretty sure we called the sissy brake levers. Maybe it was a regional thing, or a time period thing, as I remember road bikes before the lever extensions were available. We also played a ball game called "Smear the Queer," where the whole object was to capture and hold the ball (i.e to be the queer, the only one with the ball) and evade getting gang-tackled by the group. Not playing Smear the Queer was definitely sissy.
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