I am having a tough time deciding what brake lever configuration I should setup on my new singlespeed bike.
What do other people do?
Traditionally I like riding on hoods, but I find they end up too far forward when all is said and done, because of the aggresive angles on track frames. A shorter stem would help alleviate it, but perhaps the too-forward issue is still there?
The other option I am considering is MTB (vbrake) style levers on the center bar in the middle. This option gets plus points because of the good pull you can get on the brake cable (I hate mushy feeling hood levers). Although, if I'm sprinting, I would my hands forward... and sprinting is the one of the times when you'd really want quick-access to brakes without having to move your arms.
What about a mix? One hood brake up front, one mtb lever on the center bar. That way if I ride forward or on the top bar, either way I have a brake I can hit.
I know a lot of guys (my current bike is this way) that does the bullhorn configuration with trial-racing cobra levers (whatever you call them). I've rode in this configuration for a half year and I don't like it for two reasons: 1. These kinds of levers can't pull a lot of cable and are real mushy, 2. They can't work on drop-bars, and looks dumb, I like the look of drop bars even though I rarely use them.
Davidson Impulse, Merckx Titanium AX, Bruce Gordon Rock & Road, Cross Check custom build, On-One Il Pomino, Shawver Cycles cross, Zion 737, Mercian Vincitore, Brompton S1L, Charge Juicer
I like drops with hoods personally, especially for doing 20+ miles. If you have trouble with the reach to the lever when riding in the hoods you might just need a shorter reach lever. The Cane Creek SCR-5C is nice.
if you feel that your hoods are too far forward, there's a good chance that your top tube is too long.
a shorter stem, different bar, creatively placed lever or (this is the worst) a seat jacked all the way forward will treat some of the symptoms, but wont fix the problem. you can spend a lot of money trying to "make" a frame fit you, but most who do still find that they wish they had a better fitting frame.
assuming i'm wrong and that your frame fits, just pick a bar/lever combo that puts the lever where your hands spend most of their time. don't sprint in places where you'll likely need to slam on your brakes, etc.
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.