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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 04-21-10, 12:11 AM   #1
vegipowrd
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Brake Lever Recommendation

I just noticed that over the last year my brake lever is ripping up my brake cable. I'm using cross levers on bullhorns, so by using it as a primary brake I'm messing things up. When I finally noticed this, I'd eaten through over half the cable. The idea of suddenly ripping through by brake while flying down a hill at high rpm is a bit horrifying.
Anyone have any good recommendations for brake levers to fit bullhorns? My bars are hella long, so while I could go with TT levers, but I'd rather not. Also, is riding with TT levers even a good idea for a commuter? I get nervous when carbon fiber gets too close to my "I don't care how dirty it is" bike.
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Old 04-21-10, 12:15 AM   #2
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Anything that is fit for U-brakes or Caliper brakes will fit your purpose just fine.

http://www.treefortbikes.com/product...BMX-Brake.html

Listed for use with U-brakes or caliper brakes on another site. I ride with TT levers on my commuter.
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Old 04-21-10, 12:17 AM   #3
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I'm using Cross brakes on my bull horn too, but it's not chewing up my brake cable.
Is it ripping the plastic housing or the actual able itself? I don't think the levers are the problem here, probably have to do with the cable itself.
TT levers are fine if you ride on the horns a lot; if the end of the bars and your hands are quite a distant away, then it might not be a good idea to have them.
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Old 04-21-10, 12:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by leed View Post
Anything that is fit for U-brakes or Caliper brakes will fit your purpose just fine.

http://www.treefortbikes.com/product...BMX-Brake.html

Listed for use with U-brakes or caliper brakes on another site. I ride with TT levers on my commuter.
That lever won't fit my bars. I'd like to find a MT or BMX lever, but I don't want to have to replace my bars if I don't have to.
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Old 04-21-10, 12:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Vixtor View Post
I'm using Cross brakes on my bull horn too, but it's not chewing up my brake cable.
Is it ripping the plastic housing or the actual able itself? I don't think the levers are the problem here, probably have to do with the cable itself.
TT levers are fine if you ride on the horns a lot; if the end of the bars and your hands are quite a distant away, then it might not be a good idea to have them.
Yeah, it's eating the cable, not the housing. You may be right about the cable being the problem, but I'll still feel a lot better being sure I can stop.
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Old 04-21-10, 12:54 AM   #6
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Replace your cable first, then switch levers if it is still chewing the cable. What bar are you using?
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Old 04-21-10, 08:30 AM   #7
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Your lever is not ruining the cable, chances are you've had a bad cable all along.

Use one of these http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...:referralID=NA

I've been running those cables on everything I own and they are bad-ass, pre stretched and teflon coated so the metal isn't exposed to water so they won't rust. Website says $15 but they're always on sale for less than $7 per cable.
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Old 04-21-10, 09:22 AM   #8
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Replace your cable first, then switch levers if it is still chewing the cable. What bar are you using?
I've already replaced the cables and I'm keeping an eye on them for now.

Since it's been too long for me to remember what model of bars I've got, I'm just posting photos. Also, yes, I know I'm a huge dork for having both fenders and 2 brakes.

The bars.


The levers.


Where the problem seems to happen.
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Old 04-21-10, 09:42 AM   #9
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Ahh, I see. You need a 31.8 clamp ID?

And yeah, I have a Cane Creek cross lever that chews the cable as well :/

There is this...

http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...b5b9e76e8346e9

And then there is this:
http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...b5b9e76e8346e9

The pries are ridiculous for a set of levers though..

But what you might be able to do, is get a housing liner (from old brake or derailer housing) and put that right around that point, and it would help reduce the wearing issue.

Last edited by leed; 04-21-10 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 04-21-10, 11:05 AM   #10
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i have cane creek cross tops and dont have the problem with them chewing through the cable/housing, i dont really use the brake though
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Old 04-21-10, 11:16 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by vegipowrd View Post
It looks like you have the wrong end of the cable in there. The cable end should seat flush. Brake cables come with two types of ends. Larger (pictured) and a smaller end.

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Old 04-21-10, 12:44 PM   #12
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It looks like you have the wrong end of the cable in there. The cable end should seat flush. Brake cables come with two types of ends. Larger (pictured) and a smaller end.

It shouldn't have either end because it's originally intended to work in line with STI brakes.
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Old 04-21-10, 12:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by leed View Post
Ahh, I see. You need a 31.8 clamp ID?

And yeah, I have a Cane Creek cross lever that chews the cable as well :/

There is this...

http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...b5b9e76e8346e9

And then there is this:
http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...b5b9e76e8346e9

The pries are ridiculous for a set of levers though..

But what you might be able to do, is get a housing liner (from old brake or derailer housing) and put that right around that point, and it would help reduce the wearing issue.

I like that idea. I may give it a shot and keep an eye on things. If it doesn't work I'll feel better about spending nearly $100.
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Old 04-21-10, 01:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by vegipowrd View Post
It shouldn't have either end because it's originally intended to work in line with STI brakes.
There is a recessed hole that the cable housing used to fit into.
That hole will hold the small head.
You are using MTB cable which is not designed for that handle.
On a MTB handle the head is allowed to spin to take the strsss off the cable.
So don't bleme the handle for breaking your cable if you are using the wrong cable.

Enjoy
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