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Old 07-11-05, 07:04 PM   #1
HelenHeart
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Do I need a 2nd set of brakes?

My friendly mechanic let me test ride his Cannondale tourer, in anticipation of the arrival of my T2000, and I noticed he has a 2nd set of brakes attached to the handle bars. I asked him if I should do the same thing when my bike arrives, and he said, Don't ask me, ask That Forum you are so fond of. (!)So.......whaddya think?
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Old 07-11-05, 08:05 PM   #2
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Is your bike mechanic Sheldon Brown? http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/s...off/index.html
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Old 07-11-05, 08:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenHeart
My friendly mechanic let me test ride his Cannondale tourer, in anticipation of the arrival of my T2000, and I noticed he has a 2nd set of brakes attached to the handle bars. I asked him if I should do the same thing when my bike arrives, and he said, Don't ask me, ask That Forum you are so fond of. (!)So.......whaddya think?
If you ride on the tops a lot, it might be a good idea. If not, probably not. It's not a big deal to add them later so you can ride for a while and see if you find yourself having to jump from the tops to the hoods to brake a lot. My wife insists on having the second set of levers while I don't have any use for them. It's up to you.
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Old 07-11-05, 08:18 PM   #4
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I can imagine a second set of brakes for descending mountain passes, something that can be set to slow the bike without having to squeeze the brake handles. During my two-hour descent of the St. Gotthard pass last summer, I braked almost non-stop most of the way, and the muscles in my hands felt like they were on fire.
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Old 07-11-05, 08:20 PM   #5
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If I read your post correctly, it's not a second set of brakes, but auxiliary brake levers. I other words, these levers grab the same cables and apply the same brakes as the main levers. From all reports I hear, they do work well.

Should you get them? It's a question of taste and riding technique. When you ride, where do you put your hands most of the time? The "normal" brake levers are very accessible from the drops (esp. if placed low) and from the hoods (especially if placed in the upper quadrant). But they aren't as readily accessible if you ride from the tops and especially from the central part of the handlebars. So if you ride a lot from the tops, you will like them. But if you don't ride from there, you won't use them. As I ride mostly from the drops, I don't have these levers and I don't miss them a bit.

Another point: clutter, especially on narrow handlebars. If you like empty handlebars, they are not for you.
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Old 07-11-05, 09:37 PM   #6
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Oh, a second set of levers. AKA "in-line" levers. Like this:

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

I get it now.

I have one on the front brake of my commuter. I find it handy, particularly when going very slowly. The only drawback is it takes up space on the handlebars.
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Old 07-12-05, 06:33 AM   #7
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I had one on my tourer while it was being assembled. It is just for the rear brake and I find I use it quite a bit, especially descending.
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Old 07-12-05, 07:36 AM   #8
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Another element that you need to think about when considering the top levers is your bar bag. I have a pretty big bar bag, and installing the second levers on top of the bar would make things far too crowded for my liking. Also, I just did cross country and didn't really miss them.

That said, my roomate has them on his Cannondale T2000 and really likes them a lot.
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Old 07-12-05, 10:09 AM   #9
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Ride with your stock cockpit for a while, then decide if the addition of these levers are something for you.
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Old 07-13-05, 04:09 AM   #10
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= Don't ask me, ask That Forum you are so fond of. (!)So.......whaddya think?

Is it just me or does he sound like a smart a$$? I would have told him that I was paying him for his advise and knowledge and my new bike, not his sarcasm.

Ride your bike for awhile and see how it handles. Take note of accesories you really want, then decide about the levers.
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Old 07-13-05, 12:51 PM   #11
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Is it just me or does he sound like a smart a$$? I would have told him that I was paying him for his advise and knowledge and my new bike, not his sarcasm.

Ride your bike for awhile and see how it handles. Take note of accesories you really want, then decide about the levers.
I am realizing that it is difficult to portray humor or other emotions via email. Words are read only at face value, there IS no other face!! No, my mechanic is a love, and is excited for me that I have found this amazing forum. His only point was....why ask only me when you can ask 2000 others.
All the advise was great. I do have stuff to go on my bars, but am attached to the second set idea. So, I now think I will put on all the stuff I really need, then see how much room I have left. Hopefully enough space left over for them.
Thanks for all the advice, and I'm still open to reading more.
HH
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Old 07-13-05, 12:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCommuter
Is your bike mechanic Sheldon Brown? http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/s...off/index.html
That's hilarious!!!
As you have probably figured out by now, I am a newbie AND a novice, and was only takling about 2 sets of levers. Thanks for your later advice. It is all so welcome.
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Old 07-14-05, 02:19 PM   #13
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I also have a set of inline brakes... I really appreciate the fact that they feel stronger, a question of hand position I guess. I do a fair bit of dirt road with my touring bike and I like to have a more upright position to see what is coming ahead AND have strong braking power at hand if needed.

Only problem is I have a lousy handlebar bag and it tends to block access to my brakes.
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