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  1. #1
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    Multiple braking positions may now be possible with butterfly/trekking bars

    I'm curious as to whether any butterfly/trekking bar devotees have figured out how to be able to brake from anywhere other than the nominal position where your brakes and shifters are typically at the open ends of the bar. I've been contemplating installing butterfly bars on my Surly Disc Trucker to replace my Ritchey biomax CX drop bars. I'm currently set up with with regular raod bike brake levers as well as inturrupter levers over on the flats. I tried some BBB Butterfly bars on my cargo bike some time ago but couldn't get a riding/braking/shifting position I was entirely comfortable with. I have since realized looking at some photos that not all butterfly bars are created equal, there are subtle differences between the various manufacturers. So, with that in mind I've been doing some thinking and I believe I may have come up with a waynto have effective braking from both the most "aft" position as well as the "bar end" position. I'm going to go ahead and purchase all the various parts I'll need and see if it will work. I think it will require some tinkering and parts modification but I think it's doable. I haven't seen any photos of anyone else having done what I'm thinking of so I may be breaking new ground here. Then again, maybe I'm the only one who thinks only one braking location is a limitation.
    My blog: http://aconservationist.blogspot.com

  2. #2
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    I can't say for sure, because I pick up my bike from my LBS from having a trekking bar installed after work today, but I don't think having only one brake position is going to be a major issue... drop bars are hard to brake from the tops, and only somewhat from the hoods, really work best from the drops, but I've never had a problem shifting hand position a little to brake...

  3. #3
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    I didn't mind having only one braking position on the trekking bars on my Rocky Mountain, but I replaced them with a Bullmoose type bar when the bike semi-retired to being my mountain bike. For fast descents on gravel roads I liked having my hands out on the outside, where there is very good grip and leverage for control. Unfortunately the brakes are nowhere near there, and I like to cover the brakes when bombing down hills. That bullmoose bar probably wouldn't be as good for commuting, especially with headwinds, but I love it in the woods.
    Ed Miller
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    A friend's cross bike has MTB-style inline brake levers on the tops of his drop bars, in addition to the normal drop bar brake levers w/ hoods.

    Like this:



    To my mind, they remind me too much of the old suicide brakes that used to come on cheap '70s bikes. YMMV.
    Quote Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
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    No single raindrop considers itself responsible for the flood.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    there have been Mustache bar like setups , where aero road bar brakes are on the front
    then you would run the brake cable under the tape,

    to where you may fit those top mount brakes ,on the rear, near side..

    a few curves to go around on the way , but its possible ..

    I personally dont feel a need for this sort of setup, but trying to offer a suggestion..

    the sides ,having levers there would be more complex . there are a traditional French
    j bend lever aka Guidonnet , they were used as a top only lever for drop bars..
    so the J bend follows the top curve.

    but there is no thru cable type of those.. so you would need a cable combiner to
    allow 2 brake levers to work 1 brake..

    there are some made thru QBP, but the users are often Triathletes,

    and the pricing is a bit high ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-18-14 at 02:58 PM.

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    I actually have a plan for how I'm going to work this. Like enigmaT120 I often find the most outboard grip position to be the most comfortable, particularly when the bike is heavily loaded, but as he pointed out, there are no brakes out there. I'm going to use a combo of tri-levers with interrupters. I'll need some shiming on the interrupters and some boring out of the mechanism that holds the tri levers in the bar ends. It should work. It'll just take some fiddling around to get it all together. Also, a lot of folks seem to disparage those interrupter levers but on all the bikes I've set them up on, I've gotten just as strong a braking response from the interrupetrs as with the main brake levers. What a lot of folks don't take into account is the newer style of lever pulls the housing to accuate the cable while the older "turkey leg" levers just moved the main brake lever and thus had a major issue of lack of leverage, hence the other moniker, "suicide lever."
    My blog: http://aconservationist.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Junior Member RhinoDave's Avatar
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    Sounds like an interesting experiment. What type of shifters are you going to use? I use the crosstop levers on both my road touring bike and my regular cross bike. No issues with braking power.
    "Never waste a downhill."

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    RhinoDave,
    Right now the current setup on the bike is using Shimano 8 spd. bar end shifters so I'll buy some Paul's Thumbies and turn them into bar top thumb shifters. With the thumbies I should be able to put them wherever I feel is most comfortable and most easily reached from a number of different riding/hand positions. One issue I've seen with the treking bars is that a lot of the time, especially if you're using Ergon grips, it's difficult to get the shifters and brake levers all set up on that aft riding position. I ran into that experimenting with the BBB treking bars when I was trying to set them up on my Xtracycle cargo bike. I ended up having to have each shifter slightly offset from the other so that the barrel adjusters and cables wouldn't get hung up on each other. When I set it up on the wife's bike (the BBB bar), I used some SRAM shifters that I didn't have problems with like I did with the Shimano Altus integrated units I was trying to use for the cargo bike.
    My blog: http://aconservationist.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Schwinn Cross Cut bikes from the 90's has lever extensions to allow additional braking position on Trekking bars. I don't think it is available as an aftermarket part.
    ' would be cool to see it offered though.


    "Cycling is for pleasure not penance"

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    I've seen those brake levers before and from what I know, they suffer from the same weak leverage issues of the original "turkey leg" brake levers. For a while there was a company in the early 90s that made a little aluminum thingamajig that was supposed to screw onto your brake lever tip to allow braking from the bar ends on a mountain bike. Needless to say they apparently didn't work worth diddly and were also considered about as safe as turkey legs.
    My blog: http://aconservationist.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I often find the most outboard grip position to be the most comfortable,
    I do also, but I have no issue with shifting my hands around and using the MTB brake lever mounted

    where it slips on the open rear of the bar.

    it also makes Knocking down the bars and packing the bike in a carton to go somewhere I have to
    fly or take a bus or train to to get there , much simpler.

  12. #12
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiltedcelt View Post
    I'm going to use a combo of tri-levers with interrupters. I'll need some shiming on the interrupters and some boring out of the mechanism that holds the tri levers in the bar ends.
    I would like to see pictures of what you come up with. Any particular brand of "tri levers" as I've never heard of them?
    Ed Miller
    Falls City, OR
    1993 Rocky Mountain Fusion
    2012 Fargo 2

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by enigmaT120 View Post
    I would like to see pictures of what you come up with. Any particular brand of "tri levers" as I've never heard of them?
    Quote Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
    I know people hate seeing bikes on cycling-related forums, so my apologies for that.
    No single raindrop considers itself responsible for the flood.

  14. #14
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    enigmaT120
    I'll be blogging about the new setup so I'll have plenty of photos. As for the triathlon levers, you have to look around. Some companies make super fancy carbon fiber ones which are mucho expensive. However, I found that Tektro makes some that should be perfectly serviceable for only about $25 a set. I already had the interrupter levers so I'll be re-using those.
    My blog: http://aconservationist.blogspot.com

  15. #15
    Senior Member jhawk's Avatar
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    What an interesting discussion.

    I have my trekking bars set up so that the brakes are situated under the bottom grips at an angle.

    While this position is fine, I almost never (and perhaps I will in future), but I almost never use the bottom of the bar - instead preferring to use the sides.

    I'm unsure as to whether I could easily move the brakes' position to almost sit off the top part of the bars (which I never use), and hang down so that they are within easy-reach of my hands, which are often times found on the sides of the bars.

    A very interesting discussion indeed.
    My cycle-touring website: http://jackonabike.ca/

  16. #16
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    jhawk,
    I had the same observations. I think this new approach should work and will give me the option of braking from more than one location. Sure you can always ride on the bar end position and quickly shift your hands to the back position to brake, but wouldn't it be nice if you could just brake from either of the two most commonly used hand positions? I ordered my parts today so hopefully I'll get it all early next week so I can rig this whole thing up.
    Last edited by kiltedcelt; 03-21-14 at 11:07 PM.
    My blog: http://aconservationist.blogspot.com

  17. #17
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    I have several pairs of these and find they give the hand-positions I want with the controls ideally placed. I use them with the open ends facing forward:

    Humpert AHS Basic Sport Handlebars - 35.73

    I cut down the open-ends slightly which allows me the rear line-of sight to fit a Myricycle mirror. Never used the adjustable ends so if you can buy one cheaper without this feature then I'd advise it.

  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    those are good, German, you can slip grip shifters on, then put on the bar end bends
    which then have a smooth curve .

    trigger & thumb shifters can slide around the bends of single tube bars with a similar bend..

  19. #19
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    those are good, German, you can slip grip shifters on, then put on the bar end bends
    which then have a smooth curve .

    trigger & thumb shifters can slide around the bends of single tube bars with a similar bend..
    Yep. Really easy to fit.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DVC45 View Post
    Schwinn Cross Cut bikes from the 90's has lever extensions to allow additional braking position on Trekking bars. I don't think it is available as an aftermarket part.
    ' would be cool to see it offered though.


    Well, I played some with the bar and various brake levers this weekend and ultimately decided to give up on this idea. The way most trekking bars are designed, there is not enough room along the "bar end" position along the sides of the bar to allow for a brake lever. Anything I tried to put on there seemed to interfere with hand position on the sides of the bar. Additionally, I can't really figure out how I'd route the brake cable from by the Ergon grips to the side lever or from the side lever to the Ergons. I originally thought I could rout some sort of channel in the Ergons, lengthwise to run the cables but there's not enough substance to the grips to allow that. I did start looking for the type of brake levers pictured in this photo posted by DVC45. I felt certain I'd seen them before, even if they could only be purchased as a NOS item. I found a UK seller on ebay who had some so I bought a pair for about $25 USD shipped. I'm going to set up the bars with normal mountain bike levers and see if I really miss that side braking position. If I do, it shouldn't be too much hassle to swap out the levers.
    My blog: http://aconservationist.blogspot.com

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