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Two brake handle positions on a mountain bike

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Two brake handle positions on a mountain bike

Old 02-19-11, 03:50 PM
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drarmstr
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Two brake handle positions on a mountain bike

I have a mountain bike which I am using as sort of a hybrid. It has some handlebar extensions and I would like to have brakes for an alternative hand position on the extensions, at least for the rear brake. From looking at some road bikes with drop bars it appears there is the option of getting an interrupter brake handle on the top of the bar the splices into the brake cable to provide an secondary handle with full leverage. It sounds like something like this would work great on my bike with one handle in the normal position on the mountain bike handle bar and another brake handle on the extension.

I stopped by a bike shop to try this, but they said the interrupter brakes only work with caliper brakes and not linear-pull brakes. Are there any options for interrupter brakes with linear-pull brakes?

My frame doesn't have a mount for caliper brakes. Are there some add-on brakes that might be used for fixie conversions that could be used as secondary brakes for the alternative hand position?

My frame does have a mount for disc brakes. Is it possible to get a wheel that supports both disc brakes and v-brakes so I could have two brake handles?

Any other ideas?
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Old 02-19-11, 03:57 PM
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Try the tri suppliers. They have hardware to match 2 brakes to one lever and, maybe, 2 levers onto one brake.

You'll probably have to do some modifying to get it to work. This isn't the kind of project that most bike shops are very good at.
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Old 02-19-11, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by drarmstr View Post
I stopped by a bike shop to try this, but they said the interrupter brakes only work with caliper brakes and not linear-pull brakes. Are there any options for interrupter brakes with linear-pull brakes?

My frame doesn't have a mount for caliper brakes.
The same bosses are used for both. If you mean the cable hangers, they're available
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Old 02-19-11, 06:19 PM
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These interrupter levers work with v brakes, however, getting the cable routing to work well might be a problem. In the end, most possibilities I can think of would have such long and kinked cable housing that the brakes wouldn't really work anyway.

I'd beware the tri-brakes that Retro-grouch was talking about, they are usually designed to gently scrub a little speed for corners, not to actually bring you to an emergency stop. As such, I would be hesitant to trust one of those for my urban commuter.
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Old 02-19-11, 07:50 PM
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Are there any options for interrupter brakes with linear-pull brakes?
Pauls comp makes a set, the pivot pin is held in with a spring clip,
you remove the pin using snap ring pliers to remove the clip.
then move the pivot pin, in the other location, the cable pull is much longer..
Made in California.
http://www.paulcomp.com/crosslever.html
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Old 02-20-11, 12:49 PM
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If you do this swap you'll need to switch from push on grips to road bike grip tape since the cable housings will need to pass around the corner and run next to the bars. And there's pretty much no way to avoid a big lump if you do this at the extension joint.

I'd suggest that a better way to do this mod would be to jump in with both feet and switch from flat bars with extensions to bullhorn bars. The bullhorn bars can then be set up with TT levers and interrupter levers further in. Some fileing or Dremelling of the mounts for the shifter pods will be needed to open up the clamp area and allow the shifters to slide onto the bullhorn bars. In the end the final product will be a lot neater looking though.

The downside to this option is that the TT bar end levers are only for caliper or cantilever style brakes. So you'd need to swap your linear pulls for some cantis. At least unless there's someone making TT style bars that work with linears now.

And really if you go bullhorns and swap to a slightly shorter stem you may find that you spend ALL your time on the horns and only seldom would you use the inner cross portion. So you may not even need inner interrupters. I've found the bullhorn style bars to be so comfortable that I'm looking at options for converting more of my bikes to this setup.
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Old 02-20-11, 02:41 PM
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Are you running into situations where you're not able to make emergency stops because you can't move your hand from the bar end to the brake lever quickly enough? Seems more practice is the best solution for that.

I don't know, it just doesn't seem like it's worth the trouble. If you do manage to get an extra set of brake levers on the bar ends, they probably wont work that well and the solution is bound to be a bit clunky.

Have you seen these?:


They're grips made by Ergon. They would give you another hand position by providing a platform for the whole palm to rest on, plus you can position the levers close enough that you could hook the lever with your thumbs to scrub a bit of speed off, or very quickly switch back to your main position to grab the levers fully.

Last edited by shouldberiding; 02-20-11 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 02-20-11, 10:23 PM
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Here's a picture of my bars, see the little black extension piece on the tip of my brake lever?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xenologer/3754510488/
You want one of those.
Should let you grab onto the brake from either the 'flat' or 'bar end' hand position, if your brake lever is long enough to begin with...

As far as I know, these items are not manufactured anymore, but check ebay. search for 'brake extension lever' or somesuch. Mine are Delta brand, but there may be others...
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Old 02-20-11, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by drarmstr View Post
Is it possible to get a wheel that supports both disc brakes and v-brakes so I could have two brake handles?
WTB Dual-Duty

Rather than add the extra weight, I'd just practice switching hand positions...but that's just me. I don't feel on the barends is a good position to brake from. Too much weight forward.
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