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Hood Braking Sufficiency for Urban Traffic

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Hood Braking Sufficiency for Urban Traffic

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Old 06-08-18, 02:13 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Shimano BL400 levers might work better for you because they are smaller, but if road levers are just too big a flat bar with MTB levers might be better.
So, you think BL400 is better than Tektro RL341, for small hands?

The Tektro looks more comfortable.
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Old 06-08-18, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post

You guys know what else achieves the same result as these secondary levers, and is easier to install? Yep, that's ride, the famous "suicide levers." If you set them up right, they work absolutely fine and provide a great option for riding on the tops.
Interrupter (cyclocross) levers are a thousand times better than those old suicide levers.
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Old 06-08-18, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
So, you think BL400 is better than Tektro RL341, for small hands?

The Tektro looks more comfortable.
It is comfortable because it is thick, making it harder for small fingers to get to the levers. And you have small, weak fingers, right?
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Old 06-08-18, 02:54 PM
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I have developed some hand weakness over the years. I use the interrupter brakes on the uppers in heavy traffic, as I like to sit a little higher. Since seldom ride in the drops I had my hoods rotated up slightly to allow for better grip. On the new bike (2015 Charge Plug with disk brakes) I can easily adjust the shoe/disk gap and cable tension so that it doesn't take more than a thought to begin braking. On my 1984 Nishiki with rim brakes I try to keep the rims true and the shoe/rim gap small and the cable taut. That helps, but on that bike I do feel like the pressure needed for braking is just a bit more than the new bike.

My straight bar MTB based commuter (1997 Nishiki Blazer) had cantilever brakes. As I said, I developed some mild hand weakness in my 40s. A couple of years ago at 54, I put v-brakes on it. People criticize v-brakes for their "digital" feel, either full on or full off with little modulation, but that was not my experience. I can brake simply and easily with them and I find it easy to modulate.

Your experience may vary.
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Old 06-08-18, 05:49 PM
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Are interrupters of high enough quality to use as the main levers on a bike? Interested, because I'm rebuilding a bike that is set up that way.
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Old 06-09-18, 05:40 AM
  #31  
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You also need to keep your brake tracks clean, especially after a ride in the rain.
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Old 06-09-18, 07:31 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
It is comfortable because it is thick, making it harder for small fingers to get to the levers. And you have small, weak fingers, right?
just making sure. cuz the tekro is advertised as a lever for small hands. but shimano did not make such claim on the BL.
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Old 06-09-18, 08:51 AM
  #33  
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have not seen a small hand brake lever made, new, for a long time
and they were just levers brakes, not combining the shifter..

Dia Compe offered some BITD.

have links to your shopping prospect?




..

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-09-18 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 06-09-18, 08:59 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Are interrupters of high enough quality to use as the main levers on a bike? Interested, because I'm rebuilding a bike that is set up that way.
Its not a Quality but a design issue, a Brake cable is stiffer where the end ball is fused on,
so for the primary lever, a brake lever pulls straight and does not try to flex that portion,
to reduce risk of it, from fatigue , breaking there.

They are designed to spread the housing apart, in the more flexible central portion of the cable..




..
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Old 06-09-18, 09:07 AM
  #35  
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So, maybe I should get a road bike with cantilever brakes? or disc?
And I'll be able to brake confidently from the Hood?
https://www.trpcycling.com/product/hylex-rs-post-mount/

makes a road hydro brake ,

but not a small hands lever with it there you go with cable discs..

worked on exercises for improving the grip strength ?
squeezing an old tennis ball is a classic..



..
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Old 06-09-18, 10:31 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post

just making sure. cuz the tekro is advertised as a lever for small hands. but shimano did not make such claim on the BL.
The Tektro will have a shorter reach from the drops, but you're asking about hood braking.
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Old 06-09-18, 11:19 PM
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OP finds the damndest things to worry about
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Old 06-10-18, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Are interrupters of high enough quality to use as the main levers on a bike? Interested, because I'm rebuilding a bike that is set up that way.
they are good enough. i use them for upright bikes that have handlebars that fit barend shifters.
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Old 06-11-18, 08:00 AM
  #39  
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Rims can make a difference, but it's not usually a huge difference, so don't worry about your rims. As @tyrion says, cables and pads do make a difference, especially for weak hands.
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Old 06-11-18, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
So, maybe I should get a road bike with cantilever brakes? or disc?
And I'll be able to brake confidently from the Hood?
I don't think that was what lostarchitect was trying to say. I agree that just about any brake that is properly adjusted will be capable of stopping a bike from the hoods. You don't need disc nor hydraulic discs to stop. The dual pivot side pulls on my fast road bike stop every bit as well as the mechanical discs on my mountain bike.

Of course you need to learn the proper technique of stopping...i.e. push back and drop down on the bike...when you brake just like when you brake hard on a mountain bike. That goes a lot further towards being able to stop than any brake mechanism...okay, maybe not counting coaster brakes.
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Old 06-11-18, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Interrupter (cyclocross) levers are a thousand times better than those old suicide levers.
Er, no. Not a thousand times better. Maybe not even one time better. "Suicide" levers are accessible from more hand positions. They also allow you to squeeze with all 4 fingers, if necessary.
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Old 06-11-18, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Er, no. Not a thousand times better. Maybe not even one time better. "Suicide" levers are accessible from more hand positions. They also allow you to squeeze with all 4 fingers, if necessary.
Cyclocross levers are definitely better - they're more reliable, more rugged, have better control (less flex/slop), and enable stronger braking. There's a reason they call those old ones "suicide levers". There's a reason they're no longer made.
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Old 06-11-18, 02:17 PM
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Turkey levers can be installed badly so that at full application, you don't get maximum braking. But they can also be installed well, depending on the shape of the handlebar. Cross levers don't have this problem.
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Old 06-11-18, 02:50 PM
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One bike as Shimano 105 brakes and levers, they work well, no problem from the hoods.

That said, my new bike has hydraulic discs, which are absolutely awesome. Very easy to apply maximum brakes from the hoods. Suggest you demo ride a bike with them, see what you think.
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Old 06-11-18, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Cyclocross levers are definitely better - they're more reliable, more rugged, have better control (less flex/slop), and enable stronger braking. There's a reason they call those old ones "suicide levers". There's a reason they're no longer made.
Any small difference in absolute performance, even if it exists, shouldn't be an issue while commuting. And if you have a good brake package, and set it up properly, the quotes for "suicide levers" become apparent, because it's something of an urban legend.

The talk about flex and control is also debatable. On my bike with these levers, I often ride with my hands on the top bends, a little bit behind the hoods. From this position I can reach the underside of the additional levers and pull them up, essentially squeezing my hand toward the bar. It's super comfortable, easy to modulate, and there is basically no flex because you are close to the pivot point.

In the case of the OP, "suicide" levers would allow him to put 4 fingers on the lever at once, giving him more strength, confidence and modulating ability than only two fingers. Plus, again, the cyclocross levers might be harder to locate with a quick hand movement than the larger "suicide" levers. Lastly, the interrupter levers mean you are braking with your hands located pretty close to the stem, which is anything from ideal in terms of feel and maneuverability.
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Old 06-11-18, 03:09 PM
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Alright, we disagree. I'd encourage anyone debating between these to options to do their own research.

Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Any small difference in absolute performance, even if it exists, shouldn't be an issue while commuting. And if you have a good brake package, and set it up properly, the quotes for "suicide levers" become apparent, because it's something of an urban legend.

The talk about flex and control is also debatable. On my bike with these levers, I often ride with my hands on the top bends, a little bit behind the hoods. From this position I can reach the underside of the additional levers and pull them up, essentially squeezing my hand toward the bar. It's super comfortable, easy to modulate, and there is basically no flex because you are close to the pivot point.

In the case of the OP, "suicide" levers would allow him to put 4 fingers on the lever at once, giving him more strength, confidence and modulating ability than only two fingers. Plus, again, the cyclocross levers might be harder to locate with a quick hand movement than the larger "suicide" levers. Lastly, the interrupter levers mean you are braking with your hands located pretty close to the stem, which is anything from ideal in terms of feel and maneuverability.
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Old 06-11-18, 03:36 PM
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S(he) could use Mustache bars , in place of the extraordinarily High drop bars spoken of before.

then the TRP Hylex brake , mentioned above, would be super ..
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Old 06-11-18, 03:48 PM
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I never used to brake from the hoods with my old "vintage" bike with top cables.

After going aero, I now brake > 90% of the time from the hoods.

I'll hold the bars in multiple places depending on the situation and can reach the brakes quickly, but I'll have a firmer grip on the hoods (or drops) when I think I'll need rapid braking.
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Old 06-12-18, 10:36 AM
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I almost always brake from the hoods, 2 or for stronger braking 3 fingers on the levers. I have pretty large, and I think fairly strong hands though, and I feel I need to exert a lot of hand strength to brake. That's on my crosscheck with cantilevers. For small/weaker hands, I would definitely NOT recommend any kind of cantilevers.

On my previous road bike I had Tiagra, back when it was 3x8, so whatever generation brakes those were. Those caliper brakes I thought were surprisingly good, very easy to lock the wheel, with not much hand effort. So I guess maybe a little 'too' good, or more specifically not enough modulation.

I've heard that when Dura-Ace went to 11-speed, their redesign of caliper brakes was a huge step forward. I'm pretty sure that tech has trickled down to Ultegra already, and maybe 105 by now as well. So modern caliper brakes would probably be good.

But for the Very Best, get a bike with hydraulic disc brakes. Hydros on my mountain bikes, I can operate at any strength I want with 1 finger, if I'm riding the brakes down a long hill I'll go 2 fingers.
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Old 06-12-18, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Okay you guys talked me into staying with road bike. And give it one more shot.

So now I'm going to have to buy some small-hand levers, dual-pivot brake set, and maybe cross levers.

What about the rims? Does cheap alloy rim make it harder to squeeze?

Do I need expensive cables too, to reduce the force on the squeezing? Or is the cheapo stuff that came with the $300 bike okay?
You should maybe consider switching to bullhorns with bar-end levers. That gives you a nice "middle ground" between having to choose between being up on top or on the drops all the time, also, the reach for your hands to the brake levers will be the same as if you were on the drops or riding a flat bar setup.
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