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Dual Position Brake Levers On Drop-Bars

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Dual Position Brake Levers On Drop-Bars

Old 06-18-14, 12:56 AM
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Crankykentucky
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Dual Position Brake Levers On Drop-Bars

I am looking at some cycle cross and gravel type bikes that often have two sets of brake levers--one set in the traditional "curl" of the handlebar and a second set on the straight bar, near the stem area. These seem to remind me of the old Schwinn extension levers on my old Super Sport!

What do you folks that use these on your bikes think? Would you add them if you had it to do over or leave the top bar clear, using just the traditional brake levers?

This is my Insomnia Topic for tonight! Lol

Fred
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Old 06-18-14, 01:49 AM
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Interrupter levers? Check out the new Giant Anyroad 1. They have Tiagra brifters and interrupter levers looks very useful on a cx bike if you don't want to be in the drops all the time. The old 'suicide' levers are totally different and were completely worthless.
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Old 06-18-14, 06:39 AM
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I bet the 'interrupter' type of levers work WAY better than the old 'suicide' brake levers on the old low-end road bikes.
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Old 06-18-14, 07:19 AM
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I have them on my Anyroad 2. I like them. The nice thing about the ones Giant uses on the Anyroad's is that they can be accessed from various hand positions due to the shape and length.
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Old 06-18-14, 07:27 AM
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I have a friend that went from a flat bar to a cross bike with drops and inerrupter levers, the levers work fine but he never uses the regular levers except to shift and rides on the flats about 90% of the time. He never has benefitted from the drop style of handlebar at all.
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Old 06-18-14, 07:52 AM
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These new levers do indeed work better than the old so-called turkey levers. But the old ones really weren't as bad as bike snobs made them out to be. Really. I was one of those bike snobs and wouldn't have been caught dead with them on my bike, but he truth is, when they were set up right and properly adjusted, they worked fine. They didn't exist on high end bikes, so we took that as a sign that they were bad. That's very flawed logic. If you want them, use them.

I don't have interrupter levers on any of my bikes because, through my previous snobbery, I developed the skill not to need them. But if you want them, get them. They are safe and effective, and they don't make you a chump.
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Old 06-18-14, 08:01 AM
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Personally I don't like interrupt levers because they feel like they're in the way to me, but I've only ever used them on other people's bikes. I'm sure if I really made the effort I could get used to them, but I don't feel the need as braking in the normal positions is just fine. But my better half swears by them and has them on all his bikes. He uses the brakes from both positions; I couldn't tell you what percentage of the time he uses each one, though.

If you don't feel like they're in your way and you'd feel more secure with another braking position, go for it. They don't hurt anything and they don't weigh very much.

Other more minor issues are having enough space to mount other stuff on your bars like GPS, computer, headlight, handlebar bag, cuesheet, etc. Things can get cluttered, particularly on narrower handlebars.
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Old 06-18-14, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
But the old ones really weren't as bad as bike snobs made them out to be. Really. I was one of those bike snobs and wouldn't have been caught dead with them on my bike, but he truth is, when they were set up right and properly adjusted, they worked fine.
Agreed. They worked fine on my Varsity back then and I could lock either wheel with either set of brake levers if desired (although not recommended). But for the aux. levers to work right the brakes had to be properly positioned on the bars and often they were incorrectly positioned so the aux. levers would bottom out well before you had full braking power.
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Old 06-18-14, 08:22 AM
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Yeah, the old Suicide or Turkey levers needed to be set up correctly to be functional. Thanks for the opinions on the Interrupters. My LBS will add them on to a Specialized AWOL for cost and I don't know how I feel about them. I like the Giant Anyroad design.

The drop bars are nice. Still thinking about Interruptors!
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Old 06-18-14, 09:08 AM
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If you think you want them, then go for it. I have them on a bike I have ridden a little, and find them useful. When I lose more of my gut, I'll use them more.

If you end up not liking them, they can be removed fairly easily. You would need to replace the brake housing, and rewrap your bars, and possibly need new inner cables depending on how well they resist fraying during disassembly/assembly... but at any rate, the change is not permanent.
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Old 06-18-14, 09:15 AM
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My road bike came with these, and I left them on for a few years. Some people laugh at them, but I found them to be very useful. They give you braking options in different positions, not just on the hoods or in the drops. Having options for braking is beneficial, I feel. I found them to be particularly useful when I would need to brake and ring my bell at the same time, like if I was entering a blind corner. I always had both brakes at my disposal. Also, it was convenient to use them to hold the bike still when waiting at lights, etc. Ultimately, I removed them last year, as I felt that I didn't need them, they were unnecessary weight (but I'm not a weight weenie), and the realization that they were a little geeky. As I said, I found them to be useful, because I take full advantage of the options available, but they weren't necessary, and I quickly adapted to life without them.

They work well and improve safety. That's a good thing.
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Old 06-18-14, 09:33 AM
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They're OK, Fred, you must use aero, cable under the tape, brake levers of course because they function by spreading the Housing, relative to the cable passing thru them ..

some include an adjuster on them which is handy for brake fine tuning.



I have some CNC machined early Empella ones (on my CX bike).. now they are primarily hinged clamps around the bars so you dont have to strip the bars down entirely ..

and some offer the option of putting them very close to the stem to leave the upper part of your bars quite open ..
check the relevant diameters of the bars and the lever's mounting band.
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Old 06-18-14, 09:41 AM
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The turkey levers on my Schwinn (1970 or thereabouts) were pretty flimsy. You could add some drag but not get close to maximum braking because they'd just bend. Current interrupter types are way better, IMO.
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Old 06-18-14, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
The turkey levers on my Schwinn (1970 or thereabouts) were pretty flimsy. You could add some drag but not get close to maximum braking because they'd just bend. Current interrupter types are way better, IMO.
this has always been my experience

maybe i never put enough effort into adjusting them
but even when the main levers on the drops work great
the turkey wings seem just slow me down a bit
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Old 06-18-14, 10:41 AM
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Great info!! I hate having to re-wrap a new bike, so I might wait on the Interruptors if I go with an AWOL.
Thanks!
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Old 06-18-14, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
this has always been my experience

maybe i never put enough effort into adjusting them
but even when the main levers on the drops work great
the turkey wings seem just slow me down a bit
They were not installed properly. They weren't perfect, but they were able to apply full braking force.
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Old 06-18-14, 12:37 PM
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Old pads on a steel rim did not help.
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Old 06-18-14, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
They were not installed properly. They weren't perfect, but they were able to apply full braking force.
The ones on my bike were installed and working properly (integral to the brake levers) but too flimsy to provide full braking. They looked just like these:

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Old 06-18-14, 03:48 PM
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I put interrupters on the upper transverse portion of my drop-bar road bike for riding in traffic since I need to be up to see better. My bell and horn are up there, too. I only use the drops away from traffic, and even though I ride the hoods mostly I grab the iterrupters more than grip the levers. BTW I thought they were called "chicken brakes".
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