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if it was your bike... what would you do?

Old 12-10-09, 08:44 AM
  #1  
CNY James
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if it was your bike... what would you do?

ordering parts for my bike this week so I can finally get started on my build :yay:

I am thinking about putting cross bar brakes on the bike (in addition to, not in lieu of standard brake levers)

something like this:



but it appears that i might have difficulty adding aero bars to the bike, the brake levers might be in the way... just curious to see what the touring crowd would generally favor between the 2 options? I am also planning to use the bike as my daily rider/occassional commuter so the only time I would really be running the aeros is when I do a longer ride/weekender/tour.
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Old 12-10-09, 08:48 AM
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Why do you want cross bar brakes on a daily rider? Cross bikes use them because you often have your hands on the bars on tricky downhill descents like a mountain bike. I can't imagine using them on the road.
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Old 12-10-09, 09:24 AM
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eh, i dunno, i ride on my cross bar from time to time when riding my road bike... seems like there might be situations when hitting the brakes in a hurry, you dont want to move from bar to hoods...
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Old 12-10-09, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Why do you want cross bar brakes on a daily rider? Cross bikes use them because you often have your hands on the bars on tricky downhill descents like a mountain bike. I can't imagine using them on the road.
I have the Paul Cross Levers on my touring bike and I love them. The main reasons I have them are: a) tricky/dangerous MUP descents on my daily ride; b) nice to have instant access to brakes in many hand positions, making long road rides more comfortable; and c) when you have cross levers, you can ride more upright and enjoy the scenery without sacrificing the ability to stop quickly.
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Old 12-10-09, 10:25 AM
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I added some to my bike earlier this year. I love them! I got them because I started biking with my dogs and it just made sense to have easier access to brakes at any given time. Even when I'm not riding with the dogs though, I use the cross top levers quite a bit. I would definitely recommend them.

Tiff
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Old 12-10-09, 10:35 AM
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I wander between love and indifference on my cross levers. I had them put on shortly after my build and use them semi regularly, sometimes one hand on the lever and the other on a brifter. Right now I'm kind of lamenting the addition because it doesn't leave much room for a bar bag and the lights I use for commuting. I just am not dissatisfied with them enough to go to the trouble of taking them off.
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Old 12-10-09, 11:39 AM
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I had them on my touring bike but eventually took them off for a few reasons; they created extra friction in the cables, were difficult to use with a handlebar bag, and when fully loaded I couldn't rely on the them to stop me in a hurry (not enough force). I have since changed from Tektro Oryx cantis to Pauls on my tourer and now have super stopping power which could have been part of the issue in the first place but I also spend most of my riding time on the hoods and so my hands are already on the down levers and it just felt unnecessary to have the extra levers.
On my daily (unloaded) commuter however, I've considered trying another set, however, I'd get some nice Pauls the next time around.

Last edited by twodeadpoets; 12-10-09 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 12-10-09, 11:54 AM
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I have Paul's inline levers and like them. I've used other brands, they're a lot cheaper and work well, just not as
durable.

I think they're great in traffic. Give the cheap ones a try and see for yourself. You'll like them.
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Old 12-10-09, 04:29 PM
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If you're running out of space on your handlebars for bags, levers, bells, etc. you might check out the Nitto Lamp Holders for some extra bar real estate



Nitto makes five different types of lamp holders.
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Old 12-10-09, 04:41 PM
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Looks to me like you might be able to fit the aerobars with the brakes. The 2 sets of aerobars i've tried both mount very close to the stem cap, (before the handlebar tapers down). The aerobar pads might get in the way of the brakes though, but a pair of airstrykes might fix that.
Oval concepts also makes aeorbars that attach by replacing the stem cap.
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Old 12-10-09, 05:33 PM
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thermador, I don't know how the OP can make use of the Nitto Lamp Holder with his 31.8 bar diameter.

Otherwise, I personally like the design of the product and can see using it should I want to add some gadgets on this..



Those are Salsa's "Halter Top" levers, btw. I haven't tried the Paul levers, but the Salsas are really quite nice.
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Old 12-10-09, 05:51 PM
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When I had my Fuji Touring bike earlier this year, it came with inline brake levers and I liked them. When riding in traffic it was sometimes nice to be more upright and have my hands on the brakes.
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Old 12-10-09, 06:39 PM
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I used cross levers when I swapped to (try out) trekking (butterfly) bars, so I would have brake access from both the front and rear parts of the bars. I'm not sure I'll keep the cross levers though, for the following reason.

I find the brake performance is sub-optimal, in terms of "feel". It's squishier and indirect, like a hydraulic brake with air in the line. I'm using canti'-type levers and canti' brakes, so it's not related to that incompatibility. I think it's just the extra cable, extra cable housing, the fact that the extra housing and cable I used is scavenged off an old bike (not likely 'quality' bits), the extra wiggle room where the things connect to eachother, and of course almost-finished brake pads, etc... With the standard single-lever brakes I had on the drop bars the feel was just crisper, which was much more satisfying. I am going to try to use new cables/housings/pads on the weekend, to see if I can fix it.

I am using Tektro RL720 levers. I am a little disappointed with the amount of out-of-plane motion in these levers. Ah well. The brakes themselves are the Tektro Oryx cantilevers which came stock on the LHT Complete, with which I am perfectly satisfied (can lift the rear wheel under braking unless heavily laden - except in the wet!).

Hopefully I can fix it to 'feel' nice, because I do like to have brake access at more than one point, as this is my commuter bike and shopping bike too.

Have fun with yours,
A.
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Old 12-10-09, 07:26 PM
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It's not the matter of having not enough room on the handlebars, it's that the handlebar bag would sit close to the interrupter (aka cross top) levers. That said, for other reasons I did try the Nitto lamp holder 2 once and in their most effective setup they clamp right where the interrupters clamped. I had to rig the holder to clamp closer to the stem and the levers further out leaving little room toward the outside of the bar but it was useless anyway as they then left no room whatsoever for my hands to fit between the holder bar and my handlebar so that I could grab onto the levers anyway. So unless you have tiny/thin hands, your hands just can't fit well between the lamp holder and the handlebars to grab onto the levers without jamming them in there.
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Old 12-10-09, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by aggri1 View Post

I find the brake performance is sub-optimal, in terms of "feel". It's squishier and indirect, like a hydraulic brake with air in the line. I'm using canti'-type levers and canti' brakes, so it's not related to that incompatibility. I think it's just the extra cable, extra cable housing, the fact that the extra housing and cable I used is scavenged off an old bike (not likely 'quality' bits), the extra wiggle room where the things connect to eachother, and of course almost-finished brake pads, etc... With the standard single-lever brakes I had on the drop bars the feel was just crisper, which was much more satisfying. I am going to try to use new cables/housings/pads on the weekend, to see if I can fix it.

I am using Tektro RL720 levers. I am a little disappointed with the amount of out-of-plane motion in these levers. Ah well. The brakes themselves are the Tektro Oryx cantilevers which came stock on the LHT Complete, with which I am perfectly satisfied (can lift the rear wheel under braking unless heavily laden - except in the wet!).

Hopefully I can fix it to 'feel' nice, because I do like to have brake access at more than one point, as this is my commuter bike and shopping bike too.

Have fun with yours,
A.
Umm,
I have tried 3 different brands and not seen that. You have a problem, maybe not with the levers. My inline levers brake harder than my brifters.
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Old 12-10-09, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by thermador View Post
I have the Paul Cross Levers on my touring bike and I love them. The main reasons I have them are: a) tricky/dangerous MUP descents on my daily ride; b) nice to have instant access to brakes in many hand positions, making long road rides more comfortable; and c) when you have cross levers, you can ride more upright and enjoy the scenery without sacrificing the ability to stop quickly.
I like that. Everyone writes something interesting. I didn't know that such brakes were so readily available and popular. I've only seen them mentioned and not by name. I also saw them on a particular new bike model in an ad. I like rollin' along upright at times and always actually appreciated suicide levers for creepin' through obsticles upright and slow as well. They're goin' on my next build.
I know the name now. Thanks to you all.
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Old 12-10-09, 09:13 PM
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thanks for the input everybody, i think you helped me decide on the cross bar brakes, no votes in favor of skipping them for aero bars.

ordering most of my build parts tonight, quite excited!!! too bad I'll have the bike finished months before winter breaks and I can (am willing to) ride!
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Old 12-10-09, 09:57 PM
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no votes in favor of skipping them for aero bars
I didn't make it clear, but if I had to choose between the 2, it'd be aerobars everytime. I got some earlier this year and I can't believe I went so long without them.
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Old 12-10-09, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by aggri1 View Post
I am using Tektro RL720 levers. I am a little disappointed with the amount of out-of-plane motion in these levers.
I have those levers as well, and I know what you're describing. I really like that the Salsa Halter Top Levers have a design feature that eliminates this. I found a short video online quickly shows that feature (see here).
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Old 12-11-09, 09:29 AM
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I love my cyclocross levers. To me they've become a must on my road bikes. They do take up some room on the bars. I don't know if there would be room to attach aero bars, although I have a computer on one side and a horn on the other, so there's a bit of extra room.

On my tourer I have an Ortlieb handlebar bag. I bought the extender to allow room for the levers. It works fine.
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Old 12-11-09, 09:34 AM
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I love cross levers too. They make riding on the tops a much more practical, relaxing experience. (Plus all the mtb benefits). And so much more convenient for holding the bike steady at lights!
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Old 12-11-09, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by late View Post
Umm,
I have tried 3 different brands and not seen that. You have a problem, maybe not with the levers. My inline levers brake harder than my brifters.
Agreed. I've had several bikes with cross levers and never had a problem with the braking strength.

Now suicide levers ("safety levers"), that's another story

i.e. this type of levers:


Last edited by thermador; 12-11-09 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 12-11-09, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Why do you want cross bar brakes on a daily rider? Cross bikes use them because you often have your hands on the bars on tricky downhill descents like a mountain bike. I can't imagine using them on the road.
I've had them on a few of my bikes, my Maddy still has 'em, and soon my Kuwahara will too, when I ride my Maddy I ride the **** out of it! and they always stop me and my bike just fine. (I"m 5'9" 214lbs!) Heres the Kuwahara.



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