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Cookin in AZ
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife has a her new bike Specialized Dolce Comp (Bikes were stolen, Insurance replaced). Her previous bike was a Trek 7.5FX. She is interested in cross levers on the new bike. What are the pros/cons?
 

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Sucker for carbon
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Pros are that you can get to brakes quickly and easily from pretty much any hand position on the bars. This is a plus for people who spend a lot of time in the tops. The ones on my Cannondale X6 work well, but I think you get more leverage from conventional brake levers.

One con I have with my X6's top levers are that there is increased resistance when I brake with the conventional shifter/brake due to the cable also being pulled through the top lever.
This issue is probably amplified though by the tighter bends in the cable housing that are required by my cantilever brakes. Of course, there's the whole extra cost/complexity/weight penalty too... but I'm guessing this isn't a big worry for this application.

I'd say the downsides aren't all that important though if your wife likes the idea of having a bit of added security with the extra brake levers.
 

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weird huh?
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I'd say get them. I ride my cross bike on some pretty sketchy (steep) off-road hills. Often the descent is steep enough to warrant hands-on the tops, where the cross levers will come in very handy.

My $0.02

Cheers!
 

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While we're on the topic of brakes to put on the top part... any thoughts on where to mount them when the drop bar has a thicker diameter at the stem mounting area? Would they even have enough room to mount on the thicker part? If I'm not mistaken they have to be sized for the diameter of the bar so I'd need to order a different lever set depending on where I mount them.
 

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they have different diameter clamp for cross levers. My wife had them installed when she bought her bike but she never used it (road bike) so we took it off. She had it mounted on the thick part 31.6mm
 

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Cookin in AZ
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Same here

The ones I have are for over-sized bars, so they mount on closer to the stem.
 

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Pros: Cross-top levers are really nice for riders whose bikes are too big or whose handlebars are too wide. Some people find it easier to balance coming into a barrier on a 'cross course and braking one-handed if their hand is closer to the stem. Brakes are available when sitting upright and riding the flats.

Cons: Sitting upright and riding the flats can be a great position for climbing. Depending on the handlebar, though, sticking an extra brake lever there may interfere with that position. They get in the way of mounting lights, computers, etc. They introduce more friction to the brake run. The hand position that can use them is narrower and takes weight off the front wheel - I found it pretty unstable.

Honestly, I think they're most often a crappy solution to an ill-fitting bike. Before spending money on them and cutting the housings on your wife's bike to install them, you should really make sure that her handlebars actually fit her and are in the right place for riding on the brake hoods to be practical.
 

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boberic said:
While we're on the topic of brakes to put on the top part... any thoughts on where to mount them when the drop bar has a thicker diameter at the stem mounting area? Would they even have enough room to mount on the thicker part? If I'm not mistaken they have to be sized for the diameter of the bar so I'd need to order a different lever set depending on where I mount them.
Pictured below is the cross-lever setup on my Cyclocross bike. These Salsa levers did come with shims so they work with either 26.0mm Std or 31.8mm OS handlebars. I suspect other brands will also include the shims, but worth verifying.

And yes, it can be difficult to get the exact desired placement when mounting to an OS bar. In my case, I actually wanted the levers further outboard, but that was right where the bar transitioned in diameter. So, as a compromise, I had to shift them slightly inwards to the fat portion. Still glad I have them though!
 
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