's Forum Archives - Cyclo-Cross

Archive Home >> Cyclo-Cross(1 2 3 )

top-mount brake levers... anyone using them?(9 posts)

top-mount brake levers... anyone using them?memphistrials
Jul 26, 2002 10:04 PM
I've been looking at tons of CX race pictures online, but have yet to find anyone with these on their bike.

I'm thinking about getting a pair. The trail riding I've done so far has made me wish I could ride up top and still be able to brake.

Anyway, if anyone's had good or bad experiences with these, please let me know.


- Chip
Peddler Bike Shop - Memphis, TN
I just love mine, as I'm telling the Rabo guys here... :-)Jan Gerrit Klok
Jul 27, 2002 9:54 AM
Hard to tell from the pic, but they're on my drops alright! I have the Empella's, but the Pauls will be jsut fine as well. More brakepower than on the STI's as well, I like it for sandy and muddy turns that require some extra control.
I put mine on halfway last season, made a real difference for me on technical stuff, my ride is more dynamic and lively.
A real must-have, more than worth the buck. Even if I'm not an Empella fan, these levers are super.

Oh, I use them in road traingraces as well, I feel safer with my Fox gloves on the levers when sitting up a bit, ready to really ancor it.
Slightly better pic, sorry for the muddy backgroundJan Gerrit Klok
Jul 27, 2002 9:57 AM
re: top-mount brake levers... anyone using them?mackgoo
Jul 27, 2002 5:02 PM
I used the frogglegs last year and they were great. I almost wish I had them on the road bike for the times I'm up taking a drink and a darn car pulls out in front of me.
re: top-mount brake levers... anyone using them?minneso
Jul 28, 2002 8:54 AM
Are the top mounted levers compatible with v-brakes? I building a crosser with diacomp 289 levers and avid arch rival brakes. No STI, just barcon shifters.

Thanks Eric
Paul's + V-brakestriangleforge
Jul 29, 2002 6:44 AM
Unlike the Empellas & others, Paul's bar-top brakes have an alternative pivot point built in to use them with V-brakes. I've no idea how well the combination works, but at least they've given it some thought...

re: top-mount brake levers... anyone using them?Stockli Boy
Jul 29, 2002 6:25 AM
I made mine from a pair of old Dia-Compe levers and some reducer ferrules. By the time I was done, they worked great, eased the pain in my hands from being on the hoods, and cost less than the replacement Cinelli tape.

I found a thread on this forum of a guy that made his own, it's super easy. Basically, the cable threads through the lever and perch so that when you pull the lever, you are pulling the housing away from the perch, tightening the cable. It's basically the same as if you grabbed the cable at the top tube and pulled.

On mine, the lever tension feels the same as the STI levers (can't imagine why it would be different), and I find the bike is much less twitchy on rocky singletrack when my hands are on the tops instead of the hoods or drops. If nothing else, rigging up a pair of $5 levers is a good way to kill an evening and carbo load a few beers.
Lots of pros using 'emtriangleforge
Jul 29, 2002 7:07 AM
Quite a few pro 'cross riders are using the bar top levers, though it's sometimes hard to see them in the photos. Johnson & Gullickson from the U.S., Vervecken & Wellens from Belgium are just a handful (no pun intended) of those using bar-tops.

FWIW, I noticed that DeClerq doesn't use these levers, and that his chosen shoulder-carry position might actually preclude them. He reaches up across the head tube (not under the down tube) to grab the left-hand brake lever body. His forearm goes exactly where the bar-top levers would be. Looking at my own cross bike, I notice that he probably wouldn't carry this way if he had Shimano STI on his bike either (he's got Campy 9-speed), since he'd have to snake his arm through the shifter cables, which would be a real pain...

Worth 1000 Wordstriangleforge
Jul 29, 2002 7:21 AM
Better than my tortured attempt to describe it, here's where to see what I'm talking about with DeClerq: