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Using mtb brk levers instead of top mounting levers(4 posts)

Using mtb brk levers instead of top mounting leversjeremyb
Feb 15, 2003 8:00 PM
hey there, so im new to cyclocross, but other than a hinged mounting system whats the difference between the top mounting brake levers that are CX specific and a pair of Avid brake levers that are mountain specific?

The cable goes through the CX levers to the road levers. nmTFerguson
Feb 16, 2003 5:46 PM
Bracket on MTB levers too small for drop bar mounting (nm)heldveld
Feb 17, 2003 9:11 AM
Interesting Historical Note!triangleforge
Feb 18, 2003 8:23 AM
Actually, the first top-mount levers really were MTB levers, with the clamp reamed out to fit over the larger diameter of the road handlebar. Dieter Runkel of Switzerland won the world championship with this set up, and Simon Burney has pictures of it in his book (both on Runkel's bike and his own), which involves running a separate set of cables, cable casings and cable stops, with both cables into a modified straddle hanger. Runkel (whose innovation is commemorated in Redline's trademarked "Runkel Levers" which are modern, in-line units) was apparently also the first to run clipless pedals in high-level cyclocross competition.

As others have noted, the modern top-mount levers are fundamentally different, as they mount in-line along a single brake cable. Consequently, the pivots & stops are reversed (pivots are OUTBOARD, while the cable stops on the lever are right next to the bar clamp).

Some people have modified mountain or BMX brake levers to work in-line -- I rigged up a BMX lever with a cable hole drilled through it -- but the cable routing with this set up is ugly, fraught with lots of cable friction, and prone to failure.

If you're thinking of getting top-mounts, get a set of the CX specific ones on the market now -- modifying a set of mountain levers (either by drilling them to run inline, or using a second set of cables a la Runkel) to work would take a few hours and would never function as well as the purpose built ones. The Tektro top mount levers are cheap, fairly easy to install, and work great for me.