Interupter brake levers

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Si
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Interupter brake levers

Postby Si » 30 Sep 2020, 2:39pm

You know the ones I mean? They are on the tops of your drop bars, either side of the stem, and allow you to pull the brakes on while riding on the 'flats'. I think some people call them cross-top levers or XC levers?

My question is: do they reduce the effectiveness of the brakes when you are operating the brakes from the conventional drop levers?

My bike, which I've had around two years, came fitted with them. In all of that time I've only ever used them twice - and one of those was just to test them. Considering removing them....bit of a chore 'cos I'll need new outer cables..thus if there is even a small but noticeable improvement in braking then I'm be more enthused to do the job.

thank you for your thoughts :-)

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Paulatic
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Re: Interupter brake levers

Postby Paulatic » 30 Sep 2020, 2:50pm

They came with a Tiagra spec bike I bought a number of years ago. Like you I reckon I’ll of used them a handful of times. As they don’t get in the way and I can still fit a bar bag I’ve left them there.
I’ve no complaints at all with the current braking capability so I doubt removing them can make any noticeable increase in performance.
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Re: Interupter brake levers

Postby mjr » 30 Sep 2020, 2:55pm

I don't see how it would make any difference to braking performance. When they're not in use, they're basically an extra cable stop. I guess there might be a slight improvement if it enables gentler bends on your cable routing but I wouldn't expect much.
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Re: Interupter brake levers

Postby mattsccm » 30 Sep 2020, 3:05pm

For them to have zero effect on braking from the main lever there must be zero cable slack. Even a part of a mm has an effect although it may not be noticeable.

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Re: Interupter brake levers

Postby thelawnet » 30 Sep 2020, 3:05pm

are you referring to hydraulic or cable levers?

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mjr
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Re: Interupter brake levers

Postby mjr » 30 Sep 2020, 3:12pm

mattsccm wrote:For them to have zero effect on braking from the main lever there must be zero cable slack. Even a part of a mm has an effect although it may not be noticeable.

Where would you think the cable slack would be introduced? As I understand it (it's been a while since I dissected mine), interrupter levers are not sprung and are held closed tight by the brake springs, as are the main levers.
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Re: Interupter brake levers

Postby mumbojumbo » 30 Sep 2020, 3:18pm

To fit these you need longer cables so there must be more friction on inside of housing.Not yery good if you use a wicker basket.

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Re: Interupter brake levers

Postby TrevA » 30 Sep 2020, 3:24pm

mumbojumbo wrote:To fit these you need longer cables so there must be more friction on inside of housing.Not yery good if you use a wicker basket.


No you don’t. You just cut your existing outer cable where it emerges from under the handlebar tape and fit the levers there, no extra length required. I agree that if you use a basket or a handlebar bag, they can get in the way somewhat, though it is possible to angle them downwards so that you can use at bar bag.

I had them on my Ridgeback tourer and found them invaluable when riding on the tops.
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Si
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Re: Interupter brake levers

Postby Si » 30 Sep 2020, 3:31pm

thelawnet wrote:are you referring to hydraulic or cable levers?


They are on cable discs.

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Re: Interupter brake levers

Postby millimole » 30 Sep 2020, 7:24pm

These came as standard on my Specialised bike, and I've found them excellent, and have retrofitted them to my other suitable machine. Both with rim brakes, and neither suffered any reduction in braking performance - in fact braking may be improved due to the duality of the available brake holding positions.
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Re: Interupter brake levers

Postby foxyrider » 30 Sep 2020, 7:49pm

My experience, and i've got them on several bikes and used them for @ 15 years, is that, set up properly, they offer better braking than the main levers regardless of brand/quality. I get the same result regardless of brake type, currently i have them running the stops for discs and d/p rim brake set ups. Can't recall which ones i'm currently using but i've used, Specialised, Tektro and Cane Creek - the CF ones never arrived :(

I do use them on bikes with barbags, with a standard R&K block the fit is a bit close for thick winter gloves, with an extender fitted you have bags of room. :D

As they work by compressing the outer you need to use decent quality linear/compressionless outer with nice 'smooth' inners otherwise the result is akin to using 'suicide' levers.
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Re: Interupter brake levers

Postby mikeymo » 30 Sep 2020, 8:31pm

I've got them on the two drop bar bikes I've got. The first bike (Alfine 8 with microshift brakes) came with them fitted. The second bike, derailleurs with BB7 cable discs, I fitted them when I built it.

The braking on both bikes feels stronger from the interrupters than the brifters. But I think that's because the hand position is better. I didn't use any sort of compressionless housing.

As I wasn't used to drop bars, at first I really liked having the interrupters. These days I'm getting used to riding with drop bars, so I ride on the flat part of the bar less and less, and only when it feels safe. I find the narrow hand position doesn't feel entirely secure, so if I'm somewhere I might need to brake a bit sharpish, I'll be on the hoods or in the drops.

If/when I reconfigure my set-up (I've got DT shifters and Tektro 341s waiting), I probably won't bother with the interrupters.
Last edited by mikeymo on 30 Sep 2020, 9:18pm, edited 1 time in total.

Brucey
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Re: Interupter brake levers

Postby Brucey » 30 Sep 2020, 9:03pm

IMHO if you don't use them you should remove them; it is just another place for water to get in. IIRC there are housing joiners available which may allow you to get away with the same cables and bar tape. (you could fit inline adjusters if you can't get joiners).

If you do use such levers, be aware that the cable is flexed at this point and that this can (will, eventually) cause the cable to fail. I have seen this happen several times; normally the cable frays before it fails and you can see/feel the fraying before it is dangerous, but you never know.

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mikeymo
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Re: Interupter brake levers

Postby mikeymo » 30 Sep 2020, 9:20pm

Brucey wrote:IMHO if you don't use them you should remove them; it is just another place for water to get in. IIRC there are housing joiners available which may allow you to get away with the same cables and bar tape. (you could fit inline adjusters if you can't get joiners).


Presumably then adding interrupter levers is easier than removing them, in terms of the brake cables?

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Re: Interupter brake levers

Postby mattsccm » 30 Sep 2020, 9:26pm

Forgot about the water ingress.
Slack. You just find it hard to remove every last bit .
Awful things for decent baking. The leverage seems all wrong. Those on my Specialised were anyway.
Not sure why needed anyway. Riding with hands by the stem is pretty unstable anywhere brakes are needed.
Other may not be so fussy I guess. Good luck.