I was out hitting the trails yesterday on my (newly built) Crosscheck and I noticed that I never used the top levers. When I had my hands on the tops of the bars I felt like I wasn't getting enough leverage to control the bike. I'm thinking about ditching them. Thoughts?
Gone... I replace the brake cables with some Teflon® coated cables since I cut the original cables too short. The brakes are super smooth now. I also fixed some cable routing issues and without the Crosstops I was able to put my Incredibell back on... Ding Ding!
(not necessarily an essential part for racing but the horse people on the trail seem to appreciate it)
I guess I have a few different bikes, and use the top mount levers on trail riding on technical descents, and on gnarly courses. But mine are sized so I can go wide - and combined with biomax bars, it's pretty sweet. but if you spend a lot of time on the tops, either the bike doesn't fit well, or you're not going as hard as you should IMHO.
I agree with this. The ideal situation, IMO, is to have your standard 2 bikes. The first is the Euro bike with a single chainring, no top levers, running narrower tires 30-32mm.
The second bike is for the mtn bike courses, top levers, 34mm tires and dual ring.
I think there is benefit to the top levers, but not all the time. Maybe 1 out of every 5 courses. The biggest advntage to them is really steep declines with a nasty pit, mud hole or other technical aspect at the bottom of the hill. The tops can sometimes be too far out there, and doesnt allow you to put your weight back far enough. Also, I have seen people on the tops with a stem that was 99% tight and the bars curved downward when they hit the bottom of the hill. This wouldnt have happened if they had tightened their stem or had top levers and were on them.
I use top levers on my Bianchi, which is my commuter bike, I love them. When I'm on my road bike I always find myself reaching for them. Maybe for racing they're not so handy, but for riding around town they're the best!
i thought id like them so i got them on my new bike.. To be completely honest my hands never leave the hoods ever. In the rare occurrence i have to hop over something small ill get on the tops but im stuck on the hoods!
i keep one on the front brake.
i find that when my fingers are FROZEN i can't feel the levers out on the hoods...
especially when i'm on the trail.. having an "emergency" brake on the front helps descending.