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Looking for brakes for bullhorns that can fit shifters
#1
Hi all,

I am looking to upgrade my old road bike to have an internally-geared 5- or 7-speed hub and bullhorn handlebars.

Doing some research, it seems like time trial brakes like these are the best for bullhorns, because they put the levers nicely under your hands. However, I also need a shifter, and the bar-end thumbie shifters seem the most convenient. However, it seem really hard to find a setup that can hold both brakes and shifters at the ends of bullhorns!

The nicest setup I've seen online is this (scroll down), which is exactly what I was imagining having. However, I can't find any data on what type of brakes those are. Here is someone who used a $50+ plastic clamp to put the shifters to the side, which first of all seems pretty expensive for a clamp and second doesn't look like it would feel so nice in the hands.

Any suggestions? I could always just skip the bar-end thumbies and buy a (also expensive) clamp and put the shifters near the stem, but I'd love to be able to brake and shift without moving my hand position...

Any thoughts very appreciated.
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#2
I think what you want are "interrupter brake levers". These are normally used to add a second set of brake levers to drop bars, but can be used by themselves. There's quite a few models out there.
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#3
(02-06-2012, 05:41 PM)DaveM Wrote:  I think what you want are "interrupter brake levers". These are normally used to add a second set of brake levers to drop bars, but can be used by themselves. There's quite a few models out there.

Do you think that the brakes shown here are interrupter brakes?

[Image: Bionicon%20Urban%20Road%20-%20shifter.preview_500.jpg]

I did notice that the brakes seemed to be held on by clamps, so wondered if that was the case.

Are interrupter brakes as effective as the regular ones? Are there disadvantages? Are they easy to install?
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#4
(02-06-2012, 09:02 PM)SamFen Wrote:  Do you think that the brakes shown here are interrupter brakes?
I can't tell. I haven't seen anything else out there that clamps like this, but there may be.

Are interrupter brakes as effective as the regular ones?
Typically they have pretty short levers so you might not get quite the same leverage/power as will a normal full-length lever. I wouldn't recommend them for someone with weaker hands, but I know plenty of people who use them without a problem.

Are there disadvantages?
They're normally made to fit along the straight portion of the bar. Depending on the shape and length of your bullhorns, they may not perfectly follow the curvature. They tend to look a little bit flimsier than standard levers IMHO. I wouldn't go with the cheapest thing you can find.
They don't hide the head of the cable in quite the same way a standard lever does, so they aren't always quite as clean looking. Also, they are usually made to push on a section of housing rather than a cable, so you need to be careful installing them that there's no way the housing or cable could slip through.

Are they easy to install?
Like normal levers
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#5
Hmmm, am I right in thinking that interrupter breaks would have the wire coming out the top of the handle if they were mounted as shown in the photo? If so, I'm guessing that what's in the setup is something custom.

So are there other good options? I'd love to have the bar-end shifters, but I guess I could just mount a shifter at the stem (as I'm not 100% sure that the shifters mounted with a clamp at the bar-end, like in my third link in the OP, wouldn't be uncomfortable).

I guess really few people have shifters on bullhorns?
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#6
Well, the cable end will sit nice and snug in the lever part. At least it does with mine (Tektro?). They are mostly found on cyclocross bikes, where people would like to have brakes accessible from the top of the bar hand position. As DaveM mentioned, you need to be careful with the installation and the cable running along the bullhorns might not really look all that clean.
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