Benefits and Installation of Bar Top Levers

Bar top levers, in-line levers, cross levers. Whatever you call them, I like ’em and if you don’t, you can go to hell. If I have been riding my ‘crossers a lot and hop on my roadie, I find myself reaching for brakes on the top of my bars. It’s nice to not have to move your hands to the drops to brake when you aren’t on the hoods or in the drops. This is especially handy when riding more technical trails and you are keeping your weight over the rear tire, but it’s even convenient when you are riding with one hand (such as when you have a sloped driveway, and you are holding an iPhone to start your Strava ride). Drawbacks? A teeny bit of weight, maybe. I have used in lines with discs, cantis and v’s and have never noticed a drop in performance.



    Make sure you buy levers with a clamp compatible to your bar diameter. Some come with shims so they can be used with multiple diameters.
    Take off old handlebar tape
    Remove brake cable from caliper. Slightly squeeze brake lever and pull out brake cable. Cable ball end sits in hole in picture.


    Loosely install lever.
    Cut brake outer where it will enter lever. You can use any heavy wire type cutter.


    Use an awl or nail to round out the inner lining that is crushed.


    Install brake outers into in-line lever.


    Run cable back through the outer and install back into caliper.
    Cap end of cut cable.
    Tighten down levers clamps.
    Adjust brakes.
    Reinstall bar tape.
    Do other side in same way.

There you have it. Takes
30-60 minutes depending upon your skill and experience.

Try bar top levers. You will never go back to riding without them on your cross/gravel bike.

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