Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Learning Curve

This owning a road bike is turning out to be quite a learning experience. A road bike is so different from what I`m used to riding (a mountain bike)that I`m really enjoying having to learn new things.
Take for example the braking set up. Last week when I rode the bike for the very first time I was scared s--tless that I would have to brake suddenly and not be able to get on the drops fast enough to stop the bike. What I needed was a braking system similar to what I`ve had all these years with the brake lever close to my hands (up on the handlebar). I had seen one on the internet but do you think I could find that site again?
I ran into bike guru Alex Hindle at the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters shop (Bikeworks) and he mentioned that he had ordered a pair of ``in-line`` brakes and didn`t have the time to install them on his bike and would I like to try them? I had nothing to lose as he told me that if they didn`t fit, I could give them back.
Have you ever opened up an instruction sheet and not been able to understand the directions? Luckily with these instructions, installing the upper handlebar brake levers was a snap and as I was telling my Kettle Valley Railway cycling buddy Roy how they worked I was again reminded at how different road bike gear can be from any other bike stuff.
The person who thought up this solution is a genius! As I explained to Roy - the main brake levers on the lower handlebar cause the brakes to engage by pulling the brake cable tighter whereas the upper brake lever engages the brakes by pushing the cable housing (making the housing longer). Simple and clever. To install it is just a matter of cutting the housing where it enters the upper lever and inserting two housing caps onto each new housing end and presto! A top mount brake lever.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, I know all about instruction manuals that are indeciferable...remember all those damn Ikea shelves!