Cane Creek Crosstop Brake Levers

Priced: $32.00 Rated:   - 4 stars out of 5 by 3 reviews.
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Cane Creek Crosstop Brake Levers -

These bar-top brake levers are a sensible choice for cyclocross bikes—they provide additional braking positions on top of the handlebars.



  • Available in 2 different sizes to fit 26.0mm and 31.8mm handlebars


  • Levers work with traditional drop bar shifters/levers to provide additional braking control positions atop handlebars
  • Lever and bracket are machined aluminum; bracket is hinged for easy assembly
  • 2.5mm hex bolt takes up tolerances in the pivot to prevent sloppiness in the lever action
  • Crosstop is compatible with caliper and cantilever brakes
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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Activity:Mountain biking
Brake type:Rim brake
Weight:96 grams

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Cane Creek

Cane Creek Crosstop Brake Levers Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

Not for everyone but I love it.

The use of these levers on a road bike is an acquired taste.

My first and previous bike, a Nishiki Internationale, became my riding companion in the 70s. It came with these funky added brake levers on the front of the top bars. No other bike I saw had such a thing. It was irrelevant to my purchase of the bike, but I really grew attached to this feature as you could brake while upright without searching for the levers on the lower bar. Once I thought about lightening my bike and took them off but found I really missed them.

If I had never had these top levers on that old Nishiki, I never would have thought them useful. Probably would have sneered at others who did. So when I finally bought a new bike after about thirty years, I found I really missed that convenience - it had become part of my riding habit. So I looked for something I could add to my Novarra Randonee to get that old feel back. Despite the fact these are designed for cyclocross bikes, they fit the bill.

They do not replace the brake levers on the drop bar, but are set in line with the cable from the main levers to the brakes.

Very important: These levers do not exert a significant force to stop a speeding bike in a hurry! This is not a major problem for me because whenever I am going at speed I am down on the drop bars. I only use the Cross Tops to slow the bike while crusing casually in the upright position or to stop from slow speed as when I am in a parking lot. From my old bike, I got in the habit sometimes of dropping my right hand down to the main brake while applying pressure from the left side top lever if I found my speed was not slowing quickly enough. This maneuver seems to work just as well with the Cross Tops.

Another thing to consider: These levers take up some real estate on your top bar. Depending on what kind of accessories you carry up there and the length of your top bars, you may not have enough room. On my Randonee, I have been able to squeeze a front reflector, a Planet Bike Protege 9.0 computer and a Planet Bike flashlight bracket. Check out how the accessories you use fit with the Cross Tops before you buy. (Or look for some gewjaws with narrower profiles)

Last consideration: After asking the REI bike shop techie to explain the installation procedure, I figured I could do it, but also figured that it would take me most of a day because I was not experienced at completely disassembling the brake system on my new bike. Because the bike technician said he had installed quite a few dozen of them, I figured that his expert hand was the best bet. The fact REI was having a discount on shop work that week meant it cost only about 25 bucks.

I do not do cyclocross, but presume most of not al of the provisos above apply as well. If you want the speed of a road bike with the drop handle bars but want a convenient way to stop or slow while you are sitting up, these are an excellent choice so long as you know the limitations. I love these levers for my idiosyncratic habits. For you to think they are worth 5 stars, you would have to believe the limitations are a minimal trade off for the convenience.
OB-1 at REI on 04/04/2012

Give Me A Brake!!

I got these installed on my road bike and they rock!! These provide me with the ability to brake easily when riding with my hands positioned on my top bar. Now I have functioning brakes on my hoods and on my top bar for added security. They work great, feel comfortable, fit perfectly, and look good. I got them professionally installed by the REI experts, so I cannot comment on the installation process, but I would recommend getting them installed by a bike tech. This is a great little addition to a road bike.
Chuquiagomarka at REI on 08/08/2010

Neutral Reviews:

Not as pictured, re-badged

As of this writing the older (and IMO better) style lever is pictured, however I received the newer style with the narrow, shorter levers, which aren't as comfortable as the wider levers on the previous design. These are simply re-badged levers from another manufacturer (which I can't name here or they won't publish this review). Almost twice as expensive too, so don't bother, get them from the original manufacturer.
droogie at REI on 11/11/2010