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  1. #1
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    Options for going forward

    Today in the mail I got the Titec Jones H-bars I ordered up for my bike to hopefully alleviate some wrist problems I've been having. Trouble is, I went to mount them up and I found out that the brakelines on my Hayes 9XC carbon's are woefully short because of the angle of the bars, something that never occurred to me when selecting my new bars. I had trimmed the lines to fit the regular bars I have on now. New hydro lines seem to run around $30-40 depending on whether they are direct replacements or SS braided. So some options I'm considering are:
    • Just replace my hoses with a nicer SS hose at $39 each (unless I find a sale). If I'm going to do this I'm at least going to toss in a small upgrade.
    • Get a set of BB7s for $39 each, run them with a pair of Forte levers and Avid cables that I already have in the bin. (either 160 or 180)
    • Just get another pair of Hayes 9XCs for $49 each and use with full length hoses. (Still need to find out if full length hose is long enough for H-bars.)


    Pros of getting the BB7's would be that I would have a whole second set of functional brakes for the same price as buying new lines, when right now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with my current brakes. This would help when hopefully next year I build up a Pugsley. Cons of this are the cheapo levers I would be using. I like my carbon levers oh so much. Would "downgrading" to mechs really be that bad? I figure I can always upgrade the cables and levers come spring if it's that bad.

    Getting a second set of hydros would give me similar brakes on two bikes but would cost more initially, and even so the levers on the regular nines aren't as nice as the levers I have right now. As I understand it the only diff between the regular nines and the carbon ones I've got are only the lever itself. I like the brakes I have now just fine, they have stopped me well for the last year.

    My constraints are that I really want to get riding these new bars soon so I can hopefully stop hurting my wrist, but I don't have a lot of money to throw at this right now with the holidays coming up and such. I welcome some input to get me to the best outcome.

  2. #2
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    Some of the mech nuts will tell u BB7's are better than hfx9s. But what if I told you you can upgrade to HFX Mags for same price as BB7s? Only catch - that's front only. They do have the HFX9 hose kit for $35 bucks though... yes it does seem like a big ripoff since the while system is only $5 more but do you have better options?
    Last edited by vk45de; 11-20-2009 at 05:09 PM.

  3. #3
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    I switched several of my bikes over to using the Titec H-Bar. I'd like to try a real Jones bar someday, but they're a tad pricey.

    I experimented with HFX-9 levers and Shimano XT trigger shifters from 2004. I was able to make them work, but was not happy with them. The trigger shifters were difficult to use and got in the way of at least one hand position.

    I ended up switching to Shimano dual-control shift / brake levers coupled with Avid BB-7s and a Shimano low-normal (rapid-rise) derailleur. (Note though that it's still possible to use a high-normal derailleur with these shifters.) I've been very pleased with the BB7s; I think they perform as well if not better than the HFX-9s.

    Below is a fairly recent picture of my set-up. I recently made some slight tweaks to the lever positions to make it easier to shift and brake when my hands are positioned at the ends of the bar. When I originally set it up, I think I had it right, but at some point along the way, I angled the H-Bar a little bit more downwards - I read somewhere where you should basically make it point at the rear axle. Anyway, after making that change, I forgot to make the corresponding change to the shifter position. I finally noticed that shifting and braking was more difficult than it ought to be. All I did was loosen the clamp and rotate them forwards perhaps 10 degrees.

    With regard to your question about which brake system to go with, I'd suggest going with the BB7. You can try the BB7 with whatever shifters and levers you currently have. If you find as I did, that your existing shifters just won't cut it when using the H-Bar, you can get some dual control levers and experiment with them. If you get new brake lines or new hydraulic brakes, that won't help you when you decide that you like the H-Bar, but hate the controls.

    Last edited by KevinB; 11-20-2009 at 05:30 PM.

  4. #4
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    Ah, I forgot to mention that shifters are not an issue with my setup, as it's a single speed.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by knightscape
    Ah, I forgot to mention that shifters are not an issue with my setup, as it's a single speed.
    In that case, just replace the brake lines. It has the virtue of being less expensive, depending upon what you get, I guess. Plus you'll be able to size them perfectly. (The cables need to be longer than you'd think. Take a look at the picture I posted.)

    Besides, it was probably time to change out the brake fluid anyway.

  6. #6
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    Aren't the Hayes HFX-9 a flip-flop design?

    In any case, you would only need to shell out for 1 replacement hose, 2 olives and a bleed kit (if you don't already have one).

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