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BRAKE LEVER REACH FOR SMALL HANDS(9 posts)

BRAKE LEVER REACH FOR SMALL HANDSdaveo
Apr 10, 2003 3:54 PM
my girlfriend has trouble reaching her brack levers comfortably from the drop and the hoods...what if anything can be done to make the reach eaiser? are there any bars that make the reach easier? thanks...daveo
My opinion….TFerguson
Apr 10, 2003 5:19 PM
I too have small hands. I have to let go of the bar to reach the brakes from the drops with a normal setup. I found this unacceptable.

I've tried several bars supposedly made for small hands and measured them. No difference.

Shimano makes two lever sets for small hands. The first is the 7 or 8 speed Sora. They have an adjustment screw to pull the levers closer to the bar. This really doesn't help much since the design precludes shifting from the drops anyway. The second is the Ultegra level R600 shifters that have little wedges that you install to hold the levers closer to the bar. Unfortunately, the cheapest I have found is $170 from Cambria. I have not tried either of these.

My solution was to drill and tap my existing Ultegra levers so that I could install an adjustment screw similar to MTB levers. If you want more info on this, say so.

If you are just looking for brake levers (no shifters) disregard the above.

From the hoods, I know of no solution other than building the muscles for hand grip.

TF
Pictures would be nice...Matno
Apr 10, 2003 7:25 PM
I'm interested in your adjustment screws. I also have small hands, and even a small amount of adjustment would make a big difference for me. I can shift without problems, and braking from the hoods is the easiest way to go (I can't imagine how anyone would have a problem braking from there). But braking from the drops is a pain as it requires a shift of hand position. If you have pics of your modifications, I'd love to see them!
Pictures…TFerguson
Apr 11, 2003 12:04 PM
Links:
http://members.aol.com/tjames001/FrontOpen
http://members.aol.com/tjames001/AngleOpen
http://members.aol.com/tjames001/AngleClosed

I would also suggest grinding down the screw head at the angle that it hits the lower part of the lever. The rounded head tends to dig into the plastic over time. Also use a little locktite or similar to hold the screw in place.
TF
re: BRAKE LEVER REACH FOR SMALL HANDSTimA
Apr 11, 2003 8:48 AM
What I did for my GF is similar to the adjustment screw idea. I just took a piece of rubber and superglued it so the brake levers stayed partially "on" readjust cable tension and done. This was a suggestion straight from Terry Bicycles. Terry also currently lists their Symmetry with adjustable reach ultegra levers, so they are out there.

http://terrybikes.forest.net/ftp/pub/2003bikes.pdf
alsoTimA
Apr 11, 2003 8:51 AM
Check out this Q&A from Zinn, it addresses the issue.

http://www.velonews.com/tech/report/articles/3443.1.html
Thanks. The Wylder shims look especially promising (nm)TFerguson
Apr 11, 2003 12:13 PM
Emailed Wylder. They're history...TFerguson
Apr 11, 2003 2:41 PM
They are going under and never did produce the shims. Back to screws and zip ties.
TF
ditto the shimsrockbender
Apr 13, 2003 4:18 PM
I just epoxied pennies on top of the brake levers for a shim on my GF's CX rig - works great. Dimes are a bit thinner, albeit a bit spendier : )