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  1. #1
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    Pros and cons of swaping brake lever and shifter

    I heard that some riders choose to swap the location of the brake lever and the shifter, so the brake lever is closer to the stem. What are the pros/cons of doing this?

  2. #2
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    It is really just for personal fit. I have large hands and one finger brake so I put my brakes closer to the stem. Most bike shops just put the shifter and brake tight to the grip which in my opinion is just a starting point, but does not get changed much on bikes I see.

  3. #3
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    It's really so the brake levers and the stem can germinate, make other parts. As long as you find it comfortable, keep them there.
    I like Sand -- I don't like Witches.

  4. #4
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    Using the very end of the brake lever allows the most leverage with less force required for applying the brakes. Since most people use their index finger for braking, this means the brake lever mount has to be moved inboard so the end of the lever lines up with the fingers. This would move the shifter too far inboard unless the positions are swapped.
    When the bike comes from the shop, usually the shifter and brakes are level - that needs to be changed right away as well.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    Using the very end of the brake lever allows the most leverage with less force required for applying the brakes. Since most people use their index finger for braking, this means the brake lever mount has to be moved inboard so the end of the lever lines up with the fingers. This would move the shifter too far inboard unless the positions are swapped.
    When the bike comes from the shop, usually the shifter and brakes are level - that needs to be changed right away as well.
    Ditto.

  6. #6
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    Until this weekend I had the shifter closer to the grip than the brake. This weekend was my first ride on ergon grips. The bulge on the grip kept pushing my thumb into my shifter, so flipped the brake lever and shifter over and it worked much better.

    The jury is still out on the ergon grips though, so might be switching back at some point....

  7. #7
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    I tried this once, but the combination of my brake lever (Avid Elixir 5) and shifter (SLX 9-speed) pushed the brake lever too far inboard for my taste. I prefer to brake with one finger too, but just couldn't get enough power with my index finger on steep downhills. I started using my middle finger to brake on downhills, and it works great. I have great grip on the bar, but still have good power. I do switch back to using my index finger on the brake when I feel like I need more finesse, but that's probably just psychological.

    I plan on switching my derailleurs/shifters to SRAM at some point, and then I'll investigate matchmaker clamps. But for now, I give my brakes the middle finger.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    Using the very end of the brake lever allows the most leverage with less force required for applying the brakes. Since most people use their index finger for braking, this means the brake lever mount has to be moved inboard so the end of the lever lines up with the fingers. This would move the shifter too far inboard unless the positions are swapped.
    When the bike comes from the shop, usually the shifter and brakes are level - that needs to be changed right away as well.
    This. The shifter's position is secondary. It's a matter of putting the brake lever in the best position and then putting the shifter where you can reach it.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

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  9. #9
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    Thanks for the replies!

  10. #10
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    When I tried this, it felt very uncomfortable. Because of the gear position indicator window on the shimano shifters, I had to keep the shifters too far outboard such that they were practically in my hand when my index finger was on the brake lever. I actually had to move my hand more outboard (and unable to reach the brake lever at all) to properly use the shifters. I put it back and now just use 2 fingers when extra force is required. I ride in the northeast, so there aren't any super long descents that would cause fatigue or anything, so it's no big deal to me.

  11. #11
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    Did you try to remove the position indicators? They're removable on many models. I just put a piece of gorilla tape over the hole.

  12. #12
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    Yes they are removable.There is a blank off plate inside the shifter,use that. As for position I am using SLX shifters mounted to Avid levers using Hope matchmakers

  13. #13
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    Pros and cons of swaping brake lever and shifter

    I suggest just using grip shift. It's what I use

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