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Now with More Wood
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1st time post here. Looks like a cool forum! Hopefully I'm posting in the right section and all that, and if I'm not I'm sure one of the local slammers/flamers/haters will soon set me straight...;)

The question is about positionning the brake lever on the handlebars. I just got a new Specialized Enduro SL (comp - SWEET bike BTW), replacing my FSR xc Pro 07...on both bikes the brake levers (Juicy 3 on the xc and 5 on the SL) are mounted to the outside of the shifters (SRAM x7), i.e. on the grip side (if that makes sense). Now that puts the brake lever too close to the hands for my taste (basically you end up hitting your little fingers with the brake levers). So I'd like to move the brake levers to the other side of shifters, to leave the brake lever falling naturally just in front of the index finger, and allowing 1-2 finger breaking. I may have to move the shifters slightly closer to the grips to accomodate this set-up, which may leave them too close to the hands for shifting comfort, but at the moment I feel like I'd much rather have perfect breaking comfort at the price of shifting comfort. The question is why are the brake levers/shifters designed this way, and what are people doing about it? Anybody else run the levers in the configuration I'm talking about above? It seems obvious that the brake levers should not be aligned in front of the whole grip, yet the shifter/brake lever combo was clearly designed to be set up that way (the gear indicator window on the shifter mount has an area "cut out" that allows the brake lever mount to "slot in")?

What's stopping me from just trying it out to see if what I want to do works for me? Nothing at all :D . I'll do that as soon as I get home. I just thought I'd finally get to posting here after lurking for a while and reading tons of reviews etc before buying my last bike....

:cool:
 

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Five is right out
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3,176 Posts
Welcome to the forums! And you've picked the right forum for a brake question ;)

If I read you correctly, lots of people run their controls the way you are suggesting (brakes inside closer to the stem, shifters outside closer to the ends of the handlebar). This gives you the ability to operate the brakes with a single finger, which is good for discs but inadequate for v-brakes.

Just experient and find out what works for you. You'll have to jiggle the positioning of the controls around for a bit, but it shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes.

Oh, when when you do find a comfortable position for your controls, don't do them up too tightly. Have them just tight enough so that you can pick up the front of the bike by the controls, but can still twist them around with more force. When you crash, you'll be less likely to snap your levers.
 

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Super Moderator
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20,809 Posts
I second womble's suggestion... there is no right/wrong on this.. just what feels better for you... additionally you could just try to move the controls, as they are, further in... that's how I run mine.... that way I can have full-hand grip without causing a shift, one-finger braking with enough space, and the shifters are not very far away..just need to stretch my thumb to make the gear change...
 

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local trails rider
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12,300 Posts
I like my shifters pretty far to the inside so that I do not push the levers unintentionally.

I have a couple of different bikes and like to have near-identical lever setups for cantis, V's and disks, so I have the levers positioned to allow two fingers.
 

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Registered
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8,564 Posts
What you are talking about is the best way to install the levers and shifters. You wouldn't use a pole to lever a rock and then push on 1/2 way down it's lenght. It's a lever so why would anyone want to effectively shorten it and reduce the braking power. I run a twist shifter for the front derailleur and a X9 trigger for the rear. Both Juicy levers are bolted the same distance from the end of the bar so that my index finger lines up with the end of the lever. The X9 trigger fits nicely on the grip side of the brake lever and the twister is long enough to properly position the lever.
 

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I have the brake levers inboard of the levers (per shimano).

I use the middle finger only for braking, it fits right in the crook of the lever.

This leaves the index finger able to shift or simply help to hang on, bouncing down a fire rocky trail.

I started out with two finger braking, and the brake lever inboard, cause that is the way the bike came.
 
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