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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Mojo came with the XTR shifter pods inboard of the Marta's and this seemed fine but my brother came to visit and said my brakes weren't set up right. I had the lever reach set all the way out as I'm coming off dirt bikes so I'm used to two fingers with engagement far enough out from the bar that the lever doesn't touch my other fingers when squeezed.

From what I can see everyone runs them inboard but he suggested I swap them and move the brakes in as far as possible and adjust the levers so it's only one finger and the lever comes almost all the way in to the bar. I've made that switch but haven't ridden it yet (it sucks to live in NYC) but I'll try it this weekend.

I'm curious which people are using and why? There are reasons for why levers are set up a particular way on a moto but obviously a bicycle is different so I'm curious as to why one might set the brakes inboard or outboard or set the lever reach close or far. I'll certainly experiment on my own but if there's reasons for one or the other I'm curious what they are.

Thanks.
 

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Leave them inboard, close to the brake levers, like they were mounted in the first place.
The levers should be inboard of the shifters because you use your thumb and index finger to shift gears. You will use your index and middle finger to work the brakes, while you shift up or down with your index finger, depending on the terrain. If the shifters are outside, you might have trouble reaching the shift levers while you are holding the brake levers. Sometimes you will have to do both at the same time.
eg; Shifting down to a smaller gear to start a climb off of a faster DH section that you were hammering in larger gear, while slowing down for a huge dip in terrain before the climb.
I'm glad your brother didn't build my bike, he'd have gotten me killled!
 

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littlejohn said:
no such thing as right or wrong when it comes to positioning of controls.. Why don't you try both setups and see what you prefer?
That's probably the best advice there is. Ever since I converted to disc brakes, I've found little need for two finger braking except for super long and steep downs. More fingers on the grip, the more control you have. After experimenting, I found I prefer to pull the outer end of the brake lever with my index finger for maximum leverage, so I moved my brakes inboard of the shifters about 5 years ago. They are further in than anyone's I've seen, and in fact, I don't know if I've ever seen anyone else run their brakes and shifters reversed at all (in person at least). With the older XTR shifters, I had to remove the "gear indicators" to make them fit, so this definitely was not the way the brake/shifter combination was designed to go, but it works nicely for me. It seems with the latest generation of shifters it's easier to do, so perhaps Shimano became aware of people mixing it up more. And for me, it's totally due to the change in braking power with discs.

Edit: Just opened the new issue of Bike, and I'm quite surprised to see probably over half of both downhill and XC pros ride with their brake levers inboard, as well as some new bikes like the Scott coming that way. Far inboard, too - nothing nuzzled up to the grips. Maximizing their lever leverage and keeping fingers wrapped around the grips, I'd assume.
 

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boba
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Brakes well inboard....a few good reasons to try..

We have 08' XT brakes and shifters on our Mojos. They are well inboard of the shifters for five good reasons.

1....Being well inboard allows for easy ONE finger braking with your index finger and if the levers are well out, you will have lotsa power.

2....One finger braking means that you have three fingers and a thumb on the bar for better control on knarly downhills. When the brakes are outboard of the shifters, you generally use two fingers on the brakes and have less of a grip on the bar.

3....The shifters are in a very comfortable position.

4....Having the brakes inboard allows you to keep you pinky finger well inboard of the end of the handlebar and less likely to get crunched on a tree when riding on narrow trails.

5...In the event of a crash, there is less of a chance of broken levers when they are further inboard.

As suggested earlier....try both positions....I would never go back.

bob, Comox, bc
 

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Totally agree with bob above. I run my brakes inboard of the shifters. If you can brake with your index finger only (and most disc brakes will have the power to allow this) it frees up your other fingers to more securely grip the bar. Plus it keeps your other fingers out from underneath the lever, so you can brake more deeply without fear of interference with your knuckles.
 

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What I like here is the pretty photos. Seems like the only dirty Ibis on the forum lately was the one for sale ("check this Swingarm"). Is anyone riding or just applying makeup?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the photos and advice. I'll try it this week on my visit to Boulder and then see what I think. I find the Joplin remote to be a pain up high and wish it could go under the brake but I'm getting used to it. I'll post where I end up liking things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hmm, don't have a photo but I did swap them and I like that better. It's a hassle to tune the reach since the brakes cover the fine adjustment on the shift pods but once it was set I liked having only one finger for the brakes with the levers inboard and out of the way. It also seemed to help protect them the couple of times the bike crashed - I say bike since I'm completely convinced it wasn't me and I'm sticking to it!

Thanks for the help and advice.
 
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