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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey I am hoping that someone can help me out with this, I have really small hands and find it hard to reach my levers comfortably. I have tried bending them already but I still have a hard time reaching them. I like to break with one finger but I am finding that my hands are tiring fast, does anyone have any suggestions or tips.
Thanks
 

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Rollin' a fatty
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Try SRAM levers or go to a BMX shop and ask for Mini BMX bike levers. Had the same problem with my son and had to go with the BMX levers.

The little screw that Berryman refers to makes the lever go more towards the handlebar when screwed in, this helps but if you can't reach the lever it wouldn't help.
 

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Glue Sniffer
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The Berryman said:
On some (maybe most?) brake levers there is a little screw you can turn that will move the lever closer to the bar.
On all of my bikes, the levers have been moved in as much as possible, but you'd be amazed at how far away the lever still is.

I too have heard of the "women specific" levers that are supposed to address this issue. I've always been curious as to quality and compatability issues, so if anyone has any information or personal experience, please inform away.

I found that when I switched to singlespeeds, I ride the majority of the time without any fingers on the brakes, so it's not that big of an issue for me anymore.

Hmmm, I wonder if it's possible to jerry-rig a solution if you could just find a longer set screw, or if the body of the lever is the limiting factor. I'll have to take a closer look at my levers tonight...
 

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I am the owl
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Well, I was just going to post the question myself.

Recently set a bike up for my wife and used the Avid levers I had lying around. The adjustment screw is in as far as it will go and the reach is still tough for her. Part of it could be lever shape, so if anyone knows a lever that tends to bend more towards the bar, I'd love to know.

Come on manufacturers, more women specific parts!

BTW, anyone know what they are using on kids MTB bikes (like 24" wheeled bikes)? That might be an option.
 

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SS Grrrrrrrl
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dhchick said:
Hey I am hoping that someone can help me out with this, I have really small hands and find it hard to reach my levers comfortably. I have tried bending them already but I still have a hard time reaching them. I like to break with one finger but I am finding that my hands are tiring fast, does anyone have any suggestions or tips.
Thanks
As everyone has suggested, make sure the limit screw is turned in as far as it can go.

One thing that really helped me (with my Magura Marta levers) was to swap out to a smaller grip. This put my palm a few mm closer to the bar, which really helped in my case. I had been using the ODI Rogue grips and changed to the ODI Ruffian's... which are quite a bit smaller and work better with my size challenged hands. I ended up putting them on all of my bikes.
 

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dhchick said:
Hey I am hoping that someone can help me out with this, I have really small hands and find it hard to reach my levers comfortably. I have tried bending them already but I still have a hard time reaching them. I like to break with one finger but I am finding that my hands are tiring fast, does anyone have any suggestions or tips.
Thanks
If you've already adjusted the lever to be as close to the bars as possible, try moving the position of the lever on your bar. If they stick straight out, it's harder to reach than if you tilt them down slightly. I didn't realize how much difference the position of the lever on the bar made until I had the same issue wih my road bike and little tweeks really helped.
 

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I am the owl
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DirtGirl said:
If you've already adjusted the lever to be as close to the bars as possible, try moving the position of the lever on your bar. If they stick straight out, it's harder to reach than if you tilt them down slightly.
That's a good suggestion. 45 degrees downward is a good starting point, then adjust for your preference. I'm amazed at how many bikes I see set up with levers nearly parallel to the ground. Talk about uncomfortable!
 

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Rollin' a fatty
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My kid 24" bike came with regular levers that were replaced with ProMax Mini BMX levers. He had a hard time braking (small hands) and with the lever swap the problem went away.

As far as I know no major manufacturer makes woman specific parts.
 

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I am the owl
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DiRt DeViL said:
My kid 24" bike came with regular levers that were replaced with ProMax Mini BMX levers.
Are those canti or V-brake levers? One of the potential problems with the mini levers is the length. Her bike is set up with Gripshift, and a standard lever length seems to be needed for her small hands.
 

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Motion activated
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My wife has THE smallest hand. Finding the right fitting brake has proved to be a nightmare.

She had avid mechanical discs with speed dial 5 (IIRC) levels. I even replaced the limit screw with a longer screw from the hardware store so we could really get the levers in closer (search the WL for this thread). She could now reach the brake lever OK, but the brakes were to grabby and unpredictable (avids are not self adjustable) - basically you could get them to work, but as the pads would wear down, the brakes would bottom on the handle bar.

Anyway we tried the Avid Juicy brakes. They are adjustable such that they fit her hands, so we bought them and her braking has improved a lot.

The other solution that works (cheaper and heavier) is a set of Hayes hydros with the replacement and fully adjustable Razor Rock levers. Razor Rock doesn't make the levers anymore, but someone has bought the rights to produce them and the word is you can get them from Scott @ go-ride.com. The wife has this setup on her DH bike and loves them.

In this pic, the Juicy brakes are attached to a small diameter WSD handlebar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for the suggestions I think I will have to go try the bmx levers and see if that helps. I wish more manufacters would start thinking about women riders and their needs!!
 

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Tear it all out!
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My wife has small hands, and has a similar problem reaching the levers.

I've replaced the stock reach adjustment screw with a longer one, to allow moving the lever even closer to the bar.

Edit: This was for the Magura HS-33s on her HT.
 

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My Bike came with women's brake levers. We replaced the brakes with Avid Digits but left the levers as they were smaller. This set-up is good and allows me to ride using my middle finger for brakes

According to the TRek web site,
BRAKESET: Alloy linear pull w/custom reach alloy levers

I am sure a trek dealer could order replacements in.
 

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Tear it all out!
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Steve71 said:
The other solution that works (cheaper and heavier) is a set of Hayes hydros with the replacement and fully adjustable Razor Rock levers. Razor Rock doesn't make the levers anymore, but someone has bought the rights to produce them and the word is you can get them from Scott @ go-ride.com. The wife has this setup on her DH bike and loves them.
Thanks for the info, I'll check around to see if it is still possible to get the levers to replace the stock blades on the Hayes Mags on my wife's 2 bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well I just thought I would let anyone know thats interested that after fighting with my hayes 9 levers I finally had enough and switched to a dangerboy lever... They are awesome!! They are a flat lever so they don't turn away from the bar allowing people with small hands to reach them easier.. when I had them put on I actually had to adjust them out a bit because they were too close to my grip.. They are perfect for small hands because of the shape and the ability to ajust them so close to the bar. I would highly recommend them to anyone with small hands.
 
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