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Brake and gear lever position???!!!??

Dave GtiDave Gti Posts: 33
edited February 2010 in MTB general
Been doing some midweek maintenance on the bike today and began to question the position of my gear and brake levers.

At the minute the brake levers are tight up to the grips with the gear levers inboard of that. I'm thinking of swapping these round so the gear lever would be next to the grip with the lever further away. Doing this should mean the actual brake lever will be in a much better position for 1/2 finger braking. Only concern is that the gear lever may become a bit in the way.

Looking at it seems an obvious improvement but only seen downhill rigs with this setup.

Just wondering if anyone else has tried this setup and if it feels any better.


  • cavegiantcavegiant Posts: 1,546
    The important thing is to get your brakes where you want them, you will adjust to shifters wherever they are.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    it is often used, but best done with shifters that dont need the finger to operate them so sram or possibly the latest shimano.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • GHillGHill Posts: 2,402
    Do you have shifter windows? Can they be removed? Much easier to do this without them unless you have massive brake levers.
  • I much prefer it. I have the extremity of my brake lever under my forefinger as it gives more finesse to my braking whilst retaining good power. It also means keeping at least 3 fingers and a thumb on the grips which noticably reduced hand fatigue for me too (I ride trails).

    I have brakes, then shifters, then grips. Only thing to check is whether your gear indicator window will get in the way and (if so) whether it's removable...

    Oh, and if you don't have lock on grips I had to cut my glued grips off. It is possible to get them off without but it was so tough I gave up. Might be worth picking some up if you need them...

  • just go with whats comfortuble for you, no one of us is the same and its not a one time adjustment, just keep adjusting them till your happy

    once your totally happy mark the lever body and bar for angle and distance as you'll have to move them when bleeding the brakes
  • I'm running slx shifters with the window indicators and it doesn't look like they can be removed. I thought this would be an issue but will give it a try.

    Gonna swap them round tonight and see how it feels.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    Dave Gti
    if they are you will see the caps here

    even if the caps are not there they may be removable but you will have to make something up.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • nwmlargenwmlarge Posts: 778
    worth noting if you have sram shifters, where both operate via the thumb unlike shimano, you may have issues with accidently shifting if you have the shifters inboard.

    i run juicy 5's with odi lock on's and a x5 shifter, i like to run a 1 finger stance on the levers so i originally had the levers spaced wide and the shifter inboard, everytime i landed it shifted which was very annoying
    so now i run the shifter inboard which makes it marginally harder to get to but to be fair i only change gear when i'm in a relatively stable stance as opposed to mid corner etc.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    i have my levers closer to the stem, shifter closer to the grips but i have a good 20mm distance between the grip and the shifter and in this configurtion, everything is reachable
  • Aldo001Aldo001 Posts: 251
    I just did this swap today. I needed my levers towards the tem a bit so I swapped the shifter and brakes around. Although on the left hand side, I kept shifting down with my thumb by accident so I moved both the brakes and the shifters towards the stem a bit.
    One thing I found a challenge was that saomething on the underside of my brake lever stopped them rotating round far enough as it hit my shifter.
  • Just finished getting the bike all set up for a day in whinlatter 2moro.

    Tried swapping them round but the gear lever was to close to the grip and the levers were getting in the way. Mainly because the indicator windows were taking up so much space.

    Turns out they were deore shifters not slx like previously thought and the indicator can't really be taken off.

    Anyhow moved the brake and gear levers inboard from there original position and the brake lever instanly feels in a more natural position and perfect for one finger braking. Yep the gear lever is a tad far away but like mentioned I'm sure I'll get used to it.

    Will report back 2moro after they have been tested in anger
  • I had the same problem so i'm now thinking of buying SLX shifters as they can be mounted either in or out board which should let me have the brake levers closer to the stem and the gears next to the grips.
    Giant Anthem X3 2013
  • After a good thrash round whinlatter the new setup proved to be miles better.

    Much easier to apply finesse to my braking. Found that I was looking up mire than normal but I think that was down to having the power directly under one finger.

    The gears were a bit of a censored to get to but until I upgrade these I'm sure I'll get used to it.

    So all in all a sucess, I think the next stage is elite racing and a rainbow jersey :lol: :roll:

    thanks for all the info!!
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