Reaching brake levers....

ahstueyman Posts: 76
edited March 2012 in Workshop

My new (old) bike has got what i have this evening found out to be the Shimano Tiagra Flight Deck 4400 like these:

stupidly today i thought my problem was solved and ordered these:

But later read the small print and did some research and these only fit the 4500 series :(

So other than sending these back, what solutions do i have to give me a more comfortable reach, I can brake, but when in the drops on a descent it is a bit twitchy having to reach for the brakes!!


  • chrisw12
    chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    Move to SRAM, or change your bars.
  • Going on the price of SRAM levers alone being nearly as much as i spent on my trek im guessing il be looking at the new bar route, im presuming id be better off with a compact bar?
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    Some compacts will have the drops turn away from the levers at a faster rate than ergos or standard shapes - so it'll be even harder. Best take a lever to a shop and line it up with a few samples.

    If you want to be funky, you should be able to use 11-speed Campag ergos with a 9 speed shimano rear mech. Or 10 speed Campag ergos is you use a 'Hubbub' cable routing at the back. Ergos levers are good for small hands too.
  • chrisw12
    chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    As I've said on another post, I was having the same trouble as you, I couldn't comfortably reach the brake levers. The first solution I looked into was to buy campag 11 speed levers which apparently work with shimano 9 speed. I never bought into his one as I didnt want a bike which had campag, shimano and SRAM (I already had SRAM cranks). I think this would have worked though.

    Second solution which I did buy into, was to get cinelli little wing bars, job done, reach is perfect.

    Eventually, I saved up enough money to buy into the SRAM system and these I think will provide enough reach to work with any bars.
  • pdw
    pdw Posts: 315
    For a somewhat more ghetto answer, remove the bar tape, loosen the bolts on the shifters, wedge something between the bars and the top of the shifter, and then do them up again. I did this using some spare bar width adapters from a set of aero bars and it worked like a charm (although I was going the other way - increasing reach on STIs mounted on bull horn bars).
  • nana123
    nana123 Posts: 4
    Second solution which I did buy into, was to get cinelli little wing bars, job done, reach is
  • Problem solved guys,

    I purchased a slightly smaller stem only from 110-90mm which has helped relax the general stretch of the arms for riding on the hoods, second i played around with the position of the bars and the levers to get them in the best place possible. Then finally the third adaption I came up with is using the cut offs from the new bar tape and sticking these to the top of the brake lever in the hinge section basically creating a ghetto shim giving another 2mm adjustment...not much but every little helps and all problems seem to be solved now.

    The main issue seemed to be with the position of the bars how it came when i bought it, being in the drops left me feeling like I was in a push-up position rather than a leaning forward holding onto railings type position which is much more comfortable and the brakes seem to just fall into my fingers now.

    I write all this to try and help anyone else that comes accross a similar problem.

    PS. New bar tape can make a bike look so fresh again :)