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Handlebars to reach brakes easier

3wheeler3wheeler Posts: 110
edited April 2018 in Women's cycling forum
Two questions to help my wife with the problem of the brake levers feeling just beyond comfortable reach on drops - this relates to finger length rather than the handlebars being too far away:
1 - apart from looking at adjusting the lever using shims (tiagra) will moving the controls on the bars change the distance from bar to lever?
2 - do different types of handlebars help people with smaller hands, e.g. "compact" ones with reduced reach and drop, or are those differences in geometry of the bars supposed to help more with overall-body fit on the bike?


  • marykamaryka Posts: 745
    1) Yes, I have my shifters/brakes mounted further down the bend of the drops than many people which puts them as close to the inner bend as possible -- ideal for riding in the drops.

    2) Yes compact handlebars have a shorter drop and also a shorter reach from the top of the bars to the bends.

    Specialized do some decent alu ones, mine are also quite narrow, 36cm. ... 142-132572

    Unfortunately Shimano seem to make the biggest ones which isn't helpful for small hands. SRAM are better in that regard (I've not tried Campag but they also look smaller).
  • amrushtonamrushton Posts: 742
    Enve have a short reach/drop but a big price. Zipp service course also and I think Specialized 'hover' bar. This quote is from an owner of cyclefit on his new bike and its Zipp bars (carbon service course)

    The handlebars have a shorter than normal 7.5cm reach which means I can use an 11cm stem and the drops are shallower than Enve’s short and shallow bars so my hands aren’t wallowing around down there and it is easier to stay in a lower position for longer. There is also a little sweep back across the tops and the slightly ovalized carbon makes climbing on the tops very comfortable. The stem is fat and stiff and looks gorgeous.
  • dizzydanedizzydane Posts: 335
    Pre woman's specific bikes, I would fit 6/8cm stems and compact drop bars (38cm width) to make my rides smaller. One of my bikes now has SRAM on it and the reach on the hoods is about 1 1/2cm shorter than the tiagra shifters. You can also look and an inline seatpost that will bring the saddle slightly forward too.
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