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Old 07-04-02, 02:17 PM   #1
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Shimano Ultegra STI brake lever adjustment

I'm a mountain biker that's very new to road riding, so please excuse the newbie question, but here goes!

I just bought a road bike. It's my first road bike and it's a Trek 5200 with Ultegra STI brake/shift levers. I'm having a problem reaching the STI brake/shifter levers when my hands are on the bottom of the drop bars. My fingers just aren't quite long enough to get to the levers with ease.

So, are these levers adjustable? I need to get the lever closer to the bar, and; therefore, closer to my fingers.

ThanX!!!!!!
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Old 07-04-02, 03:58 PM   #2
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Nice bike for someone whos new to Road Riding.
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Old 07-04-02, 04:33 PM   #3
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The levers themselves are not adjustable. Position of the levers on the bar will effect reach.Terrybicycles.com sells bars wih indents at the rear of the drops that shortens the reach a bit.3T has a new carbon bar and their ads say the reach is 7mm closer than anything else.I have heard of homemade shims to reposition the levers. Running a bit more pad to rim clearance will not shorten the reach,but will make the initial pull a bit easier.

Last edited by pokey; 07-04-02 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 07-04-02, 04:43 PM   #4
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You could try wrapping more bar tape at that area or wear thick gloves.
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Old 07-04-02, 04:49 PM   #5
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You might also relocate the lever lower so the angle isn't so large.
Hunter's idea of wrapping some extra bar tape to make the bar fatter could possibly be the easiest solution.
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Old 07-04-02, 09:02 PM   #6
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Originally posted by WorldIRC
Nice bike for someone whos new to Road Riding.
ThanX - I broke the bank, but I just couldn't help myself. I've been mountain biking for the past 7 years, and have finally taken to the road!

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Old 07-04-02, 09:34 PM   #7
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ive been XC racing since i was 13, and i just gotta road bike to. It was used but o well. I like it.
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Old 07-05-02, 09:58 AM   #8
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if you adjust the shifter near the bar end so you can reach the shifter when your on the drops, that great, but then when you are on the hoods you will have another rpoblem with your wrist, because your wrist will be so bended you won't be able to sustain a long ride on that bended wrist,
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Old 07-07-02, 12:04 PM   #9
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Does the rather nice 5200 (jeaslous, yes) come with ergo/pistol grip bars?

If so, replacing them with standard ones will bring your fingers nearer the brake handles, but may not be so comfy depending on your preference.

Perhaps the best thing to do is consult the bike shop where you bought it, they ought to help and probably will since you've spent quite a bit of money with them.
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Old 07-09-02, 11:22 AM   #10
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I have the Ultegra STI instructions if you want a copy.
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Old 07-09-02, 12:38 PM   #11
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Wouldn't adding extra tape/padding exacerbate the problem, moving the palm further back and increasing the distance to the lever?

If you have an "ergo" type bar, the kind that is not a round hook but has a more of an angle/flat then another angle to a flat drop, you can, as someone has suggested, move the lever mechanisms farther "down" the bar so that the levers themselves are parallel with the flat area. This will put them about as close as you can get. If you do this you will probably want to rotate the bar up so that the upper part of the drops are parallel to the ground so you can reach the hoods easier, lessening the effect Oscar mention of excessive wrist bend. This is all a bit of a compromise since the drops will not be angled down slightly rather than parallel. Some people prefer level drops, some prefer level tops, as you would have in this case. Either way is acceptable if it works for you. I have at times had the drops angled. It works pretty well. I didn't feel like my hands were going to slide off or anything. Moving the lever positions will require untaping and retaping so if you are not familiar with this, let the LBS do it. In fact since it's a new bike, I would get the LBS to do it anyway. Won't take them but a few minutes.
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Old 07-09-02, 01:26 PM   #12
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ThanX a bunch for the great replies guys! I'm going to experiment with the placement of the STIs, and if I'm still not satisfied, I may consider another set of bars. I'm going back to my LBS for my initial tune/adjustment, so I'll also see what they have to say. My concern is that I'm just not going to be able to get to the brakes in time in an emergency situation given my current set-up.

I like this bike WAY too much to see it (or me!) torn up.
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Old 07-10-02, 07:16 AM   #13
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RainmanP.......congrats man you are todays strongst link! That extra tape sounded a little bogus to me, so I tried it out. You are right! Extra tape makes the bars fatter and the levers a longer reach. Another negative I discoverd too, is all that extra tape interfeers with the lever travel,and the levers bottom out on the tape before the brakes take holt. What an owie I got when I ran into the side of that car! Is that grounds for a lawsuit?Thanks for the heads up man!
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Old 07-10-02, 10:07 AM   #14
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I have followed this thread with interest as my wife as a similar problem.

I was just watching the daily coverage of the TDF and observed that most all the riders had their STI levers mounted way up on the handlebars and rode with their "hands on the hoods" and their forearms resting on the handlebar, with elbows bent. Very seldom did I see anyone actually "in the drops".

Is this a new change from the normal position that we were told was what a roadie was to do????
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Old 07-10-02, 10:36 AM   #15
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The only integrated shifter for smaller hands is Shimano Tiagra.
Terry bikes have a drop bar for smaller hands with a reduced reach to the brakes:
http://www.terrybicycles.com/BPA/220.lasso



Pokey: If your levers bottom out like that, then your brakes are not set up correctly. They should bite well before the levers hit the bars. Cables stretch at first and need to be adjusted after a few weeks of use.

Last edited by MichaelW; 07-10-02 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 07-10-02, 04:22 PM   #16
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I seem to recall Wylder working on that problem. By the way this is a way cool company specifically for women riders.

http://wylder.com/components06.htm
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Old 07-10-02, 04:30 PM   #17
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Does Wylder have road components or just mountin'?
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Old 07-10-02, 07:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by --walt--
I seem to recall Wylder working on that problem. By the way this is a way cool company specifically for women riders.

http://wylder.com/components06.htm
Holy cow - these shims just may be the solution. I'm going to buy a set. I'll let the group know how they work!!

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