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Old 03-11-12, 02:53 PM   #1
maxmad
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Shifters (Sora in this case) and short fingers

Hello everyone,

I'm riding a road bike with Sora shifters. I have pretty short fingers and I'm having trouble using my Sora shifters well from either position. I was wondering if upgrading my shifters (to Tiagra, 105 or something else) will help or if I'm just doomed due to my short fingers.

Here's an overview of what I can do in the positions:

Upper position:
-All gear shifting works easily
-Breaking only partially as I can't reach low enough. Good for decreasing speed, not so good for stopping quickly.

Lower position:
-Great for breaking
-Shifting outwards impossible
-Shifting inwards works somewhat with the tip of my fingers, not great

I like to ride in the lower position, so I find myself constantly with one hand in the upper and one in the lower position. There's a lot of hills where I live so there are not many long straits where you wouldn't shift gears at all. I'm now looking at lowering the bar so that I might ride more in the upper position as the shifting works better there.

Cheers,
Max
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Old 03-11-12, 03:19 PM   #2
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You currently have these?


And you want to go to this, because of finger reach correct?

A little digging says, Campy has smaller shifter/brake setups and is preferred by people with smaller hands.
There's also apparently a shim for 105 levers
Quote:
Pwnt
01-10-11, 10:21 AM
They make a shim that can be placed between the brake level and the shifter body that will move the lever closer to the bars. Check your LBS.

*is that a run on sentence. I can't tell. Just seem long.
http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-706151.html

Hopefully this was of some help.
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Old 03-11-12, 04:55 PM   #3
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maxmad, what's your present drivetrain setup? For example, 3 chainrings x 8 rear cogs, or whatever. Sora has been made in 7sp, 8sp and now 9sp flavors, with both double and triple cranks, so this info is necessary to determine your upgrade options.
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Old 03-11-12, 05:26 PM   #4
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I have the same shifters and small hands same as you. Shimano makes a shim that cures that problem. See your local Shimano dealer.
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Old 03-11-12, 05:35 PM   #5
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The "mouse-ear" buttons on Sora shifters are well known for being difficult to impossible to reach from the drops and, yes, Tiagra or above will be a lot easier to shift if you use the drops a lot. Campy puts the mouse-ears in a much more accessible location but they are still a bit of a reach from the drops.

Shimano makes short reach levers at at least the Ultegra level and, as berner noted, shims to reduce the reach to 105 levers are also available. The downside is you will have less latitude with your brake pad adjustment since the lever travel is reduced.
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Old 03-11-12, 05:48 PM   #6
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Apparently some Sora levers have a reach adjustment screw. Google Sora shifter shim and you'll get some links to instructions.
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Old 03-11-12, 06:23 PM   #7
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mechBgon: I have a cassette with 9 cogs and triple cranks. The rear derailleur is Tiagra and the front one is Sora

HillRider: So Tiagra etc would be easier from the lower position? I will have to test-ride one!

For the others, I will look at the shim and the adjustment screw, thanks for the info!
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Old 03-11-12, 06:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmad View Post
HillRider: So Tiagra etc would be easier from the lower position? I will have to test-ride one!
By all means try them before buying. I find Shimano's non-Sora brifters easy to shift from the hoods or drops but you must try them yourself.
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Old 03-11-12, 06:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmad View Post
mechBgon: I have a cassette with 9 cogs and triple cranks. The rear derailleur is Tiagra and the front one is Sora
Ok good, I'd suggest the Tiagra 4503 shifters are worth looking into. They're the 3 x 9 configuration and the lever blade can be brought about 1cm closer to the bars with a rubber shim that comes with them (or is available separately). Another option is a 9-speed flavor of 105 or Ultegra, they should be floating around on Ebay... current example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Shimano-105-...item4cff48d370 . As a side note, in cold weather, my relatively loose-fitting gloves can make the smaller shift paddle a little tricky to operate reliably on these designs.

You also may want to consider a handlebar that lets you get your hands forward a bit more in the drops; ironically, I think the traditional curved drop bar may be better in this sense than ergonomic-bend drop bars.

Tangentially, Sora will be abandoning the thumb-button design shortly. Sora will also be sticking with 9sp for now. So if you wait a little longer, Sora 3500 will be another option.

Last edited by mechBgon; 03-11-12 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 03-11-12, 06:49 PM   #10
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Isn't there a wedge thingie that moves the lever closer to the bars when
pushed in there?
so it doesn't come fully out on the return springs..
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Old 03-11-12, 06:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Isn't there a wedge thingie that moves the lever closer to the bars when
pushed in there?
so it doesn't come fully out on the return springs..
Nah.. couldn't be.
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Old 03-11-12, 07:04 PM   #12
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I also have short fingers, and my LBS installed pad spacers for free in my Shimano shifters which reduces the reach. There are 4 and 8 degree pad spacers. Pull back on the plastic piece on your hoods. You remove the bump rubber and put the pad spacer in.
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Old 03-11-12, 10:33 PM   #13
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if anyone has shims on their shimano shifter can you please post pics. I am in the same boat and would love to see what the difference is.
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