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Vintage brake lever setup for smaller hands?

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Vintage brake lever setup for smaller hands?

Old 04-21-19, 12:47 PM
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Vintage brake lever setup for smaller hands?

I am setting up a female friend with a vintage bike. But she struggles to manage the brake levers (which she finds to far out for her to comfortably grasp and pull).
Short of installing cross-style interrupter brakes, is there anything I can do to make the current levers more manageable?Are there any brake levers that are especially suited to riders with smaller hands?

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Old 04-21-19, 12:55 PM
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Dia Compe made a recurved lever model which was for smaller hands..

some bar making companies pressed an indentation in the inside of the drop curve to make the reach smaller..

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Old 04-21-19, 01:19 PM
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Tektro offers a lever for smaller hands. I have Tektro levers on numerous bikes and haven't bought any in quite awhile, but they've generally cost only about $25.

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Old 04-21-19, 03:25 PM
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I have worked with dozens of women (many also considered "small") and have found that besides the brake lever to bars dimension affecting brake use (and ability to modulate the pull) the seat to bars/levers reach has a lot to do with it. When a person is too far stretched out and they are using their hands to push their upper body up it's harder to then also pull on the brake levers. So while reduced sizr levers are a great upgrade for many ladies out there good set up doesn't stop there (ouch! Pun). If possible, using higher leverage brakes and good pads are further considerations. Andy
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Old 04-21-19, 03:46 PM
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Georgena Terry describes a modification to Shimano "brifters" to accommodate smaller hands:

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Old 04-21-19, 04:01 PM
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If the pictures the OP showed are of the bike in question, the brakes are single pivot type which require more hand effort than newer double pivot brakes. Replacing them with more modern brakes would make it easier for the rider.
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Old 04-21-19, 05:24 PM
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I was in the Cupertino bicycle shop purchasing some rims and spokes and while I was waiting to be helped I watched an old guy named Spence modify some ma-fac road levers with a piece of pipe for a young lady picking up a custom bicycle. This happened a little south of 4 decades ago.
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