brake levers for small hands

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janeem48
Posts: 2
Joined: 8 Oct 2010, 9:29pm

brake levers for small hands

Postby janeem48 » 12 Feb 2011, 5:23pm

Cane Creak brakes are fitted on my hoods (not STIs). But with a maximum of 16 cm from wrist to the end of my middle finger (and a touch of arthritis) I barely reach the levers and certainly cannot get a firm grip :( . Any suggestions? I would prefer to stick with drops if I can.
Janeem48

ANTONISH
Posts: 1427
Joined: 26 Mar 2009, 9:49am

Re: brake levers for small hands

Postby ANTONISH » 12 Feb 2011, 5:54pm

janeem48 wrote:Cane Creak brakes are fitted on my hoods (not STIs). But with a maximum of 16 cm from wrist to the end of my middle finger (and a touch of arthritis) I barely reach the levers and certainly cannot get a firm grip :( . Any suggestions? I would prefer to stick with drops if I can.
Janeem48

I have fitted cyclo cross levers to a couple of my girlfriends bikes. They work well for those with small hands (they are fitted in line with the existing levers so that you can use either). Now she won't ride a bike without them and she has several bikes :(

uphillbothways
Posts: 239
Joined: 17 Oct 2009, 3:26pm

Re: brake levers for small hands

Postby uphillbothways » 12 Feb 2011, 6:10pm

Tektro offer the R100a, which is a shorter-reach version of the R200. VeloSolo have them for £19 a pair (look towards the bottom of the page). They look to have quite short reach, but I have no idea whether they would suit you if you struggle from the tops as well as the drops.

You might want to look at a pair of compact handlebars like the Bontrager Fit VR. The drops have a very tight bend, so you can achieve very short reach indeed with just about any lever by mounting the lever lower on the bar.

As Antonish said, interruptor-type cross levers might suit you, although personally I'm not too keen on them.

rjb
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Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 10:25am
Location: Somerset (originally 60/70's Plymouth)

Re: brake levers for small hands

Postby rjb » 12 Feb 2011, 7:41pm

Just measured my hands, 18cm from wrist to finger tip. I find my Shimano sti's a bit of a stretch but my campag xenon ergos are a lot more comfortable and suit my small hands better. Why not try them out in a bike shop where you can just try one of the display bikes. I have seen some non sti levers which were similar to campag ones, may be tektro ones so these may be a possability :wink:
At the last count:- Focus Variado, Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, 2 Dawes Kingpins, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, On One Pompino, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

JonMcD
Posts: 138
Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 8:29pm

Re: brake levers for small hands

Postby JonMcD » 12 Apr 2013, 10:06am

The Tektro RL320 Junior Road Racing Brake Levers sounded as though they might be a solution for small hands, so I ordered a pair.

Levers side by side.jpg


The photo shows the Tektro RL320 on the right and the “standard” Tektro R200 on the left, both mounted on Origin8 Drop Bar Ends. The RL320 has a shorter lever (90mm v 104mm pivot to tip) but the pivot to cable attachment point distance is about 21mm for both. The hoods seem identical, which is a surprise as hoods with less depth seems an obvious feature for a "Junior" lever.

Levers coaxial.jpg


The second photo shows the levers lined up by a handlebar through the bar ends so the lever profiles can be compared (RL320 on top). This shows the RL320 gives slightly shorter reach with a more pronounced hook at the end. I find this hook comfortable but otherwise the difference with the R200 seems very marginal. uphillbothways suggestion of the Tektro R100a may be a better bet for small hands.

I'm left wondering what Tektro's design philosophy was for this "Junior" lever.

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CREPELLO
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Joined: 29 Nov 2008, 12:55am

Re: brake levers for small hands

Postby CREPELLO » 12 Apr 2013, 12:21pm

JonMcD wrote:The hoods seem identical, which is a surprise as hoods with less depth seems an obvious feature for a "Junior" lever.


I'm left wondering what Tektro's design philosophy was for this "Junior" lever.
It's quite possible that a shorter lever body would cause the lever to bottom out to easily.

Pipps
Posts: 9
Joined: 2 Jul 2011, 7:08pm

Re: brake levers for small hands

Postby Pipps » 4 Jun 2014, 4:31pm

Jon, the big question in my mind is whether the shape and size of the hoods differs between the RL320 and the R200? Do the Junior hoods have a smaller shape to grasp hold of - i.e. more like a smaller Campagnolo hood?

Apologies for the thread resurrection and slight topic hi-jack.

Thanks to Jon for some great comparative photos.

JonMcD
Posts: 138
Joined: 28 Nov 2007, 8:29pm

Re: brake levers for small hands

Postby JonMcD » 8 Jun 2014, 8:30pm

Pipps wrote:Jon, the big question in my mind is whether the shape and size of the hoods differs between the RL320 and the R200? Do the Junior hoods have a smaller shape to grasp hold of - i.e. more like a smaller Campagnolo hood?


Had another look at the Tektro RL320 on the Tektro R200 brake levers- to my eye the hoods are identical. When the circumference is measured with a length of cord like this:

Measure 3 small.jpg


the length between the two red marks is 12.6 cm for both hoods.

The narrowest hoods I have are on some Shimano Tiagra R400 Brake Levers. When measured with the same method the circumference is 11.1 cm.

Measure 2 small.jpg


Not sure how useful these measurements are. They may give an indication of which brake hood is better for a small hand to wrap around but the usual problem people with small hands have is operating the levers. That's a different can of worms. Brake reach, lever position on bar, handlebar bend, pivot position compared to hand - my head hurts :?

MikeF
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Re: brake levers for small hands

Postby MikeF » 8 Jun 2014, 9:51pm

I have relatively short fingers; my wrist to middle finger tip measures 17cms. On my latest build I have used Tektro RL341 (not RL340 note) brake levers. http://www.spacycles.co.uk/products.php?plid=m2b0s103p2006 (the picture shows RL340). The 341 has a pronounced outward curve in the lever (unlike either of those in Jon's photos), making it much easy for fingers to wrap around it. The hoods are extremely comfortable and braking from the hoods or drops is easy. I like them. :)
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master