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Eight steps to set up your handlebars and controls

| Blog, Knowledge, What Mountain Bike | 07/03/2012 15:09pm

Justin Loretz shows you how to take confident control over your cockpit with these simple steps to setting things up

Brakes too far out
Bikes come from the factory or shop with the brakes slid out to the inside edge of the grips. For many this places the lever blade too far outboard, reducing the brake’s power, leverage and sensitivity.

Perfect power
Slide the controls inboard – you’ll need to move the shifters as well as brake levers to get it dialled. The nearer the end of the lever you pull, the less force you’ll use, and the more sensitive and progressive the brake power delivery will feel.

Shifter position
On SRAM shifter pods and Shimano XTRs you can adjust the position of the shifter in relation to its clamp. With SRAM this is a separate clamp mount position (shown). It’s a sliding clamp bracket on Shimano XTR.

Shifter position 2
Brakes with long lever blades may be so far inboard that mounting shifter pods inboard of them would put them out of reach. Refit shifters so clamps are between the grip’s inboard end and brake lever clamp.

New angle
Brake lever angle is a matter of taste, some riders like brakes almost level (horizontal), others like a more vertical position. Most opt for 45 degrees, where the lever blades follow the line of your arm when holding the grips while seated in the saddle.

Dangle angle
A small amount of rotation can make a huge difference to how cleanly you can hit the shifters. This is especially true on SRAM shifter pods where the smaller downshift button can be tricky to access with some brake lever designs.

Bar rotation
Bars have sweep and rise angles so some rotation in the stem clamp can affect how comfortable the bar is to hold. Try a few degrees either way, most bars have sighting lines that you can zero with the stem clamp slot for reference.

Screw up
Keep the bolts for your bar controls well greased and regularly inspected. They need to be just tight enough not to move when you use them, but you want them to move if you crash, as this saves them and the bar from unnecessary damage.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 at 3:09 pm and is filed under Blog, Knowledge, What Mountain Bike. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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