Setting Reach Adjust on Shimano Road Shift and Brake Levers
A fine-tuned relationship between bike and body sets you up for the perfect ride. Dialed in contact points––the places where body directly meets bicycle––are essential for comfort and control out on the road. At Shimano, comfort and control go hand in hand. Or hand on lever as we’ll shortly find out.
Shimano Dual Control levers manage a bike’s shifting and braking systems, and these levers can be easily be adjusted to fit every size rider. Whether you have short fingers or extra-large hands, the perfect lever “reach” is only a few screw-turns away.
“Reach” refers to the distance from handlebar to brake/shift lever. Riders with smaller hands benefit from decreasing this distance, so their fingers can maintain a firm grip on the handlebar while comfortably operating the shift and brake controls. The opposite––increasing the reach––accommodates larger hands, leaving space for full pull of the brake lever, without scrunching or pinching fingers that affect stopping and shifting performance.
It’s quite easy to adjust Dual Control lever reach depending on hand size and lever feel preferences. Don’t be intimidated! There’s no need to be a pro mechanic to make these changes, as there’s only three steps. Depending on your system, you’ll either need a small flathead screwdriver, a 2mm hex key, or a 2.5mm hex key. All of these tools can be found on a standard multi-tool.
Reach adjustment screws can be in a few different places depending on your system:
• Dura-Ace and Ultegra with Hydraulic Disc Brakes - Underneath the shift body and behind your lever, such as on (Fig. A).
• Dura-Ace and Ultegra Di2 with Rim Brakes - Outside body and atop your lever, underneath the rubber cover, such as on, (Fig. B).
• Dura-Ace, Ultegra, and 105 mechanical shift with Rim Brakes - Top body and underneath the rubber cover, such as on, (Fig. C).
• Shimano 105 mechanical shift with Hydraulic Disc Brakes - On the outside of the lever, such as on. (Fig. D).
Refer to the images and chart below to determine the reach adjustment process of specific drivetrain models. You’ll be amazed at the comfort, control and confidence boost that a few millimeters of lever reach adjustment can make!