Road Brake & Shift Levers
Road bikes have evolved tremendously since they were first conceived and Road Brake and Shift Levers have come a long way from friction shifters and true 10-speed drivetrains (2x5). Now the road brake and shift levers are integrated into the same levers so you can shift and brake without moving your hands. With the increase in road bikes coming with disc brakes, a lot of levers are sold as Road Lever and Caliper Sets. Disc brakes are wonderful but road rim calipers are still incredibly popular because they are lightweight compared to disc brake calipers.
Road Lever & Caliper Sets are a combination of road levers and hydraulic disc brake calipers. Disc brakes are a newer technology to hit the road bike industry. They have been out for some time for mountain bikes and have now made their way over to road bikes. Most of these combinations come with the hydraulic brake line already installed.
Road Calipers comes in all shapes and sizes these days as the technology advances. These calipers come in the form of cantilevers, disc brakes, and rim brakes. Cantilevers are not as popular as they once were, but still, have applications in cyclocross bikes. Disc brake calipers are becoming more mainstream with road bikes and with the newer flat-mount calipers, they are becoming the new norm. Rim brakes are still popular in the road bike industry because they are much lighter than disc brakes and still offer great braking power, although disc brakes work better in various weather conditions.
Road Levers have come a long way from friction shifters. Road levers are indexed which means they click into the gear you want. This provides a much cleaner and precise shift. Most shifters, like Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo, have their shift levers and brake levers all integrated into one lever. This allows riders to shift and brake without removing their hands from the levers. The amount of shifts that road levers have continues to grow from 9 to 10 to 11-speeds and with the introduction of hydraulic disc brakes to road bikes, who knows where the technology will go next.
Hoods, Parts & Accessories are the odds and ends of road brake and shift levers. Hoods are generally specific to the make and model of the shift lever. If you have Shimano Ultegra 6600 shift levers, then you'll have to get the specific hood for that lever. Hoods will wear out over time with regular use. Other things that can affect hoods wearing out are things like direct sun exposure and excessive heat. Nameplates can break or fall off during a crash or fall, these are easily replaceable and are generally make and model specific.
Finding the right Road Brake and Shift Levers can be a confusing thing to some. Our Gear Advisors are here to provide you expert advice on which parts you'll need to build your dream bike or restore an old bike. Chat, email, or call our Gear Advisors at 888-880-3811.