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Topic - Woman-friendly brake levers

Rog Wilko on 23 Jul 2013
Debbie & I both enjoy our road biking on our cheap & cheerful Giant Defy machines, but D is finding it difficult to manage the brakes (age is probably a factor). We almost never ride on the drops but use the brakes from the hands-resting-on-the-hoods position. Increasingly she finds that she's not confident with only the very ends of her fingers on the brakes, despite not having specially small girly hands. Yesterday we looked around the Staveley bike warehouse and thought we may have found the answer in the form of SRAM levers which have a reach adjustment screw and levers shaped outwards making it much easier to grasp them. Then the bad news - SRAM levers won't operate Shimano mechs (we're told) so new mechs needed. And then we're told we'd need new brakes as well! All in all nearly 1K, considerably more than we paid for the bikes!
Two questions:
1. any other suggestions for making the brake levers more woman-friendly (already have the inserts to bring them nearer)
2. bit of a rant - when is some manufacturer going to completely re-design the brakes levers with a woman's (or indeed a child's) hands in mind? We have women specific frames (doesn't seem that important to me - there are different shapes and sizes of both sexes) saddles, etc. Brakes next please.
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