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My friend has a Cannondale Synapse 6 Compact, she has small hands and has trouble braking from the hoods, she can a little bit but can grasp enough to stop completely....she has to go into the drops to brake. The bike the Shimano Tiagra 9spd shifters. Anything she can do to be able to brake from the hoods?
 

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There are a couple of options...

Shimano sells short reach levers for around $300..google "ST-R600 STI"

A much cheaper option is Specialized used to sell shims that go inside regular STI levers. The shims move the levers 20mm closer to the bars...

The shim doesn't allow the lever to close all the way effectively moving the lever blade closer to the bar...It really works if you can find a set...I'm not sure if they still make them....
 

· Bacon!
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What Dave said on the shims if the Tiagra's will take them. But, my wife has the short reach levers and this has made all the difference for her. She loves them. If you don't mind spending the money on them I think she'll appreciate the upgrade.
 

· NeoRetroGrouch
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Ridgetop said:
What Dave said on the shims if the Tiagra's will take them. But, my wife has the short reach levers and this has made all the difference for her. She loves them. If you don't mind spending the money on them I think she'll appreciate the upgrade.
I don't think that the shimmed or short reach levers will make any difference from the hoods. You are looking for more leverage, not reach. If they do work (???), just adjust the levers/calipers so that they pull in part way before they catch. - TF
 

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My wife has Tiagra 9sp, and they do have shims for them, ask at your LBS. The shims help a little, but she still has problems with power, i.e. being able to pull hard enough from the hoods. Her calipers are Tektro 530s, which I think are weak. We're going to go to a LBS and have her ride an Ultegra bike. If she can stop better then I'm going to order some Ultegra or FSA calipers.

Any women here have any experience with different brake calipers providing more braking strength than another?
 
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