Get a Grip: Adding Grip to STI and DoubleTap Brake Levers

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With the cold days of winter already here throughout most of the country, all but the most macho cyclocrossers (or with the best circulation) will turn to long finger gloves for cyclocross racing.

Often a gloved hand makes getting a firm grip on brake/shift levers more challenging, especially when conditions get wet or sloppy. With another potential wintry Nationals on the horizon in Boulder, racers are looking for every little edge to enhance their performance, and reliable braking and shifting certainly are key to a flawless race.

At the 2013 Supercross race weekend two weeks ago, we spotted Laura Van Gilder’s Blue Norcross pit bike (her race bike is the Van Dessel Aloominator), and noticed raised clear dots for grip on her Dura-Ace 7800 STI levers.

Laura Van Gilder uses hot melt glue to add grip to her brake levers. © Andrew Reimann / Cyclocross Magazine

Laura Van Gilder uses hot melt glue to add grip to her brake levers. © Andrew Reimann / Cyclocross Magazine

Van Gilder said her boyfriend Rick came up with the idea of adding hot melt glue dots down the lever after she found herself needing more grip on the levers. Eight dots of glue, decreasing in size as you go down the lever, to match the taper of the lever.

She likes them so much she plans to do the same to her road bikes as well.

We won’t be surprised to see more levers with this treatment in Boulder.



Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 22, Print and digital subscriptionsHave you subscribed yet? You're missing out if not. Get all-original content and your cyclocross fix throughout the year with a subscription and Issue 23 back copy, with features on Lars van der Haar, Jonathan Page, Elle Anderson and more!
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Rod Diaz
Rod Diaz

After a very muddy race, I added skateboard grip tape to some surfaces in my Ultegra shifters. Specifically, I sometimes slipped on the small lever for upshifting. It worked really well on two very cold races (-5 and -15 C), with some snow buildup and using thick gloves.

Kees Vlot
Kees Vlot

Intresting she is riding with full carbon rims. My personal experience (on my road bike), is that the braking is absolutely shit,when they get wet.....

Jonas Klinge
Jonas Klinge

Please stop calling it 'Brifters'. Please?


Suggested replacement name for them?

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