How To Remove And Install Mountain Bike Shifters And Brake Levers

Video Summary

Tools Needed:



  1. First, remove the grips.
  2. Using your Allen Wrench, loosen the clamp bolts on the brake levers and slide straight the levers off. (You may need to rotate the handlebar to provide enough slack for removal.)
  3.  Next, with your 5 mm Allen Wrench, loosen the bolts and slide your shifters off the bar.


  1. Installation is much like the removal of your brake levers and shifters, but you do want to pay attention to the order in which they are applied. First, (as if you are in the riding position) the left side is your front shifter and your front brake lever, the right side is your rear shifter and rear brake lever. You will want to install your shifters first, followed by your brake levers, and then your grips, before you tighten anything down.
  2. Slide your front shifter on and then your front brake lever.  
  3. Next slide your rear shifter and then your rear brake lever.
  4. Slide your grips back on all the way, flush with the handlebar.
  5. While in the riding position, move the shifters and brake levers toward the center as far as they will go. Place your hands on the grips and move the brake level in or out from the center so you are able to place one or two fingers on the lever in order to operate the brake. Float your fingers over the top of the brake lever and press down so the angle between your hand, wrist, and forearm is in a straight line. Once you have found a comfortable position go ahead and tighten the brake lever down.
  6. While still in the riding positon, bring your shifter in, flush against the brake lever. Find a position where the thumb paddle is in a comfortable and easy place to reach. Once you’re happy with the position, go ahead and tighten the shifter down.
  7. Important note: You will want to make sure the shifter body does not come into contact with the brake lever. Sometimes the plastic body can bind up and reduce shifting performance if there is contact between the shifter and brake lever.



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