The videos I saw so far show that with the same lever you can brake or change gears. OK.

But can you do it in the same time? For example you downshifting, lever is pressed down, can you start braking (pulling lever) without letting it go up?

Or in reverse, you are braking, you pulled lever already, can you also push it down without releasing the pull (braking)?

I have in mind MTB DC levers.

1 Answer 1


The answer is yes. That was a complaint about the setup from many riders that often your would accidentally shift while trying to break. The problem is worse when you are trying to brake while the front end is jumping all over the place.

I had a friend with the setup on a Kona Stinky Primo back in the day and I tried it on one shuttle run. I decided it definitely was not for me. I was told you can get used to it enough that the instance of accidental shifts is close to zero, but I am not sure I bought into that theory.

  • Thank you very much, I would be afraid of accidental braking, also because in the videos I saw there was distinct click when shifting, while in braking it has to be smooth operation by definition. Apr 15, 2015 at 17:48
  • 2
    It's fairly easy to shift without braking since you can push both away and up/down to shift. The brake lever only operates in one direction, So you can apply pressure in the opposite direction to ensure no braking is happening. However, since shifting happens in both directions, you only option when trying to brake is only apply pressure in one direction, which can be difficult. Apr 15, 2015 at 18:00
  • Thank you for clarification, now I can see the problem indeed. Apr 15, 2015 at 18:49
  • They would be standard equipment on everything above entry level bikes by now if they worked well.
    – mattnz
    Apr 15, 2015 at 20:22
  • 1
    It is standard equipment on road bikes. You are correct, however, on mountain bikes it never made much sense since so much braking happens on extremely uneven surfaces. Apr 15, 2015 at 20:50

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