Is there a solution to set up gear shifters at the end bar of the aerobars and on the handlebars simultaniously? It is just annoying when I am down in triathlon position and have to change the grip to go into another gear

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    If nothing else, electronic shifting groups allow to set up several controls to control the same mech. These controls may be placed in several places on the cockpit, e.g. both on aerobars and handlebars. Oct 29, 2019 at 19:19
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    Can you explore your method, and see if its possible to get into the higher gears asap, before going all TT/aero posture?
    – Criggie
    Oct 30, 2019 at 9:39

2 Answers 2


Almost all derailleurs are pulled by cables. To be able to operate one derailleur from either of two shifters, or one brake from two levers, you'll need some mechanism to split the cable.

As always, while Stack Exchange usually asks us not to recommend products, I can't answer this question without mentioning some particular products. These aren't recommendations. Please do further research on your own.

Take caution that the item you need does not appear to be a common component, and there doesn't appear to be standard terminology. That said, this item by Jtek will do exactly what you ask. It appears to work with either derailleur or brake cables. They call it a cable splitter. I have never tried one, so you may need to buy at your own risk. You would need to purchase an STI shifter for your base bars (i.e. the bullhorn bars).

Just by looking at the pictures, I don't think the system will have a huge increase in cable drag, which is what I was worried about. The bigger worry may be that the system is depicted with older Shimano levers that route the derailleur cables externally. Since the late 2000s, Shimano have routed the cables under the bar tape, as SRAM and Campagnolo. With that orientation, you may need to mount the cable splitter further back so that you can route cables straight in from both the base bar shifter and the bar end shifter (i.e. the one on your aero bar end) into the splitter. You may need to experiment with the setup. I would suggest calling Jtek.

Note that the term cable splitter can refer to items that help you disconnect and reconnect cables on S&S or Ritchey travel bikes, where the bike frame itself breaks into two to pack. You don't want this sort of cable splitter unless you have one of these travel bikes. I have a feeling this usage is the more common one, so look at what you Google.

The term cable doubler can refer to systems which enable you to pull one lever to actuate both brakes simultaneously. Problem Solvers makes a brake cable doubler that will do this, or will enable you to actuate one brake from either of two brakes. I haven't investigated thoroughly, but some may use this term to refer to the component you need.

Last, answering for completeness: you could get electronic shifting. It is expensive. It's not objectively worth it for most cyclists. When Dura Ace Di2 came out, many people derided it as an answer looking for a question. They had a point. But first, it really was quite a good answer! Second, and more relevant to you, it does in fact enable you to mount satellite shifting buttons in multiple locations on your handlebars.

This answer has implications for adaptive cycling. If you have a hand amputated, or if you've lost fingers on one hand, you'll seriously benefit from some type of adaptation enabling you to shift or brake from one shifter. Even for able bodied drop bar cyclists, it can help to be able to shift from multiple locations when crossing rough terrain.

  • I disagree with your suggestion that cable splitters will work with gear controls. They only work with brakes. Consider that all brake levers "return to zero" because of a spring either in the lever or in the brake. Compare that with cabled gear controls that have a latching or detent system where the user has to actively release them. If you had two rear mechs on a splitter, one might be set at 5 holding the derailler no-lower than that. The other control would be able to pull some slack, and then from 5 upward has control while the other is slack.
    – Criggie
    Oct 30, 2019 at 9:25
  • @Criggie can you read through Jtek’s page and see if it addresses your concern? I think it does. They do say that one shifter’s position will limit the range of gears the other shifter can move through.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Oct 30, 2019 at 14:14
  • yep that say the same thing - that two gear controls will limit the low end of the cassette. So when rider changes position they would have to slacken one gear control before moving to the other, or the whole point of two gear controls won't work. Aside, it would work "better" on an IGH where the tighter wire changes to a harder gear, which is what OP would want - whereas on a derailleur increased cable tension moves to an easier gear.
    – Criggie
    Oct 30, 2019 at 19:23

Depends on your budget.

Electronic shifting makes this problem relatively simple to solve, just throw money at it. You'll need multiple sets of shift buttons, all connected to the same controller.

Shimano calls their little buttons "Sprint Shifters" and sram will have something similar.

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The bar end shifters for DI2 tend to be button-based, not the more-traditional lever-based style. Example:

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Note, you'll need either several junction boxes, or perhaps your brifters have an input port and an exit port making them into a kind of "extension cord".

Also you'll need deep pockets and an understanding accounts-manager. The bar-end button shifters alone cost double what I'd pay for an entire working used bike.

Aside - if you had a tandem, it may be reasonable to rig gear controls and/or a display for both riders. That'd be neat.

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