Operate both derailleurs (mechanical groupset) with the same hand

Does your bike has a front derailleur and do you want to operate both the rear- as the front derailleur with the same hand on a dropbar bike, than you can use a mechanical time trial shifter.

Shimano time trial shifter for frontderailleur operation

A lot of bikes nowadays come with an electronical groupset. But when you buy / own a bike with a mechanical groupset, than you can use this lightweight and simple solution. Be sure you mount a front- or rear derailleur specific time trial shifter, because of the indexing!

If you are right-handed, you are fortunate that you do not have to operate the rear derailleur with the “extra time trial shifter” but can use the standard shifter in the brake lever (STI) for this. You shift most of your gears with the rear derailleur, as it has the most “cogs” (sprockets on the cassette), and at the front you usually only have 1, 2 or 3 sprockets (most racing bikes have 2 front sprockets). You therefore only switch from the front sprocket when there is a strong headwind or when going uphill. Furthermore, you will usually use the rear derailleur.

Because the left standard shifter in the brake lever (STI) has an “index” for the front derailleur, so usually only has two positions, you cannot operate the rear derailleur with it.

If you are only left-handed, electronic shifting is therefore all the more worth the investment.

1 lever 2 (mechanic) brakes

When you have to operate both front as rear brake but only can use one hand, a cable doubler/splitter comes in handy. For this you can perfectly use a splitter which mountainbikers use to lockout both front as rear suspension with one lever! Suspension manufacturer Fox produces such remote lockout splitters, for example the “Fox 2014 – 2017 AM Splitter”:

Fox remote splitter

One cable runs from the brake lever through the splitter, directly to the front brake. The other cable runs from the splitter to the rear brake. This provides a 100% safe connection.

On the left, one cable goes in, on the right, two cables come out. (disgard the little electronical wire)

Fox splitters are now becoming increasingly less available because more and more people are switching to electronic control of the front and rear suspension.

The Dutch cable manufacturer Elvedes also has a solution, the “Elvedes Universal cable splitter set“:

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Elvedes Universal cable splitter set

Ook Jtek Engineering heeft een kabelsplitter in het assortiment:

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Jtek Engineering Double Control Brake Cable Splitter


The Problem Solvers Cable Doubler is a very, very dangerous solution!

The Problem Solvers Cable Doubler can come loose during a training ride

The pulling cable doesn’t run through the splitter but is secured with a very tiny bolt inside the splitter. So, when this comes loose, you’re out of brakes! Despite of perfect maintenance this happened to us, so we know what we’re talking about. Fortunately it happened at very low speed, with no traffic or other obstacles on the road. Otherwise this could have caused severe injury or even death…

Because you are pulling two brakes, you need a little more pressure when sqeezing your brake lever. So you want to use cables with as low friction as possible. Therefor you can best use coated cables such as the Shimano coated brake cables.

1 hand 2 (hydraulic) brakes

Only one hand and want to control two brakes? Outbraker has got the perfect solution for hydraulic disc brakes! With the Outbraker Booster Brake Splitter you can safely brake with one hand.

I am using the Outbraker Booster Brake Splitter on my road bike as well as on my gravel bike for quite some time now, and absolutely love it. It’s almost maintenance free, you only need to change your brake fluid once in a while. But that’s inherent to hydraulic disc brakes anyway. You can install it with standard Shimano connectors on Shimano brake hoses, but Outbraker also offers a Brake Hose Adapter kit that can be used for other brands. When you want to use the Splitter on a MTB with Shimano, SRAM, Tektro or Hayes you can fit it directly on the lever.

Outbraker fitted diectly on MTB Shimano XTR lever
Outbraker Booster Brake Splitter fitted on Shimano road bike

Check outbraker.eu for alle specs, or order on there online shop.