On the Beargrease, I’m currently running Shimano XTR985 brakes with the SRAM XX1 drivetrain. I’ve previously talked about my love for the XX1; the XTR brake set is also amazing. I think they’re a clear step up over the Avid brakes that came stock.
This does create a problem, however. The mounting points for brake lever and shifters do not work together, so: 1) you end up running 2 mounts on the handlebars; 2) you cannot get optimal spacing for the shifter and brake; and, 3) it’s ugly. The shifter cables interfere with finding the perfect mounting spot, and I ended up having the shifter mounted further inboard than I liked–making shifting a bit inconvenient. I also couldn’t get the perfect brake angle and shifter angle; I had to compromise and have less-than-perfect on both settings, in order to have both be functional.
There’s a solution. Problem Solvers makes a Mismatch Adapter designed to couple XTR Brakes to the SRAM shifter (trigger shifter, in this instance). In particular, I used the BRO386 (thanks for the find, Chad at North Central Cyclery). Installation took all of 3 minutes, and 2 allen wrenches (a 4mm and a 5mm).
Here’s the adapter in use:
A view from the other side:
And from the backside:
It’s just a tiny, simple, CNC’d block of aluminum. It works perfectly. It has 2 holes so you can adjust the lateral location of the shifter. With 2 holes on the shifter body, you have 4 possible shifter alignments. Adjustment is totally simple and very quick.
I’ve had it in place for 2 rides, and it has made a very positive change in control position. There’s nothing to break or go wrong, so I don’t think a long-term review is necessary. This is the exact, perfect product I needed to couple the best braking system on the market with the best fatbike drivetrain on the market. It works perfectly in this application, and I highly recommend it.