When setting up your mountain rig’s cockpit, grips, brakes, shifters aren’t negotiable…but what if you want some of those integrated bar ends? That’s fine; just scooch everything in a little more towards the center. Your dropper remote? Still got some room there on the left. GPS mount sits next to the stem. And some of the trails you ride are multi-use, and you’re no jerk, so you gotta get that little bell in there somewhere too. Thankfully, your shift lever / brake manufacturer has spent the time to design integrated clamps to save you space.

What if you’re the type, though, that likes brakes from SRAM, but shifters from Shimano (or vice versa)? Or you’ve got some perfectly usable old XT brakes, but want to try out that new Eagle drivetrain? Those extra clamps for separate components are going to eat up even more real estate. It’s for you that we go through the trouble to produce little bits like MisMatch Adapters. Truth be told, it’s really no trouble. We enjoy it, and its why Problem Solvers exists. But even we were surprised by how many folks just couldn’t abandon their favorite shifter or brake or vice versa. It started when we mated our SRAM shifters to our Shimano brakes, and now it’s snowballed into a whole product category.

It can be confusing figuring out which MisMatch adapter is suitable to which combination of shift and brake levers. Here is our attempt to clarify. If you need to use the restroom, or get yourself something to drink, now is the time. First, let’s start with SRAM.

  • This is a MatchMaker X clamp with a right-handed shifter mount installed. SRAM has blessed us, in that this clamp has remained relatively unchanged for a number of years. It mates to SRAM/Avid hydraulic brake levers (Elixr, Juicy, Guide)

    This is a MatchMaker X clamp with a right-handed shifter mount installed. SRAM has blessed us, in that this clamp has remained relatively unchanged for a number of years. It mates to SRAM/Avid hydraulic brake levers (Elixr, Juicy, Guide)

  • The shifter mount mates to SRAM shifters.

    The shifter mount mates to SRAM shifters.

  • The cool thing about these clamps is that the curved T-nut offers some lever position adjust-ability around the bar.

    The cool thing about these clamps is that the curved T-nut offers some lever position adjust-ability around the bar.

  • Fully assembled, both shifter and brake lever share one clamp, with plenty of adjust-ability fore-to-aft and side-to-side.

    Fully assembled, both shifter and brake lever share one clamp, with plenty of adjust-ability fore-to-aft and side-to-side.

So that’s a 100% SRAM setup. Next, let’s talk a bit about Shimano. Shimano introduced their I-Spec integration system, and promptly changed it the next year. That’s why you hear people referring to “I-Spec A” and “I-Spec B.” We’ll start there.

  • The original I-Spec A brake levers required a shallow square nut (on left) to mate to I-Spec A shifters. Shimano now includes the longer square nut to mate I-Spec A brake levers to I-Spec B shifters.

    The original I-Spec A brake levers required a shallow square nut (on left) to mate to I-Spec A shifters. Shimano now includes the longer square nut to mate I-Spec A brake levers to I-Spec B shifters.

  • I-Spec B brake lever with attachment hardware installed

    I-Spec B brake lever with attachment hardware installed

  • Shifter & I-Spec B integration unit

    Shifter & I-Spec B integration unit

  • If you want to really dig in, check out the dealer manual: http://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-SL0001-09-ENG.pdf

    If you want to really dig in, check out the dealer manual: http://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-SL0001-09-ENG.pdf

If only it ended there…A couple years later Shimano introduced I-Spec II”

  • The I-Spec II integration unit. Again, if you want to dive in, this is pulled from Shimano's dealer manual: http://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-SL0005-04-ENG.pdf

    The I-Spec II integration unit. Again, if you want to dive in, this is pulled from Shimano's dealer manual: http://si.shimano.com/pdfs/dm/DM-SL0005-04-ENG.pdf

  • I-Spec II brake lever, note the plastic shim that sits inside the clamp.

    I-Spec II brake lever, note the plastic shim that sits inside the clamp.

  • That plastic shim comes out, and the curved part of the I-Spec II Integration unit sits in the brake lever clamp. Very Slick.

    That plastic shim comes out, and the curved part of the I-Spec II Integration unit sits in the brake lever clamp. Very Slick.

Okay. Now you hopefully understand somethin’ about SRAM & Shimano’s individual systems. Now it’s time to talk about ourselves.

IF YOU HAVE SHIMANO BRAKES and SRAM SHIFTERS:

MisMatch 1.0/1.1 Kit attaches I-Spec A or I-Spec B brakes to SRAM MatchMaker-compatible shifters (Shimano brake model numbers: BL-M985, BL-M988, BL-M820, BL-M785, BL-T785, BL-M675, BL-T675, BL-M640, BL-M596, BL-M820-B, BL-M785-B, BL-M675-B, BL-M640-B, BL-M615, BL-M506)

MisMatch 1.2 attaches I-Spec II brake levers to SRAM MatchMaker-compatible shifters (BL-M9000, BL-M8000, BL-M7000). Click through the gallery to see ‘em in “action”:

  • MisMatch 1.0 only worked for I-Spec A, so when Shimano changed specs, we replaced it with this MisMatch 1.1 Kit, which works for both I-Spec A and I-Spec B brake levers

    MisMatch 1.0 only worked for I-Spec A, so when Shimano changed specs, we replaced it with this MisMatch 1.1 Kit, which works for both I-Spec A and I-Spec B brake levers

  • Remember the I-Spec B brake lever?

    Remember the I-Spec B brake lever?

  • Here is the MisMatch 1.1 fitted to the I-Spec B Lever

    Here is the MisMatch 1.1 fitted to the I-Spec B Lever

  • And with the SRAM shifter installed.

    And with the SRAM shifter installed.

  • Now for MisMatch 1.2

    Now for MisMatch 1.2

  • Remember the I-Spec II brake lever clamp?

    Remember the I-Spec II brake lever clamp?

  • The plastic shim is removed and replaced with the MisMatch 1.2 adapter

    The plastic shim is removed and replaced with the MisMatch 1.2 adapter

  • And here it is with the SRAM shifter attached

    And here it is with the SRAM shifter attached

Now, for those of you who have SRAM/AVID BRAKES & SHIMANO SHIFTERS:

MisMatch 2.0 fits 99% of I-Spec A or B shifters and attaches to the MatchMaker clamp’s shifter mount (Shimano shift lever models: SL-M980-I, SL-M980-A-I, SL-M820-I, SL-M780-I, SL-M670-I, SL-M980-B, SL-M820-B, SL-M780-B)
MisMatch 2.1 only fit some oddball SLX shifter from 2013 (SL-M670-B), so we don’t make it anymore.
MisMatch 2.2 fits I-Spec II shifters and attaches directly to MatchMaker clamps (Shimano shift levers: SL-M9000-I, SL-M8000-I, SL-M7000-I)

  • MisMatch 2.0 for Avid/SRAM brakes and Shimano I-Spec A or B shifters

    MisMatch 2.0 for Avid/SRAM brakes and Shimano I-Spec A or B shifters

  • The MisMatch replaces the I-Spec integration unit shown here.

    The MisMatch replaces the I-Spec integration unit shown here.

  • Slick.

    Slick.

  • And here we've attached it to the right-hand shifter mount of an MatchMaker clamp

    And here we've attached it to the right-hand shifter mount of an MatchMaker clamp

  • MisMatch 2.2 fits I-Spec II shifters onto SRAM MatchMaker Clamps

    MisMatch 2.2 fits I-Spec II shifters onto SRAM MatchMaker Clamps

  • MisMatch 2.2 attached to an I-Spec II shifter

    MisMatch 2.2 attached to an I-Spec II shifter

  • And installed. Note: this version attaches directly to the MatchMaker clamp

    And installed. Note: this version attaches directly to the MatchMaker clamp

Holy crap! If you’ve made it this far, we’re impressed. That’s a lot of photos to scroll through. But now, maybe you understand why these little machined bits keep us so busy.

As new MisMatch Adapters get created, we’ll update this article. If we missed something, let us know!

For more information on I-Spec, check out this article from Bike Radar