A Problem Solvers MisMatch Adapter installed on handlebars.

Get a Handle on Your Control Issues with MisMatch Adapters

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).

The Problem Solvers MisMatch Adapter is on a wooden tabletop

The shifter mount mates to SRAM shifters.

A pointer is used to show the adapter mount

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

SRAM elixir brake lever with handlebar clamp

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

A shifter is shown installed on handlebars

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. 

A small nut and bolt sit on a wood tabletop

I-Spec B brake lever with attachment hardware installed.

Closeup view of hardware on brake lever

Shifter & I-Spec B integration unit.

A Shimano shifter is shown in a wooden tabletop.

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

The I-Spec II integration unit.

Illustation of a Shimano i-spec II integration unit

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

Closeup view of Shimano I-spec handlebar 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. 

Shimano XT flat bar trigger shifter

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). 

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

Problem Solvers MisMatch 1.0

Remember the I-Spec B brake lever? 

Shimano I-Spec B lever

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

Problem Solvers MisMatch1.1 installed on handlebars

And with the SRAM shifter installed.

A SRAM shifter is installed on handlebars with mismatch

Now for MisMatch 1.2

Problem Solvers MisMatch 1.2

Remember the I-Spec II brake lever clamp? 

Closeup view of Shimano I-spec handlebar clamp

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

The MisMatch adapter is installed onto handlebars with a shifter and brake lever.

Now for those of you with SRAM/Avid brakes and 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

Problem Solvers MisMatch 2.0

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

Shimano shifter with I-spec on wooden tabletop


Adapter is installed onto shift lever.

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

The MatchMaker is installed onto handlebars.

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

Problem Solvers MisMatch 2.2

MisMatch 2.2 attached to an I-Spec II shifter

MisMatch 2.2 installed on shifter

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

Shifter and brake lever installed on handlebars with MisMatch adapter

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.


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