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  1. #1
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    What brakes for stumpy fingers?

    Life's genetic lottery has blessed me with fairly short, stumpy fingers, especially my forefingers. This makes setting up brake levers tricky, especially for 1 finger braking.

    At the moment I run Oro K24s 180/160 on my Yeti 575. They are fantastic brakes; hugely powerful but with excellent modulation.

    BUT they have a fairly long lever throw. I tend to 'trick' the pistons by queezing the lever 5 or 6 times without the disc in place. This moves the pads in a bit and reduces free-lever stroke, meaning I can run the levers close to the bars.

    But it's now almost winter in the UK, and a ride in the peak district can wear a set of sintered pads out in 20miles. Any piston resetting trickery is soon wiped out as the pads wear. I run the levers quite close to the bar so ~5miles into the ride as the pads wear, the levers are almost touching the bars.

    I want a set of brakes that are as powerful as the K24s but with less lever throw e.g. 1cm-1.5cm.

    Weight and cost not too much of a consideration. Reliability very important

    Code/Moto/ONE will be too powerful for the AM stuff I do. I don't like AVIDs because of pad changing faffing.

    I'm thinking of the new M4s with tech levers but a recent UK mag (MBR) review of the tech lever wasn't very positive (too much lever reach!)

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RicB
    Life's genetic lottery has blessed me with fairly short, stumpy fingers, especially my forefingers. This makes setting up brake levers tricky, especially for 1 finger braking.

    At the moment I run Oro K24s 180/160 on my Yeti 575. They are fantastic brakes; hugely powerful but with excellent modulation.

    BUT they have a fairly long lever throw. I tend to 'trick' the pistons by queezing the lever 5 or 6 times without the disc in place. This moves the pads in a bit and reduces free-lever stroke, meaning I can run the levers close to the bars.

    But it's now almost winter in the UK, and a ride in the peak district can wear a set of sintered pads out in 20miles. Any piston resetting trickery is soon wiped out as the pads wear. I run the levers quite close to the bar so ~5miles into the ride as the pads wear, the levers are almost touching the bars.

    I want a set of brakes that are as powerful as the K24s but with less lever throw e.g. 1cm-1.5cm.

    Weight and cost not too much of a consideration. Reliability very important

    Code/Moto/ONE will be too powerful for the AM stuff I do. I don't like AVIDs because of pad changing faffing.

    I'm thinking of the new M4s with tech levers but a recent UK mag (MBR) review of the tech lever wasn't very positive (too much lever reach!)

    Any suggestions?
    I can't help you with hydro brake options, but I sympathize with your condition. My fingers are shorter than most woman's. Many times I find the reach adjustment to be insufficient.

    You might try asking in the women's forum about shorter throw levers. I've always had a terrible time reaching the levers on my road bike (ultegra), and I ended up finding what worked for me by looking at what was spec'ed on women's bikes (they make a short reach version of the ultegra levers, but give them a different name.

  3. #3
    Praise Bob
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    Too bad you dont like the Avids. I use them and love the degree you can adjust the reach/pad contact.

  4. #4
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    Why not consider the old model 2007 M4s? I've gone that route recently, since I didn't want to pay extra for the new lever, wanted the dual piston size with proved modulation, and actually like the simple cleanness of the old lever. I've got too little time on them to give you a proper opinion on the brake performance, but the lever travel is definitively less than my old Louise FR (2006) brakes. I've taken some measurements (another excuse to squeeze these exquisite levers ) at minimal lever reach setting. All measurements are taken at the most outward point of the flat finger area and measured perpendicular to the grip (my ODI Ruffian grips are approx. 29 mm diameter):
    • Lever reach @ open brake: +- 5 cm
    • Lever reach @ max brake point: +- 2.5 cm
    • Max lever travel: +- 2.5 cm
    • Lever travel till initial engage: +- 2 cm

    My gf rides 2007 XT brakes and they have pretty little lever travel too; don't know about the 2008+ Shimano brakes though. Her bike is not here, so no measurements.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus Rex
    Too bad you dont like the Avids. I use them and love the degree you can adjust the reach/pad contact.
    +1
    (Stumpy) SSteve F
    It's only pain......

  6. #6
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    Maybe '08 XT brakes? I'd be happy to trade mine (uninstalled) for your K24's (trying to keep my matchmakers...I know, call me vain). Even if you don't want mine, I'd definitely suggest some shimano's, I've used several sets and some have had really short throws ( like an instant feel).

  7. #7
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    My hands are pretty small and the Magura Martas work really good for me.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazylax42
    Maybe '08 XT brakes? I'd be happy to trade mine (uninstalled) for your K24's (trying to keep my matchmakers...I know, call me vain). Even if you don't want mine, I'd definitely suggest some shimano's, I've used several sets and some have had really short throws ( like an instant feel).
    I have small hands also and shimano brakes (non-DCL) have the best reach control and brake lever shape that I've tried...

  9. #9
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    Thanks guys (especially Cascades) :-)

    Perhaps I'm being harsh on the avids but the pad retention system looks a nightmare and the two mates I know who have them want rid of them.

    I managed to try a current M4 and it did feel much better so that's the best option I reckon.

    I've tried the older XT brakes and, although they had a nice feel to them, the power wasn't there. Certainly compared to my K24s. Might see if I can test ride a bike with the new 08XTs

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