Does anyone else use their middle finger to brake?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Does anyone else use their middle finger to brake?

    ......Or am I just a total pu$$y?

    To avoid the simple "yes" responses, I probably am a total pu$$y, and I'm completely ok with that....but, what about the braking? Only ever see people modulating with their index finger.

  2. #2
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    well, I once tried to use my middle finger and it was funny because I was coming from a drop off on one of my local trails, right after there's a decently sized double which you have to slow sown a little bit or else you will over shoot, but anyways I usually don't have any finger on the brakes when going down drops so when I tried to find the brake with my middle finger i couldn't find it as fast as I could of if I had used my index; as a result I went to fast and overshot by a mile. Anyways if its comfortable for you then I would think it would be alright your not a pu$$y for having preferences lol. For me its uncomfortable.

  3. #3
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    I sometimes switch to middle finger braking when my hands hurt too much. I'm too big of a ***** to get the surgery that I need...

  4. #4
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    I do on my road bike with in-line brakes. But on a dh bike I never do.
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  5. #5
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    For me at least, I find that once I have both fingers on the lever, it's easier to use my middle finger. Both because it's longer, and since it's farther from the pivot point you get more torque, and thus have to squeeze less. Of course, none of this is going through my head while I'm actually riding so who knows at that point.

  6. #6
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    Middle fingers exclusively for the last 15 years.

  7. #7
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    I think that the pinkey and ring fingers are your strength fingers and your index and middle are dexterity, but the middle finger demands motion of the ring finger so that compromises grip strength. You can use your index finger without bothering any of the others so that seems to work best for me.
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  8. #8
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    I use my index and middle fingers together. Always.

  9. #9
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    Index finger only for me.

  10. #10
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    Used my middle for some time...until I brought my brake levers closer to the bar and just forced myself to use the index finger. I feel so much more in control now and feel like I am able to have a more relaxed overall grip on the bar.
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  11. #11
    psycho cyclo addict
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    I use my ring fingers; much to the dismay of my cronies. I try explaining to them that you have more leverage out further on the brake handle but many do not have the coordination/finger strength to do it. I've played guitar for a long time which might be a factor I guess...

    In heavy descent situations on occasion, I switch up to index and middle on my right hand only.

  12. #12
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    yes, middle finger only on bikes and motorbikes

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by edubfromktown View Post
    I try explaining to them that you have more leverage out further on the brake handle but many do not have the coordination/finger strength to do it.
    I have my brake lever positioned so that my index finger is almost as far out on the lever as it can go. I can comfortable put my middle finger on the lever with my index, but if you position your lever correctly, you can still use index finger only and still be at the end of the lever for more leverage.

  14. #14
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    My levers are a good 2" in on the bars from my grips for that exact reason.

  15. #15
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    usually middle finger, for hard stops index and middle

  16. #16
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    I'm index finger, but coming from two finger including motorcycles for many, many years, good luck to you, it ain't wrong, but just don't say that index is wrong.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by azdog View Post
    Used my middle for some time...until I brought my brake levers closer to the bar and just forced myself to use the index finger. I feel so much more in control now and feel like I am able to have a more relaxed overall grip on the bar.
    Yeah I've tried switching exclusively to my index, but I usually quickly go back to just using the middle. Just feels more solid for whatever reason...probably just because I've been doing it for so darn long. I do tend to run my brake levers further out from the bar....interesting.

  18. #18
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    wow that seems odd but to each his own....the one basic topic that should always be....do what makes you feel the most comfortable with
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  19. #19
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    Used to use both fingers, now with the Saint brakes I use one and randomly alternate.

    I have no idea why.
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  20. #20
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    Theres never a wrong way to anyones style but the there are a couple reasons as to why I just use use my index finger... I came from motorcycles which I needed to use 2 fingers because the levers are a little harder to pull in.
    If my brake fades slightly going downhill (like for instance I run through a rock garden and an air bubble rears its ugly head at the worst moment) and I am using just my middle finger, I'll crush my index finger trying to stop.
    As for using both middle and index at the same time... theres no reason. Most newer brakes need very little power to stop the rotor (as long as your pad is fine and you are using a 180mm or bigger rotor). Also, if you are using to ue 2 fingers to stop, you can possibly damage your brake seals... I see some people pull harder on their brakes by instinct to slow down even though they are skidding. Besides all of that, its always good to have that extra finger on the bar to help the handlebar from slipping from your grip.

  21. #21
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    I've tried it both ways, and then settled on what feels best and works best for me without worrying about what other riders do.

    For me, that means middle finger braking.

  22. #22
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    i only use my middle finger if the hiker in front of me wouldn't let me pass


    I have been using my middle finger together with my index on my rear break to increase stopping power... but i just upgraded my rear rotor to a 7 inch... it was a 3 inch or 4 inch i think... it was tiny... i'll test the bike tomorrow and see if i still need the middle finger...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTwanksta View Post
    I have my brake lever positioned so that my index finger is almost as far out on the lever as it can go. I can comfortable put my middle finger on the lever with my index, but if you position your lever correctly, you can still use index finger only and still be at the end of the lever for more leverage.
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  24. #24
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    occasionally

  25. #25
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    I struggled for awhile with this. Frequently I would use my index and middle finger, however this compromised my grip (pinky and ring can only do so much) My forearms would burn with pain and I would have to stop.

    This year I got a new bike that came with avid elixir crs, while they don't have that much modulation they do have a lot of power. I moved my brakes in (my index is the only finger that can reach the the brakes now) and haven't looked back.

    No more forearm pain, no more feeling like my hands are going to bounce off the bars.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassieno View Post
    I struggled for awhile with this. Frequently I would use my index and middle finger, however this compromised my grip (pinky and ring can only do so much) My forearms would burn with pain and I would have to stop.

    This year I got a new bike that came with avid elixir crs, while they don't have that much modulation they do have a lot of power. I moved my brakes in (my index is the only finger that can reach the the brakes now) and haven't looked back.

    No more forearm pain, no more feeling like my hands are going to bounce off the bars.

  27. #27
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    For clarity, I just use one finger....not index and middle together....that seems sketchy.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor Lord of Thunder View Post
    For clarity, I just use one finger....not index and middle together....that seems sketchy.
    It was..I highly recommend against it.

  29. #29
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    pluckyew. i only use my middle fingers. with 200mm rotor that's all that I'd want to use.
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  30. #30
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    nmmmm
    Last edited by SHIVER ME TIMBERS; 09-28-2011 at 08:51 PM.
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  31. #31
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    I used to always use my middle finger. Then I got rid of the crappy brakes and put avids on. After adjusting the levers my index finger reaches just fine, so I re-tought myself to use the index. However, after a long day of lift access DHing I start to suffer from arm pump, thats when I start switching back and forth with the middle finger. But hey, i'm weird!

  32. #32
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    Middle finger. I'm the only one out of my friends that does it. Maybe it's from learning to ride back when cantis and v-brakes were all the rage.

  33. #33
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    Another middle finger braker here.......

  34. #34
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    I'm always pushing myself to use just index finger... but sometimes hands hurts to much and i use middle as well... until i replaced the breaks with shimano saint... now i don't even think about using middle finger

  35. #35
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    heh, timely subject. Since I've been off my bike for a bit now from my OTB that broke and seperated a few ribs and herniated a disc I've had more time to think about my MTB elbow that developed since this last February. This coincided with a new bike and my first run with disc brakes. After monkeying around with my cockpit while on the mend I'm pretty sure my middle finger braking technique has been a major part in the right side MTB elbow result. Sounds wierd but if I take my left hand and feel the right elbow tendons moving while pulling the brake lever its far more noticeable when I use my middle finger vs. the index. I've ridden that way for 20 yrs of MTB'ing. My levers have always been as far out as the grip would allow. Running Ergons now, I'm moving the levers in now so I can only reach them with the index finger, we'll see what happens.

    Then again it could be non related to any of this

  36. #36
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    Is MTB elbow, sort of like "Scootch Leg" for snowboarders?


  37. #37
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    I am a two finger kind of guy.

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  38. #38
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    Someone should create a poll, it would be easier to see the percentage of who uses what. I'm a Middle finger kinda guy, I use it a lot, so its strong . I feel like I don't have control using my index.

  39. #39
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    I have my levers moved inwards on the bar so that my index finger reaches it, but not so much the others. That way the lever is out of the way and it doesn't risk crushing any other fingers. I've never even considered doing it another way. Seems really uncomfortable and you'd have to keep the levers further from the bar to avoid crushing your fingers. I have mine setup so the brakes engage when the lever is pretty close to the bar. I bet a lot of it has to do with setup. If you try this setup you might get more comfortable with using the index finger (if you care).

  40. #40
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    Nah, There's a joy that comes from seeing the faces of offended hikers that see your brake fingers

  41. #41
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    I've used my middle finger most of the time ever since I started using disc brakes. Occasionally I might use both index and middle but just using my index feels kinda odd. I have pretty small hands though so maybe that might have something to do with it.

  42. #42
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    just using my index feels weird like I don't have a proper grip...

  43. #43
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    ... and if we just ...

    holy ****..."scootch leg" looks like reason enough to stick to surfing.

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