what do you do with your breaking finger?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    what do you do with your braking finger?

    I am an absolute mountain trail freak who is now doing some droppin as well.
    13+ Kg enduro bike with 140mm(5.5") F&B

    so far lets say a 1m step onto steep slope so in total getting on for 2 meters I guess.

    here are my newbie questions:

    1 - You leave the one finger on the brakes yes?
    (i.e. if my normal 3 finger grip isnt adequate I have serious landing issues anyway)

    ... its just initially I thought it made more sense to hold onto the grips with all 10 digits - paticularly as you wont need the brakes in the air.


    2 - do I want to land 2 wheels together (which feels good) or "moderately" earlier with the rear?

    (landing on both flat and trail slopes)

    thanks
    Last edited by dusttrails; 10-03-2006 at 11:09 AM.

  2. #2
    RTM
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    I've pretty much always got my brake finger on the lever. I've hit fairly big drops and never had a problem landing with the 3 finger grip. Especially if you're hitting a drop on a tight trail it's good to have the brakes ready when needed. with that said, if the run out is clear I've gone to a 4 finger grip at times also. depends on the situation really.

    land both tires at the same time, body in the center of the bike. absorb the landing with your legs and arms.

  3. #3
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    If I break a finger I put a splint on it or tape it to the finger next to it.
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  4. #4
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    for question 1

    it is all preference....I used to use 2 fingers but then went to one at all times (except for long long brake runs when I was tired then I switch to 2 fingers, but then back to one finger) ....so pretty much always use one finger

    try to land with both tires on the ground at the same time.....

    have fun and good luck
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  5. #5
    notabouttoseeyourlight
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    braking>breaking
    cycle tracks will abound in utopia.

  6. #6
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    I have dropped 5-6 feet drops and I always have my fingers on the brakes. I feel more confident then. I know I can stop if I want to.

  7. #7
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    oops

    braking - what a plumb - but thanks for the advice

  8. #8
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    just work on getting used to always gripping with 3 fingers, that's how most people ride entier downhill runs. Even in the air on jumps brakes can be pretty crucial for control. I ride xc and downhill and virtually never have my finger off the brake, excpetion when I have to use my stupid shimano shifters which I cant wait to replace with sram so I never have to take my finger off. you get really used to it after a while, now if i do a jump or something with my index fingers on the grips it feels suuuper weird.

  9. #9
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    my fingers stay firmly wraped around the handlebar, unless i need to stop.....


  10. #10
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    What I do - YMMV

    Quote Originally Posted by dusttrails

    1 - You leave the one finger on the brakes yes?
    (i.e. if my normal 3 finger grip isnt adequate I have serious landing issues anyway)

    ... its just initially I thought it made more sense to hold onto the grips with all 10 digits - paticularly as you wont need the brakes in the air.
    Even a big ass rider (I'm 250 with gear) on a big bike can get all the breaking he needs with 1 finger. What I do is reverse the mounting of my shifter/brake levers so that I can move my brake lever so far inboard that the tip of my index finger just reashes comfortably on the end of the brake lever - one finger, maximum leverage, 3 full fingers to grip the bar (I always ride with my brake finger on the lever). Even with a setup like this you can use 2 fingers if you need them, like on those long, tiring downhill runs before your finger gets in shape. :-)

    Not all brake levers work well with this setup as lever/shifter combos are made to fit together a certain way - I had to hacksaw the display pod off (Deore shifters) or take it off with a screwdriver (LX shifters) once upon a time. Now I'm using Saint shifters and brakes and not having any fitment problems. Can't speak for SRAM stuff. I've also done this reverse swap with XT/Deore/Hayes/Avid Mechs and Magura Louise FR levers without a hitch.

    I'd say its well worth the try as you can tell pretty easily in the garage if the setup will fit, and if it does just give it a few rides and see if its the setup for you. This is also a good time to convince yourself need "fitted" brake levers like Dark Idea or Danger Boys. :-)

  11. #11
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    I have one finger (My middle finger) on the brakes at ALL times during a DH run. (Even if theres a jump or drop on the trail). For a drop or jump that I have spotted out and know whats up, I'll just wrap my hands around the bars.
    Northstar 2008 Riding Crew

  12. #12
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    I now always ride with index finger on the brake lever during my DH trail runs.

    I found it reasonably difficult to stop using 2 finger braking habitually, as I got so used to that from riding a lowend XC bike with tektro mech brakes, that were poorly setup - really had to pull the lever to the handlebar with 2 fingers to get serious braking power...

    But now that my 2 main bikes run hydros, one index finger is all I need, and I'm much happier to do at least moderate sized drops than before, as the 2 fingers on brakes method felt like I could let go of the bars much more easily...
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  13. #13
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    I normally do very technical all mtn. single track. So I put two on the levers at all times. I feel more control and power with that. I'm talking about Avid BB7's too. When I do downhill I get very nervous if i have my fingers on the front brake lever when I do a jump or drop. I always tend to have one on the rear lever though just incase i need to so a quick stop or adjustment when i land. Then I normally resort to the 2 fingers back on the levers untill another stunt comes along. When I did whiteface the last week in august, my front brake failed at midpoint every ride down that i did. That was not good, it was pretty scary.
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  14. #14
    = dirt torpedo =
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    1 finger. at all times

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker.
    my fingers stay firmly wraped around the handlebar, unless i need to stop.....
    ding ding ding. we have a winner.

    Although, index finger on the brake lever is like a security blanket for me... i swear if i dont tap the lever (not actually braking just kinda tapping them) before i launch my shit goes to hell in a hand basket in a big hurry. i swear it's like some kinda nervous twitch. i am half tempted to ride brakeless just to cure that awful habit.
    To air is human, to dig is divine.

  16. #16
    N* Bomber Crew
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    Psst...one finger braking under any circumstance=Juicy 7's .
    Northstar 2008 Riding Crew

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptordude
    Psst...one finger braking under any circumstance=Juicy 7's .
    how did you know?

  18. #18
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    which finger: Index vs. Middle (?!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raptordude
    I have one finger (My middle finger)
    You've touched on an interesting aspect of one-finger braking: which finger to use? -- most people, including me, use their index fingers. I've tried using the middle ones and while it felt awkward (and thus didn't become my habit), it may give both (a) more secure grip and (b) more braking power.

    Re (a) -- index finger in conjunction with a thumb give a very secure grip.

    Re (b) -- the middle on its own is actually the strongest one; that's why rock climbers use it when pulling on so-called 'monos', i.e., holds (usually holes) that are so small that only a tip of one finger can fit on / in them.

    With good brakes, including appropriate levers, there should be no need to use two-finger braking except when you get pumped due to prolonged braking.

    The only situations I take my index fingers off the brake levers are:
    • sprinting
    • climbing steep up-hill
    • ...and hitting a jump or a drop that I'm so scarred to hit that I just can't control my self-preservation instincts and end up squeezing brakes and not hitting it...

  19. #19
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    #1 I keep my pointer and middle finger on the brake lever.

    #2 I think that its better to land on your rear wheel and then your front.
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  20. #20
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    If the drop is high enough where I am kind of sketched out I full finger grip it but if it is in the comfort zone I leave one finger on the brake

  21. #21
    clyde in training
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    Use fingers? I just brake by pressing back on the pedal.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomasz
    You've touched on an interesting aspect of one-finger braking: which finger to use? -- most people, including me, use their index fingers. I've tried using the middle ones and while it felt awkward (and thus didn't become my habit), it may give both (a) more secure grip and (b) [/LIST]
    I like to move my brake lever more into the inside so that I am at the end of my lever....therefore giving me more leverage....it is usally about 1 1/2 to inches from my grip
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  23. #23
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    Ah yes good point SMT.

    I brake with my index finger, so I always move my levers towards the center of the bars an inch or two, so the index finger can naturally sit at almost the end of the lever - as you say, maximum leverage. Now that I've FINALLY replaced my brakepads as well, I should be in business!
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenbikes
    Ah yes good point SMT.

    I brake with my index finger, so I always move my levers towards the center of the bars an inch or two, so the index finger can naturally sit at almost the end of the lever - as you say, maximum leverage. Now that I've FINALLY replaced my brakepads as well, I should be in business!
    also might want to check out different levers......some of them are way sweet then the stock
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  25. #25
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    i use at least 3 fingers on my brakes at alltimes.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by zachdank
    i use at least 3 fingers on my brakes at alltimes.
    bullshiat...................
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

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