Covering the brakes

  • This topic has 7 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Descours Olivier.
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    Chris Demetriou

    Hey y’all.

    Getting into riding, covering the brakes is something I am struggling with. 1. My brake lever is too far to do this comfortably, but I understand i need to invest in the adjustable lever. I’ve seen the difference that can make.

    But, 2, I feel like the positioning of two fingers over the lever and then the other two necessarily under the lever will impede my ability to fully come to a stop. This is likely in my head, right? Do you keep your hands like that if you are coming to a full stop, or do you switch quickly to all fingers on top of the brake lever.

    I appreciate your thoughts,

    Alex Hatfield

    Hi Chris!

    (1) While adjustable brake levers are amazing, even resting a fingertip or two on top of the brake lever will be helpful here. As we roll off the throttle, our hand rolls forward and gives us a little more finger length on the lever, but even then we really want to think about braking with our fingertips. This way, we are using fine motor control to smoothly load that first 5 points and then smoothly unload that last 5 points.

    (2) We never want to use all four fingers. Modern brake systems are incredibly powerful, and four fingers activates way more muscle than we need. If we’re loading the front tire before we really ask it to work under braking force, a single finger can easily be enough pressure on the lever to come to an emergency stop. Watching MotoGP, WSBK, MotoAmerica, and the like, we see many riders use one or two fingers and have enough force to lift their rear tire off the ground into a stoppie!

    Chris Demetriou

    Thank you! Got it.

    Kevin Rants

    Chris – in that vain, are shorty levers worthwhile since they promote that approach to braking?

    Alex Hatfield

    Really depends on your finger length and comfort. I have long fingers (XXL gloves) and still feel much more comfortable with full-length, adjustable levers, especially when it comes to corners.
    For the life of me, I have the hardest time getting into a proper “screwdriver” grip with shorty levers – making it difficult to precisely manipulate the lever.

    Scott King

    “… I have the hardest time getting into a proper “screwdriver” grip with shorty levers …”

    What’s a screwdriver grip? I’m just getting started with the ChampU course, so maybe this is covered later!

    Gray Olson

    Usually we’d grab the throttle tube as though we’re holding onto a monkey-bar or pullup bar or insert other thing here by just wrapping our fingers around it directly. Screwdriver grip is holding the throttle tube as though it is the handle of a screwdriver… i.e. at an angle one way or the other. This helps free up your upper body to move more easily/with less tension when exercising proper body position.

    Descours Olivier

    One thing that can help to understand is to hold the grip with the bar end in your palm. You will then rotate the throttle laterally not vertically as when you hold the throttle with à straight wrist.

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