On the awkwardness of holding a brake handle

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Mikael
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On the awkwardness of holding a brake handle

Post by Mikael » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:07 am

So I got to try my new alpine brakes yesterday.

I didn't have the right tool to install them, so ended up doing a crappy job of setting them up. After my first run, I thought they were so-so until I realized I was braking with one wheel and even on that one, the brake pad was sitting too far. So I'm pretty excited to go back and try again!

One thing I noticed, though, is how awkward holding a brake handle is. I kind of remembered that from the MBS brake I purchased in '02. But I figured using a karabiner to hold the handle when I needed it would solve the problem.

Not really. It's pretty awkward to hold the handle all the way down and it's also kind of tiring. I know some people here use them a lot. Do you guys have any tips?

I'm trying to think of a way to integrate the handle into a glove or something, so that you don't have to hold it, but it's always there if you need it. Any ideas on that too?

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McCarver
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Post by McCarver » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:15 am

I agree, its been awhile but I remember it being extremely awkward
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Brennig
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Post by Brennig » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:29 am

Whack it in your pocket when you're not using it. Also do you know the penny (nickel?) trick when setting up brakes? It makes things a lot easier. That's the one thing with brakes, they get in your way whilst riding and tend to be annoying until you use them.
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Nick
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Post by Nick » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:40 am

What sort of distance are you covering whilst riding with a brake?

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Mikael
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Post by Mikael » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:15 am

I didn't know the penny trick, no. I figured I should set the pads farther than that, but that's good to know, thanks!

I mistyped in my first post. I use a carabiner to hold the handle until I need the brake. But then I fumble with both hands and it takes like 3 seconds to be ready to use them.

I guess I need to suck it up?

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Brennig
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Post by Brennig » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Yeah, stop complaining!

The Penny Trick.

Loosely put on the ABS brake, tighten on the wheel so it's on properly. Put the board on it's side so the brake you're attempting to fit is on the bottom, place a penny (nickel) on the disk then press the brake pad against it (so the penny is between the disk and brake pad). Tighten up the brake mounts then remove the penny (can be a bit tricky) and you should be left with a perfectly spaced brake.
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Nick
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Post by Nick » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:10 pm

A second penny makes removing the first one nice and easy.

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Brennig
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Post by Brennig » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:17 pm

I found 50 p coins the best, big enough to cover the whole brake pad and the corners are easier to grip. Really it's whatever you have in your pocket, I've used train tickets, chocolate wrapers and so on.
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belac
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Post by belac » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:47 pm

three words: wireless breaks!

if i keep on saying that enough some boffin will desighn them i rekon.

i don't tend to ride mine much at the moment, but think when i get back into it i'll probley start threding the cable up me trouser leg and t-shirt. when jumping stuff before i've got the cable stuck behind the front wheel and then have emergency stop to sort it out. as for letting go of the break i don't, just keep it in my hand, have had alot of rides that suddenly get super sketchy and you need the break imediatly, three seconds of fumbeling means your going into traffic or a bull or something.

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Ben
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Post by Ben » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:50 pm

how is there not a how to video for putting on ABS brakes....
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GoofyMark
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Post by GoofyMark » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:18 pm

Like Belac says, if your brake cable is long enough route it up your leg and body and down the arm, you will then have full movement, without restriction. A carabiner on the trouser waist band and one by your armpit on body armour or a backpack makes it quick and easy to do , rather than having to thread the handle thru clothing.

I have removed the palm splint in my wrist gaurd to make holding the brake easier.

Beware of falling on the brake handle, if your thumb is wrapped round it you can sprain it badly or even break it.
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Post by The 6th degree » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:30 am

I have a loop of velcro through a belt loop on my waist and thread the brake through there - that way if I drop it it doesn't hang too low, but the velcro will tear away if it needs to.

I hold my brake for the whole ride - not just when I need to use it. It might have took soem getting used to at first, but now it feels normal.

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Mikael
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Post by Mikael » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:58 am

Wireless is not the answer I don't think. You still have to hold the handle. My issues are more with the handle than the cable.

Maybe we could come up with a redesigned handle that stays attached to your hand. I'd love to do it, but I feel like I have a lot of learning to do about brake fluids and stuff.

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BDirthead
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Post by BDirthead » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:56 pm

Mikael wrote: But then I fumble with both hands and it takes like 3 seconds to be ready to use them.

I guess I need to suck it up?


Keep a hold of it! Losing concentration right when you need to brake sounds like disaster to me.

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BDirthead
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Post by BDirthead » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:58 pm

Image

One of my favorite brake riding photos :)

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Mutley
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Post by Mutley » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:34 pm

I think it needs redesigning using a plunger type action :)
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evilc
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Post by evilc » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:34 am

I used to hook the lever into my pocket. That way the handle is right by your hip, you can grab the handle easily, pull the brake out of your pocket and the lever is right there.
If needed in a hurry, push the handle against your hip which will operate the lever.

In fact I seem to remember attaching the handle to my belt using a carabiner just to make sure it didn't move.
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sir seymour
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Post by sir seymour » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:43 am

BDirthead wrote:Image

One of my favorite brake riding photos :)


Haha, yeah brakes have no place in bx or multiple rider racing! Unless everyone has them and someone develops brake lights...
I have no real problem keeping hold of my brake handle. Might be worth trying a different shaped grip as mine is not completely round which helps. Years of mountain biking and daily tree climbing resulting in claw grip might be my other advantage.

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BDirthead
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Post by BDirthead » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:39 am

sir seymour wrote:Haha, yeah brakes have no place in bx or multiple rider racing! Unless everyone has them and someone develops brake lights....


Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
I will disagree with the idea of "no brakes" in BX or multi-rider races. Most people think that people on brakes just get in the way, but plenty of non-brake riders also get in the way of other riders. The above sequence photos show that only the brake rider was able to maintain control through the section of the course. If every rider has the choice to use the equipment that allows them the most control through a course, it makes it safer and overall better for the industry. Although I would agree that limitations should be made in the PRO division, but not in youth, womens, or masters or other non-Pro divisions. Hey, but that's just my thoughts :)

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Post by sir seymour » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:57 pm

the problem i see with them is that people can shed speed without that being obvious to those behind them. If someone slides or sketches speed you can react, pull a brake lever and you've got no chance. I do see your point about it only being restricted in pro category though, that's where the speeds are higher and the riders are much closer (generally) and the problems arising from brake use are more likely to arise.

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