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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would think forward, since when riding in attack stance one cant reach them if they are pointed straight down.

But then in pictures I see them pointed down, or 45 degrees down...

Also I have hit a small sapling and/or vine with my left brake lever (front) while trail riding, and hilarity ensued (OTB). this probably would not have happened if they were pointing down at the ground...

So how should they be oriented?
 

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if you draw an imaginary line down your arm to your levers, that is how they should be oriented - i'd imagine this is somewhat close to 45 degrees......

that being said, experiment, find a position that works for you - this ain't a beauty contest
 

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Also I have hit a small sapling and/or vine with my left brake lever (front) while trail riding, and hilarity ensued (OTB)...
My guess is you went down because the sapling/vine hit your bars changing your course...not because it hit the brake lever and slammed on the front brake. Meaning, you would have gone down even if you didn't have a front brake.
 

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Sit on your bike in your normal riding position, gripping the bars. Now, open your hand with your fingers straight; your levers should be just under your fingers. At least start from there.
 

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I think it can depend on your bike geometry and the levers. The avid levers on my MUSS point more down, but I'm more hunched over based on the geo. The ST-M770 levers point more forward on my Blizzard, but I'm a bit more upright than on the MUSS. As stated before, shift them around a little to find the most comfortable position. Some levers can also be adjusted to bring the lever closer to the hbar. My older M570s had that option.
 

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if they're too low it puts ur weight over ur shoulders making the riders weight shift forward, if they're too high it puts the weight on ur elbows kinda tightening ur steering...
 

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EDR
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Pro Tip ( from Brian Lopes)
The more extreme downhill riding you do or if you do a lot of steep technical roll offs or slow technical downhill maneuvers the more you want to point your levers upwards. For more everyday XC riding the more leeway you have to point them downwards to your comfortable level.

Semi pro tip (from me):
Don't tighten your levers so much that you can't move them by hand. This allows the levers to move when you take a nasty spill. If they are cemented in place they will break before they will move.
 

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eatdrinkride; Semi pro tip (from me): Don't tighten your levers so much that you can't move them by hand. This allows the levers to move when you take a nasty spill. If they are cemented in place they will break before they will move.[/QUOTE said:
Good tip :thumbsup:

Mark
 

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I would think forward, since when riding in attack stance one cant reach them if they are pointed straight down.

But then in pictures I see them pointed down, or 45 degrees down...

Also I have hit a small sapling and/or vine with my left brake lever (front) while trail riding, and hilarity ensued (OTB). this probably would not have happened if they were pointing down at the ground...

So how should they be oriented?
I run mine lower then 45 degrees. More like 60 degrees from level. I find that it is the rougher, faster downhills that makes me want them down that low. Feel like the less I need to raise my finger to get around the lever, the better grip I have on the bar. I also run the lever reach very close to the bar. On my town bike I run them more level.

But like others have said, it is really just a matter of finding what works for you. If you have weaker brakes that require a lot of force on the levers, you probably want them farther up than I run them. I think 45 degrees is a fine starting point, but really, just do what feels good, and don't be afraid to make changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thx all for the good tips.

Unfortunately I cannot move the lever closer to the bar. I have those Formula RX brand brakes where the cylinder is perpendicular to the bar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My guess is you went down because the sapling/vine hit your bars changing your course...not because it hit the brake lever and slammed on the front brake. Meaning, you would have gone down even if you didn't have a front brake.
yeah probably true. combination of wheel deflection and front brake stab to give it some extra traction...
 

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ride with them slightly loose, someplace safe
tighten them when they feel perfect to you.
 

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Run the levers so when gripping them, your hand is not all the way to the outside. Useful on tight trails, ie. New England. The end of the bar will hit the tree, not your pinkie knuckle. Also position the brake levers as how many fingers you use to brake, 1,2 or 3 fingers.
 

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+1

WP_20140711_001.jpg

Pro Tip ( from Brian Lopes)
The more extreme downhill riding you do or if you do a lot of steep technical roll offs or slow technical downhill maneuvers the more you want to point your levers upwards. For more everyday XC riding the more leeway you have to point them downwards to your comfortable level.

Semi pro tip (from me):
Don't tighten your levers so much that you can't move them by hand. This allows the levers to move when you take a nasty spill. If they are cemented in place they will break before they will move.
 

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May be mentioned in the vids up thread, but Lopes also suggests moving levers inboard so you grab the ends with index fingers with normal grip. I have done this and approve. He mentions that most bikes have the lever ends about at the ends of the bars, which was certainly the case with mine.

I like the slightly loose mounting tip too! Thanks for that.
 
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