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One finger or two?

1799 Views 40 Replies 35 Participants Last post by  racer303
No it's not a thread about what your lady prefers :p

I noticed a lot of people are riding with one finger on the levers pretty much at all times. I guess with the invention of super strong hydro brakes one can get away with it these days. Coming from an XC background I pretty much always rode with 2 fingers on the levers, and I'm starting to realize that this may put me at a disadvantage. When I'm pinning it hitting drops or jumps I usually like all fingers on the bars, but I run into trouble if for some reason braking is needed during the stunt/jump. How do you ride?
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usually with no fingers on the levers unless I need them. then one or two depending on how bad I think I will crash.
One finger each side for riding but when im jumping i usually try to have none on the brakes so i can keep my full hand on the grip for more control.
specializedbeta18 said:
One finger each side for riding but when im jumping i usually try to have none on the brakes so i can keep my full hand on the grip for more control.
I was just watching Kranked 7 and several of the riders were hitting huge jumps, nailing big gaps, hitting sick downhills etc, and all with 1 finger on the bars like it was everyday routine. Got me thinkin that maybe either I should buy stronger brakes so I can easily lock them up with one finger OR just develop a stronger index finger :eek:
I keep one finger on each lever all the time, even when jumping/dropping. It just seems dangerous to not have you fingers on the brakes when jumping, it's a habbit i picked up overtime due to common sense. Only time that I go no fingers is when I'm riding a BMX.
I keep one finger on the front and rear brake at all times. You can instantly apply them when you need them.
1 or none. usually 1 unless i know i shouldnt be using them like berms n such. set speed then let off and make it work.
lots of peeps ride with one finger over the lever cause you never know, the best way to get more power out of braking with one finger is to move your brake in on the bar at least an inch and move the shifter inboard of the brake, therefore you can grab the hook at the end of the lever for better leverage and better control...and as soon as you start with one finger those indexes get stong fast....
index finger is all I use.......I have lever pushed to inside so that I am grabbing only the ends of the lever (giving me more leverage)
moving the levers inboard makes a huge difference. i would have to skootch my hands in a bit if i even wanted to use 2fingers.....which i could never see myself needing. 1finger lockup
Try this: take two 20-lb dumbbells (2x20=40, average freeride bike weight). See how many reverse curls (palms facing the floor) you can do with two fingers wrapped around each dumbbell.

Add your middle finger and try again.

When you brake with two fingers, your connection with the bike is weakened. Learn to ride one finger on the brakes and you will be able to control your bike better.
bcbud said:
move your brake in on the bar ... therefore you can grab the hook at the end of the lever for better leverage
That way one finger on the lever should definitely be enough. It is much easier to hold onto the bar with three fingers, than two. The only time I have no fingers on the lever is really when I am struggling to climb something.
Sometimes I shift from my index to the middlefinger when my index is losing power.That could be a bad habit in the wrong company.
One finger only - pretty much all the time other than climbing and when I am forcing myself to ride faster - but it took some setup. The Avid Elixrs (among other brakes) have adjusts for pad contact so that I don't have to pull as far to get the pad to hit the rotor. Secondly as mentioned I had to move the levers in so that my finger is at the end of the lever. Lastly you can adjust how far out the lever is - so you can adjust the lever to be comfortable right at the proper point for your finger.

Default setup from the LBS was more or less setup for 2 finger breaking.

Here is the SRAM blurb
xriest said:
she prefers 2 fists
I saw that movie and a whole wrist too
1 finger on both brakes at all times (including jumping etc). Move the brake lever inboard, and off you go. I cannot ride a bike properly with 2 (or no) fingers on the brake lever.

Bikes always come set up for 2 finger braking from LBS...
Index finger all the time for me. I don't even think about it.

Coming from a trials background I learned to muscle the bike around with fingers on the brakes. Back when I first started trials I used 2 fingers, cantilever brakes are not that strong
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