Randwick Botany Cycling Club

Located in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. Everyone is welcome to join our Friday Coffee Ride!

Cycling Tips – Brake Lever Play

image001Hi all,

Brake lever play is important When a road bike’s brakes are ideally adjusted, you’ll be able to pull the brake levers ¼ of the way to the handlebar before the pads touch the rims. This play in the lever travel is useful for three reasons : First, it helps you find just the right braking power. If the pads touch the rims as soon as the levers are pulled, it’s hard to feather them for smoothly graduated braking. Of course, for obvious reasons you don’t want the levers to reach the bar before you attain full braking power.

Second, it helps you get your fingers around the brake levers specially for riders with shorter fingers. You’ll have more hand strength for firmer stops when your fingers aren’t still extended as the pads touch the rims.
Third, it adds a little more clearance between the pad & the rim so when you’re out of the saddle & the rim flexes a little it won’t touch the brake pad & slow you down. Adjust your brakes this way and you’ll feel the improvement. Then you can do something else to enhance braking control when you’re in the drops : Use just your index fingers to pull the levers. Modern road bike brakes are so good that you shouldn’t need to grab the levers with a full fist. In fact, doing so robs your fine touch and can cause more braking action than expected. The wheels could skid and cause you to fishtail or even fall. One-finger braking from the drops is adequate in almost every situation, even emergency stops. If two fingers work better because of your hand size and lever shape, fine. Most riders will never need more. Braking with hands on the hoods When you’re riding with hands on the lever hoods, two fingers from over the top should give you plenty of braking power. Again, adjust the cables so that the levers come back about 30-40% of the distance before pad/rim contact. This improves your leverage.

Ciclismo Training – Wednesday and Friday

Updated: December 25, 2013 — 2:08 pm
Randwick Botany Cycling Club © 2013 Site Designed & Maintained by John Buckton Frontier Theme