Originally Posted by Orygunner
I've been asked "Why?" before by a student or two, and here's the reasons why we coach all fingers on the brake (Team Oregon, not MSF):
First is that while 1 or 2 fingers may do fine when performing regular braking, under hard braking the fingers not being used can get pinched under the brake lever, at best pinning the fingers, but at worst, preventing more front brake if more is needed.
If you're riding a bike that requires 4 fingers to get maximum braking or has so much lever travel that it drops to the point where it pinches your fingers you need to service your brake system. With my calipers the widest part of my finger with race gauntlet gloves is 26mm...
The other reason is habit. If the rider only practices braking with two fingers, when it comes to an emergency, how many fingers are they going to use? They're either going to only use two like they've always practiced (which may not be enough strength or precise feel for proper maximum braking, or pin/pinch the other fingers), or they're going to reflexively grab with all their fingers, which they haven't practiced, and will have a tendency to over-brake.
If they're covering the front brake with 1 to 2 fingers how are they going to suddenly add another 2 fingers to it?
By not covering the brakes they are adding about 0.186 to there brake reaction time (http://www.promocycle.com/documentat...valfrein_e.pdf
) Meaning at 60 mph he's added 16ft to his stopping time (80mph = 21ft).
Why do almost all of the racers (off-road and street) brake with either 1 or 2 fingers (with a notable exception being Rossi) and many cover the lever full time.