Over the past few weeks I have been considering short reach v-brake levers for junior riders and just what’s on the market at the moment. The trigger was spending time with my daughter. At five years I noticed she had to really stretch her hand to try and grab the brake lever to pull on the brakes, so much so it would take her focus away from the job at hand, lucky for both of us she still requires assistance so she’s always safe from falling. The big issue is that the problem is on both her 16″ SE Quad and her Supercross RS7 micro which she is only really starting to get in to after spending more time on her balance bike which she was comfortable on, but of course it had no brakes.
While looking into the issue I have realised the reach of her levers may not be the real issue. The real issue is that I set up her brakes along the same lines that I would set up my own.
I generally position the caliper spring in the middle mount hole on the brake post, it gives nice spring tension…for me but I have a much stronger hand than a 5 year old. Since I have a big hand I also never need to adjust the reach of the lever so I either remove the adjuster screw or I back it right off. This is another problem. I didn’t consider how much my daughter would need to reach at the time I set them up. So clearly I have some adjustments to make.
It doesn’t stop me from thinking though, what short reach brake levers are on the market, it’s surprising that there are many, so many in fact that I have chosen just the more popular levers in the range. Also, there are a lot of levers out there that are just Tektro levers that have been rebranded.
The shortest reach lever I could find was the Tektro JL350-RS, it’s a much shorter reach than what you normally see on complete bikes and what you might see on bike store shelves.
Tektro V – Brake Lever JL350/JL352 – RS Junior for a child ‘s bicycle . Made of durable aluminum, handles have standard mounting diameter of 19mm or 22mm . You can adjust the tilt using the Allen wrench.
- Standard Finish: Barrel Lever / Black Bracket – Available In Painted Colors
- Material Cast: Aluminum Lever & Bracket
- Lever Blade: 4 Finger Lever Blade
- Also Available: JL352-RS – Designed For Ø22.2mm Od Handlebars
- Weight: 210 Grams / Pair
LDC Mini Brake Lever
When talking to people in the know the LDC lever always came up in the discussion, the only thing with the LDC lever is that it’s also one of the most expensive. But since it’s CNC’d in the US that’s expected. Most of the other levers in the class are casted, a cheaper manufacturing process.
The LDC mini brake lever is a 2 finger lever with a shorter reach for the smaller rider but can also be used comfortably for a bigger rider. CNC machined from 6061 aluminum and super lightweight.
Brake Lever Weight = 2 ounces
Promax Click V Point Short Brake Lever
The Promax Click V Point lever is probably the most colourful option when it comes to short reach levers. It also is compatible with ODI grips and has a built in lock on clamp, however it’s versatile and it can be used with non lock on grips as well. A slick design and reasonably priced option.
Box Genius Short Reach BMX V-Brake Lever
Genius brake levers are the first ever to incorporate a clamp for ODI® Lock-On® grips. This ensures that your grips stay put while eliminating the need for an extra clamp. At roughly 50 grams, these cold forged and CNC-machined levers beat any other on the market. Genius levers have a built in return spring and are fully compatible with carbon handlebars. The Mid reach lever features a new design that puts it in the same reach position as the Long, but with a more BMX-specific blade for better one-finger leverage. Other features include adjustable reach, a titanium mounting bolt and stainless steel hardware. Genius levers are designed to work with linear-pull brakes and are excellent for BMX, mountain, city, urban and tandem flat-bar bicycles.
- Hardware Stainless Steel
- Material 6061-T6 Aluminum
- Weight [short] 50 grams / 1.7 ounces
So there you have it, some of the most popular short reach brakes on the market today.
What means more to you when considering a short reach brake lever?
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