Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I got the BR-M445L + BL-M505L a month ago. I am new to hydraulic disc brakes, so I can't tell if there is any problem with air in the system or other problems. Asked a mechanic and he said the brake is fine, though.

I am unsure how to describe the problem. The lever feels awkward. The pivot point of the lever is too far forward (compared to Avid Elixir and other levers with the oil cylinder along the hose direction). I feel as if the lever is just too far from my fingers to comfortably squeeze. And I can't reduce the reach from the adjustment screw, because it then hits against my glove.

The problem is bad enough when using 2 fingers, but is terrible when using only one finger - the lever hits my middle finder and the travel is insufficient to actuate the brake.

Is there something fundamentally wrong with this lever design, at least for some cyclists. Or some trick that is a must-do (I installed the already bled system myself)?

My brake:

enter image description here

"Normal" brakes:

enter image description here

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

If you want to use these brakes 1 fingered, I would recommend moving them to the inside of your shifters to remove the overlap with your middle finger.

I have all my brakes set up like this and it works great.

Inboarded brake lever

share|improve this answer
This was the first thing I tried. Unfortunately my acera front shifter is quite bulky on the inside so the brake can't stick up to it. – Vorac Jan 28 '14 at 8:33
Oh, that's a shame. Have you tried leaving the brakes outboard and moving the brake and shifter inwards together? There might be a sweet sop where the brakes are far enough away but the shifters close enough. – alex Jan 28 '14 at 10:38
Both the answer and this commend are great advice to anyone (thus accepting). The real problem was that some oil had leaked through the sealings. I am new to hydraulic brakes and didn't know. – Vorac Feb 3 '14 at 10:22

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.