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Mechanics of Modulation: Magura brake levers

Learn more about how brake lever mechanics help control the modulation, the feel of how your brakes come up to power.

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Modulation – balancing how quickly your brakes come up to power

We talk a lot about modulation, or the feel that brakes have. Let’s take a look at Mechanical Modulation in the Magura lineup:

Brake lever modulation, or feel, is in part a factor of the lever’s mechanical advantage.

Using Magura brakes as an example, since they have several brake lever options available, let’s look at the basics of this.

Magura Mechanical Modulation showing lever throw

Brake’s master cylinder throw is a relative constant, meaning that the design of how much fluid needs to be moved from the master to the caliper’s slave cylinder isn’t particularly adjustable. There are some different ways that this is / can be done – but for this we’re going to skip it.

The image above illustrates how a lever pivots from a singular point then drives lever’s master cylinder contact in and bottoms out the master cylinder. As you can see from the orange triangle radiating from the pivot point the further we move outboard the longer the throw must be to engage the master cylinders throw.

Balancing modulation, or how quickly the full power comes on, is based on rider preference.

A shorter lever requires less finger throw distance to engage full power. The shorter distance means the brake feels like it comes to power “quicker” or with more snap.

A longer lever requires further throw, or movement from it’s resting position to full compression. This additional throw provides a different feel, even though the master cylinder is doing the same amount of work traveling the same distance. The longer throw will however give riders more “feel” between on and off, which can be used to set a bike’s attitude into corners, etc.

Modulation, or brake feel is also a factor of rotor size and we will have more content coming on that soon.

Questions? Give our team a call, shoot them a message on the chat, email or use the contact form and our team can help define which brake, levers and rotors which are best for you.

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