Light and smooth, Avid's FR-5 Brake Levers deliver excellent speed control and a great feel. They're compatible with linear-pull and mechanical-disc brakes. And, they also feature adjustable reach and are made to bend not break in the event of a crash. This ambidextrous lever can be used as a front or rear, too.
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After replacing almost every component on my old mountain bike to set it up for commuting I found the brakes to be lacking. The rear u-brake and front cantilevers did not provide much stopping power but after replacing the levers with these I found they worked much better. I eventually changed out the front cantilevers for a v-brake and now have incredible stopping power! The levers are good quality and definitely an upgrade to most of the cheaper levers that come stock on even mid range bikes. Although I've only used them for commuting and cruising with the kids I'm sure they would be suitable for more demanding riding. The lever is on the shorter side, fine for trigger shifters but may be an issue for other styles that offset them farther from the grips.