Danger Boy Replacement Brake Levers Tested

Sep 12, 2005
by Tyler Maine  
When thinking of things to upgrade on your bike I would bet you would think of twenty other things before coming up with brake levers. That is all going to change soon I imagine. I also hadn't even thought of changing levers on my Avid juicy 7's until Pinkbike Tyler strolled into the shop with some Dangerboy Jewellery to show off. The simple small plastic bag and brown header card packaging would lead you to believe that something of the "chang star" variety lies inside but that couldn't be farther from the truth.It’s amazing what they have managed to do with such limited space, who would have thought you could make a lever so beautiful. As far as dimensions go, it is exactly the same length as the stock blades but that is where the similarities end. The biggest difference is the two concaved finger holds machined into the front of the lever for your pointer and middle fingers to rest. At the end of the lever is a slightly more pronounced hook to keep everything in place and along the front edge they have machined in four grooves for added traction. All this is topped off with a sweet black anodization job. My begging skills must be good because it only took a few minutes of whining before he let me try them.

Instillation was easy; all I needed were 3 allen keys. A 4mm, 2.5mm and a 2mm to get the job done.

Do yourself a favor and use the 4mm to remove the whole lever assembly from the handlebar before you do anything else, it makes it alot easier to reach the other two screws. After you have it off your bar, dial back the pin holding the lever pivot in place 3 or 4 full turns and use the 4mm allen key to push out the pivot (hold your hand under as not to loose it!). The last thing to do is dial the loose blade off of the reach adjustment screw.

Repeat the above steps in reverse and you'll be done in under ten minutes. The last thing to do is set your reach and apply the sweet chrome Dangerboy decal somewhere appropriate and your off.

I am dreading Tyler taking these things back from me, which will happen soon as this review was about one month late! I think I might have to wrestle him for them, that’s how much I like these levers. When I first started using Avids it took me about a month until I was comfortable with the levers, after using Hayes (like everyone else) for the past 6 or 7 years it was a big change. I just never felt comfortable on the stock blades after using the same thing for so long. I was actually a little worried because I was just starting to feel comfortable on them, when I decided to switch again. Turns out there was nothing to worry about, it took about 3 minutes of riding before I decided I like the DangerBoy levers better. I mostly use only my pointer finger to do the deed and only need to add the middle finger near the end of a Garbanzo run, but they work great either way. The four channels cut into the front edge look like a gimmick but after you have been submerged in some "Original Sin" mud, they actually help you keep a solid grip on things.

The thing I liked the most though was how my braking digit sat into the end finger hold perfectly up against the hook at the lever end. While I’ve never actually had my fingers slip of anyone’s brake levers, everything just felt a lot more secure and solid with the Danger boy units.

I had a few monster crashes also and the levers came out unscathed. I run my brakes slightly loose on the bar like everyone should but I still managed to bend the stockers really good, the DangerBoy units are still perfectly straight. On top of all this they are also stiffer, giving the brakes a slightly more solid feel.

After using the levers for a few months I think I’ll have to get my own when Tyler comes to collect.

Dangerboy Brake Levers a la Steph

When I first replaced my Razor rocks with the Dangerboy levers I thought I would either be injured by the day's end or have removed them after my second ride. My warm up run was on B-line, a high speed (if you pedal) switchbacking run sprinkled with "berms". There aren't really any berms. You know, the only people who enjoy this run are those who mass start and run down the trail brakeless trying to push each other off the "berm's". Well, I was flying down b-line and came to an unberm so I tried to grab some brake and ended up going straight over the edge. Where I was used to having my hands on the grips, I could only pull on the levers near the inside- there isn't much movement or resistance there. After a couple runs I got used to gripping the levers with my hands further apart on the handlebars.

I only had one other scare before I accepted the Dangerboys as the newest kid on the block. Because they were installed onto my old worn Hayes, the ball joints were loose in the pivot and the right lever darn fell out of the brake- on my way to the tall box in the Whistler boneyard. Needless to say, I hit my front brake -hard- and slip back down the ramp, gracelessly. It was just hanging. Luckily the good dudes at Bike and Bean patched me up again and I was back on the hill.

I like the way these brakes hold my digits- the outside feels like it wraps back around, they actually cup my fingers. The little groove on the lever also allows a person to do 1 or 2 finger breaking with exceptional comfort. But, if you like to alternate between one and two fingers, sliding them across the levers when you ride, these gripped levers could potentially cause you some anxiety. All in all, these levers are definitely worth the money you'll pay at the till.


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