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  1. #1
    Ex-Lion Tamer Bklyn's Avatar
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    Tightening a loose brake lever

    While climbing this morning, I wrenched one brake lever a bit. It's the bicycle equivalent of rolling your ankle; I eased up immediately before yanking the thing around the bars, and I was ginger with it the rest of the ride. But an ankle will heal by itself. I don't think a brake lever will.
    Is tightening an easy fix? Or do I have to unwrap the bars to get at the nut?

  2. #2
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    While climbing this morning, I wrenched one brake lever a bit. It's the bicycle equivalent of rolling your ankle; I eased up immediately before yanking the thing around the bars, and I was ginger with it the rest of the ride. But an ankle will heal by itself. I don't think a brake lever will.
    Is tightening an easy fix? Or do I have to unwrap the bars to get at the nut?
    You don't say what kind of brake lever. You mention of tape seems to narrow it down to drop-bar applications.

    Drop-bar brake levers are generally secured by an Allen bolt which is accessible from the front, through the gap that appears at the top of the moving lever when you apply the brakes. This is usually the 5 mm size, sometimes 4 mm. A "balldriver" type Allen wrench is usually most convenient for this. ('80s and older bikes may use a flat blade screwdriver, or a nutdriver/socket wrench, typically 8 or 9 mm size.)

    If your bike has combined brake/shift levers ("brifters") the Allen bolt is accessible by sticking the wrench under the rubber cover along the outer/upper edge of the stationary lever hood.

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  3. #3
    Ex-Lion Tamer Bklyn's Avatar
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    Thank you very much. Yes, road levers, you're correct. Nonaero, on an early-80's road bike. I'll arm myself with an allen wrench and a screwdriver.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    Thank you very much. Yes, road levers, you're correct. Nonaero, on an early-80's road bike. I'll arm myself with an allen wrench and a screwdriver.
    One finer point not mentioned by Sheldon:

    Do not over-tighten the lever. When a bicycle falls over (via crashing, or sometimes simply just falling over), typically the levers strike the ground in the process. You want the lever to "give" a little on impact. Straightening it is highly preferable to having to replace it if it breaks on impact.

    Bob

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