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Old 02-20-09, 11:25 AM   #1
daven1986
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Installing brake levers - how tight?

Hi,

I am installing some tektro 520 rl brake levers on my drop bars, how do I know when they are tight enough? I am notoriously bad at this, I have ripped the top off of one of the screws for my rack once as I kept tightening it! Every time I go back to the bike and try to tighten it, it always goes just a little bit more. When do I stop?

Thanks

Daven
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Old 02-20-09, 11:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
Hi,

I am installing some tektro 520 rl brake levers on my drop bars, how do I know when they are tight enough? I am notoriously bad at this, I have ripped the top off of one of the screws for my rack once as I kept tightening it! Every time I go back to the bike and try to tighten it, it always goes just a little bit more. When do I stop?

Thanks

Daven
You stop when it's at the proper torque. If you don't know how to judge proper torque then get a torque wrench or someone else who knows what proper torque feels like. Proper torque goes double especially if you're installing said levers on a carbon bar.
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Old 02-20-09, 11:35 AM   #3
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Brake levers are an interesting component relative to tightness.

You want them to be tight enough so that you can just move them side-to-side without loosening the anchor bolt. That way if you crash they will pivot to the side rather than break off.
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Old 02-20-09, 11:36 AM   #4
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If they are on alloy bars, when in doubt, a little on the loose side doesn't hurt. You can always easily give them another quarter to half turn later. You really just need them tight enough that they don't slip up or down, or side to side. That is not very tight. And if you ever have had one that is difficult to loosen, you won't tighten them too much in the future.
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Old 02-20-09, 11:57 AM   #5
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tight enough that smacking it with your fist won't move it.
but loose enough that a crash will.
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Old 02-20-09, 12:44 PM   #6
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Well at the moment I can put my weight on them and bounce about a little and it doesn't move, so that is ok I guess! I'd rather they didn't slip while I'm riding the hoods!
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Old 02-20-09, 12:58 PM   #7
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You don't want them so loose they move when braking.

You don't want them so loose the fastener rattles loose during extended riding.

You don't want them so tight you damage the threads or strip them.

A nylock nut is a good thing, as you can keep them less than fully 600 lb Gorilla-tight and it still won't rattle loose. Loctite does the same thing. Lock washers can help.

A torque wrench is a great device for teaching you how tight is tight enough. For example, if I told you 30 in-lb on dry threads, it would be meaningless unless you had a torque wrench or "knew" what 30 in-lb was like. Once you learn this for the various fastener sizes, you can sell the thing, or keep it, as you see fit.
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