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europa 03-04-14 03:20 AM

Slipping brake levers
I've got a pair of Tektro brake levers, the road brake type with hoods. They're mounted on the alloy handle bars that came with my Europa back in the eighties.

I can't get the rotten things stay in place. They only drift, it's not as though they're dangerous, but it's bloody annoying having to reset them periodically. Just to rub it in, the same model brake levers on the Hillbrick (new bars) are so solid it feels like they've been welded in place.

I've tried the "grab the allen key with a pair of pliers and ask your tame gorilla to reef them up tight" method. I've also tried swearing at them with the brake levers being Asian of some sort and the bars being Italian, I'm really not sure which swear words to use.

Any suggestions? I've heard of putting some sort of shim under the clamp but can't remember what sort it was.

Cyril 03-04-14 05:28 AM

Maybe a bit of inner tube?
That should provide some grip.

FWM 03-04-14 06:14 AM

Originally Posted by europa (Post 16546455)
some sort of shim under the clamp

perhaps a strip of beer can…?

RoadTire 03-04-14 09:55 AM

Are they twisting / rotating sideways or sliding down the bar? I think mine will rotate a little if I actually try, but haven't noticed any slippage. I agree you should shim them with metal or firm rubber. Failing that you might need a clamp on the bar under the Tektro clamp to keep it from slipping down.

europa 03-05-14 03:45 AM

They twist and slowly move down.
I'm pretty sure the cure was a metal shim, though I can't for the life of me see how that'd help. Something to try anyway.

TejanoTrackie 03-05-14 08:38 AM

The first thing I'd suggest is to measure the diameter of the handlebars to see if they are at least 23.8mm, which is the size of the clamping band on the levers. If your handlebars are somehow smaller, then no amount of tightening is going to help.

Another possibility is that you have cracked or damaged the plastic brake lever housings through overtightening. Also, check to make sure the clamp bolts aren't bottoming out on the handlebar.

If you have installed the levers on a portion of the handlebar which has a high curvature (tight radius), the brake lever housings might not seat properly, resulting in slippage.

FWIW, the only time I've experienced brake lever slippage problems has been with carbon handlebars, where I couldn't over tighten the clamps due to the possibility of damaging the bars.

Steev 03-05-14 08:53 AM

I have some old (probably 80's vintage) steel drop bars that are less than 23.8mm. Probably 22.2mm, but my caliper battery has died so I can't go and check.
The few levers I have around have a diameter stamped on the band.

europa 03-05-14 11:39 PM

This might explain the suggestion to add a shim. Will do so, I have to rewrap the bars anyway.

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