Brake Levers: Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Them
Riders often associate their love for biking with passion. Hitting the long roads, setting yourself free beneath the clear blue sky—it is more than just a lifestyle, but life at its best! And your passionate biking skills demand more than just enthusiastic riding, some knowledge about your motorcycle or dirt bike’s parts often come in handy.
So whether you are planning to buy a new two-wheeler or working on your existing one, a little info about the brake levers are always useful.
Brake Lever—An Introduction
The small, metallic levers mounted on the handlebars of a two-wheeler vehicle are known as brake levers. When you pull them, they activate the brakes in two ways—by pulling on a cable or by compressing the hydraulic fluid reservoir. So as soon as the brake lever is engaged, the vehicle is brought to a halt.
Be it the high brake levers or levers in the normal position, indeed, these are susceptible to breakage. If those have been there for quite some time, it is better to get them checked. In case there has been an accident recently, chances are the levers were damaged, and therefore, consulting a mechanic for the replacement would be a wise move.
Brake Lever Replacement
From bikes to cars, parts replacements call for in-depth research. As a matter of fact, there are an array of replacements available in the market and each has its own advantages and hitches. Even if you depend on a mechanic and take his suggestions into account, your own knowledge will prevent you from getting misled.
From the magnesium folding levers to the hot start levers, from the originals to the Chinese copies, the market is literally flooded with options. But when you know what to look for and where it would save you a lot of money.
Things to Keep in Mind While Buying a Brake Lever
Unless you have some grip on the available types, it could be difficult to choose the most suitable brake lever from the lot. The pointers you must emphasize are:
- The Make and Model of Your Bike: The brake lever you are willing to buy must fit your bike brand.
- The Type of the Braking System: Road bikes or dirt bikes require a different type of brake lever than the BMX bike. For instance, if you require a folding lever, then don’t even think of looking for an alternative.
- Cable and Hydraulic Brake Levers: While cable brakes work with short and long-pull levers, the cone brakes, drum brakes, etc. are the types of hydraulic brakes. So always make this compatibility your priority.
- Don’t Compromise on Quality: Several bike owners incline towards buying the aftermarket levers for the comfort factor and finer adjustments, but you have to be really careful at the same time of not wasting your cash on the cheap-quality accessories.
It would be easier to avoid such traps if you gather some technical understanding. To begin with, learn about the parts of the brakes.
The Parts of the Brakes
Generally, you would get to see 4 types of brake calipers and each type would work differently by mounting on the frame.
The Road Calipers: These brakes bolt through holes that the manufacturer drills. 2 different types of nuts are used to bolt these brakes on.
The V-Brakes: The V-brakes are also attached to the brake bosses, however, they require a long-pull brake lever. They also need a special piece known as a noodle for the cable to figure correctly.
The Cantilever Brakes: This style of brakes are bolted on to the brake bosses on both facets of a wheel.
The Disc Brakes: These brakes mount to special tabs and operate at the hub.
The Other Sorts of Brakes: The aforementioned brake calipers are the ones you would mostly come across or work with. If your brakes are of a different kind and don’t resemble any of the above, then they could be roller-cam brakes, rod-brakes, u-brakes, drum brakes, among others.
Now that you are familiar with the parts of the brakes, let’s move to the brake lever section.
Brake Lever—The Types
If you start browsing online, then you will know that these levers can be categorized into 2 broad categories—the flat or the upright-bar brake lever and the drop-bar brake lever. A further classification will include:
Flat or Upright-Bar Brake Lever
- Long-pull brake lever
- Short-pull brake lever
- Flat-bar brake lever
Drop-Bar Brake Lever
- Integrated lever
- Cross-top or interrupter lever
- Standard drop-bar brake lever
The high brake levers are not a category but a slanting position used by the Tour de France riders.
Additionally, the hot start levers are the ones located next to the clutch levers on either the right or left side of the handlebars.
Hopefully, all these pieces of information would make you well-equipped to purchase the brake levers of your preference. But be it a folding lever, a pazzo lever, or a hot start lever, make sure you are putting your money on the original manufacturer.