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Adding Extra Brake Levers to a Road Bike

Adding Extra Brake Levers to a Road Bike

Introduction

When assembling a bike, you need to ensure the braking and shifting components are installed and adjusted. This usually begins by installing your levers to optimize their fit and performance. This is important because adding levers to your bike allows you to accurately size and route any cable housing sections.

Furthermore, you need to mount the levers where it is suitable for you to ride efficiently and comfortably. In this article, we will tackle how you can add extra bike levers to your road bike.

What are the Different Types of Brake Levers?

There are two categories where almost all brake levers usually belong. There are brake levers designed to be used with drop handlebars

and those designed for flat or upright handlebars.

Why Install Extra Brake Levers

Installing extra brake levers is a great upgrade for your bike as it is useful when descending on a steep slope to get behind the saddle. With the extra brake levers, you can stay on top of the bars and also brake comfortably.

They are also very useful when riding around town for riding upright on the tops. Furthermore, if your hands are not strong enough to brake hard from the hoods while riding a super-steep hill, you will benefit from installing extra brake levers.

The extra brake lever will be positioned wherever it is comfortable for you. They are usually very affordable.

Adding Extra Brake Levers to a Road Bike

Here is a video showing how to add extra brake levers to a road bike (credit to RJ The Bike Guy):

Brake Lever Installation

Here are the steps to add extra brake levers to your road bike:

  • Remove the handlebar tape down to the brake lever’s location
  • Remove the brake housing and cable
  • Mount the in-line lever to the top section of the bar; avoid routing the housing underneath the clamp of a lever
  • Position the lever so that the reach and angle are comfortable for you
  • Tighten the lever to the bar

Housing & Cable Installation

  • Cut the length of housing required for the in-line lever.
  • There will be two housing sections; the first section goes from the primary lever to the in-line lever, while the second piece of housing is from the in-line lever to the frame housing or brake caliper.
  • Use housing end caps in places where they fit- at stops or in the levers.
  • Pass the brake wire through the brake lever, through the first section of the housing, and then through the second housing section.
  • Attach brake wire to the caliper and adjust brake as normal.
  • Secure the first section of the housing to the bar with tape.
  • Wrap the handlebars. However, avoid bringing the bar tape all the way to the lever- this may cause the housing to be over-stretched.

Credits and Useful Reading:

https://www.roadbikerider.com/upgrading-components-series-part-5-installing-levers-d3/
https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/in-line-brake-levers