I find it easier to park my bike if I can remove one of its degrees of freedom, for example, prevent the wheels from rotating. An easy way to do this would be to strap one of the brake levers down.

This would be for around 8–12 hours, 5–6 times per week. I have hydraulic disc brakes. The bike would be upright.

I have a feeling that this is a bad idea. Is it? And if so, why?

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    Most hydraulics will "leak down" over time. In the worst case the fluid will leak out of the wheel cylinder, but more likely is fluid leaking past the piston/valve in the lever. How fast this will happen is hard to predict, but generally bike brake levers would not be designed to withstand pressure for more than a few minutes. Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 18:49
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    Why not use the same strap to stop the wheel directly? E.g. strap the wheel to the fork.
    – Chris H
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 19:14
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    My tandem has a drum brake which is intended for this, the hydraulic brakes are not. If you're keen on a brake, look at either a drum brake or an axxa dutch lock to stop your bike rolling. Or lock it to something like a bike stand.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 20:08
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    Strapping the wheel directly would be a recipe for desaster for me - I would likely, by Murphys Law, at some point, forget it and drive off with strap in place...
    – AnoE
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 12:14
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    @reid - mine's a comment because it doesn't actually answer your question about why it would be bad to pressurise brakes for hours on end. The Axa lock is here dutchbikebits.com/axa-defender-wheel-lock as an example.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 8:20

1 Answer 1


Short answer? No, it will not generally cause you a problem. This is actually a common method of parking a loaded touring bike.

Don't over tension the brake lever. Remember that a hydraulic lever doesn't require excessive force to have power at the brake.

A simple 6mm rubberband wrapped over the lever and handlebar should accomplish your purpose.

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