I'm trying to attach a new brake lever onto my handlebars, however, the clamp (circular part) of the brake lever that slides onto the handlebars is a bit too loose. I've tried to tighten it but because it's entirely made of metal, the clamp doesn't tighten much on the handlebars. Right now I haven't put the grips on my handlebars yet. How do I resolve this problem? Will putting a roll of handlebar grip between the handlebars and the brake clamp help secure the clamp? Thanks.

  • 1
    You probably have wrong lever for the bars. Squishy tape is a bad idea, but there might be adapter shim or correct lever. Could you post a photo?
    – ojs
    Nov 5, 2017 at 16:50
  • Personally I'd go buy the right brake levers rather than fudge something as critical as brakes.
    – Criggie
    Nov 5, 2017 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


Normal aluminum cans are basically .1mm thick, so a wrap gives you .2mm. Most of the smaller scale clamp diameter discrepancies, say from a tolerance problem or from a mismatch like a 26.0 aux lever on a 25.4 clamp area, one encounters clamping controls and acessories on to bars can be resolved with aluminum can shims, or stacks of them. Going up to putting a 23.8 aux lever on a 22.2 section with them gets dicier; other kinds of shim stock will work better, but even there putting 8 layers of can on is probably fine. As long as your shim material is metal and as long as the finished product doesn't slip readily, it's probably fine. Fiber grip/carbon prep can lend a lot of solidity to such hacks.

Use scissors and math to prepare the shims. Don't cut yourself.

  • I have successfully used a rectangle of thicker (1mm) plastic between a stem and bars. The stem clamp was a good 3cm wide though, much wider than a typical brake or gear clamp.
    – Criggie
    Nov 5, 2017 at 23:00

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