I made this lamp for my son out of his old Miyata he used to ride all over on.

It was too good a machine to just sit outside and ruin. We never noticed this "spacer" lever on the front brake lever. When swung out, it adds some slack to the brake adjustment. What's it for?

enter image description here

Question is specifically about the silvery lever outlined in Red, not the mounting stud outlined in Green.

Zoom and crop of above photo

Additional photos to show other parts of the bike for relevance:

enter image description here enter image description here

  • 3
    Nice way to repurpose an old bike!
    – Weiwen Ng
    Feb 7, 2020 at 15:40
  • 4
    Does it provide enough slack that it would let the brakes open wide enough to drop the wheel out easily?
    – DavidW
    Feb 7, 2020 at 16:12
  • Curious that the right hand brake lever doesn't have the same part.
    – Criggie
    Feb 7, 2020 at 23:38
  • @Criggie maybe the front tyre was narrower. Feb 8, 2020 at 15:33
  • @BrianDrummond Possibly - might be a mixed pair, or could have been that the rear wheel was more likely to need a flat fixed? (assuming UK brakes)
    – Criggie
    Feb 8, 2020 at 16:26

3 Answers 3


Adding pictures to Weiwen's answer...

Here is a picture of a brake lever with the part in question circled in blue.

enter image description here

It is a quick release mechanism integrated into the brake lever that allows increasing the space between the brake pad and the rim for easy wheel removal. Flipping the lever to the right or left in effect makes the brake cable longer allowing the brake pads to open wider.

Other ways a brake quick release has been implemented...

This brake lever has a quick release button
enter image description here

Sometimes the quick release mechanism is located in the brake caliper.
enter image description here

Sometimes it is located in the brake cable hanger/stop, in this case the front cable hanger
enter image description here

On a side note - is that speaker wire used to power the lamp?

  • 2
    About the wire; there is clear lamp cord (at least for 110V US usage): lowes.com/pd/Portfolio-12-ft-16-Awg-2-Conductor-Clear-Lamp-Cord/…
    – DavidW
    Feb 7, 2020 at 16:59
  • 1
    To change a tire , makes complete sense. It was that slack that allowed me to use the brake lever to turn the lamp off/on. The wire I used is exactly the lamp cord from Lowes you mention. Thank you for your concern and.....your anwers to my question.
    – Speeedy6
    Feb 7, 2020 at 17:18
  • 1
    Thanks for the illustrations! The Tektro lever shown here has the same quick release pin design that Campagnolo levers do. The Dia Compe levers shown here are use the same type of quick release lever that the OP's seem to do.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Feb 7, 2020 at 17:40

That is a brake quick release lever. Sometimes, our tires are slightly too big to fit through the brake pads when we remove a wheel from the bike. That quick release lever releases a bit of cable, thus opening the brakes wide enough to extract the tires without issue. On most modern rim brake bicycles, I believe the fashion has been to put the lever on the brake caliper itself. Campagnolo continues to leave that quick release lever on their shifter/brake levers.


I believe that what you're referring to are so called "safety levers" aka "suicide levers" (also called "dual pull levers").

here's what they look like: enter image description here

The 'extra' levers can be used to brake from the 'top' hand position (when your hands are placed on either side of the stem).

They used to be quite common but have gone out of fashion since.

What is available at the moment are so called 'inline levers' which could be seen as a modern day equivalent of these levers: enter image description here https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/in-line-brake-levers

Here is some more info on them:


Why don't brakes come with 'Safety Levers' any more?

  • 1
    He is not referring to the "suicide levers". Weiwen is correct - he is asking about the quick release mechanism integrated into the brake lever that allows increasing the space between the brake pad and the rim for easy wheel removal.
    – David D
    Feb 7, 2020 at 16:21
  • I agree with David, as it does not look like suicide levers are installed on that lamp. That said, suicide levers really are as bad as you say.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Feb 7, 2020 at 16:38
  • Yes I was mistaken Feb 7, 2020 at 16:55
  • Good idea - it was my first thought too.
    – Criggie
    Feb 7, 2020 at 21:52

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