I would like to purchase and install 2-finger brake levers to operate the diff-lock and brake on a walk-behind garden tractor. Okay, it's not a bike but it is a two-wheeled vehicle. The most economical option appears to be to purchase brake levers made for bicycles, but I have some questions regarding their suitability.

There are two possible mounting points, with bar diameters measuring 34mm (1.34") and 21.7mm (7/8"), with the latter appearing to be a widely available option. Do brake levers exist that would fit the larger tube size? My research appears to suggest the largest size is 31.8mm and I presume this would not accommodate 34mm.

I have seen brake levers advertised as suitable for v-brakes, cantilevers, caliper brakes and mechanical disk brakes. This buying guide covered the main types but did not compare the relative cable travel. Could anyone suggest which type offers the greatest cable travel as this may be an important factor in making a selection. Even better, could someone measure the actual travel distance? I would do this on my own bike but it has hydraulic disk brakes.

  • Your best and cheapest option would be to get a donor bike and start playing around with the parts on your tractor. This will work best if the wheel's brake track is pretty much the same as a bike's brake setup. Brakes come in short pull for road (calipers), and long pull for MTB V brakes/cantis . Can you weld/braze ?
    – Criggie
    Jun 9, 2020 at 12:52
  • 1
    If this was normal times I'd be at the recycling centre picking up an old bike for next to nothing. Unfortunately, that's not an option at present. Brazing and welding are no problems.
    – Pzy
    Jun 9, 2020 at 12:57
  • At the point where brake levers clamp onto a straight bar, the bar's diameter is 22.2 mm. It's slightly larger for drop bars, but the shape of drop-bar levers wouldn't be appropriate for your application. You could easily shim between 21.8 and 22.2 mm. The 31.8 mm dimension is at the center ferrule where the stem clamps the bar.
    – Adam Rice
    Jun 9, 2020 at 16:28


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