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I have mechanical disc-brakes on my mountain bike. I am wondering whether it is possible to have the brakes activated without me pressing the levers.

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    Is this a problem you are having or something you want to achieve - like a parking brake on a car? Jul 8 '20 at 14:20
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    something I want to achieve
    – pmattt
    Jul 8 '20 at 14:33
  • I had a bike with parts of the cable exposed between cable stops along the top tube. Wedging an object between the cable and the frame served me some times to use as "parking brake".
    – Jahaziel
    Jul 8 '20 at 16:33
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    An alternative is to have an elastic band strong enough to depress the brake lever, or a "velcro" strap. That would serve as a parking brake for almost ANY bike and brake type.
    – Jahaziel
    Jul 8 '20 at 16:35
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    Tightening a strap around the lever, or sticking a wedge between the lever and lever block, are both common tricks used on recumbent trikes as parking brakes.
    – Adam Rice
    Jul 8 '20 at 16:52
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I test-rode a trike that had a parking brake lever. There was an extra button underneath the housing and when you pull the lever, it clicked in and holds brake lever locked down.

To release parking brake, you squeeze the lever a bit more and the button pops out.

The brake is to help you load your cargo with the trike not rolling away.

https://www.huskybicycles.com/bicycle-brake-lever-wlock-v-type-left-hand.html looks like it.

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    I have installed these on bikes that tow trailers,both cargo and kid haulers. It keeps the bike in place while the kids are getting strapped in.
    – mikes
    Jul 8 '20 at 22:17
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    I've seen these - seems like a good idea, but what happens if you manage to bump it on while riding ? Definitely not something for an MTB used offroad, but perfect for a shopping bike or tourer.
    – Criggie
    Jul 9 '20 at 2:56
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    @Criggie, you need to pull the brake such that the bike will come to a full stop before you can push that button. Then you relax the brakes a bit and the bike should still be hold at a full stop on the parking brake. Not something you do by accident. (I have parking brakes on two trikes.)
    – Willeke
    Jul 9 '20 at 18:28
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Mechanical disc calipers typically have an external lever which is pulled by the cable to move the pads onto the rotor. You can try using something like a zip tie to pull and fix the lever.

You can also just wind in the barrel adjuster on the cable but you’d need to re-adjust the caliper when you release it.

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    Or some tie working on the 'hook and loop' principle, usually called a V....o tie, a large O-ring or just a piece of string.
    – Carel
    Jul 8 '20 at 16:09

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