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, 2020 at 14:20
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    something I want to achieve
    – pmattt
    Jul 8, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 at 16:52

4 Answers 4


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, 2020 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, 2020 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, 2020 at 18:28

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, 2020 at 16:09

I've had trouble parking my bike against poles and walls where the front wheel flops over and the whole bike crashes into the ground. I've used the parking brake levers mentioned here that have a dropdown pin that holds the brake tight. However, unless your brake lines are correctly calibrated you are either holding a very tight stretch (bad for the cables) or they have very little hold.

The best method I've found is to use a section from an old inner tube, tied around the handlebars, to always give the right amount of pressure and in short time.

  1. Tie a piece of inner tube to your handlebar near where the brake lever ends in a double knot (or whatever your favorite knot is). Keeping the full round of the tube is not entirely necessary, it could be a strip.
  2. Add a loop to the longer free and and pull it most of the way through the gap between the knot and the handlebar.
  3. Tension the knot so that it holds the loop with friction. Knot when parking brake is not engaged
  4. When parking, pull the loop over the brake lever.
  5. Pull the free end tight until brakes are engaged. enter image description here

for the elastic band option, to get something made specific

google: Bike Brake – The Parking Break for your Bicycle

  • 1
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    Jun 30, 2022 at 0:47

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