14 votes

What's this "spacer" lever on the front brake lever for?

Adding pictures to Weiwen's answer... Here is a picture of a brake lever with the part in question circled in blue. It is a quick release mechanism integrated into the brake lever that allows ...
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  • 16.1k
12 votes
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Can the brake levers be moved from the side to the top of the handlebar?

Not really. The levers in the second picture are commonly called "interrupter" levers, and are usually used in addition to the levers you've already got. I think you'd find that if you simply tried ...
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  • 23.8k
12 votes
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My front brakes contact the rim at different times instead of simultaneously. Is that normal or are they misaligned?

When I lightly apply the brakes only one part makes contact with the wheel There are two adjustment screws (Spring tension centering screw on the picture below) which are meant to center pads of V-...
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11 votes
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Are brake lever reach limit screws necessary for any reason?

Their purpose differs between hydraulic and mechanical brakes. On these cantilever brakes, the purpose is simply to adjust the rest position of the brake. If you have the screw fully wound out, you ...
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  • 1,218
11 votes
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What to call bike brake levers with two gripping points?

I was hesitating to flag this post as a duplicate of Why don't brakes come with 'Safety Levers' any more?, but the other post is rich in the names of those "dual-pull" brake levers which ...
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  • 4,201
11 votes

What is the purpose of an insert pin for Magura brake hoses?

I assume by 'pin' you mean the following part: This part is called the 'insert' or 'connecting insert' and its purpose is to 'support' the (non rigid) brake hose in order to prevent it from crushing/...
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11 votes
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Brake levers for riding in upright position

There are two sorts of brake lever that would suit this description - given mention an older ten speed you're probably remembering these: Sometimes called Suicide Brakes, or secondary levers/safety ...
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  • 96.5k
9 votes
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How to prevent loose brake cables with a single pivot side-pull mechanism?

It's because you have a combination of brake levers designed for V-brakes and side pull brakes. V-brakes need more cable pull for the same effect, so your levers pull the cable too fast. The ...
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  • 19.1k
9 votes

Why are brake levers still bent in form to accomodate more than one finger?

TL;DNR - single finger levers have little (if any) advanatage and some disadvantages. Most people do not start out cycling with XT/Ultegra quality bikes and therefore (do not) start out on bikes ...
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  • 39.4k
9 votes
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New disc-brake, rotor, pads; terrible braking performance

It sounds like air is trapped in the system and you should do a rebleed. Just start over, follow the manufacturer instructions carefully, take your time and be very careful to get ALL of the bubbles ...
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  • 254
9 votes

What's this "spacer" lever on the front brake lever for?

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, ...
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  • 18.5k
9 votes

Clips/extenders for road bike brake levers?

Over a year later, I did some googling and to my surprise, yes these are a thing. However they're rare and not popular, so may be hard to source. Common Solutions Safety Levers, common during the ...
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  • 96.5k
8 votes
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New road bike comes with cryptic tag on the brake/shift lever

These are referring to pad spacers. They essentially increase or decrease the amount of motion you have when moving the brake levers. See page 16 of the following PDF for a better diagram: Shimano ...
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  • 474
8 votes
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What (kind of?) brake lever is this?

It's almost certainly a Gran Compe SHOT LEVER two handle brake lever. This description matches quite well and there's some comments on Bike Forums. Simply, both levers operate the same brake, but on ...
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  • 23k
7 votes
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What is the actual cable pull of brake levers?

A long pull lever (i.e. for V-brakes, mountain mechanical discs) pulls the cable about twice as long (but about half as hard) as a short pull lever (caliper, cantilever, road discs). This is ...
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  • 45.5k
7 votes

Braking on a vintage road bike

It is true that the old style brake levers were not as powerful from the hoods as modern ones. The reason is geometry. The picture below shows how old and new levers move when pulled. With old ...
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  • 19.1k
7 votes
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Thumb ring and index finger

There is nothing obviously wrong with your handlebar setup. As long the shift and brake levers are easily accessible and you don't have to rotate your wrists or shift your hand laterally along the bar ...
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7 votes
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How to improve braking with hands on hoods?

Braking is always stronger from the drops than the hoods, as you noted only your lower fingers have mechanical advantage when braking from the hoods, when braking from the drops you have much better ...
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  • 29.8k
7 votes

What are cheap options for an extra set of brake levers for mechanical disk brakes?

Presumably you have drop bars. Inline brake levers are your only choice. The only places to mount extra levers on drop bars are tops. With inline levers installed you can reach levers from the drops, ...
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7 votes
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Can a Shimano XT (mountain) hydraulic disc brake caliper be used with an Ultegra STI road brake lever?

Shimano recommends a totally different mountain brake levers for the 2-piston XTR brake (the M9100) vs the XTR 4-piston model (the M9120). Why would you need a different brake lever for these ...
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7 votes
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Is it possible that the gears switched from left to right?

The standard setup is left for front and right for rear for gears. For gears you would need special left rear and right front shifters, which are not manufactured. It is very unlikely that you had ...
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  • 19.1k
7 votes
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New front fork has steel caps on V-brake mounts - can these be removed to expose threaded mounts beneath

These caps are indeed removable. They are protective caps on your brake mount bosses, to prevent the paint getting on the surface of the brake mount or threading, in the factory. They've done their ...
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  • 11.4k
7 votes
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Are clear hydraulic brake lines available for sale?

The pressures necessary in any disk brake setup are extremely high, many in excess of 2000psi [SRAM 4234 Rev A(2012), p4] so require a spirally-wound fiber core reinforcement to function. Because this ...
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7 votes
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Ultegra ST-R8020 Lever: crack near brake hose interface

You may have a hard time finding someone to tell you exactly what's under there in terms of the architecture and what part bears how much load, since replacement parts aren't available to service or ...
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6 votes
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Tried to replace bicycle brake housing. Broken cable?

There are two types of brake anchor (one is plum-shaped, the other is barrel-shaped or cylindrical). If you have the wrong one at the brake end, it won't fit properly and will slide around. To solve ...
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  • 28.4k
6 votes
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Cross top Levers as primary brake

A lot of people do this, enough that at some points it's been a fashion on fixed gears. All you have to do is put the cable through the normal way with the head resting on the back side of the lever, ...
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6 votes
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Can rubber hoods be used on a different brand of brake levers?

No. The rubber hoods are designed to closely match the lever's shape and are not stretched when installed. There are some third party replacement hoods, but they too are designed to fit specific lever ...
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  • 19.1k
6 votes

What to call bike brake levers with two gripping points?

It's just worth mentioning that there are modern levers that serve the same purpose but are much safer. If you're trying to emulate the setup above you shoudl use the new products. They are known as ...
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  • 45.1k
6 votes

Can I use V brake levers for U brakes (side pull calipers)?

I found this helpful site which explains the different types and compatibilities: Mechanical bicycle brake compatibility Types of brake levers and calipers These are the brake lever ...
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  • 373
6 votes

New front fork has steel caps on V-brake mounts - can these be removed to expose threaded mounts beneath

Pull the caps off, that should reveal the standard V-Brake mounts underneath. Often forks come with some kind of plastic protector cap on the mounts to protect them in shipping. Looks like your fork ...
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