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Bike Brake Levers


Bike brake levers are an essential component of a bicycle's braking system, allowing riders to control their bike's speed and stopping power.

Types of Bike Brake Levers

Rim Brake Levers: Rim brake levers are most commonly used on road, touring, and some hybrid bikes. They are compatible with rim brakes, which use callipers to grip the wheel's rim to slow it down.

Disc Brake Levers: Disc brake levers are used on bikes with disc brakes, which use a rotor and calliper to slow down the bike's wheel. Disc brake levers will typically utilise hydraulic fluid to operate the callipers. However, mechanical or cable disc brakes also exist on entry-level offerings.

Cantilever Brake Levers: Cantilever brake levers are commonly found on cyclocross and touring bikes and are compatible with cantilever brakes, which use a cable to pull two brake arms that squeeze the rim of the wheel.

V-Brake Levers: V-brake levers are similar to cantilever brake levers but are used with a different type of brake called a V-brake, which grips the rim of the wheel using two brake pads.

How Do Bike Brake Levers Work?

Bike brake levers work by pulling on a cable attached to the brakes. In the case of hydraulic disc brakes, a master cylinder, typically located in the lever itself, forces fluid down a brake hose to operate pistons within the brake calliper, which then grip a brake rotor to slow the bike down. In the case of mechanical brakes, when the lever is pulled, a cable is tightened, causing the brake calliper to close around the wheel's rim or the brake pads to press against the rotor. This slows down the bike's wheel, allowing the rider to control their speed and come to a stop.

Benefits of Different Types of Bike Brake Levers:

The different bike brake levers offer various benefits depending on the type of bike and the rider's preferences. For example:

Rim brake levers are lightweight and simple to use, making them an excellent choice for road and hybrid bikes.

Disc brake levers are the industry standard across all categories. They provide greater stopping power than rim brakes and are a good choice for e-bikes, road, gravel, mountain bikers and riders who frequently ride in wet or muddy conditions.

Cantilever brake levers are a good choice for cyclocross and touring bikes, as they offer plenty of clearance for wider tyres and mud.

V-brake levers offer a simple and effective braking system for mountain bikes, providing plenty of stopping power and low maintenance.

Bike brake levers play an essential role in a bike's braking system, allowing riders to control their speed and come to a stop safely and smoothly. By choosing the right brake levers for their bike and riding style, cyclists can enjoy a more comfortable and efficient ride.