How to align brake levers on a road bike
Aligning the brake levers on a road bike is a simple operation, although it does require some basic knowledge.
Those of us who spend many hours on the bike know all too well how annoying it is if something is not perfectly adjusted, and having misaligned brake levers is one of those situations.
The alignment of the brake levers is therefore crucial.
The first thing we have to point out is that the following indications will only be true for those whose left and right sides of the body are exactly symmetrical and, above all, whose arms are approximately the same length. In some cases, it may be necessary to have a higher and a lower brake lever.
This is the main reason why we will never tire of recommending that a professional bike fitter should always adjust your bike.
However, in standard situations, here are the steps and points to consider when aligning the two brake levers.
1. Step 1
First, we have to have the two basic tools for this operation: a level and a 5 mm Allen wrench.
2. Step 2
We are going to place the bike so that it remains perfectly perpendicular to the ground. If you can, don’t use the kickstand, because it always has a minimum of imbalance. The key is to put the rear wheel between two pieces of furniture to keep it straight.
We recommend protecting the rim with a piece of cloth to avoid scratching it.
3. Step 3
With the leveller, which has to be at least as long as the distance between the two handlebar levers, we will have to see if the two levers are positioned at exactly the same height.
4. Step 4
If the leveller shows a slight difference, we can adjust this difference without having to remove the handlebar tape.
After removing the brake protection, we take the Allen key and proceed to unscrew the screw that fixes the lever. At this point we move the lever slightly to adjust it to the correct height (we raise or lower it depending on whether we move one or the other).
Once done, tighten the screw again and do the leveller test again.
If the leveller indicates that both levers are set to the same height, we’re done. If, on the other hand, the difference remains, repeat the process until the two levers are positioned correctly.
5. Step 5
If, on the other hand, the difference between the two levers, after the test in step 2, is too great, it will be necessary to remove the handlebar tape at least up to the height of the lever itself. This way you can move the lever the few millimetres needed, but only when the space between the two levers is minimal.