Useful Tools and Supplies
This article will discuss the cable (inner wire) installation in hand lever brakes. MTB hand levers secure to the handle bar by a clamp bolt. Generally, set the rotation of the lever body is in line with the rider's arm.
MTB-type Brake Lever Cable Attachment
MTB-type brake lever.
The MTB-type brake cable uses a disc shaped end. The lever will have a fitting to receive this disc. To insert the cable in the lever, begin by lining up a slot in the adjusting barrels.
SRAM® levers feed from the inside through the lever body.
For Shimano® type levers, first engage cable end in lever, then fit cable into adjusting barrel.
Dropbar or Road Bike Type Brake Levers
The dropbar type lever body often is used by the rider to support his/her weight. This effectively makes the lever similar to a "bar-end" extension. Secure these levers fully. The body should not move, even with the full weight of the user pushing downward.
Look for the mount bolt under rubber hood of the outside of each lever.
Rubber hooks may need to be pulled back to access mounting bolt head
The brake cable end attaches to the lever by fitting through a socket called the brake cable anchor pivot. Feed the cut end of the wire through the hole in the pivot and out the backside. If the handlebars are taped, it is necessary the housing end be aligned with the cable hole in the lever body. It is sometimes necessary to wiggle the end until you find the housing end.
Campagnolo® brake lever cable installation.
Move brake lever inward as you pull back to expose cable anchor pivot of Shimano® brake/shift levers.
Shimano Levers-other options
Some models of Shimano lever may have the cable end behind a name plate. Remove the nameplate screw and nameplate. The plate pulls away forward. Use care not to scar the exterior of the plate.
Remove nameplate screw
Pull nameplate forward from top
There is a reach adjustment screw behind the nameplate, adjacent to the cable hole. This screw turns a stud that will rotate the lever down and closer to the bars.
Location of reach adjustment screw
The lever position range from fully open to fully tightened position screw
The cable access hole is the inner hole at the lever. As seen from the front, it is the left most hole for front shift lever, and the right most hole of the rear shift lever .
Rear shift lever with brake cable fed through lever and body