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I recently had a low speed spill on my bike leaving the brake lever rather bent. Can I bend it back (roughly) straight or it is likely to just break? Given that it is cast aluminium, I suspect is will fracture and break.

Any experiences out there with this?

If it is doable, how sould it be done? Vice+rubber mallet? Vice+pliers? Anvil+hammer?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It is possible that it would break. However i think that buying a new one shouldnt be expensive and is the best solution.

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Cost is about $120 and I only replaced it a few months ago when someone tipped my bike. I might experiment with the old one and see what happens. –  dave Apr 6 '11 at 17:47
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+1 on replacing the lever, even with the expense. Aluminum fatigues with even the slightest bending. I would not trust a severely bent lever for such an important task. Disclaimer: I am not a metallurgist. –  William Cline Apr 6 '11 at 21:39
    
@dave $120 for the lever alone?! Or including labor? You didn't mention the make and model of your bike, but I'm having a hard time finding anything in that price range. –  jensgram Apr 7 '11 at 12:39
    
Triumph + Australian prices = $120 :-( That being said, I have not looked around at 3rd party options. –  dave Apr 9 '11 at 18:48
    
Almost certainly going to break while bending it back. –  Brian Knoblauch Jun 2 '11 at 17:30

Don't try bending slowly with pliers - I've experience with levers bent in racing tumbles to tell me that cast aluminum doesn't like that.

What has been suggested to me is heat, multiple swift whacks with a heavy mallet, and don't try to get it perfect - get it close to where it was. I've done one or two that way, but not been happy with the result.

In the end I've always used a replacement and kept the bent in the spares bin.

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I've had just the opposite experience with bending slowly. I used vice grips to make a bending-pivot-point on the hand grip and length of pipe to go over the lever for leverage. From what I hear it was just luck as they usually snap. Also depends on how far they've been bent and the quality of the lever. +1 for replacement when in doubt. –  jabolotai Nov 29 '11 at 3:18

Applying Murphy's Law, yes, it will break and, worst, it will break when you most need your brakes. rimshot

Seriously, think of what would happen - in a bad situation, you're going to squeeze that lever as hard as you can. A fatigued part is most likely to fail under stress and the consequences in this case would be literally fatal.

I would never drive my car with a suspect brake pedal. I think you're dealing with a parallel case. Please get it replaced.

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