How to Install Shimano 105 Brake Levers

Written by matthew ferguson
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Shimano 105 refers to a group of bicycle components designed for use with road bikes. Included among these components is a pair of integrated shifters (a single unit “integrates” both shifting and braking capabilities). Each shifter/brake lever fits onto one end of the bicycle handlebar, and once positioned also doubles as a potential hand rest. Before beginning installation of the brake lever, be sure all grip tape is removed from the handlebar--the levers cannot be installed with grip tape still in place.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 5-mm Allen key
  • Spirit (or bubble) level

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  1. 1

    Fold back the brake lever hood to reveal the installation nut inside.

  2. 2

    Loosen the installation nut, using a 5-mm Allen key, turning it counterclockwise until the clamp on the underside of the shifter is wide enough to slide over the end of the handlebar.

  3. 3

    Slide the appropriate lever onto the handlebar. The two levers are not alike, so be sure you’re placing the left-side lever (which controls the front brake and gears) on the left of the handlebar, and the right-side lever on the right of the handlebar. There is a small paddle control behind each brake lever--the surface of this control should face away from the inside of the bike.

  4. 4

    Position the lever on the handlebar to give you a comfortable reach. Be sure the head of the lever is straight--it should be perfectly even with this portion of the handlebar.

  5. 5

    Tighten the installation nut inside the lever. This will fix the underside clamp onto the handlebar.

  6. 6

    Repeat the above steps for the second shift lever. To position the two levers at equal height, place a spirit (or bubble) level across the hoods of the levers, and adjust the height of the second lever accordingly. Once the height is correct, tighten the installation nut inside.

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