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Stiff Brake Lever

mtbjunkie08mtbjunkie08 Posts: 192
edited January 2015 in Workshop
Hi all,

I have noticed on my relatively new bike that the left Brake lever is much stiffer/more difficult to contract than the right. I've tried oiling the brake calipers and brake lever spring but still not as good as right hand lever. The levers are Shimano Sora (ST-3503).
I've tried looking at the Shimano servicing manuals but they are quite complex and they mention a special tool required to take the levers apart. The bike has only done approx. 100miles so I wouldnt have thought there would be too much gunk in the levers causing this.

Any suggestions very welcome.



  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    Check the cables. Rear brake has a longer run so often has more friction.
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  • Just noticed there was a little more cable adjustment left on the rear brakes, so its fully slackened now. It does feel slightly easier to pull but still not as 'light' as I would like. Maybe try and spray some WD40 where the cables go into the cable housings?
  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,175
    WD40's not great as the oil in it does tend to get a bit gummy over time. If you have something with teflon or silicone in it like GT85 or SP90 then that would be a better bet.

    Failing that it will only cost a couple of quid for new housing anyway.
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    On Strava.{/url}
  • mr_evilmr_evil Posts: 234
    It might be poor cable routing. It's quite common even on brand new bikes for the section of rear cable entering the rear caliper to be far too long (check the pictures on Sheldon Brown's site for examples of what it should and shouldn't look like).
  • Thanks for this, I've just checked the bike and there is quite a significant loop/curve going upwards in the rear cable as it exits the frame near the seat post. I will definitely have a go at trimming the housing, fingers crossed that will sort it!. :-)
  • Finally got around to sorting this out. I had decided to upgrade the stock brakes to Shimano 105 anyway and at the same time as fitting them we shortened the rear cable housing with my dads angle grinder, sounds excessive I know but the cut was reasonably nice and clean.

    Anyway the rear brake lever action is now just as light as the front!!. I dont know whether thats because I've changed the calipers or because we shortened the cable housing but either way its sorted. Thanks again to Mr Evil for advising me about the housing.
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