Introduction: Convert Brake Levers to Tire Levers

About: Living the maker's life

I recently started repurposing old bike parts into useful items I use or sell with the goal of getting myself back to mountain biking (more about that - here) and these levers were something that I thought are completely useless as an upcycling material since they're plastic and bad looking.

Boht luckily and unluckily, as cyclist problem aka flat tire presented itself and I spent an absurd amount of time mounting that tight 23C tire off and on, I figured that the crappy brake levers would actually make great tire levers so I took and tried one for the purpose straight away. To say that I felt the potential would be an understatement. Trying them out paid off right away since the process became so much faster.

It was apparent however, that using them assembled as a whole lever with mount is not very convenient and some other changes should be made for effective use.

This instructable is also a sequel in my "Reuse the whole thing" series, consider this a start of the "Reuse the whole thing: bike". More on the topic in the next few days. Meanwhile the first one about glass bottles can be seen here.

Step 1: Take Them Apart

To disassemble the levers you don't need much, just the regular hex keys. So take the levers apart.

The small loops at the end of the levers aren't very useful either, so remove them. Since they're probably riveted, use a Dremel to grind them off or alternatively you could drill through the rivet. To remove the rivet I used a small vice, screw as a pressing pin and nut underneath to allow space for the rivet to be pressed out. I originally tried to use bicycle chain disassembly tool, but the lever is too thick for that.

Step 2: Add Some Useful Touches

It also seemed like a good idea to use both sides of the levers, so not only did I flatten one of the ends of it, but also made this groove. As it turned out - this was a very smart move as it is very useful for sliding the tire off. Check the gif in the next step!

Step 3: Use Them!

Throw them in your backpack and hope that you won't need them. :)

Due to the fact that they have a metal strip inside these levers seem far more durable and less flexible than your usual plastic levers (at least the one I have). The plastic isn't glossy and slides easier on the rubber surface as well.

As you can see, luckily for you, unluckily for me I had to try them enough times to even take a video and make a gif from it. Would've uploaded it all, but messed up and focused my camera in the background most of the time, so forgive me I have failed.

Step 4: What's Next?

And now, here's a little teaser of the next thing from Project Bike I'm going to post here in a few days.

If you're curious - follow me here on instructables or on instagram not to miss it!

Happy riding!

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