best bmx brake lever

When it comes to BMX riding, the devil is in the details. A smooth ride and perfectly executed tricks don't just happen; they're the result of meticulously chosen components. Among these, the brake lever is a critical piece of hardware that demands attention. Its quality directly affects your ability to control speed and execute maneuvers safely.

After comprehensive testing and real-world feedback from seasoned BMX riders, we've searched the market for the best brake levers out there. We examined crucial factors like build quality, ergonomics, and most importantly, the level of control they offer during rides.

Our top choice is the Odyssey Monolever. This brake lever stands out for its durability, comfortable grip, and precise stopping power, making it the preferred choice for both professionals and casual riders.

Read on to discover why the Odyssey Monolever steals the spotlight and to learn about other brake levers that also performed well in our tests.

Overall Best BMX Lever

odyssey monolever bmx lever

Odyssey Monolever BMX Brake Lever

  • Easy Installation
  • Versatility
  • Durability
  • Smooth Operation
  • Brand Reliability
  • Higher Cost
  • Limited Compatibility
  • Learning Curve
  • Limited Availability
  • No Return Spring
$28 from Danscomp Affiliate Link

photo credit  Photo by noxcrom

The Odyssey Monolever is not just a brake lever; it's a game-changer in the BMX world. Designed with meticulous attention to detail, this lever has become a staple for pro riders globally. The moment you install it, you'll notice its superior quality. The hinged clamp ensures a hassle-free installation process, eliminating the need even to remove your grips.

What sets the Monolever apart is its versatility. Available in left or right-hand versions and in three sizes—Small, Medium, and Trigger—it offers something for every rider. I personally opted for the Medium size, and it's been a perfect fit, especially when paired with the Evo 2.5 brake system. The design is sleek, and the functionality is top-notch.

The Monolever is built to last. Unlike stock levers made of pot metal, this one is robust and durable. The adjustment screw is far more resilient, ensuring a smooth operation over time. Trust me, once you switch to this lever, you won't need a replacement for a long time.

Odyssey has been a trusted name in BMX parts since the 1980s, and the Monolever is a testament to its commitment to quality and innovation. Whether you're using U-brakes or calipers, the pull and return feel incredibly smooth. If you're running the Springfield system with the quick slic adjustable cable, dialing in your brakes becomes a breeze.

In summary, the Odyssey Monolever is a must-have for any serious BMX rider. Its classic design, durability, and ease of use make it a clear favorite. I've taken a few slams with it, and it still performs like it's brand new. If you're in the market for a new brake lever, look no further. This is the one you've been waiting for.

Most Innovative BMX Lever

dia compe 2024 bmx lever

Dia-Compe Tech 77 Lever Review

  • Durable Build Quality
  • Easy Installation
  • Versatile Compatibility
  • Customizable Reach
  • Added Stopper Function
  • Not Suitable for V-Brakes
  • Sold Individually
  • Limited Color Options
  • Weight Consideration for Some Riders
  • Potential for Arm Snapping During Adjustment
$18 from Danscomp Affiliate Link

The Dia-Compe Tech 77 levers are a staple in the BMX community and have been for years. These levers are incredibly versatile, offering both left and right versions to suit any rider's needs.

The first thing you'll notice is the build quality. Made with a diecast aluminum bracket and a cold-forged aluminum lever handle, these levers are built to last. The finishes available are sleek and stylish, ranging from black and powder white for the bracket to silver, anodized, and powder white for the handle.

One of the standout features is the hinged clamp, which makes installation a breeze. It's a small detail, but one that makes a world of difference when you're eager to hit the tracks. The handlebar clamping dimension is 22.2 mm, making it a perfect fit for most BMX, road bikes, and MTBs.

These levers are designed for mechanical rim brake systems and are the standard choice for cantilever or U-brakes. They're not suitable for V-brakes, so keep that in mind when considering your setup. The weight is another highlight—just 228g per pair or about 8 ounces. It's the kind of detail that makes these levers a favorite among riders who care about every component's weight on their bike.

Functionality is another area where the Tech 77 shines. The levers come with a stopper function, a feature you'll appreciate when leaning your bike against a wall or other surfaces. Your bike won't roll away, thanks to this nifty feature.

In summary, the Dia-Compe Tech 77 levers offer a blend of durability, ease of use, and thoughtful design. Whether you're a seasoned BMX rider or just getting into the sport, these levers are a solid investment that will serve you well for years to come.

Cheapest BMX Lever

jet bmx cheap bmx lever

Jet BMX Brake Lever

  • Lightweight Design
  • Versatile Hand Options
  • Entry-Level Friendly
  • Quick Replacement Solution
  • V-Brake Compatibility Option
  • Basic Features
  • Limited to Entry-Level Use
  • Lack of Customization
  • May Not Suit Advanced Riders
  • Limited Information on Material Quality
$8 from SourceBMX Affiliate Link

The Jet BMX brake lever is a straightforward, no-frills option that gets the job done, especially for those new to BMX riding. Jet BMX specializes in entry-level bikes, and this lever is no exception. It's designed with the beginner in mind, offering a quality product at an unbeatable price.

This lever is incredibly lightweight, weighing in at just 70g. That's a significant advantage for riders who are conscious about the overall weight of their bike setup. It's available in both left and right-hand options, making it versatile for all riders.

It's specifically designed to replace broken levers on complete bikes, making it a go-to choice for quick fixes. Jet BMX understands that not everyone can start with high-end equipment, and this lever is a testament to that philosophy. It's a simple product but designed with the right geometry to suit younger riders aged 8-15 who are new to BMX.

One of the unique features is the option for this lever or the V-brake lever, which is specifically designed for V Brakes. This gives riders a bit more flexibility in choosing the right setup for their needs.

This brake lever is an excellent entry-level option that offers quality, simplicity, and versatility. It's a reliable choice for younger riders or anyone new to BMX who wants a lever that's easy to install and use. Not to mention, at under $10 it's by far the cheapest BMX brake lever on this list.

Best for Park Riders

drew bezanson signature shadow sano lever

Shadow Conspiracy Sano

  • High-quality material
  • Easy Installation
  • Professional Endorsement
  • Size Options
  • Lightweight Design
  • Limited Color Choices
  • Right-Hand Orientation Only
  • Premium Price Point
  • May Be Overkill for Casual Riders
  • Limited Availability
$27 from Danscomp Affiliate Link

The Shadow Conspiracy Sano brake lever is a top-of-the-line product that comes with the endorsement of Drew Bezanson, a multiple Simple Session champion and X Games medalist.

Drew is a Canadian BMX park rider, and one of the best at that, who has won numerous awards and titles. His involvement in the design process ensures that the lever meets the high standards required by professional riders. He has some of the top sponsors and his past signature parts shows he knows how to build seriously good parts. Drew is known for his flamboyant style and incredible skill. Clearly this lever is a reflection of that.

This lever is crafted from the oft-used forged 6061 alloy, ensuring durability and strength. The hinged clamp is an appreciated filter these days. It stops you from having to mess around with your grips when installing or removing the brake. The lever also features recessed bolts, adding to its sleek design.

Available in small and medium sizes, the lever lengths are 44mm and 56mm, respectively. This allows riders to choose the size that best suits their riding style. The weight is another highlight—96g for the small size and 97g for the medium size. It's available in two colors: black and raw polish, giving riders some aesthetic choices as well.

The Shadow Conspiracy Sano brake lever is a high-quality, durable, and stylish option for BMX riders. Whether you're a professional or just someone who loves BMX, this lever offers the kind of performance and reliability that can only come from a collaboration with one of the sport's best.

Most Expensive BMX Lever

expensive flybikes manual cnc bmx lever

Flybikes Manual CNC Brake Lever

  • Eliminates Wobble
  • Lightweight Design
  • Available in Both Left and Right Versions
  • High-Quality Material
  • Attention to Detail
  • Premium Price Point
  • Limited Color Choices
  • May Be Overkill for Casual Riders
  • Limited Availability
  • Requires Proper Installation to Maximize Benefits
$89 from Danscomp Affiliate Link

The Flybikes Manual CNC lever is a revamped version of their popular CNC lever, now celebrating its 20th anniversary. This lever comes with several improvements that make it the best-performing Flybikes lever to date.

One of the standout features is the use of IGUS polymer bushings, which not only reduce but completely eliminate wobble. This is a significant upgrade from the previous version that used oversized brass bushings.

The lever is fully CNC machined from 6061-T6 aluminum, ensuring durability and strength. It's available in two colors: Fog Titanium and Flat Black, giving riders some aesthetic choices.

The weight is another highlight—just 65g, making it one of the lightest levers on the market. It also comes in both left and right-hand versions, catering to a broader range of riders.

Flybikes has been in the industry for 20 years, and their experience shows in the quality of this lever. They've paid attention to details, smoothing out edges in critical areas where your fingers or hand could come in contact, without compromising the CNC look. The lever is priced at over $50, which makes it the most expensive product on this list but for some riders it's definitely worth it.

The CNC lever is a high-quality, lightweight, and durable option for BMX riders. Whether you're a professional or just someone who loves BMX, this lever offers top-notch performance and reliability.

What is a Brake Lever?

BMX bike brakes have many different options. As well as the brake lever, you can choose to change your pads, cables, brake type and more.

Although a large portion of BMX riders don't actually ride with brakes, the choice on the levers and other parts can be quite a personal choice. To use your brakes effectively you need to have a good feel of the force you're applying to your rims. A bad brake lever will hinder this.

To be specific, the brake lever is the section of your brake that you pull on with your finger. Using a pin and spring, the lever is attached to the brake housing and the rest of the brake setup.

In the case of a BMX, pulling your brake lever will pull on the brake cable, which in turn will pull the brake pads together, putting force on the rims.

Types of BMX Brake Levers

BMX brake levers come in two main leverage types: short pull and long pull. Short pull levers are generally used for road calliper and cantilever brakes. Long pull levers are more common in mountain bikes and are compatible with V-brakes and disc brakes.

BMX brake cables also differ. MTB cables have a lollipop head, while road cables feature a mushroom head. It's crucial not to mix lever and brake types due to the amount of cable pulled.

Handlebar Compatibility: Flat/Upright vs. Drop Bars

Brake levers are designed either for flat/upright handlebars or drop handlebars. Flat-bar levers sometimes share a mounting bracket with shifters. Drop-bar levers can be integrated with shifters or exist as standalone units.

Special Types: Integrated and Cross-Top Levers

Integrated levers combine shifters and brake levers into one mechanism. Cross-top or interrupter levers are additional levers that can be mounted near the stem on drop-bars.

Top Brands for BMX Brake Levers


Odyssey BMX is based in Cerritos, California, and has been one of the best bicycle brands since the mid 80's. Their main claim to fame is the creation of the BMX gyro.

They made the first detangler and thus named it the BMX gyro, restricting every other brand from using the word. This is where the name Detangler came from.

Their Monolever design has been released in almost 10 different designs, which is very unusual for a BMX lever. The design works tremendously and the options give every rider a suitable product.

Odyssey also features on our list of the best BMX brands in 2024.


Founded in 1999 in Spain, Flybikes revolutionized the BMX scene with an ethos of lightweight, durable design.

Unlike conventional BMX brands, it broke the mold by emphasizing minimalist aesthetics without sacrificing performance.

With a roster of global pro riders, the company constantly tests its innovations in real-world conditions.

Flybikes isn't just a brand; it's a culture-shaper in the BMX community, inspiring riders to aim higher and push harder.

Shadow Conspiracy

Established in 2002, The Shadow Conspiracy is an American BMX brand known for its edgy, underground style and top-tier components. Distinct for its iconic skull logo and dark, gritty aesthetics, the company has carved out a niche by catering to riders who value individualism and high performance.

With products spanning from bike parts to apparel, The Shadow Conspiracy is a one-stop shop for BMX enthusiasts seeking to make a statement. A cult favorite, the brand has succeeded in becoming an influential voice in modern BMX culture.

How to Install a new Brake Lever on a BMX

Installing or replacing a brake lever on a BMX is very simple. All you need is your lever, some allen keys and an adjustable wrench.

1. Remove Old Lever

Use an Allen wrench to loosen the single or double bolts on your clamp. You may or may not have to remove your grips to remove the brake lever. However, some levers can be removed with the grips still on the bars.

2. Prep the New Lever

Loosen the new lever's clamp bolts and place it on the handlebar. Slide it on or fix the clamp, however your lever dictates.

3. Position the Lever

It's important to position the lever in a comfortable position for your riding style. Try to stand in your normal riding position to find a comfortable braking location. You also don't have to place the lever right up against the grips.

4. Tighten the Clamp

Use an Allen wrench to tighten the clamp bolt. Make sure it's secure but not over-tightened.

5. Attach Brake Cable

Insert the brake cable through the cable slot in the lever. Tighten the cable clamp bolt to hold it in place.

6. Test it Out

Squeeze the lever a few times to ensure it operates the brake smoothly. Adjust as necessary.

Notable Mentions

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need different brake levers for front and back wheels?

You will always need a separate brake and brake lever for each wheel. Unlike a car, bikes cannot apply brakes to both wheels from the same brake lever. However, you can use two different brands or types of brakes for each wheel.

What type of brake levers do BMX bikes use?

BMX bikes use U-Brakes or V-Brakes, which generally need long pull brake levers. These levers can come in various sizes, with different shapes of lever.

What is a trigger lever on a BMX?

Normally brake levers are straight or slightly curved to fit the hand. Some BMX manufacturers, like Odyssey, have created a new shape called the trigger lever. You can tell what a trigger lever is by the large curved section that comfortably fits a finger. Riders will just use one finger to brake and the lever is designed so the finger finds and fits the optimal section every time.

What is the Best BMX Brake Lever?

From our research and testing, the best brake lever is quite clearly the Odyssey Monolever.

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