Sunday, August 8, 2010

Suicide Levers! We don`t need no STINKING Suicide Levers!

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Above: Obviously the first thing you will want to do is remove the suicide lever. This usually requires the biggest Slotted or Phillips-head screwdriver in the toolbox. Save those levers and bushings (and the tiny spring) you never know when you might need them for a future project. Next Step. Cutting the post off flush
Above: I Do NOT RECOMMEND you use a cutting wheel this large. In fact I would recommend you use a non-powered hack saw. Be careful to avoid scratching the lever body any more than necessary. One of those mini hack-saws will be a good choice, they are much easier to control. But if you to scratch it up don`t worry, that's the next step.
Above: After the post has been cut-off, sand the area down with #600 automotive grade sandpaper. This will minimize the scratching and smooth-out the rough edges on the cut. If the scratching is bad try #400 sandpaper first. You will still need to finish with the #600 sandpaper.
Above: Now wipe off the dust and polish with "Mothers". Now it is starting to look like something. But we need to do something about the hole.
Above: Take the lever body with you to the Hardware Store. I went to Peter`s Hardware in the west part of Highland on M59. These are all the choices I found that fit. The top two are Allan head screws. These might be a good choice if you cut is neat. The next four are little push-in caps (white and black). These too look good, but don`t cover enough (for my taste). The final one is an automotive push-pin. This one appears to be the correct size to cover the hole and the cut.
Above: I had to snip the last two fins off with scissors because it was a little to long. But after that it worked just fine. Check the depth before inserting the push-pin, because they only grab really tight the first time.
Above: The push-pin is trimmed to the proper length. Yours may be slightly different so definately measure first.
Above: I`m liking that (:
Till next time, RIDE SAFE and remember to always RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE


  1. I wish you had showed me this on the Centurion Sport I had about 30 years ago Hugh! I think I remember seeing brakes with plugs added to the side like that. Now I know why, and why they stopped better than I did!

  2. Hey John,
    30 years ago I was in the 2nd year of my apprenticeship, and knew next to nothing about bikes. So I would not have been much help anyway (: I was riding a re-badged Austrian 10 speed sold by Sears in those days.(purchased used from one of my brothers friends) I remember how disappointed I was when the local bike shop got "all snooty" when I asked them about possibly truing my rear wheel. Centurion built "one fine bike" back in the day. Any chance you still have it laying around somewhere?

  3. Hello,
    Nifty little tutorial. Very helpful. Thanx!

  4. Hey J, Thanks & Your very welcome

  5. This is hilarious. I actually tried this exact same thing this weekend and was going to blog it. I took the piece out of the lever completely, put it in a vice and use a dremmel with a thin cutting wheel to slice it off. A couple seconds with a flat file and its ready to be reassembled.

    I actually cut the original screw down and reused it instead of a plug. It just seems safer to me as well. I mean don't you think you should have something more sturdy on that side? I understand that the middle piece that was cut down is too large to slip, and the handlebar clamp and screw keep it in place, but I guess I just feel safer with something holding it there.

    Your thoughts? Have a good one Hugh.

  6. Also, I like that beautiful modern bar tape job you've done in that last picture...hahaha.

  7. Greg, The way I see it, The post and screw hold the "suicide lever" in place. Not the lever and screw holding the post in place. I can`t see this thing coming apart under any conditions. Maybe if you rode around with no cable in place for a long time it might. But even then I very much doubt it would come apart. Which is really kind of a mute point. Since without a cable, the brake would not be functioning anyway. I remember some of the department store bikes that did not have suicide levers back in the 70`s. They just had a plastic cap where the lever would have been mounted. I actually considered cutting the screw down. But I wanted the side to be as smooth as possible. As I like to ride semi-upright at times with my thumb wrapping around the the top of the lever frame. And my fingers down the outside (sides)of the frames. And I assume others do too. Anyway I will keep an eye on it. But the way the cable threads through the piece that is mounted on the inner part of the post. I honestly can`t see how it could come apart. But none the less, I will test it severely. And if I`m wrong, I`ll probably just keep it to No, I`ll post it right away. Really!

  8. Greg,
    I was hoping someone would notice the tape. (: I`m still not 100% sold on this modern way of wrapping the bars. If you watch the video in the "Video of the Week" section. It`s kind of funny. As he is finishing up the side he is taping, The other side is starting to unravel. I noticed they fixed it before the final shot though. In all fairness, it is just the finishing tape. I just found it amusing. Especially after all the heated discussion. (both on and off the blog) Thanks for
    your thoughts about the lever frame. I`m looking forward to putting it through some hell and seeing how it holds up. Cheers

  9. My Falcon had suicide levers added to it at some point in its life, and had them removed again long before I acquired it. The posts were still sticking out and I rode it that way for a year until I got aero levers. I like this means of getting rid of them, though they can stick out with no problems other than offended esthetics.

  10. Hey Steve, There is another option I could go with. I could get some low-profile, button top, Allen-head screws. In 1998 I wanted to remove the passenger seat from my new motorcycle. There were two flush threaded holes exposed when I was finished. I found these very high quality chrome button-top screws at a local custom shop. It worked out nicely. Maybe I can go that route. "If it turns-out to be necessary".
    I like that "offended esthetics" That is the classiest way of saying "looks like $#%t" that I have ever heard.

  11. No Hugh, unfortunately my attention wandered away from bikes for several years, and the Centurion was sold for a pittance at a garage sale. I rode the heck out of that bike, though, it never complained or failed to show up for work, and when I see bikes of that vintage still racking up the miles, it seems to me they were made to last and last.

  12. Hey John,
    I have only owned/refurbished one Centurion. To date, I think it was the best looking bike I have ever worked on. The new owner (new owner`s Dad)
    drove in from out-of-state to purchase it. If it had only been about 8cm bigger (frame) it might still be here today. I hope to run across another one day. And also a Schwinn Paramount(?) with the fancy chrome lug work.

  13. Note to Whom ever...
    I dO NOT publish comments with links to advertised items or services (Viagra, Weight-loss, Yoga, Online pharmacy, etc. etc.)


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