Replacing hydraulic disc brake lever (road)

Anyone ever swap a hydraulic disc brake lever on a road bike? I crashed and the shifter broke, so I need to replace.

I’m familiar enough with hydraulic braking systems and have the tools to complete my own brake bleeds, but not sure if replacing a lever is more involved.

Can I just swap out the lever while the rest of the system remains closed (ie no need to drain and replace fluid) or does swapping a lever mean I have to fully drain the system and then refill with new hydraulic fluid? Trying to determine if I should give it a crack or take it to the shop.

I tried looking up videos or instructions for this but everything I can find is for setting up new brakes, and I think just replacing should be a less intensive job.


You will have to open the system to move the brake hose to the new lever so then a brake bleed has to happen. As part of that you should replace the compression fitting aka the olive.

Roger that. That’s what I suspected.

I was wondering if there was a way to disconnect the hose without allowing air in or compressing the lever and it’d simply be a disconnect/reconnect.

Thank you

? I already have the lever.

Fwiw, sram axs lever (blade only) is very easy to swap. No bleed, don’t even need to take shifter off. What group do you have?

Any info on lever replacement instructions? I’ve got a noise right lever sram is going to warranty.

You’ll likely need to replace the barb & olive on the hose for best results when removing it from a caliper/lever. After that, a simple burp bleed should do the trick – no need to do a full bleed. :sweat_smile:

I replaced a lever over the winter on a bike with Shimano Ultegra. Don’t tell anyone, but since the bike was going to be sitting on the trainer for a few weeks, I kept the old barb and olive on the hose and sealed it back up to see if it’d work. After a quick bleed it’s been rock solid and leak-free for thousands of miles ever since. That said, don’t do what I did :wink:

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