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Dia Compe BL07 road brake lever



Inexpensive and functional levers for your singlespeed or retro build

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Take away all the gear-selecting gubbins and a road brake lever is just a big hinge covered in rubber, really. Dia Compe's BL07 is more stripped back than most, a traditionally shaped lever with a narrow profile and internal cable routing. It'll do the job just fine on your singlespeed or retro build. Just don't expect any bells or whistles at this kind of money. Or too much padding.

Fitting the BL07 is pretty simple; you can loosen and tighten the clamp via a slot in the lever. Once in place it's solid enough, and the lever comes with a rounded ferrule to locate the cable outer in the right place. Once it's all set up you can pull the lever, and the brake comes on. It's not rocket science, is it? The BL07 does the job just fine though, I have mine set up with 105 callipers and there's plenty of stopping power for bike and rider. The alloy lever blades fall easily to hand from either the hoods or the drops, and there's not too much play in the pivot.

You can't expect miracles for not much more than a tenner though, and the small narrow profile is a bit of a shock when you're switching from a big, plush, integrated lever. There's not much padding either so they're not the most comfortable, meaning I was shifting position more than I would be on STI or Ergo levers. Plenty of cash left for the cake stops though, so it's swings and roundabouts.


Inexpensive and functional levers for your singlespeed or retro build.

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Make and model: Dia Compe BL07 road brake lever

Size tested: Black

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

BL-07, Regular hooded Drop Bar levers.

Comfortable rubber hoods.

Internal cable routing.

Regular cable pull.

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Not bad at all for the money

Rate the product for performance:

Lack the power of big integrated levers but plenty good enough to stop you

Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Okay, they're not that comfy, especially when you compare them to big, well padded STI and Ergo levers

Rate the product for value:

£13? cha-ching!

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Pretty well

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The fact that they're cheap and they work

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Not too comfy, especially on longer rides

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, most of the time

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 190cm  Weight: 98kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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