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The LifeLine Pro Disc Brake Caliper Alignment Tool is a helpful little thing that makes eliminating rotor rub a bit easier. The tool seems to improve my success rate when aligning, but the lack of a bridge between the two plates can make it hard to get in place.
Brake caliper alignment is one of the hidden joys of disc brakes. The easy method is to loosen the mounting bolts, pull the brake on and then do the bolts back up. Sometimes this works but, whenever I swap wheels just before a ride, it doesn't.
Enter the caliper alignment tools. They're all roughly the same: two thin metal plates that slide in between the disc and the pads. You repeat the process above and as I found, the strike rate for success is a bit better.
Most alignment tools I've seen use one piece of metal, folded in the middle. The LifeLine tool, however, uses two separate plates that swivel out from the handle. The result looks something like a straight razor.
The issue I have with this design (and the relatively long plates) is that it's quite difficult to push into the tiny gaps either side of the rotor.
Having used Birzman's Clam tool, I find it hard to recommend the LifeLine design. The Clam is cheaper too at £6.99 yet comes as a pack of three, so you can lob one in your toolbox, one in your saddlebag and one in the car – or wherever else is going to be useful.
The LifeLine version does work once in place, and the length of the plates might be useful if you've got a difficult-to-access caliper, but otherwise it's neither as effective nor as cheap as the competition.
Does the job, but it's fiddlier and more awkward than some cheaper designs
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road.cc test report
Make and model: LifeLine Pro Disc Brake Caliper Alignment Tool
Size tested: One Size
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
LifeLine says: "Set the correct gap for any hydraulic brake caliper with the Lifeline Pro Disc Brake Caliper Alignment Tool. Easy to use and prevents brake rubbing issues."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Size: 15cm x 3.5cm
Blade Length: 13cm
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Hard to get in, but works well after that.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Improves the success rate of caliper alignment.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The plates are too long and, because they're not connected, they're quite difficult to push into the caliper.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
We've never tested another caliper alignment tool, though Birzman's tool is much cheaper at £6.99. You get three in a pack too.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was okay
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
Use this box to explain your overall score
It works to increase the success of caliper alignment, but not that well or that cheaply. It's a little underwhelming.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.