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Sram announce new BL990 aero brake lever

Slippery anchors with clever rotational adjustment system

SRAM contacted us today to let us know that they've unveiled a new Aero brake lever, the BL-990. In the rareified air of top TT kit it's always nice to see a bit of innovation as opposed to just a wind flow graph that we don't understand, so we were happy to see the 990's clever new rotational adjustment system.

For the most part, it's business as usual here: these levers are light, they're slippery through the wind, they plug into the end of your extensions and you get Carbon levers. What's changed is that SRAM have included a simple adjustment system that allows you to alter your cable position by up to 8mm.

Why not just fiddle with the barrel adjuster on your callipers? Well, all very well if you have one. But many integrated brake systems with internal cabling, like you find on top-end TT bikes, are a real faff to adjust. If you've got a pair of 990s though, not to worry. Just undo the 2mm Allen bolt on the bottom of the lever body (you do have a 2mm Allen key with you, don't you?) and you can spin the whole lever assembly round to ratchet the cable in and out. One full rotation of the lever mechanism is 1mm of cable adjustment. So kerbside tweaking of your brakes' bite point is easy, and if you've got more than one set of wheels to choose from depending on conditions, you can wind the blocks in or out as required.

Sounds like a neat solution, and the levers are compatible with all SRAM brakesets which means they'll probably work okay with Shimano and Campag callipers too. No word on pricing as yet, but you know, if you need to ask...

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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