Bicycle Mechanics - brake lever and cable fitting
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Hi, I've got a really old Raleigh road bike that's all ready to go but for the brakes.. and I'd like to attempt to sort that out myself, unless I find out it's inadvisable for whatever reasons. I haven't done anything on bicycles before but I have done other mechanical things.
The bike has side-pull type brakes front and back. Cable is fitted to the back but the cable/lever assembly is missing a part that would hold it in place while the inner cable is pulled through, so the whole cable is loose.
Front brake is missing all lever and cable parts.
So I guess my questions are these:
Do you know of a guide on the Internet that should help me to fit brake levers and cables?
What parts do I need to buy? - I'm thinking about sending this question to wiggle.co.uk and asking them for a list of the components I'd need.. but I'm also wondering if I might be better off looking on ebay.
Please advise :D
Extra info: Mainly want the bike to be functional.. aesthetics and such are not important, but the parts should cost as little as possible.
Pictures would help.
I don't get a clear sense of the problem with the back lever. Is the head of the brake cable not seating correctly inside the lever? Inside the brake lever is a barrel shaped piece (cable anchor ) into which brake cable seats. Is that the part that is missing? If you think the calipers themselves are ok, purchasing replacement levers is certainly an option since you apparently are missing one anyway. Installation is not hard but adjusting single pivot calipers, which I assume you have, is a bit of a challenge. You might want to consider upgrading to dual pivot calipers, which have more stopping power and are easier to keep centered and adjusted properly.
Here is a link to park guide on calipers. It contains a further link to discussion of levers themselves.
I don't have a camera, here's a drawing: http://i42.tinypic.com/2jbv2ic.jpg
Where the cable enters the back of the lever (purple ring in my sketch) maybe there should be something to grip the outer cable, but there isn't.
Anyhow, you're right it'd probably be better to buy 2 new levers and ignore this problem.
Although the bike rides fine, it's probably nothing special and I hardly paid anything for it, so I'm not looking to upgrade or improve beyond making something that works.
Oh, you seem to be missing the oversized housing ferrule that prevents the housing from being sucked into the brake lever. Depending on type of lever, your need may vary. These would work I think for the kind of lever where cable routes through the top of hood but I am not sure if they would work for you. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Grey-Brake-Lever-Ferrules-NOS-Wide-Base-Lot-4-Pr-/320742263001. I have older shimano 600 levers where cable routes from under handlebar tape and from behind the lever underneath the hood ( like your drawing indicates you have). I found an oversized ferrule, just a bit fatter than a standard 5mm housing ferrule, that worked for me. Something like this: http://www.loosescrews.com/index.cgi?d=single&c=Cable/Casing&sc=Ferrules&tc=5mm%20Inside%20Diameter&item_id=DC-B95&id=127286623005
Do I understand correctly that you have only one lever or do you have a front lever, just no cable and housing? If latter, new cables and housing are easily acquired.
Ah great, that is what it needs.
The previous owner did give me the front lever, but not all that's needed to attach it.
http://i43.tinypic.com/2qipiz6.jpg I have this red piece (marked 23.8) and a bolt, but nothing else.
That's a Weinmann or diaCompe lever clamp (same design for both brands) It requires a special square nut with extensions on both sides which engage the square holes in the band. I don't know if a mail order firm like Wiggle would sell these, but you can walk into any shop and ask for a Weinmann (or DiaCompe) lever band nut.
It would probably help if you removed the band and brought it in with you. BTW this design is somewhat obsolete, so you should probably go to an older bike shop with staff that's been around a while.
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