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  1. #1
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Repairing a cantilever brake cable, in a pinch

    My front cantilever cable broke - one of the "arms" the stirrup cable, also known as straddle cable, broke. This cable is, in my case, fixed to the actuator cable with some sturdy plastic piece. I don't have any way to disassemble that piece of plastic (it seems to be fused). Can I fix the brake with a piece of cable that I will tighten/clamp to both brake arms and just straddle it over that piece of plastic?

    My cable/brake setup looks almost identical to this one:
    f5cbc3fa-e3bf-4b1c-a5ac-90776a400cb1.jpg

    The part that broke is the one enveloped in that plastic tube you see going to the right brake arm.
    Last edited by wroomwroomoops; 06-26-15 at 09:24 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Kuota Ksano. Kinesis Decade Tripster - fast commuter
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    Quote Originally Posted by wroomwroomoops View Post
    My front cantilever cable broke - one of the "arms" the stirrup cable, also known as straddle cable, broke. This cable is, in my case, fixed to the actuator cable with some sturdy plastic piece. I don't have any way to disassemble that piece of plastic (it seems to be fused). Can I fix the brake with a piece of cable that I will tie to both brake arms and just straddle it over that piece of plastic?

    My cable/brake setup looks almost identical to this one:
    f5cbc3fa-e3bf-4b1c-a5ac-90776a400cb1.jpg

    The part that broke is the one enveloped in that plastic tube you see going to the right brake arm.
    You can't fix brakes by tying cable to brake arms. But you're Sir Fallalot, so who am I to comment? Haha

    Seriously, you need to clamp the existing cable, with a sizable piece of cable sticking through the mounting bolt, or replace it. In your case, replacement sounds like the only option.
    I know that half of what I buy I don't need. The problem is, I don't know which half.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The Main cable coming from the Brake Lever is the one passing through the steel with a plastic coat tube.

    You Need to Buy a Brand New Brake Cable .. Get 2 to have a Spare on Hand.

  4. #4
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    The Main cable coming from the Brake Lever is the one passing through the steel with a plastic coat tube.

    You Need to Buy a Brand New Brake Cable .. Get 2 to have a Spare on Hand.
    I realized that 15 minutes ago, so fixing my problem would have been trivial, by replacing the brake cable (which is standard and I have plenty). But I didn't fix it that way: I found a canti brake saddle with which I am more familiar, tightened it on the actuator cable, and used a second piece of brake cable - luck would have it so that it was a short, discarded piece with the little "barrel" still attached - to connect the two brake arms. And now it works like new, or even a bit better.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Those pieces, pictured, were solving the MTB accidents caused by the Brake cable breaking,

    then having the transverse cable 'clothesline ' beween the tire Knobbies , pulled down By the Cantilever return springs

    stopping the wheel , Flinging the rider , face planted onto the road or trail ..


    The Shimano ones, shown, failed Open, when the main cable broke.

    going over mudguards , or leaving a reflector bracket there , was solutions that made the older scheme safer..

    As would pre emptive cable replacement..

  6. #6
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    Not sure if the OP means he wants to fix the brake or the straddle wire. The brake is fine; the straddle wire needs to be replaced. Tektro makes z-link wires in various sizes; measure the one you have (or take it to your LBS). Alternatively, you can use a straddle cable and cable hangar.

    Edited: Though as fietsbob points out, the straddle cable + cable hangar route is not without risk.
    Last edited by dubes; 06-26-15 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Add content

  7. #7
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Those pieces, pictured, were solving the MTB accidents caused by the Brake cable breaking,

    then having the transverse cable 'clothesline ' beween the tire Knobbies , pulled down By the Cantilever return springs

    stopping the wheel , Flinging the rider , face planted onto the road or trail ..


    The Shimano ones, shown, failed Open, when the main cable broke.

    going over mudguards , or leaving a reflector bracket there , was solutions that made the older scheme safer..

    As would pre emptive cable replacement..
    Duly noted, kind sir. Luckily, I have a fender over my front tire.

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