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  1. #1
    Senior Member axelfox's Avatar
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    Getting Brake Cable to Release

    I'm installing my first brake cable on a set of drop bars and I'm having trouble getting the cable to release back to the natural position after engaging/squeezing them. I've put some lube down the cable housing, but that hasn't helped much.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    A Serious Mountain Biker uphillbiker's Avatar
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    What type of brakes--V-brakes?

  3. #3
    Senior Member axelfox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uphillbiker
    What type of brakes--V-brakes?
    Sidepull.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
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    Are the calipers moving freely? It's the calipers or the cable not moving freely, there's nothing else.

  5. #5
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steev
    Are the calipers moving freely? It's the calipers or the cable not moving freely, there's nothing else.
    Check that first, if not then it's cable routing issue. We're assuming you're running aero levers? Sti?
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mlh122's Avatar
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    disconnect the brakes and try to move the cable back and forth, you could disconnect the levers from the cable and make sure the levers move back and forth, then move the cable back and forth. if that's all ok then try to squeeze the brakes in and out with your hands.

    one time i had this symptom and one of my brake arms were not installed correctly and not able to move much. also dirt in the cables can do this. i would guess dirt in the levers could do it too.

  7. #7
    Senior Member axelfox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    Check that first, if not then it's cable routing issue. We're assuming you're running aero levers? Sti?
    Aeros (I think) on a Trek 460 road bike.

  8. #8
    Senior Member axelfox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlh122
    disconnect the brakes and try to move the cable back and forth, you could disconnect the levers from the cable and make sure the levers move back and forth, then move the cable back and forth. if that's all ok then try to squeeze the brakes in and out with your hands.

    one time i had this symptom and one of my brake arms were not installed correctly and not able to move much. also dirt in the cables can do this. i would guess dirt in the levers could do it too.
    The cable moves fine; it is a brand new cable & housing. The brake lever moves freely back and forth; I disconnected the cable line from the brake, grabbed the cable to max the tension, and squeezed the brake lever. It does not seem to be stuck. However, if there is no cable, it does not return to the release position, but rather somewhere towards the middle. I suspect that it is because there is no cable tension.

  9. #9
    8speed DinoSORAs Ed Holland's Avatar
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    ...As already mentioned, its the caliper that provides the return/release force. There is a spring to force the caliper open when cable tension is released.

    I have calipers that get sticky (especially after prolonged exposure to wet conditions). They can be stripped down, cleaned up and a little grease added to all the pivot points. Reassemble carefully to ensure free movement without excessive play.

    Ed
    Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.

  10. #10
    Senior Member axelfox's Avatar
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    Thanks to all.

    It turns out it was the brake lever. I bought some new used levers and installed one, and of course it worked. Now I just need to adjust the system or have the wheels trued, since the wheels rub against the pads when the brakes are not engaged.

    Of course, with the new brake levers, my cable housing is too short by about 1/4 of an inch. arghh!

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