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  1. #1
    Senior Member Briareos's Avatar
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    Vintage Brake-Lever Installation, No Brake Release Installation

    I'm using vintage Dia-Compe Gran Aero brake levers (all white, they're sweet ). But they don't have the "quick release" button on the levers so I can't get any slack when setting up the cable on the calipers. I cannot get the rear brake tight enough at all. I pull the lever and it isn't enough power to do anything to the wheel in any meaningful way. I have been thinking I might use some locking needle nose pliers to hold the cable inside the brake hood/body, set up the caliper and pulling the cable out the front and sliding it into the cable stop holder (it has a slit in it).

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    I think it sounds like your setting your brakes up improperly.

    Do you have any cable adjusters/QR's at the calipers?

  3. #3
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    I use a clamp to hold the caliper where the brake pads are almost touching the wheel. I then pull all the slack out of the cable and tighten the pinch bolt on the cable. Release the clamp from the caliper and you should be done.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  4. #4
    Remember Wool Shorts? astrodaimler's Avatar
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    Do you have a 3rd hand?
    --
    puch it

  5. #5
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    No, just two like most people

  6. #6
    Remember Wool Shorts? astrodaimler's Avatar
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    Loose Screws formerly known as "The Third Hand" company (www.loosescrews.com) used to have a great t-shirt that said "What's the sound of a third hand clapping?". Only bikers knew what it meant.

    You can always use a toe strap to close the calipers or a piece of rope or someone with strong fingers to hold it down.

    You should check Park tools website, they have demos and stuff there.
    --
    puch it

  7. #7
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    If you need just a little extra squeeze on the brakes to get them set right and you don't have the lever quick release, you can remove your wheel and squeeze the calipers together as much as you want. Using the quick release on your brakes (assuming you have one) does about the same thing.

    If you can't get the cable taut enough, you may have some constriction in the cable path (housing, kinking, dirt, etc).

  8. #8
    Senior Member Briareos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by masiman
    If you need just a little extra squeeze on the brakes to get them set right and you don't have the lever quick release, you can remove your wheel and squeeze the calipers together as much as you want. Using the quick release on your brakes (assuming you have one) does about the same thing.

    If you can't get the cable taut enough, you may have some constriction in the cable path (housing, kinking, dirt, etc).
    This sounds like a good idea!

    /trying

  9. #9
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    I have the same problem with an old set of MAFAC centerpull brakes. No release or adjustment on levers or calipers. http://www.nashbar.com has something they call a CABLE ADJUSTER, but I can't see how it works from their illustration. They look like a couple of short round tubes with several plastic ferrules.There is no description of how it works or how or where it is installed. May solve our problems. Has anyone used this item and can tell us something about it? I may take a chance and get a couple.

  10. #10
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    I believe that you can install them wherever you have cable housing. you choose the correct size threaded insert for your cable/housing combo and then cut the housing and install them inline. They work the same as the barrell adjusters on your derailers work. By screwing the inserts in or out, you effectively lengthen or shorten the cable housing. Since the cable length is constant, lengthening or shortening the housing will tighten or loosen the caliper.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  11. #11
    * vpiuva's Avatar
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    Screw your barrel adjuster all the way in, release the quick release on the brake caliper if you have one. Hang a heavy pair of vise grips on the end of your cable (protect your frame), squeeze the brakes together with one hand as needed (tug the vise grips), tighten the cable clamp with the other. release the vise grips, return Q/R and adjust with the barrel (if req'd).

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