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  1. #1
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    Problem With Brake Cable

    Hi. I have a problem with the cable for my front brake (a caliper). When I depress the lever, it does not retract (this is called brake binding I think?). If I push it back to where it was before, the end of the cable comes out of the adjusting barrell when I know it should stay in. Obviously the brakes are not working because when pressed in they do not retract.

    Sorry if this seems like a basic question, but I can't find any thing on the internet to help me. Thanks for your time!

  2. #2
    Your mom
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    My assumptions: road bike, aero lever (cable routed under the handlebar tape), sidepull brake caliper.

    Things to look at:

    Simplest: WD40 the brake assembly around the bolt. Be careful not to get any on the tire or braking surface of the rim. Oil the cable, dripping onto the cable when the head sticks out of the lever. See if this frees things up.

    More complex: loosen the bolt holding the brake in place to see if this frees up any movement. You may have to disassemble the caliper to clean and reassemble.

    Hopefully one of the above will solve your problem.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellyho View Post
    My assumptions: road bike, aero lever (cable routed under the handlebar tape), sidepull brake caliper.
    Yes that's all correct.

    However I don't see how it can be to do with lubrication considering I bought the bike brand new a few weeks ago. At first the brakes were too close to the rim so I decreased the length of the cable under the clamping bolt (don't know if that's what it's called but it's the lowest bolt down the cable goes through). But because the brakes weren't very sharp like this, I tried to move the pads a bit closer. When I undid the clamping bolt of the cable I unscrewed it too far so the cable came out. This is where I started having problems. Any thoughts?

  4. #4
    Your mom
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    Park will be able to address it all better than I can. Check out their instructions:

    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=22

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyd49 View Post
    Yes that's all correct.

    However I don't see how it can be to do with lubrication considering I bought the bike brand new a few weeks ago. At first the brakes were too close to the rim so I decreased the length of the cable under the clamping bolt (don't know if that's what it's called but it's the lowest bolt down the cable goes through). But because the brakes weren't very sharp like this, I tried to move the pads a bit closer. When I undid the clamping bolt of the cable I unscrewed it too far so the cable came out. This is where I started having problems. Any thoughts?
    If you just bought it, take it back to the shop. Let them figure out what it is and they will tell you.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  6. #6
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Isolate the problem. Disconnect brake cable from caliper and see how the cable feels when you pull the brake lever.

  7. #7
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    Sorry but I bought the bike off the internet because it saved so much money. I'd much rather sort it out my self than go through all the hassle.

    The problem is the end of the cable housing (not the end with the nipple, the other end) is not fixed in the adjusting barrell as it should be. This must be why the brake is not retracting (and neither is the lever) when the pressure from the lever is released. I can't work out how to get it fixed in but I'd have thought it would be fairly easy.

    Thanks for the link to Park Tools but I have tried all the bike site I know (that, Sheldon Brown, Jim Langley) and none of them have been able to help.

    I'd really appreciate it if someone could help me on the issue!

  8. #8
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    please post photo

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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
    Isolate the problem. Disconnect brake cable from caliper and see how the cable feels when you pull the brake lever.
    Loose, but still exactly the same as it feels when the brake cable is connected.

  10. #10
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    Last edited by tommyd49; 08-03-07 at 04:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyd49 View Post
    Loose, but still exactly the same as it feels when the brake cable is connected.
    Take out the front wheel. With the cable removed from the caliper, squeeze the caliper by hand at the brake pads. The calipers should spring back immediately and forcefully. If not, its the adjustment for the caliper arms, but I can't tell from the photo what type of calipers you have, so I can't tell yopu how to do it.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  12. #12
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    I'm not able to try that at the moment, but here is a picture of the brake: http://s192.photobucket.com/albums/z...nt=caliper.jpg

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    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    If you remove the ferrul it should seat squarely within the caliper. Also, just wondering, is that cable housing long enough???

    How about a front cockpit view of your bike........I have the feeling you're cable/housing is not set up correctly.

  14. #14
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    This process does not seem to be working very well for you. If you are unwilling to take the bike to a shop do you not have a friend or acquaintence familiar with bikes who can help?

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    By the way, that first photo I posted was to show where the problem lies. The end of the cable housing is not staying fixed in to the adjusting barrell as it should.

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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    Take out the front wheel. With the cable removed from the caliper, squeeze the caliper by hand at the brake pads. The calipers should spring back immediately and forcefully. If not, its the adjustment for the caliper arms, but I can't tell from the photo what type of calipers you have, so I can't tell yopu how to do it.
    I tried that. The calipers did not spring back in to place. Here is a picture of the brake:
    http://s192.photobucket.com/albums/z...nt=caliper.jpg

    And one of the front of the bike:
    http://s192.photobucket.com/albums/z...rrent=bike.jpg
    Last edited by tommyd49; 08-04-07 at 04:12 AM.

  17. #17
    Bikaholic blamp28's Avatar
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    Looks to me like you simply need to adjust the cable tension. That thing is incredibly loose. Look on park tools or Sheldons sites for specifics. If these do not help, you're better off taking it to a shop.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Akadis's Avatar
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    Yes, you need to tighten the inner cable. The end of the outer cable shown in your picture is simply held in the socket by the tension of the inner cable. To tighten the inner cable, loosen the inner cable clamp nut located on the end of the brake arm, squeeze the brake pads against the rim, pull the inner cable through the clamp nut until the outer cable sits properly in the sockets at both ends, and then tighten the clamp nut. You need three hands to do it! It helps to use pliers to grab the end of the inner cable and pull it through the clamp nut.

    Having done that, if the inner cable is not tight enough it can be further tightened by UNscrewing the knurled collar on the outer cable, or redo the previous step to get it tighter. If the cable is too tight after your initial setting (the brakes are gripping the rim without you pulling the brake lever), loosen the clamp nut on the brake arm a little, squeeze the brake lever gently to pull a bit of cable (about 2 or 3mm)through the clamp nut, and retighten the nut.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyd49 View Post
    I tried that. The calipers did not spring back in to place. Here is a picture of the brake:
    http://s192.photobucket.com/albums/z...nt=caliper.jpg

    And one of the front of the bike:
    http://s192.photobucket.com/albums/z...rrent=bike.jpg
    With the cable COMPELETEY REMOVED FROM THE BRAKE it still did not spring back? If that really is the case, then loosen the bolt in the picture on the right side of the caliper until it snaps back when you squeeze it by hand as I described before.

    The brake is also very poorly centered around the front wheel.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  20. #20
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    Thanks every one, it's now completely sorted!!!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyd49 View Post
    Thanks every one, it's now completely sorted!!!
    Well, what was it, lots of money riding on the result?
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
    Well, what was it, lots of money riding on the result?
    The brake pads weren't springing back so I just did what you advised my good friend.

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