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Old 02-19-09, 09:31 PM   #1
upthebikepunx
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really dumb question: how do i install a front brake on a track bike?















First of all, sorry for all the pictures!!! But if you need more pictures of the brake assembly:
more pictures of brake on bikeisland.com site here

Okay, so for her birthday I decided to buy my girlfriend new bullhorns and a front brake for her Bianchi Pista. I got the brake in the mail yesterday and I'm seeing her tomorrow and I can not for the life of me figure out the correct way to put the stinkin thing together. Not sure where all the "Piece B's" and the "Acorn" go.

I figured I could easily find it online but I can't find it anywhere. Even the Sheldon Brown site pretty much only turned up results for cantilever brakes. Haven't found anything that tells me where these parts go. If all else fails I'm prepared to admit defeat and just take it into my LBS but I'd much rather have a complete looking package ready to put on her bike when I see her tomorrow.

Any advice on the correct order of the parts? Or at least a link to something that would explain it online? Couldn't find anything with these parts on Park Tools, Youtube, Sheldon Brown, etc. Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-19-09, 09:39 PM   #2
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The acorn is not needed in your case. It is only needed for 1970s style brake levers where the cable goes through a hole, big enough for the cable anchor, in the top of the lever.
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Old 02-19-09, 09:40 PM   #3
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the 'acorn' is for older style brake levers. the non-aero kind.
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Old 02-19-09, 09:47 PM   #4
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Ohhhh okay, that makes sense, I knew I recognized it from somewhere!! Thanks!!

So now about those "Piece B"'s... Why did they give me four of them? Am I supposed to do anything with them?? Or can I just run the cable housing straight into the brake?

Once I get that figured out, is a brake cable cutter absolutely necessary for cutting the cable and its housing shorter? Or can I just use a pair of wire cutters and maybe hit it with a Dremel tool to smooth the edges out?
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Old 02-19-09, 10:11 PM   #5
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they gave you 4 because those cross tops usually have to use 2 sections of housings.
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Old 02-19-09, 10:12 PM   #6
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The pieces you have labeled as "B" are the ferrules for the end of the brake cable housing. Keeps things neat and protected. You only need one on each end of the cable housing. You got 4 because if this was a rear brake, you might end up using 2 separate pieces of housing - one to get from the lever on the bars to the top tube housing stop, then a second piece to get around the seat post to the rear brake. For the front brake you only need the one piece of housing, therefore only 2 ferrules.

You can do things with wire cutters and a Dremel, especially if you're only doing the one brake. Things won't be as neat, but it'll be fine. Best is to use the cut-off wheel on the Dremel to make the cut in the housing 'cause wire cutters usually will crush the housing while cutting it. Make the cut end of the cable neater with a little cable end ferrule that your LBS should give you for about a nickel or a throw-in with any other purchase if you ask. This piece slides over the loose end of the cable and crimps on to keep the cable from fraying.
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Old 02-19-09, 11:41 PM   #7
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Awesome, I put it on my bike and left it a little long to leave room for adjustments on girlfriends bike tomorrow. So far thing seems to be working great! Will work even better once I cut it down to her size. I ended up just running the end that comes with the metal ferrule directly into the brake lever and putting on a "Piece B" ferrule where the cable housing runs into the brake.

Minor problem I'm having now: the quick release isn't doing anything. I'm not really too worried about this but I just want to make sure I'm doing everything right.


You don't see anything wrong with it, do you?
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Old 02-19-09, 11:53 PM   #8
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you can take off the piece of tape on the calipers once you're done.
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Old 02-20-09, 03:22 AM   #9
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The QR isn't doing anything because your cable-tension is too low and the caliper is fully expanded anyway. Lengthing the cable by loosening the QR won't allow the caliper to expand any further apart. Use the barrel-adjuster to move the pads 1mm away from the rim on each side and you'll find that the QR will work to spread the pads apart by about 5mm to allow for wheel-removal.
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