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Old 05-12-10, 10:08 AM   #1
donheff
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Basic Avid Shorty questions

I a bit embarrassed to post such simple questions here but I researched a bit online and couldn't find a good guide to Avid brakes. My wife and I ride Specialized Tricross Comps with Avid Shorty brakes with interupters on the handlebar tops. We have about 5000 miles on them and the brakes are still fine but I started looking at them since I recognize that I will need to replace the pads sooner or later. I also assumed I might need to adjust them as the pads wear down. As near as I can tell there is no way to adjust these brakes other than by moving the cable end under the locking nut. I see no adjustment barrel on the back brakes. On the front there is a barrel like device (in photo 2) which I don't understand. I tried to turn the top section to no avail - I was afraid I would damage it. Can anyone advise me on how to deal with that thing?

Also, am I missing something on releasing these brakes? The release (photo 1) is squeezed by hand and is tolerable getting off. But getting the thing back on with the wheel on the bike is herculean. My wife refuses to even try. Is there any solution to that problem?

Is there some release/adjustment that can be done through the interupters?

Photo 1AvidRelease..jpg
Photo 2AvidBarrel..jpg
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Old 05-12-10, 02:24 PM   #2
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no need to feel embarrassed!

the second photo is of the front cable hanger. the knurled barrel is turned all the way in (clockwise) in your photo. You should be able to turn it out (counterclockwise) which will add tension to the cable. There may also be a similar barrel on your interrupter levers.

Anyhow, to make it easier to unhook the straddle cable from your front brakes, you should first loosen the clamp bolt that secures the cable to the cantilever arm. Unscrew the front cable hanger barrel a few turns so that it is roughly in the middle of its range. Now tighten the front brake cable back down so that the pad-rim clearance is good.

To unhook the straddle cable, you should now be able to turn the front cable hanger barrel clockwise (thus lowering the cable tension) which will give you enough slack.

In terms of adjusting the pad angle with respect to the rim, you just loosen the allen bolt holding the pad to the brake arm.

Hope this helps-
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Old 05-12-10, 05:07 PM   #3
donheff
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Originally Posted by breakaway01 View Post
no need to feel embarrassed!

the second photo is of the front cable hanger. the knurled barrel is turned all the way in (clockwise) in your photo. You should be able to turn it out (counterclockwise) which will add tension to the cable.
I will give it a try. I tried unloosening it on my bike (the photo is my wife's) and all I succeeded in doing was scratch up the barrel. Maybe I was looking at it from the wrong side and just tightened it when it was all the way in

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Anyhow, to make it easier to unhook the straddle cable from your front brakes, you should first loosen the clamp bolt that secures the cable to the cantilever arm.
I used to do that all the time on my old ten speed in college Now that I got back into riding I thought these machines were more advanced. Someone told me it is not a good idea to loosen the cable at the attachment point since moving it around may cause it to weaken and break. But next time I get a flat I will try it -- better than breaking my hand.

Thanks for the tips.
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Old 05-12-10, 09:47 PM   #4
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I used to do that all the time on my old ten speed in college Now that I got back into riding I thought these machines were more advanced. Someone told me it is not a good idea to loosen the cable at the attachment point since moving it around may cause it to weaken and break. But next time I get a flat I will try it -- better than breaking my hand.
Once you set the adjustment barrel on the front cable hanger so that you can put some slack in the brake cable, you shouldn't need to loosen the brake cable at the brake arm in order to take the straddle cable/yoke on and off.
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Old 05-12-10, 10:16 PM   #5
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I had the same problem that it was unbearably hard to pull the tabbed end off the brake. I need to take this off every time I remove the wheel to transport the bike. I loosened the cable on the other side just a hair so I could pull the tab off the brake. it just takes a millimeter or two to make all the difference. Also for adjusters you may have some inline barrel adjusters on the brake housing. If you don't, you may be able to add some.

Have you looked at the user manual on the sram/avid site?

user manual

Last edited by cyclist2000; 05-12-10 at 10:20 PM.
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