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  1. #1
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    Canti adjustment questions

    I have a pair of Tektro Oryx (Kool Stop pads) and was about to give up on them and install linear pull brakes. But that means new levers, shifters, etc. so I thought I'd try what everyone says and make the link wire as low as possible.

    First of all, I noticed with the z-link wire that it has two "stops," or whatever they're called. The part that hooks into one of the brake arms. Is it okay to use the one that's further in instead of the outer one? I never see it that way in the pictures but it worked for me.



    However, once I did that I noticed that the straight section on the other side was too long. I have cable cutters so I cut it down to match. But then that put the pads too close to the rim, so I had to back it off slightly. Now there is a small gap (I didn't measure, maybe 1/8" to 1/4") between the end of the housing and the point where the wire attaches to the brake arm. Is that a problem? Am I doing something dangerous?

    We'll give it the full test tomorrow but a quick run down the driveway seems to indicate better stopping power. I hear this is supposed to give more mechanical advantage but that doesn't quite make sense to me.

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    Well I would not do what you are trying. Truthfully, I do not know what that upper piece is for, but I use it as an area to hold while you pull the wire out of the brake. It probably does not fit well enough in the brake arm and I would not trust it, especially in an emergency stop situation.
    What you need to do is to change link wires. Check out Sheldon Brown's site for adjusting the canti's and you will see that the link wire comes in different lengths. Coded as S to D and from 63 to 93 mm. Take what you have to the LBS and see what was on originally, then get the next smaller one. But if this is the original link wire, it is probably optimized already, and you really need to spend more time adjusting with that length. Here is Sheldon’s site: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/canti-trad.html

    Good luck

  3. #3
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    You should not use the little triangular stop... that is only so you have something to grip with your fingers when releasing the brakes. For a couple of reasons: It may not be anchored to the cable as well as the end barrel (i have seen these little ones let go and slide to the end when used as the primary stop in the brake); and the cable end stop in the brake arm is not shaped correctly fir this part - it matches the end barrel perfectly but not the triangular finger stop.

    You have a couple of options: Cut the rest of the grey tube off and replace it with a section of brake cable housing the same length as the original grey tube and reset your brakes using the correct cable end; replace the whole assembly with a new same or diffrerent length one; or go to an old fashioned cable yoke and separate straddle cable, which gives the greatest adjustability.

  4. #4
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleric1234 View Post
    I have a pair of Tektro Oryx (Kool Stop pads) and was about to give up on them and install linear pull brakes. But that means new levers, shifters, etc. so I thought I'd try what everyone says and make the link wire as low as possible.

    First of all, I noticed with the z-link wire that it has two "stops," or whatever they're called. The part that hooks into one of the brake arms. Is it okay to use the one that's further in instead of the outer one? I never see it that way in the pictures but it worked for me.


    However, once I did that I noticed that the straight section on the other side was too long. I have cable cutters so I cut it down to match. But then that put the pads too close to the rim, so I had to back it off slightly. Now there is a small gap (I didn't measure, maybe 1/8" to 1/4") between the end of the housing and the point where the wire attaches to the brake arm. Is that a problem? Am I doing something dangerous?

    We'll give it the full test tomorrow but a quick run down the driveway seems to indicate better stopping power. I hear this is supposed to give more mechanical advantage but that doesn't quite make sense to me.
    The cable will travel through the right hand cable housing (in the above picture). The gap will move as you apply the brake. Not dangerous but not the best situation either.

    You'd be better off going to a straddle wire and separate cable hanger. There's more adjustability than the fixed cable hanger like above. Like this



    Some people say that this is dangerous because the cable could slip and jam against the wheel. Yes, it can but I've never had one fail in 30+ years of riding bikes with cantilevers.
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  5. #5
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    I think you've reached the limit of what a link wire can do for you, and it's time to step it up into the big leagues and buy an old school straddle cable. Link wires may be easier to set up, but if control over variables is what you're after, they are rather limited.

    With a straddle cable and a hanger, you can make the transverse cable any length you can imagine. True, most of them provide horrible braking, but you can usually find that sweet spot, where you get launched over your handlebars every time.

  6. #6
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    Onyx brakes should be pretty straight forward to set up. There are two slots in the circular guide piece that you can run the cable through. Make sure the cable ends up slotting into the vertical slot and not the angled one. If you already cut the tube piece that the cable runs through you'll have to get a new one. That piece is cut at the factory to match the other side and in rare cases they need to be cut. After you run the cable through the tube piece and adjust your cable pull the tube should reset against the brake arm. Adjust your pads and use the screws to make any side to side adjustments.

    If you keep having trouble with the guide get a triangular hanger like the ones mentioned above.

    onyx..jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by guidosan View Post
    But if this is the original link wire, it is probably optimized already, and you really need to spend more time adjusting with that length. Here is Sheldon’s site: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/canti-trad.html
    And how do I do that? I suppose I could try getting the pads closer to the rims, but everything I've heard says to make the cables hang closer to the tire to get more mechanical advantage. I don't see how that can be done with the standard link wire.
    Last edited by cooleric1234; 06-03-10 at 12:50 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleric1234 View Post
    And how do I do that? I suppose I could try getting the pads closer to the rims, but everything I've heard says to make the cables hang closer to the tire to get more mechanical advantage. I don't see how that can be done with the standard link wire.
    YOu cannot do such adjustments with this link wire. These link wires are just the man tryin' to keep you down! Get a separate straddle cable and yoke from your lbs and you can run the wire as low as you want... experiment with what length and height work for you.
    \
    (PS make sure you firmly tighten down the separate yoke if you get one... the possibility of it slipping and catching your front tire and slapping your head into the pavement (ALWAYS the fault of the mechanic who adjusted the brakes, btw) is why they went to the fixed length straddle cables in the first place.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleric1234 View Post
    And how do I do that? I suppose I could try getting the pads closer to the rims, but everything I've heard says to make the cables hang closer to the tire to get more mechanical advantage. I don't see how that can be done with the standard link wire.
    Sorry I am not clear. What I mean is that, in general the link wire size that originally came with the breaks is probably the way to go for most people. Since you already cut it up, your choices are:
    1) Look on the circular disk for the size, (S, A, B, C or D). Then go to the LBS and get a replacement.
    2) If you want to stay with the link wire, but want to try and improve the braking, then get the next size larger or even the next size smaller and play with them to see which gives you the better results and feel.
    3) Drop the whole idea of a link wire and go to a straddle cable. This is really the best option if you really want to play with the brakes. You can independently adjust the yoke height as well as playing with the length of the transverse cable.

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