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  1. #1
    I drank the Kool-Aid! Johnny Alien's Avatar
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    Brake Cable Adjustment Question

    OK, I am sure I am exposing my stupidity here BUT...I am used to installing new brake cable on my older bikes with single pivot sidepulls but for some reason I am having trouble with some new Tektro dual pivots I just stuck on a bike. Should they be adjusted differently. I used my third hand tool to clamp the brakes shut on the rim and then pulled the cable through tight and tightened the bolt. The result is that while the levers don't hit the bar they are still soft and have to be pushed pretty far before gripping. What am I doing wrong or not doing at all? I pulled the cable through with the quick release in the closed position.

  2. #2
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    Did you also change your cables/casings? It kind of sounds like you do not have all the slack out of the cable. If you changed casings, and did not use ferules on the ends of the casing, this MAY be causing some slack.

    I do not have a third hand to use, so I usually just hold the brake pads closed with one hand while tightening the cable/clamp. Have not had the slack problem so far.

  3. #3
    I drank the Kool-Aid! Johnny Alien's Avatar
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    Yes I changed the housing and no I did not use the ferrules on the ends. I didn't think I needed to actually. Perhaps that is my issue?

  4. #4
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    That may be it. The ferule seats on the end of the casing, allowing ALL the slack to be removed when adjusting. You DID use brake casing, didn't you?

  5. #5
    I drank the Kool-Aid! Johnny Alien's Avatar
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    Yes I replaced both the cables and the housing.

  6. #6
    17yrold in 64yrold body
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    With BRAKE casing? It is different than derailleur casing, which does not stand up to the force of braking pressure very well.

    Not trying to make it sound like you don't know this stuff, but I don't know if you do.

  7. #7
    I drank the Kool-Aid! Johnny Alien's Avatar
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    Yes. I picked it up with a Rivendell order I did. It was only brake stuff.

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...dentals/15-131

  8. #8
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    what kind of brake levers do you have? aero or nonaero? shimano? diacompe? how old are they? daul pivots should not adjust any differently than regular side pulls.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  9. #9
    I drank the Kool-Aid! Johnny Alien's Avatar
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    I added new brake levers and calipers so they are both brand new. Tektro R200 levers and Tektro dual pivots. I will add the ferrules and see if that helps.

  10. #10
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    well there goes my theory, but double check where the housing meets the lever and be sure it is not pulling through
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  11. #11
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    Did you cut the cabling yourself? Did you make sure your cuts were clean and well finished with no pig tailing or otherwise jagged edges? Is your cable routing efficient and loose enough to allow proper cable movement? Is the cable housing properly seated within the brake lever hood body?

  12. #12
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    On a brand new install like this the lever will always be a t***** spongy at first until the new pads wear to the rims. Other than that and maybe the lack of ferrules I don't see much wrong to point to. Oh, and due to the extra length the rear will always be a bit more spongy that the front.

    Beyond that I'd say it was poor quality cable and housing but if you got it from Rivendell I'm thinking that this isn't a possibility. I'd only expect cable and housing issues if the stuff came from Walmart or similar.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  13. #13
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    You usually don't really need ferrules for the brake stuff if you grind the ends of your housings flat.

  14. #14
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
    You usually don't really need ferrules for the brake stuff if you grind the ends of your housings flat.
    +1 I rarely use ferrules on the caliper end myself. But be sure to use the ferrules that came with the levers (if it came with them).

    Check to make sure the housing is seated fully up into the levers.

  15. #15
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's important to have some tension on the cable when you tape it to the bars.

    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    ferrules that came with the levers
    What's up with that, anyway? Why not just make a proper seat in the lever body?

    Just seems like a pointless PITA

  16. #16
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    I am not sure. But since they come with them, I just go ahead and use them. Probably redundant.

  17. #17
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
    Yeah, it's important to have some tension on the cable when you tape it to the bars.



    What's up with that, anyway? Why not just make a proper seat in the lever body?

    Just seems like a pointless PITA
    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    I am not sure. But since they come with them, I just go ahead and use them. Probably redundant.
    back when aero levers were new most of them had a ferrule in the lever because the hole was bigger than the cable. since the ferrule was usually bigger and rounded it I believe it was intended to cut down on binding from the cable not being at a precise angle when it went from the anchor in the lever through the body and into the housing

    if you didn't use the ferrule eventually the housing just started to pull into the body of the lever
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  18. #18
    Don from Austin Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Alien View Post
    OK, I am sure I am exposing my stupidity here BUT...I am used to installing new brake cable on my older bikes with single pivot sidepulls but for some reason I am having trouble with some new Tektro dual pivots I just stuck on a bike. Should they be adjusted differently. I used my third hand tool to clamp the brakes shut on the rim and then pulled the cable through tight and tightened the bolt. The result is that while the levers don't hit the bar they are still soft and have to be pushed pretty far before gripping. What am I doing wrong or not doing at all? I pulled the cable through with the quick release in the closed position.
    How well are the pads aligned with the wheels? My Tektro brakes are very firm and aggressive with ultra-minimal travel. I know common wisdom is to set the pads with toe-in, but what I do is get them close to lined up and then gripping the brake lever as hard as I can, I loosen the pads, tweak positioning and retighten. For whatever reason, my brakes don't screech. But, if they did, that's just a way to tell people "Get the *** out of my way!"

    Don in Austin

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