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Old 11-12-10, 05:00 PM   #1
Shadowex3
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New front brake cable feels (and sounds) like a zipper

I replaced my front brake cable, everything threaded through quite nicely and it's even adjusted properly, but pulling it gives me the feel and noise of a zipper moving. I can feel lots of little catches or stops (like it's a ratchet) and it makes a surprisingly loud noise. My best guess is the wire is rubbing the tube somewhere.

Should I even be worried about this?
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Old 11-12-10, 05:19 PM   #2
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Either the casing core is bent into the brake cable path (happens when you use cable/wire cutters to cut the casing,) or there's too tight of a bend in the casing.

If it's the first, trim up the metal core of the cable housing, use a spoke or some other thin metal object to widen up the hole at the ends of the housing. Make sure the casing is nice and flat (the metal core is the most important part,) otherwise part of it will collapse once you apply braking pressure, and might re-create the problem.

I'd fix it, front brake failure usually happens under heavy braking (when you need it most.)
The thin cable doesn't take long to wear through if it's experiencing undue friction/rubbing somewhere.

Did you use ferrules on the ends of the cable housings? Cable hangers can damage housings if a ferrule isn't used.
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Old 11-12-10, 05:47 PM   #3
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make sure the housing ends are finished correctly. the ends should not have any pig tails or bent bits that interfere with movement. ends should also be filed or ground square and capped with a proper ferrule.
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Old 11-12-10, 07:31 PM   #4
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I'm using the same housing as previously, the only difference is that I threaded a new wire through. The issue seems to be somewhere between the thin sheath that threads it through the guide Here (the thick one has a metal endcap) and where the thicker sheath goes into the brake lever Here (rubber cover pulled back).

Messing with how that thicker sheath sits by moving it around seems to help a bit.
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Old 11-12-10, 10:41 PM   #5
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How old is that housing? If it's really old, the inner lining may of worn through to the metal casing.

Did you tear it all apart and check the housing ends for being clean-cut? If not, do that. Check that the metal end caps (ferrules) aren't damaged. Sometimes the housing can pull through the narrow end.

Is the cable properly seated in the brake handle?
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Old 11-12-10, 11:49 PM   #6
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Seems like the old brake would've done the same thing if that were the case but considering the bike is from ~1987 and I'm pretty sure the tires and cables are the factory originals... I'll check that out tomorrow when I'm soldering the cut end.
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Old 11-13-10, 03:18 AM   #7
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Wow, replace the tires while you're at it.
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Old 11-13-10, 03:23 AM   #8
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I'm joking, obviously the tires can't be from 1987. They're a bit ugly on the sidewall where the tan stuff is flaking off but they're in good condition and the rubber is still nice and flexy with no cracks or anything.
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