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Old 03-12-11, 05:09 PM   #1
ewmyers
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Best way to shorten straddle cable for Dia-Compe 980s?

I have a couple early to mid-80's bikes with Dia-Compe cantilever brakes, which take double-ended straddle cables. All the manufactured double-ended straddle cables I have found are too long (330mm) for my preference, and I would like to lower the yoke height by about 50mm. What is your suggested or preferred method for accomplishing this? Is there a pre-made adjuster bolt that could fit these brakes in place of one of the normal ends of the straddle wire? All the ones I've found are for brakes with wider spaces on the arms, like VO's Grand Cru Cantilevers, or the Jagwires. I have one bike with Dia-Compe 981's, which have an adjustment mechanism on one arm, so they only need a single-ended straddle cable, and these are pretty nice. Is my only alternative to replace the brakes?

Thanks,
Eric
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Old 03-12-11, 05:32 PM   #2
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I might still have a few double ended yoke cables in shorter lengths. Mine have plain barrel ends (like in in the lever). Let me know what you're looking for & I'll check.

Otherwise you can look for a cable repair kit. These aren't common in the bike world because we've gotten down to a few standard sizes, but lawnmower, and motorsport guys sometimes have them. You select the proper end, thread the wire through it, fray it on the opposite end then fill with solder. The fraying step is the most critical because that's what keeps it from pulling through. The goal is to make a floret which when filled with solder cannot shrink back through the end.
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Old 03-12-11, 08:12 PM   #3
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You might be able to use a bolt on cable end, like these things made by Odyssey that they choose to call 'knarps.'



Or, you can do what I did, and simply change the brake lever to match. I found that an old 4 finger Magura brake lever has a low enough mechanical advantage to work well with a high straddle cable. Of course, this does mean you have to choose your handlebars to fit the brake levers, so it's not the best solution.
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Old 03-14-11, 02:58 AM   #4
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Could you use the Shimano link wires?
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Old 03-14-11, 09:49 AM   #5
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Tektro makes setscrew fixed cable end , also ..QBP as usual,
ships them to your bike shop if you ask..
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Old 03-16-11, 03:53 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I took another look at the brakes and I don't think the bolt on cable ends will work. I mean I could make them work, but it would be a little ugly unless I modified the end of the brake arm so the bolt-ons could sit centered where the cable passes through the brake arm. I think I'd rather just replace the brakes with something more functional and more adjustable. I can't use the Shimano link wires because they still require an adjuster bolt on one brake arm. Also, who is QBP?
-Eric
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Old 03-16-11, 04:12 PM   #7
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The original Dia-Compe 984 cantilever brakes on my 1989 Bridgestone MB-2 have a straddle wire with one plug end and a plain end. The plug end fits a slot and the plain end goes through a cable clamp. Maybe you can find a set of these arms where you can make the cable as short as you need to.
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Old 03-16-11, 08:04 PM   #8
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^^^
That's what the Dia-Compe 981's on my other bike are like. I think I'll just look for replacement brakes.
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