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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 05-17-12, 11:00 AM   #1
pkulak
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Why can't I adjust my front brake?

Here's what does nothing when I turn it:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/241970/Photo...%2035%20AM.jpg

Now, whatever happened, I'm 99% sure I did it. I recently installed that headlight, which meant a new (wider) wheel and adjusting that front break, which I did _without_ the benefit of a barrel adjuster. I figured maybe that wasn't an adjuster, maybe it was just how the housing seats in. However, this morning, I turned the rear one and perfectly dialed in my rear brake, easy peasy. I'm not very mechanical, and have zero problem at all with just taking my bike in for all repairs, but in the summer around here that can mean being without a bike for a week, so I really appreciate the help!
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Old 05-17-12, 12:14 PM   #2
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Most likely you're at the limit of the adjustment. The inner barrel of the adjuster is backed out all the way and there are no more threads for it to unscrew. Here's what you do:

1. turn in barrel-adjuster clockwise (tighten) so it's lowered all the way into the housing
2. turn in barrel-adjuster on brake-levers too if you have them.

Now you should have plenty of slack in the cable.

3. squeeze the two brake-caliper arms together with one hand
4. loosen cable-pinch bolt with other hand
5. with other hand, pull through brake-cable end so it's tighter, about 5-10mm
6. with other hand, tighten cable-pinch bolt
7. release brake-caliper arms

Now you should have tighter brakes and more adjustment-range on the barrel-adjusters.
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Old 05-17-12, 12:48 PM   #3
fietsbob 
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V brakes? to equalize the return spring tension,
take the spring on the dragging side and bend it a little,
if too much.. slack off that screw, or un bend some..
they are not tempered steel springs.

Portland has a bike shop on every corner, and a DIY Co Op, or 2.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-17-12 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 05-17-12, 01:55 PM   #4
pkulak
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Portland has a bike shop on every corner, and a DIY Co Op, or 2.
Portland is also nearing an all-time record for most consecutive dry days in May; take your bike in for service now (anywhere) and you might was well just wave goodbye. I do need to check out a co-op though. There's one a couple miles away.
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Old 05-17-12, 04:44 PM   #5
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"squeeze the two brake-caliper arms together with one hand
4. loosen cable-pinch bolt with other hand
5. with other hand, pull through brake-cable end so it's tighter, about 5-10mm
6. with other hand, tighten cable-pinch bolt"

An assistant or a "third-hand" tool comes in handy for doing this if you are not lucky enough to have 3 hands.
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Old 05-17-12, 10:29 PM   #6
pkulak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Most likely you're at the limit of the adjustment. The inner barrel of the adjuster is backed out all the way and there are no more threads for it to unscrew. Here's what you do:

1. turn in barrel-adjuster clockwise (tighten) so it's lowered all the way into the housing
2. turn in barrel-adjuster on brake-levers too if you have them.

Now you should have plenty of slack in the cable.

3. squeeze the two brake-caliper arms together with one hand
4. loosen cable-pinch bolt with other hand
5. with other hand, pull through brake-cable end so it's tighter, about 5-10mm
6. with other hand, tighten cable-pinch bolt
7. release brake-caliper arms

Now you should have tighter brakes and more adjustment-range on the barrel-adjusters.
Thanks so much, that was exactly it.
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