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Old 08-02-12, 09:53 PM   #1
uRabbit
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Are my brake levers' cable routers backwards? (cable end popping out)

Not sure exactly what it is called, but you can see it in the below image.

I was testing my front brake (running new cable and housing), when SNAP, the cable pops right out of the doo-hickie that it routes through in the lever.

In the following image, the cable end is still in the larger hole. However, just a little bit more pressure, and it pops right out.



My theories:
1) Cable housing is too long. (Here is my cable routing.)
2) Cable router is backwards (channel should face up when properly installed, rather than down).
3) Hood needs trimmed just below the lever, as it touches.
4) I am experiencing a previously unknown phenomenon.
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Old 08-02-12, 10:04 PM   #2
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DO NOT RIDE THIS BIKE UNTIL YOU ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM

Your cables are not properly seated in the levers, and at a hard squeeze (like you'd use if in danger of collision) will burst out the side of the slot leaving you brakeless.

The correct cable has a stepped head (see Campagnolo or Shimano type) which should pocket completely in the stepped recess in the lever. You'll know it's seated correctly when the wire end of the head is peeking through the fitting a bit.

Slacken the cable, push it free of the fitting (where it's now jammed sideways) and re-seat the head, and you should be fine. If correctly seated, the head cannot escape out the side of the slot.
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Last edited by FBinNY; 08-02-12 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 08-02-12, 11:32 PM   #3
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DO NOT RIDE THIS BIKE UNTIL YOU ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM

Your cables are not properly seated in the levers, and at a hard squeeze (like you'd use if in danger of collision) will burst out the side of the slot leaving you brakeless.

The correct cable has a stepped head (see Campagnolo or Shimano type) which should pocket completely in the stepped recess in the lever. You'll know it's seated correctly when the wire end of the head is peeking through the fitting a bit.

Slacken the cable, push it free of the fitting (where it's now jammed sideways) and re-seat the head, and you should be fine. If correctly seated, the head cannot escape out the side of the slot.
I am using the SRAM/Shimano cable. See here (but in celeste colour).

edit: Proof.



Last edited by uRabbit; 08-02-12 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 08-03-12, 12:55 AM   #4
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I am using the SRAM/Shimano cable. See here (but in celeste colour).

edit: Proof.


Theses classic Wieman hammer head cables are just fine. You Just need to get all the cabling set up right slip the hammer through pull tight and hold tighten.
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Old 08-03-12, 01:11 AM   #5
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Could you take a look at my cable setup and suggest how much to shorter it by, if it is too long?
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Old 08-03-12, 06:13 AM   #6
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That little barrel shaped fitting that holds the cable end - it's two sided. It has a big opening on one side and a small opening on the opposite side of the barrel. I suspect that you need to rotate it a half turn and install the cable from the other side.
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Old 08-03-12, 08:35 AM   #7
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The cable shown in the photos in post #3 are correct and correctly seated (top photo, post #3). You can see the end of the head peeking through the fitting as I described in post #2. As long as it stays this way it cannot slip out.

Note the brakes return spring provides the needed tension so the end cannot slip back and escape to the side, but sometimes it can slip while you're setting it up. If that's happening improvise a way to keep it seated while working. Anything will work, like a drop of rubber cement, or a ball of crumpled paper jammed in the lever behind it. When you're finished, check again that it's still seated properly.

BTW- brakes are important, and if you don't have confidence in your own work I suggest you let a pro or knowledgeable friend finsinh the job, or help you through it. Many bike repairs ore annoying if they aren't done right, but a brake is different. It won't fail until you need it, and then that failure can have serious consequences.
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Old 08-03-12, 10:00 AM   #8
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The cable shown in the photos in post #3 are correct and correctly seated (top photo, post #3). You can see the end of the head peeking through the fitting as I described in post #2. As long as it stays this way it cannot slip out.

Note the brakes return spring provides the needed tension so the end cannot slip back and escape to the side, but sometimes it can slip while you're setting it up. If that's happening improvise a way to keep it seated while working. Anything will work, like a drop of rubber cement, or a ball of crumpled paper jammed in the lever behind it. When you're finished, check again that it's still seated properly.
So it might be the return spring?

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That little barrel shaped fitting that holds the cable end - it's two sided. It has a big opening on one side and a small opening on the opposite side of the barrel. I suspect that you need to rotate it a half turn and install the cable from the other side.
That's just where it ended up after the cable popped out.
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Old 08-03-12, 10:28 AM   #9
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So it might be the return spring?
YOu have the bike there, not me, so it's hard to say. The Brake return spring is the only source of return tension on the cable. It's easy enough to test, by closing the brake on the rim squeezing the caliper itself. It should spring open, if it does quickly and firmly the spring is OK, if not it isn't.

Note that you can slacken the cable, and possibly disengage the head by squeezing the caliper with the lever in the open position.

Truth be told, I'm getting a bit uncomfortable based on your questions. Please, have someone check your work before riding the bike.
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Old 08-03-12, 10:55 AM   #10
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Don't worry, FB, I won't be riding this with troubles like this. But I do want to fix it myself.

BTW, I am currently uploading a video. If you - and others - would not mind, I would much appreciate you view it and see if it helps to diagnose the issue.
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Old 08-03-12, 10:58 AM   #11
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Please view the video here.



So, it actually looks like the cable is not popping out. That must have happened after the fact before, then.
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Old 08-03-12, 11:10 AM   #12
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It looks OK, staying seated. But the lever travel seems excessive, so you might want to loosen the pinch bolt and shorten the cable so the brakes open only far enough to clear the wheel when open. Remember to recheck the the head stays seated if/when you slacken the cable.

Then before riding squeeze the lever as you would if you saw a cement truck crossing your path. The head should stay pocketed. If you see it shifted sideways in the slot, the fitting is spread open and not safe to ride. Sometimes you can pinch it closed when the cable is out, but you need to be sure the head says in the pocket with bulletproof reliability. If you have any doubt about the reliability, replace the entire lever.
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Old 08-03-12, 11:26 AM   #13
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Where exactly is the pinch bolt located?

Edit: Haha! I re-read your post. I am used to calling that the anchor bolt. For some reason, I thought you were referring to something in the lever itself. Ha!

Last edited by uRabbit; 08-03-12 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 08-03-12, 11:40 AM   #14
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Okay, I cannot tell you how many times I have adjusted the length of that cable in attempt to get it to stop popping like that... But apparently this time it worked. I slammed on that thing harder than I ever have had to, and it still held. Interesting, to say the least. Haha.
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