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  1. #1
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    V-brake adjustment

    I've just about got used to the dual-pivot brakes on my Peugeot. Now I have a bike with V-brakes - or more correctly, 'sidepull long cantilever' since they're not Shimano. Wow, these are powerful and take a bit of getting used to.

    The retailer set them up badly...there's a thing. They work, but at usable pull the brake lever is practically touching the handlebar. Sure, I could read Zinn's book and the Haynes manual (and indeed have) and yet be none the wiser as to how to proceed.

    There are three possible adustments; 1) the 'reach adjuster'...little hex set screw which pushes the lever itself towards the bar. 2) A twiddly barrel/cable adjuster thing where the cable exits the lever assembly or 3) the cable attachment at the wheel itself - you know, slacken the nut/bolt with a hole in it, pull a bit more inner through and tighten up again. I can't see anything else that could be fiddled with.

    Hope I explained this adequately, help appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    You might be able to take up the excess slack with the barrel adjuster but I vote for tightening the cable attachment on the brake arm itself. Clamp the brake pads against the rim with your left hand and release the cable with a 5mm allen wrench. Then pull the cable tight and back off the brake pads just a skosh. Finish by retightening the clamp. Just be sure that you don't pull the cable so tight that you can't release the arms to make it possible to remove the wheel.

  3. #3
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    If you elect to increase cable tension in this manner, it is also important to set the barrel adjuster for any future adjustments at this time. Release cable tension first and then set the barrel adjuster as follows: Screw the barrel adjuster at the rear wheel all the way in(clockwise) first, then back it off 1 complete turn to allow for future tensioning adjustments as the brake pads wear and the cable stretches. If you get the initial adjustment and brake pad distance correct, future brake adjustments will require barrel adjuster use only in most instances. Looking at the adjuster from behind, a counterclockwise turn increases tension and will bring the pads closer to the rim.
    I only mention the barrel adjuster setting as forgetting to do this has caused me to have to readjust my own brakes in more than one instance.

  4. #4
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    All good tips shown here and nothing I can add too.

    It is a shame that a shop would allow a bike to leave their shop like this. While it's being built, a cable should be tensioned and stretched before it leave that stand. It almost sounds like it was a quick build and a few steps were missed. It makes a poor reflection on the shop to be sure.

    I can only hope it's not a mistake that I'll make now that I am back in a shop myself.

    Have you thought about take the bike back for adjustments? A Free check up or Tune should have been part of the deal with this purchase.

    Chris
    A Mess of old bikes...
    92 Trek 970
    08 Gary Fisher Paragon

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ang1sgt
    It is a shame that a shop would allow a bike to leave their shop like this. While it's being built, a cable should be tensioned and stretched before it leave that stand. It almost sounds like it was a quick build and a few steps were missed. It makes a poor reflection on the shop to be sure.

    I can only hope it's not a mistake that I'll make now that I am back in a shop myself.Chris
    I'll tell you what to watch out for: On new bikes sometimes the cable housing pulls out from brake lever and catches on the end of the barrel adjuster. After you snug the brake cable up nice and tight it pops back into the barrel adjuster and the result is a loose brake cable exactly like the OP reported.

  6. #6
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    This is why you have to do your own wrenching. Besides, you get more consistent adjustments at tighter tolerances. Both are good. You will probably notice that the cables haven't been closely trimmed or routed in the simplest layout. Shops just don't care. bk

  7. #7
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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