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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 01-21-09, 06:32 PM   #1
CCC
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How do I put on a rear brake?

I am going to put cross tires and a freewheel on my Surly Steamroller and ride it on some trails and I am trying to figure out how to put a rear brake on it. I have an old caliper brake screwed onto the back but I don't know how to go about hooking up a cable along the frame.
At all.
Is there a good website around that shows how to put a brake cable on a bike with no housing stops? How bad would it be to ride without a rear brake anyways? It is starting to seem like a lot of trouble and I have heard that 75% of your braking ability is through your front brake anyways.
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Old 01-21-09, 06:41 PM   #2
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It's true about the majority of your braking happening on the front, but that's straight line braking. Using only a front brake while diving into a curve/berm will produce understeer, meaning that the wheel might lock up and slide and not guide you through the curve.

Edit: Also, using front brake only on a trail descent is a recipe for a forward roll. One rock or root and your are rolling.

On trails, your rear brake is used to help control the bike's speed more so than stop quickly.

I would suggest 2 brakes or at least a rear brake before suggesting using only a front.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.

Last edited by carleton; 01-21-09 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 01-21-09, 06:45 PM   #3
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Regarding how to put it on: A simple way is just to tape the cable to the top tube. It's not pretty, but it will get the job done. Or buy one of these http://www.danscomp.com/489073.php?cat=PARTS

You can get something like that at any computer or electronics store. It's just a velcro cable management thingy. I got one when I bought a guitar amp cable.

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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 01-21-09, 06:51 PM   #4
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Zip-ties!
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Old 01-21-09, 06:54 PM   #5
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Zip-ties!
These definitely work. If you leave them on too long they will scratch. Not sure if you care about that or not.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 01-21-09, 07:07 PM   #6
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These definitely work. If you leave them on too long they will scratch. Not sure if you care about that or not.
black electrical tape, or thin slices of duct tape. Not the prettiest, but functional.
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Old 01-21-09, 08:38 PM   #7
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Not that the above ideas won't work, but if you want to do it all prettyful you need a cable clip

the NOS campy ones are expensive, but there are hundreds of varieties out there.
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Old 01-21-09, 10:48 PM   #8
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If all else fails you could drill the top tube
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Old 01-21-09, 11:05 PM   #9
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If all else fails you could drill the top tube
Do not drill into the frame. It will compromise the integrity of the frame. The holes will create stress areas and this will be more prone to failure.
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Old 01-22-09, 08:08 AM   #10
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Not that the above ideas won't work, but if you want to do it all prettyful you need a cable clip

the NOS campy ones are expensive, but there are hundreds of varieties out there.
Alas, these only work if you have a 1" top tube.
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Old 01-22-09, 08:10 AM   #11
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i just tucked the cable under a TT pad.

otherwise i would have used electrical tape.
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Old 01-22-09, 08:16 AM   #12
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the only thing with zip ties is, when you want to take them off you have to get you scissors right under them and possibly scratch the paint. and if there is vibration in them they will move and also scratch your paint. the cable wraps work great. they have a million uses, i never thought about using them for a brake cable on a bike. i use a long one to hold the very worn out speed adjust strap piece of my timbuk2 bag from opening up. and they are cheap as hell. i bought an 8 or 10 pack for all tha cables for my PA system for like $5. and they come in a ton of colors.
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Old 01-22-09, 08:45 AM   #13
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=360109554695
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Old 01-22-09, 10:03 AM   #14
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the only thing with zip ties is, when you want to take them off you have to get you scissors right under them and possibly scratch the paint.
Just grap the big end with a pair of pliers and twist it off that how we get them off mouthpieces for scuba diving with out cutting the mouthpiece. Shouldn't scratch the paint
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Old 01-22-09, 10:18 AM   #15
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you put it on just like a front brake
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Old 01-22-09, 11:55 AM   #16
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Do not drill into the frame. It will compromise the integrity of the frame. The holes will create stress areas and this will be more prone to failure.
So the bikes I have with the cables running through the frame are useless?
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Old 01-22-09, 12:02 PM   #17
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So the bikes I have with the cables running through the frame are useless?
No, they are designed and reinforced accordingly, if the frame was originally built that way.
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Old 01-22-09, 12:24 PM   #18
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The cable for my 10-speed is literally just tied on with old shoelace. I think pretty much anything will do the job.
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