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Is the slot on steerer tube necessary for center-pull brake hanger?

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Is the slot on steerer tube necessary for center-pull brake hanger?

Old 05-20-15, 05:45 PM
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Is the slot on steerer tube necessary for center-pull brake hanger?

The patient is a low end bike boom road bike that I've had since the early 70s. The stock fork is bent and I don't trust trying to bend it back. It would be different if it was a quality metal and fabrication, but its not.

I picked up a new fork a while back and just noticed now that it doesn't have the key slot. I know I can just file off the key on the washer, but there is also the hanger for the front center-pull brake. If I file that key off too, is there a chance that constant brake usage will cause the hanger to start sliding out of alignment? Do I need the slot to ensure the hanger always remains perfectly positioned and centered in front?

I realize I can just swap the brake for a side-pull. My first choice is to keep the bike as close to original as possible.

Thanks!
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Old 05-20-15, 06:03 PM
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The tab on the brake cable hanger isn't to keep it centered, but to allow it to function as the washer between the two headset nuts. The idea was that the tab would force the washer to stay stationary while the two nuts are tightened against each other to adjust the headset; so that one wouldn't be able to turn the other. In reality, though, the tabbed washer often turns anyway and gouges out the threads on the steerer. I would have no compunction about grinding off the tab.
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Old 05-20-15, 06:11 PM
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OK. Since they also had a washer in addition to the hanger, I wasn't sure. Bottom line then is pressure alone will be sufficient to keep the hanger from rotating with repeated cable pulls.
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Old 05-20-15, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Beach Comber
OK. Since they also had a washer in addition to the hanger, I wasn't sure. Bottom line then is pressure alone will be sufficient to keep the hanger from rotating with repeated cable pulls.
Yeah. Since the brake cable is pulling perpendicular to the headset nuts, it's not going to affect the centering. Be advised that after grinding off the tab, you'll have to be a little more careful to maintain the centering while adjusting the headset, though.
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Old 05-20-15, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
. . . In reality, though, the tabbed washer often turns anyway and gouges out the threads on the steerer. I would have no compunction about grinding off the tab.
+1
I've seen the hanger intentionally setup off-center (to get a better cable run) without problems.
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Old 05-20-15, 07:11 PM
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Or you could just sidestep the question and use a fork-mounted hanger. You will also reduce the chances of brake shudder.
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Old 05-20-15, 09:00 PM
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you may or may not actually need, or even be able to use, the washer/hanger. it may have to function as a simple spacer depending on the length of the steerer tube on the replacement fork.

best to remove the tab and try to install the fork. you'll find out about whether or not that washer/hanger is usable, necessary, or optional, soon enough.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 05-21-15 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 05-21-15, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by AnkleWork
+1
I've seen the hanger intentionally setup off-center (to get a better cable run) without problems.
I can't imagine how that could work. The yoke would be pulled off center.
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Old 05-21-15, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan
you may or may not actually need, or even be able to use, the washer/hanger. it may have to function as a simple spacer depending on the length of the steerer tube on the replacement fork.

best to remove the tab and try to install the fork. you'll find out about whether or not that washer/hanger is usable, necessary, or optional, soon enough.
The fork required cutting anyway, which I knew coming in. I could have cut to size and only use the hanger, but after dry fitting everything to measure, it all just looks better with the washer on top of the hanger.

Mechanically the slot in the tube may not be required, but boy is it a pain keeping the hanger centered without it. Impossible with only two hands. I finally used some scrap wood to build a little jig and attaching it to the fork through the brake bolt hole to keep it aligned while torquing down the lock nut.
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