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Brake cable is too long and other simple questions

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Brake cable is too long and other simple questions

Old 05-22-19, 09:06 PM
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Brake cable is too long and other simple questions

Hello all,

I can't post an image because I'm too new, but I trust that this is detailed enough.

Bike: Schwinn Paramount MTN bike, Series 70, 1993(?)
Shimano Deore V Brakes
Problem: back brake cable is too long

I was blown off a small bridge while riding the other day, so it may just be ****ed, but I have faith we can fix it.

My back brake cable extends about three fingerwidths from the frame when the brake is unengaged. When I do engage the brake, the first inch or so (between handlebar and brake lever) goes to snapping the brake cable back to the frame and only then does the brake begin to make contact with the tire.

I've tried ****ing with my barrel adjusters and even pulled the cable through the cradle as tight as possible, but either other problems are created or the effects are minimal. (Sidenote: is there a point when the barrel adjusters is too loose? Too far unscrewed? Just thinking out loud here)

Is there a simple fix? Tightening a few screws?

Also, when removing my wheels, there isn't enough room between the brake pads and the wheel, even after unhooking the cable from the cradle, for them to come off, and I have to take off at least one of the brake pads every time. Is there a way around this? Am I just a dummy?

Thank for humoring me. The guy at my LBS is a bit of a ****, so I was hoping to come here first before being condescended and overcharged

All the best,

Last edited by QuinnC; 05-22-19 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 05-22-19, 09:48 PM
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Read through this and see if it helps you out.


I just looked up a 93 Paramount and it had cantilever brakes. Did you change them out for V-brakes?

Last edited by 88Tempo; 05-22-19 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 05-23-19, 08:33 AM
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And if the linear brakes are change outs did the levers also get changed?

It sounds like the cable is slack when the lever is not being pulled, then that slack is taken up with partial lever pull and only after that do the pads move to the rim. Yes? Some linear pull brakes don't have much arm rotational range that also is spring loaded. Wanting more pad/rim clearance then what the spring"s range can handle results in a slack cable. Some bikes and brakes allow you to change the spring's starting point WRT the boss and the rim. Sometimes it takes trying a few different configurations before you find out which is best. Is the cable freely moving within the housing? Sticky cable (rust, crushed casing, linking or fraying) motion hinders brake arm reactions. Damaged cable noodles can cause a lot of cable friction as well as cause secondary cable/casing movements if the curvature of the noodle doesn't match the cable path needs.

This is where visuals would make our attempts to help vastly easier. Andy
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Old 05-23-19, 08:49 AM
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As above - your description of the problem sounds like what happens when you use V brakes (which had not been invented in 1993) are mated with brake levers not designed for V brakes. The levers don't pull enough cable so just taking up the slack and any housing compression uses most of the available lever travel, leaving not enough to actually stop the bike.

Sometimes it can be made to work, sometimes it can't, and it is almost always not ideal.
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