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Old 07-04-05, 11:47 PM   #1
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Ultegra brake adjustment questions

Just installed 6500 brakes (f&r) to replace no-names on my Giant TCR C3. Installation and basic cable mount was easy, but I am finding set up to optimum difficult. Disclaimer - I am not a wrench, have no experience.

Where does one start? I basically locked down the cable in about the same spot as the old brakes, centered the brakes over the wheel, centered the pads on the rim surfaces and tried to tweak centering screw, cable length and adjustment barrel by trial and error.

What I have now is brakes that work, albeit with more play in the initial lever motion than I want, and it seems like I have to pull too hard to bring to a full stop. I have Shimano 600's on my old bike and know how immediate and precise they should feel, and I definitely don't have that.

Is there a sequence to follow that I don't know in setting these up? I realize that one answer is "Bring the bike to your LBS", but I'd like to learn how to set it up myself just for the personal satisfaction of knowing how to set up my own ride. Any advice you can provide?

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide.

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Old 07-04-05, 11:58 PM   #2
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Well, for road brakes here is the typical procedure I follow...

1st I get the pads set up approximately by attaching the cable as tightly as possible, loosening the pads and then pulling the lever and pulling the pads tight against the rim and retightening the pads to their approx. positions.

2nd I clamp the pads against the rim with the lever, readjust the cable tension (pull more slack out of it) and tighten the bolt back down.

3rd I clamp the pads against the rim again, and loose the center bolt so the brakes more or less center themselves as they are clamped against the rim.

4th I check and adjust pad height once cable tension and centering is done properly.
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Old 07-05-05, 12:59 AM   #3
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If you've set the cable tension correctly (*heartheartheart* 4th hand tools) you can use the barrel adjuster on the brake to bring the pads close enough to the rim so they're *barely* touching. Now adjust the pads so they're flat against the rim to slightly toed (meaning the front of the pad is slightly closer to the rim than the back of the pad, this gives you smooth, even braking and prevents squealing) no more than about 0.5mm or so. Turn the barrel adjuster back in, voila.
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