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How to center these brakes?

Old 01-23-22, 04:00 PM
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Wyoguy
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How to center these brakes?

I am tuning this bike and having trouble getting the brakes not to drag. Is there a way to recenter the brakes location? I have tried the bolt behind the fork. It seems to work but slips back off center after the brakes have been applied.
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Old 01-23-22, 04:10 PM
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See the flat sides on the piece of metal the spring is coming out of? Get a cone wrench (usually 13, 14 or 15) on that and hold it in place while tightening the nut behind the fork.
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Old 01-23-22, 04:44 PM
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LoP has it right, Likely the center bolt's flats are for a 13mm thin wrench. However the comment I pick up on is " I have tried the bolt behind the fork. It seems to work but slips back off center after the brakes have been applied." I wonder if the recessed nut (what the OP calls a bolt) is not tightening down enough, as in its bottoming out before being fully tight in the fork crown. Also is if the star/anti turn washer/spacer is in place between the center bolt and the crown on the front side of the crown. Andy
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Old 01-23-22, 05:01 PM
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Dave Moulton's Blog - Dave Moulton's Bike Blog - Centering side-pull brakes
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Old 01-23-22, 05:57 PM
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First, make sure that the spring carrier stays centered and doesn't end up canted to one side or another. I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit that mine is shimmed - with a bit of cut-off zip tie end.

Next, you need to balance the spring tension, which can mean unhooking the ends of the springs and bending them outwards, then re-hooking them.

Of course before doing any of this you should make sure that the cable moves freely in the sleeve (lubricate if necessary) and that the routing of the sleeve isn't biasing things to one side.
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Old 01-23-22, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
First, make sure that the spring carrier stays centered and doesn't end up canted to one side or another. I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit that mine is shimmed - with a bit of cut-off zip tie end.

Next, you need to balance the spring tension, which can mean unhooking the ends of the springs and bending them outwards, then re-hooking them.

Of course before doing any of this you should make sure that the cable moves freely in the sleeve (lubricate if necessary) and that the routing of the sleeve isn't biasing things to one side.
Spring bending while is not uncommon by many, including me, generally it's considered to be down the list of fixes. Andy
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Old 01-23-22, 06:46 PM
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Is the housing long enough? Show us a pic of the entire cable routing. Looking at that ferrule inside the barrel adjuster makes it seem too short. Especially with aero brake levers, the housing needs to be almost perfectly sized.
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Old 01-23-22, 07:21 PM
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Thanks guys you have given me an idea of what is at work with all these parts now. I have owned this bike since last century but only now figuring out how to make this adjustment. I usually just trued the wheel to the brakes.

Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
First, make sure that the spring carrier stays centered and doesn't end up canted to one side or another. I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit that mine is shimmed - with a bit of cut-off zip tie end.

Next, you need to balance the spring tension, which can mean unhooking the ends of the springs and bending them outwards, then re-hooking them.

Of course before doing any of this you should make sure that the cable moves freely in the sleeve (lubricate if necessary) and that the routing of the sleeve isn't biasing things to one side.
This is part of a total overhaul of the front with new cables all around. I do think the springs are tensioning it in one direction. I am doing both front and back brakes.

So I put a 13mm cone wrench on the nut with spring, lossened the bolt positioned the brakes with the cone wrench and retightened the bolt. Look good so far.
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Old 01-23-22, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Is the housing long enough? Show us a pic of the entire cable routing. Looking at that ferrule inside the barrel adjuster makes it seem too short. Especially with aero brake levers, the housing needs to be almost perfectly sized.
I will post a pic of the housing. I just redid the whole headset/cable configuration and added aero bars. I am not sure the whole thing is right. The rear cable is too short and a turn to one side actually activates brakes. I have a zip tie added to get the cable up onto the stem to prevent this, will visit the bike shop and get some more cable housing for the rear brakes.

The bike is currently being used on a trainer so it is all working well but want it to be working well in the spring when it is time to hit the road.
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Old 01-24-22, 09:56 AM
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Here is the photo of the cables. I decided after the fact to add the aero bars.

Looking for suggestions on how to route these cables better.




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Old 01-24-22, 11:36 AM
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Front brake cable housing looks a little too long, and, like you said, the rear is way too short.

If the extra housing length on the front isn't pushing the right brake pad too far towards the rim, then length isn't your centering problem.
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Old 01-24-22, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Front brake cable housing looks a little too long, and, like you said, the rear is way too short.

If the extra housing length on the front isn't pushing the right brake pad too far towards the rim, then length isn't your centering problem.

I think the centering problem is solved with holding the nut in front of the fork and tightening the bolt. I still need to rewrap the tape to get it right. I will change the lengths of cable and routing a bit to get it right for real riding in the summer.
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Old 01-24-22, 12:36 PM
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It looks to me like you could get a slightly better front brake cable run going over the left aero bar. I doubt the brake will care but to my eyes, a little cleaner. The housing a touch shorter might make for better bend if you stay under the aero bar. I'd disconnect the cable, pull the housing down just enough to clear going under the bar and look at the exit from the handlebar tape. Is the housing being forced down? Will it develop a bend there? If yes, I'd go over.
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Old 01-25-22, 08:27 AM
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As others have noted, there should be flats on the pivot bolt to accept a thin wrench, like a cone wrench. Center the caliper using the thin wrench, then tighten in place with the mounting bolt on the other end of the pivot.
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Old 01-25-22, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
As others have noted, there should be flats on the pivot bolt to accept a thin wrench, like a cone wrench. Center the caliper using the thin wrench, then tighten in place with the mounting bolt on the other end of the pivot.
Or get a Park OBW-4. Much easier to use than a cone wrench. If the brake doesn’t have wrench flats, use a Park OBW-3. Not as nice as the OBW-4 but better than a cone wrench.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Or get a Park OBW-4. Much easier to use than a cone wrench. If the brake doesn’t have wrench flats, use a Park OBW-3. Not as nice as the OBW-4 but better than a cone wrench.

The cone wrench worked flawlessly. I am going to go back and adjust the handlebar wrap and the cables so the brake won't have any external pressure from the cables.

In 22 years of owning this bike I never thought of doing this, I always just trued the wheel to fit. This centering option is great. Thanks guys.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Is the housing long enough? Show us a pic of the entire cable routing. Looking at that ferrule inside the barrel adjuster makes it seem too short. Especially with aero brake levers, the housing needs to be almost perfectly sized.
This was the culprit on more than one occasion for me. Either too long or too short, both can force the caliper out of center.
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Old 01-26-22, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Wyoguy View Post
The cone wrench worked flawlessly. I am going to go back and adjust the handlebar wrap and the cables so the brake won't have any external pressure from the cables.

In 22 years of owning this bike I never thought of doing this, I always just trued the wheel to fit. This centering option is great. Thanks guys.
Glad that it worked out for you. Often, however, the headset will overhang the centering bolt making the use of a cone wrench a hit or miss proposition. The two tools I suggested work better in most all situations. They are easier to get into the gap.
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Old 01-26-22, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Glad that it worked out for you. Often, however, the headset will overhang the centering bolt making the use of a cone wrench a hit or miss proposition. The two tools I suggested work better in most all situations. They are easier to get into the gap.
Sometimes lower pressed cup overhang prevents even the Park offset brake wrench from reaching the pivot bolt flats. That's why Campagnolo started shipping their brakes with two star washers to put on the pivot bolt in front of the crown, to move the flats out to where a tool can reach them.
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Old 01-26-22, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Sometimes lower pressed cup overhang prevents even the Park offset brake wrench from reaching the pivot bolt flats.
That’s where the OBW-3 comes in handy. It hooks into the springs. I’d use the other wrench first but the the OBW-3 has its uses.
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Old 01-26-22, 10:07 AM
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I have another old steely, hanging up on the rafters. When I pull it down I will see how the brakes work and look into a specialized tool for it if needed.
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Old 01-27-22, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Wyoguy View Post
I have another old steely, hanging up on the rafters. When I pull it down I will see how the brakes work and look into a specialized tool for it if needed.
A pin punch will work as well but it is very, very rough.
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Old 01-27-22, 11:52 AM
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It also wouldn't hurt to periodically oil the ends of the return spring where they tuck into each brake arm. Makes them quieter and smoother operating too. Nice Marinoni btw, must be a real rush to ride. Okay, bad Canadian joke.
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Old 01-27-22, 12:13 PM
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Old 01-27-22, 03:40 PM
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Also your front tire is backwards...
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