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Tips for installing brake cables Campagnolo C Record era?

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Tips for installing brake cables Campagnolo C Record era?

Old 06-05-17, 09:46 AM
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toavii
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Tips for installing brake cables Campagnolo C Record era?

Any tips for installing aero, C Record era cables that don't involve destroying everything around you and frightening the dog?

Have Chorus (CdA)brake levers that can be run aero or non aero. Levers were run aero prior to me having them. Cable end will just continually slip out through the top. Like to think of myself as mostly competent mechanically but this has been a challenge... Any tips points would be appreciated.

Last edited by toavii; 06-05-17 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 06-05-17, 09:56 AM
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Did you take out the cable guide that is used for aero use?
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Old 06-05-17, 10:00 AM
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This is it I believe and still there on both levers.
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Old 06-05-17, 10:09 AM
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Let's if my picture post works. Is this the same as yours
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Old 06-05-17, 10:28 AM
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...yeah. I hate those levers when used in the aero routing. I only use them routed with the cable housings coming out the top.

If you look at aero brake levers that followed these in evolution, you'll find that they moved the pivot where the cable end sits up to where that stupid adapter thingy now sits, which is just a much better solution.

I've gotten a couple of used bikes where someone got so frustrated by this problem that they used some sort of gunk to stick the cable ends in place, which makes them very difficult to replace.
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Old 06-05-17, 11:21 AM
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Ha!! I was doing my first Campy Delta brakeset install myself yesterday afternoon!
Tip: make sure you have the essential 3.5mm allen head wrench......and a third hand tool, as I learned that Campagnolo engineers really thought that people have more than two hands when they designed this brakeset! Just putting on the brake shoe holders and wheel guides with even the calipers not installed was a PITA!
If those little cable ramp inserts are still in the lever body, don't remove them if you will go the aero route, as they are really fiddly to install, specially with the lever hoods on (from the side of the levers not from the top). Do take them out if you will go non-aero with the levers, as they might fall off when you ride. They are not cheap to replace, if you can even find them.
Next big tip, do not cut your cables until you already thread them through the cable pinch mechanism, as a frayed cable tip will make it very hard to route them through the cable pincher, which is mostly hidden behind the caliper internal mechanism. Only cut the cable close to the bottom of the caliper casing when you have the caliper close enough to final adjustment, as you only will most likely have one chance to cut it to the correct legnth. Cut it too short and you might need to run out again to get another cable. Screwing up the top cable stop adjuster can give you a bit more slack and allowance to help avoid the too short cable disaster.
Measuring cable casing required legnth before you cut it is also very important, as the very short distance from the handlebar and the top cable stop on the front caliper means the brake will work it's best if you do not have any excess cable and casing ending up in an unsightly and flexible bow in front of your head tube. Bikes with internal top tube rear b4ake cable routing will also be very sensitive to any excessive legnth cable casing because of the shorter than usual rear cable casing.
BTW, make sure you use an open end wrench to keep the cable pinch bolt mechanism from turning, while you tighten the grub screw against the cable. This will make sure the cable will not slip and also prevent you from damaging the internal pivot mechanism.
Took me about an hour to install just the front Delta caliper and lever on my Montello yesterday, I hope to do better with the rear, but the top tube internally routed cable is making me nervous just thinking about it......
Good luck!

Last edited by Chombi1; 06-05-17 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 06-05-17, 11:50 AM
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Well, I finally got both cables finished without causing harm. Shot the cable ends with some hairspray and left some engaged for a few minutes to create a slight bond before proceeding.

Only took me nearly four hours to install 2 brakes cables this morning. Yikes.
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Old 06-05-17, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Ha!! I was doing my first Campy Delta brakeset install myself yesterday afternoon!
Tip: make sure you have the essential 3.5mm allen head wrench......
Every time I see a picture of a delta brake equipped bicycle in the historical peloton, I feel bad for some mechanic.
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Old 06-05-17, 12:19 PM
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@Wildwood: talk about a timely thread! Check this out. We may know how to proceed as long as you can find the special Delta hex wrench.

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Old 06-05-17, 12:44 PM
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For whatever it's worth, I didn't have a 3.5mm wreck either. I do have a metric and SAE set and had a SAE wrench that was close enough.
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Old 06-05-17, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by toavii View Post
For whatever it's worth, I didn't have a 3.5mm wreck either. I do have a metric and SAE set and had a SAE wrench that was close enough.
"Close enough" could be taking a big chance on your part, as you will not really know if you tightened that grub screw enough so the cable does not slip at the worst time......or you could end up stripping the grub screw, try to tighten it enough......
I think it's worth spending the 6 bucks for one, just for the peace of mind that comes with it.....
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Old 06-05-17, 12:56 PM
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Not overly concerned about it to be honest. Fit was tight and it removed the original and tightened the new cable well.
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Old 06-05-17, 02:33 PM
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OK - looks easier to go non-aero.


Anyone in the greater Puget Sound area want to loan me their 3.5mm wrench?
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Old 06-05-17, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi1 View Post
Ha!! I was doing my first Campy Delta brakeset install myself yesterday afternoon!

Next big tip, do not cut your cables until you already thread them through the cable pinch mechanism, as a frayed cable tip will make it very hard to route them through the cable pincher, which is mostly hidden behind the caliper internal mechanism. Only cut the cable close to the bottom of the caliper casing when you have the caliper close enough to final adjustment, as you only will most likely have one chance to cut it to the correct legnth. Cut it too short and you might need to run out again to get another cable.
Here's a big tip for installing cables on Deltas....don't cut the cable until you've got it all together. If you cut it beforehand, as you said you often end up with it too short. The very last thing that I do is cut the cable - a dremel with a cutoff tool makes it possible to cut the end after the cable is installed. I been installing Deltas for years and this is the method I use, it makes life much easier.
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Old 06-06-17, 05:20 AM
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I was a team mechanic back in the day when Deltas were current. We used to set them up all day long without any dramas ... it's just a matter of thinking the job through before getting over-excited and reaching for the hammer ...

Generally we knew the width of rim we were dealing with (pretty much all were 20 or 20.5 mm) so initially, we simply screwed the adjuster all the way down, pulled the caliper in to the width of the rim plus 3 mm and measured the distance from the pinch bolt centre to the base of the outer cable socket. Made a note of that distance and it was then used all season long with those rims ...

These days with variations in rim width, I'd measure or look up the rim width and make a wooden dummy of the rim plus 3 mm (ideal block spacing off the rim for a Delta is actually wider than for a standard brake which is why Deltas work best with the Campag PowerGrade lever that was designed for them ... you can max out the cable recovery per unit of lever movement) and do my set-up measurement off that.

Cut the outer to length, cut the inner to length of outer plus the measured distance plus 5 mm (so that the clamp is not right on the end of the inner but it'll still fit inside the caliper casing). Use decent quality cutters properly and the cable won't fray anyway - but if you are paranoid, flash the end over with solder (so no fraying to worry about even if you have to undo the cable for any reason) and assemble, using a pair of fine-nose pliers to pull the slack on the cable through - a toestrap is sometimes handy for holding any brake closed with the blocks in contact with the rim, as any mechanic with any experience will tell you - no real problem, takes no more than 10 min. No more faff than half these half-baked under BB direct mount brakes or "aero" monstrosities (many with all the cable clamping and spring adjustment on the right hand side so you can't access it without taking the cranks off) that you see these days ...

9/64" is so close to 3.5 mm that if push comes to shove it's fine if Imperial a/ks are all you have ... it's a gnat's nadger oversize but allowing for slop in the socket it may even be better than a 3.5 mmm a/k, especially one that has seen a lot of use. Use a square end, not a ball end.

Holding a pivoted cable pinch still with an open-ended spanner as the pinch is tightened is surely just common sense?

Last edited by gfk_velo; 06-06-17 at 05:28 AM.
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Old 06-06-17, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by toavii View Post
For whatever it's worth, I didn't have a 3.5mm wreck either. I do have a metric and SAE set and had a SAE wrench that was close enough.
Must not have been big time frustrating to cause such a small wreck (don't you just love auto correct.)

At one time Craftsman and a couple of others had some X.5 mm wrenches and sockets, not sure of these are still made though. I have seen a 3.5 and a 5.5, 1/4" drive socket long, long ago, but not even sure they were made by Craftsman either. @gfk_velo has the right thought, us the closest Imperial/SAE sized wrench as you can find. I need to remember "Gnat's Nadger" for future giggles too.
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