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Dual pull tandem brake cable help.

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Dual pull tandem brake cable help.

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Old 05-04-18, 05:03 AM
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Mb277
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Dual pull tandem brake cable help.


Hello,
I am nearing completion of my Dawes super galaxy tandem. Iíve repaired all salvageable components and now have started reassembling the bike. One thing I couldnít salvage was the rear brake drum and rim brake cable. The cable had rusted and snapped. Finding a new cable is near impossible. Does anyone know of any places where I buy can one?

I can add some pictures of my brake lever if that would help.
Thank you in advance,
MB277
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Old 05-22-18, 01:57 PM
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WillFam-Reno
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It would be best if we can clarify your information.

1. Rear brake drum couldn't be salvaged. Can I assume that this was a statement that did not need to be part of any question?
2. Finding a new cable is near impossible. You need tandem length rear brake cable with the proper end fitting. Cable housing is available by the foot.
One example is available: https://www.amazon.com/Pitstop-Tande.../dp/B003UWD930
3. I'm not sure why you think a picture of the brake lever would help. Do you mean the hand actuating lever or a part of the brake itself?

Maybe we can be more helpful with more information.
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Old 05-22-18, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by WillFam-Reno View Post
It would be best if we can clarify your information.

1. Rear brake drum couldn't be salvaged. Can I assume that this was a statement that did not need to be part of any question?
I read the OPís post to mean that the cable that operated the rear drum brake and rim brake together has snapped. I canít quite picture how that works, frankly, so pictures would be appreciated!

As for the cable length, I suspect a shop that specializes in tandems would have longer cables. If not, it is always possible to use a cable coupler such as those used for travel bikes (ie, those meant to be dismantled and fit into a suitcase for travel.)
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Old 05-23-18, 02:48 PM
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Tandem length shift and brake cables are available all over the internet. Google. You need to extract the remains of the cable from your brake lever, so you know what the lever end is supposed to look like. Pick a cable which has the same end fitting.
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Old 05-23-18, 04:22 PM
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There are some split cables that have one lever that actuates two cables, with a single pear shaped cable end.

I've seen a few pop up on E-Bay from time to time. I had thought about trying to make some a while ago. Perhaps I could revisit that project if you post some pics, and a bit better description.

I assume your bike has 3 brakes... right?
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Old 05-25-18, 06:56 AM
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Before you spend to much time trying to get the bike back to original. Having a lever pull to brakes is one of those ideas that seemed like a good idea but didn't really work.
By having the one lever pull two brakes means that the power when you squeeze the lever is halved. I'm a big guy with big hands that used to be really strong many years ago when i tried this setup. It just doesn't work. The usual setup for a dual pull lever is to have the rear rim brake and the drum brake work together. Both types of brakes have different cable pull requirement which makes balancing them difficult to say the least. Some people were stupid enough to have both front and rear rim brakes operated by the one lever.
You're much better off having the rim brakes operated by seperate levers and the drum brake (if you can get it working) by a bar end lever preferably by your stoker because you will only ever need it when there are two of you on the bike and you're going down a long hill. a drum brake hooked up to a bar end lever makes for a handy parking brake.
If you are having trouble sourcing tandem length cables buy some cable splitters from Davinci Tandems so you can use standard length cables
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Old 05-25-18, 11:31 AM
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An alternative is 1 brake lever per wheel rim brake , and a friction bar end shifter like old sun tour,

for the drum drag brake .. if it still functions.....
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Old 05-27-18, 07:47 PM
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As Bad Bob said, one cable per lever. Cables available on, for example, Wiggle for <$5 each.

Bar-end or thumbie for the drum brake. These are drag brakes and not designed for regular flat-road braking.

Then, post a picture.

Cheers

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Old 06-10-18, 10:23 PM
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I have a mid 1980's Kuwahara tandem that has rim brakes and a drum brake. I installed the rim brakes as usual and modified a friction shift lever (drilled it out to take a thicker brake cable) to work the drum brake. This worked really well for a a tour from Vancouver to San Francisco, when I usually used the drum brake on long descents and then I did not have to keep my hand squeezing the brake levers the who way down. Making both turns and actual stopping using the rim brakes easier, I recommend this set up and think it is better than having any two brakes operated by the same lever. Only defect is you cannot "set it and forget it", because when you get to the bottom of the hill and try to start your way up the next hill, you cannot make it with the drum brake still engaged!

-Will
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Old 06-23-18, 08:59 AM
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More Info


One of the brake levers has two holes for two cables to exit through. if you search up dual pull tandem lever i'm sure you can find what i have. it is classic Weinmann racing brake lever with an extender for normal cycling. I have one front rim brake and one rear rim brake but the bike also has a rear drum brake which means it has three brake cables shared between two brake levers. I know that a two brakes shared to one lever doesn't work as well as a cable for each brake but i think it would be a shame to not use the lever it has come with. I am aware that I can buy a generic brake cable which is a tandem style length but I canít find one with the right fitting. As I have said previously the cable I had couldnít be rescued as it was rusted to the outer cabling therefore, it had to be cut. I havenít been able to find a cable to replace this one so any leads or websites that may supply one would be very welcome. If I canít buy I will have to make one.
thanks,
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Old 06-23-18, 05:36 PM
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The setup that bicycle bob described is what works.
The 2 brakes, one lever doesn't.
Some things are just a really bad idea like biopace chainrings
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Old 06-28-18, 11:30 PM
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Mb has asked a couple of times, so please show us a picture of the cable end so that we can try to find you a replacement cable.
Thanks
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Old 06-29-18, 04:13 AM
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I have operated both rim brakes on the same lever since 1973

The drum brake is operated by the other lever. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, we ride in the hills a lot. We also use to ride our tandem regularly in the Swiss Alps, although we havenít done that recently. The drum is a heat sink separate from the rims so it must be operated independent of the rim brakes. The braking arrangement meets this requirement for long descents.

Originally we used a Mafac lever built to accommodate two cables. Later we switch to a Campagnolo lever that I modified so that it could accommodate both cables. The availability of cable splinters allowed me to use modern levers. Our rim brakes have always been Campagnolo side-pulls.

My point is Ithat dual cable levers work just fine. Adjusting the rim brakes is more complicated. I balance the tension by applying the brakes heavily on a short decent, dismounting, and comparing the relative warmth of the two rims with my hand (donít try this on a long decent or you will burn your hand). The cooler rim needs more tension.
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Old 06-29-18, 08:44 AM
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I like that scientific approach, @MikeAndJean. I'll consider it if I ever need it. You must have large and strong hands. Some people can't manage single pivot side-pulls on single bikes.

There isn't much danger of rear wheel skids on tandems, is there?

My tandem has two cantilever brakes, and that's all. They have sufficed so far, but I know one day we may need more. The bike and team have a combined weight of 330 lbs (150 kg), not counting cargo. We ride the hills of the Hudson River Valley (NY) but no mountains yet or hills resembling San Francisco.
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Old 06-30-18, 09:32 AM
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I don't think my hands are exceptionally large or strong. We have a second tandem (a Frankencycle assembled from an old Pogliaghi frame, purchased for $350 on eBay, and spare parts from other bikes) that has fenders for riding on raining days. It's braking is limited to two side-pull rim brakes so there is one brake per lever. We don't ride this bike on big climbs - I would never ride a tandem in the hills that doesn't have a hub brake. However, I find braking to be about the same as on our tandem that has the two rim brakes activated by the same lever.

To me, inferior braking is an inevitable part of tandem riding. Tandem steersmen have to look further down the road for potential hazards and brake earlier on blind turns. In 45 years of tandem riding, we have only had one accident. Once on a long fast mountain descent, a car lost control in front of us and slide into the oncoming traffic. This resulting steel barrier forced us to choose between a steep drop off on the left and a dirt cliff wall on the right. I chose the latter. I was able to reduce our speed considerably but I still had to serve as my stoker's airbag. That bike had Mafac cantilevers and a small diameter drum brake. That accident happened early in our tandem career. I now leave much more space between us and the traffic in front of us.

I would like to try a disk brake, which I expect would provide better braking. However, our favorite tandem, a 40-year-old Ritchey with a light stiff frame that is great for climbing, doesn't have sufficient spacing for a disk. Occasionally we think about buying a "modern" bike with disks, but we hesitate retiring that old RItchey, which has carried us on over 100,000 miles of wonderful rides.

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Old 06-30-18, 06:04 PM
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I love hearing these stories. Thanks. And welcome to bikeforums.
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