Drop bars & cantilever brakes - no cable adjustment



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A

Andrew Reddaway

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Hi everyone - hope you can help a semi-newbie! Please excuse some wrong terminology...

I bought a commuter bike about a month ago (Mongoose Randonneur 2003 model):
http://www.christiecycles.com.au/Randonneur%20press.pdf After I upgraded the brakes to Shorty 4's,
I've been happy with it, except for a nagging complaint - it's got no cable adjustment for the
brakes (except by releasing the cable with an allen key). The guys at the LBS I bought it from
doesn't know much; they probably won't be able to help... I've googled the previous messages and
read Sheldon Brown on this topic.

For the rear brakes, I guess I can use an inline cable adjuster, eg:
http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=BR4041 Are these things OK for brake cables, or just
for shifter cables?

For the front brakes there isn't really a good spot for an inline adjuster, so it looks like my best
option will be to get a new cable hanger with a barrel adjuster (the current one has no threads for
a barrel adjuster). My headset is threadless 1 1/8". I saw that some cable hangers have a "tab" on
their inner diameter, presumably to fit into a groove on the stem. eg:
http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=BR1215

However, my stem doesn't have any groove, so I'll need a cable hanger that "clamps on", eg
Problem Solvers: http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=BR3357 The catch is that this part
may not have have threads for a barrel adjuster. Does anyone know if its "noodle" can take a
barrel adjuster?

I also found one reference to another Problem Solver cable hanger BR3355 with a barrel adjuster,
that may do what I want: http://www.bikeusa.com/components/cables/cables3.htm But I don't know if
this "clamps on".

What's the best way for me to go?

Thanks, Andrew
 
M

Mikeyankee

Guest
In-line cable adjusters will work fine on front and rear brakes. The front is trickier,
though, because you may have to play around with the cable length and pick the right place to
put the adjuster.

I'll E-mail you a photo of my setup.

Mike Yankee

(Address is munged to thwart spammers. To reply, delete everything after "com".)
 
S

Sheldon Brown

Guest
Andrew Reddaway wrote:

> After I upgraded the brakes to Shorty 4's, I've been happy with it, except...

> For the front brakes there isn't really a good spot for an inline adjuster, so it looks like my
> best option will be to get a new cable hanger with a barrel adjuster (the current one has no
> threads for a barrel adjuster). My headset is threadless 1 1/8". I saw that some cable hangers
> have a "tab" on their inner diameter, presumably to fit into a groove on the stem.
>
> However, my stem doesn't have any groove, so I'll need a cable hanger that "clamps on"

It's a trivial matter to remove the "tab." Just a few strokes with a half-round file.

Sheldon "Easier Than You Think" Brown +-------------------------------------------------------------------
+
| In our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: | freedom of speech, freedom of
| conscience, and the prudence | never to practice either of them. --Mark Twain |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton,
Massachusetts Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts
shipped Worldwide http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
 
Z

Zog The Undenia

Guest
Andrew Reddaway wrote:

> Hi everyone - hope you can help a semi-newbie! Please excuse some wrong terminology...
>
> I bought a commuter bike about a month ago (Mongoose Randonneur 2003 model):
> http://www.christiecycles.com.au/Randonneur%20press.pdf After I upgraded the brakes to Shorty 4's,
> I've been happy with it, except for a nagging complaint - it's got no cable adjustment for the
> brakes (except by releasing the cable with an allen key). The guys at the LBS I bought it from
> doesn't know much; they probably won't be able to help... I've googled the previous messages and
> read Sheldon Brown on this topic.
>
> For the rear brakes, I guess I can use an inline cable adjuster, eg:
> http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=BR4041 Are these things OK for brake cables, or just
> for shifter cables?
>
> For the front brakes there isn't really a good spot for an inline adjuster, so it looks like my
> best option will be to get a new cable hanger with a barrel adjuster (the current one has no
> threads for a barrel adjuster). My headset is threadless 1 1/8". I saw that some cable hangers
> have a "tab" on their inner diameter, presumably to fit into a groove on the stem. eg:
> http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=BR1215
>
> However, my stem doesn't have any groove, so I'll need a cable hanger that "clamps on", eg Problem
> Solvers: http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=BR3357 The catch is that this part may not
> have have threads for a barrel adjuster. Does anyone know if its "noodle" can take a barrel
> adjuster?
>
> I also found one reference to another Problem Solver cable hanger BR3355 with a barrel adjuster,
> that may do what I want: http://www.bikeusa.com/components/cables/cables3.htm But I don't know if
> this "clamps on".
>
> What's the best way for me to go?

How much does it worry you? Front pads wear quite slowly because the rim gets less grit thrown at
it. If you take the trouble to pre-stretch the cable by pulling the brakes on very hard ten times,
then make the adjustment, you shouldn't have to touch it again for months.

An adjuster on the back is well worth it though.
 
B

Benjamin Weiner

Guest
Andrew Reddaway <[email protected]> wrote:

> For the front brakes there isn't really a good spot for an inline adjuster, so it looks like my
> best option will be to get a new cable hanger with a barrel adjuster (the current one has no
> threads for a barrel adjuster). My headset is threadless 1 1/8". I saw that some cable hangers
> have a "tab" on their inner diameter, presumably to fit into a groove on the stem. eg:
> http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=BR1215

> However, my stem doesn't have any groove, so I'll need a cable hanger that "clamps on", eg Problem
> Solvers: http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=BR3357 The catch is that this part may not
> have have threads for a barrel adjuster. Does anyone know if its "noodle" can take a barrel
> adjuster?

As Sheldon said, you can easily file off the tab (which was to fit into a groove on threaded fork
steerers). Assuming you have a threadless headset, for either of these type of adjusters, they go in
the stack of spacers under the stem. You may need to remove a spacer. You probably don't need to
tighten the clamp of the clamp-on variety, in fact tightening it may interfere with preloading the
headset via the stem top-cap.

It doesn't matter whether or not the hanger is threaded for a barrel adjuster. You can use an
adjuster with threads and a little threaded collar like in the BR1215 picture above. The collar acts
as a stop against the cable hanger - moving the collar relative to the barrel gives you the
adjustment. People have been doing it this way ever since the days of centerpull brakes and Cateye
combination cable hanger/reflector brackets.

Having a barrel adjuster on canti brakes is a really good idea. It makes it so much easier to tune
the feel of the brakes. Manufacturers should be ashamed of letting bikes out the door without them.
 
M

Mike S.

Guest
"MikeYankee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> In-line cable adjusters will work fine on front and rear brakes. The
front is
> trickier, though, because you may have to play around with the cable
length and
> pick the right place to put the adjuster.
>
> I'll E-mail you a photo of my setup.
>
>
> Mike Yankee

My 'cross bike has inline adjusters for both front and rear brakes. Work great.

Like Mike says, ya gotta play around with housing length to get them in where they don't bind
on anything.

Mike
 
M

Mike S.

Guest
"Sheldon Brown" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Andrew Reddaway wrote:
>
> > After I upgraded the brakes to Shorty 4's, I've been happy with it, except...
>
> > For the front brakes there isn't really a good spot for an inline adjuster, so it looks like my
> > best option will be to get a new cable hanger with a barrel adjuster (the current one has no
> > threads for a barrel adjuster). My headset is threadless 1 1/8". I saw that some cable hangers
> > have a "tab" on their inner diameter, presumably to fit into a groove on the stem.
> >
> > However, my stem doesn't have any groove, so I'll need a cable hanger that "clamps on"
>
> It's a trivial matter to remove the "tab." Just a few strokes with a half-round file.
>
...or a Dremel tool, or...

Mike

> Sheldon "Easier Than You Think" Brown +-------------------------------------------------------------------
> +
> | In our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: | freedom of speech, freedom of
> | conscience, and the prudence | never to practice either of them. --Mark Twain |
> +-------------------------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton,
> Massachusetts Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts
> shipped Worldwide http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
 
N

Nicholas

Guest
Andrew Reddaway wrote:
> > After I upgraded the brakes to Shorty 4's, I've been happy with it, except...
> >
> > For the front brakes there isn't really a good spot for an inline adjuster, so it looks like my
> > best option will be to get a new cable hanger with a barrel adjuster (the current one has no
> > threads for a barrel adjuster). My headset is threadless 1 1/8". I saw that some cable hangers
> > have a "tab" on their inner diameter, presumably to fit into a groove on the stem.
> >
> > However, my stem doesn't have any groove, so I'll need a cable hanger that "clamps on"

Sheldon Brown responds:
> It's a trivial matter to remove the "tab." Just a few strokes with a half-round file.

I'm surprised! For a threadless steerer, doesn't this make cable hanger orientation dependent on the
headset preload? This would seem to me to be less than ideal. Or, am I making a mountain out of a
mole hill?

Thanks, Nicholas Grieco
 
S

Sheldon Brown

Guest
Quoth Andrew Reddaway:
>
>>>After I upgraded the brakes to Shorty 4's, I've been happy with it, except...
>>>
>>>For the front brakes there isn't really a good spot for an inline adjuster, so it looks like my
>>>best option will be to get a new cable hanger with a barrel adjuster (the current one has no
>>>threads for a barrel adjuster). My headset is threadless 1 1/8". I saw that some cable hangers
>>>have a "tab" on their inner diameter, presumably to fit into a groove on the stem.
>>>
>>>However, my stem doesn't have any groove, so I'll need a cable hanger that "clamps on"

I sponded again:

>>It's a trivial matter to remove the "tab." Just a few strokes with a half-round file.
>
Nicholas Grieco wrote:
>
> I'm surprised! For a threadless steerer, doesn't this make cable hanger orientation dependent on
> the headset preload? This would seem to me to be less than ideal. Or, am I making a mountain out
> of a mole hill?

Hanger orientation is not at all critical, and there's no force that would tend to cause it to move
off center anyway.

The reason for the tab is because these hangers are often used in place of the keyed washer in a
threaded headset.

The tab in the keyway keeps the hanger from rotating while the locknut is being tightened.
Since a threadless headset has no locknut, this is a non-issue. . Sheldon "Not A Mountain"
Brown +------------------------------------------------+
| According to the latest official figures, | 43% of all statistics are totally worthless. |
+------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts Phone
617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
 
A

Andrew Reddaway

Guest
Thanks everyone for your help! Thanks for the example photo MikeYankee.

On 29 Jan 2004 13:28:47 -0700, Benjamin Weiner <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>As Sheldon said, you can easily file off the tab (which was to fit into a groove on threaded fork
>steerers). ...

That sounds good - it didn't occur to me that the headset preload would be enough to keep it from
rotating - very handy!

>It doesn't matter whether or not the hanger is threaded for a barrel adjuster. You can use an
>adjuster with threads and a little threaded collar like in the BR1215 picture above. ...

So I guess the important thing is that the cable hanger's hole is big enough to take a barrel
adjuster. I'll get one of these, file off the tab and see how I go - hopefully there's enough room
to fit the adjuster under the stem extension!

The backup plan is to use an inline adjuster, probably in combination with a cable hanger plus
angled "noodle" to ease the cable routing.
 
D

Dvt

Guest
Sheldon Brown wrote:
> The tab in the keyway keeps the hanger from rotating while the locknut is being tightened.

Is that the only reason for the groove in threaded forks? I've often wondered about the purpose of
that groove.

Dave dvt at psu dot edu
 
T

Tom Nakashima

Guest
Here's what I did on my 1984 Specialized Expedition which has drop
handlebars and cantilever brakes:

Ran a adjustable hanger from the headset area for the front brake. For the rear brake I purchased
internal cable adjusters, which work fine. You can use the internal cable adjusters on both front &
rear brakes, they're sold in a set of two. Inexpensive easy to set up and in either black or gray.

-tom

"Nicholas" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Andrew Reddaway wrote:
> > > After I upgraded the brakes to Shorty 4's, I've been happy with it, except...
> > >
> > > For the front brakes there isn't really a good spot for an inline adjuster, so it looks like
> > > my best option will be to get a new cable hanger with a barrel adjuster (the current one has
> > > no threads for a barrel adjuster). My headset is threadless 1 1/8". I saw that some cable
> > > hangers have a "tab" on their inner diameter, presumably to fit into a groove on the stem.
> > >
> > > However, my stem doesn't have any groove, so I'll need a cable hanger that "clamps on"
>
> Sheldon Brown responds:
> > It's a trivial matter to remove the "tab." Just a few strokes with a half-round file.
>
> I'm surprised! For a threadless steerer, doesn't this make cable hanger orientation dependent on
> the headset preload? This would seem to me to be less than ideal. Or, am I making a mountain out
> of a mole hill?
>
> Thanks, Nicholas Grieco
 
R

Robert Canon

Guest
I used the clamp on problem solver, drilled out the cable stop, and threaded it to fit a Paul
Powerglide adjuster I had in the parts bin.
 
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