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  1. #1
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    Best brakes for a clyde

    If this question has been asked, I can't find it. What brakes are you guys using to stop yourself? I've used Avid Juicy 5's and Clark Skeletals and neither have been able to stop me very well. Now I'm looking to upgrade and I just want to be able to lock up my rear wheel on the trail. Now, I'm not planning on leaving long skid marks all over the place, but when I'm going into a switchback, it would be nice to be able to slow down for it. What is happening right now is basically I "push" (think like NASCAR) on the downhill switchbacks and no matter what I do the bike goes wide or I have to go so slow I just get left in the dust by the other riders because they can carry more speed through the switchbacks.
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  2. #2
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    What size rotors are you using? Most hydros (and Avid BB7's) will have no issue stopping a Clyde, but you often have to use larger rotors.

    I'm currently using Avid Elixir R's with a 203mm F and 185 R rotor setup. At my riding weight of 225lbs plus gear on a 29er full suspension I literally have single finger braking!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72 View Post
    What size rotors are you using? Most hydros (and Avid BB7's) will have no issue stopping a Clyde, but you often have to use larger rotors.

    I'm currently using Avid Elixir R's with a 203mm F and 185 R rotor setup. At my riding weight of 225lbs plus gear on a 29er full suspension I literally have single finger braking!
    +1

    I have same set up, about the same weight and a similar experience..

  4. #4
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    I satrted off at 290lbs and am now down to 225lbs and I have never had any brake issues running XT's with 203 rotors front and rear on a 32 lb. 6" travel bike.

    I also had Juicy 3's on my previous bike with 203's front and rear and no issues for 5 years.

    Run big rotors and half-way decent hydro brakes and you should be fine....

  5. #5
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    I use Juicy 7's with 203 front and 180mm rear rotors. I weigh 255 and have no shortage of stoppage. I have a set of Juicy threes I use when the 7's are being serviced. Same rotors and they work great also.
    I like turtles

  6. #6
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    good to know....im getting these brakes

  7. #7
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    330lbs, just started riding... a cannondale trail 4 29er. It has manual disc brakes - just rode today and wow... I cant stop!!!

    Do the hydraulic brakes make a big difference? if so, is it expensive to replace the manual ones I have?

    now that i asked about the brakes, time to look at how to get a softer seat hahahah

  8. #8
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    How big are your rotors? I've never had manual discs, but I would think they have more stopping power. Sounds like you need 203 on the front and 185 rear. I run that and when I weighed 288, I stopped fine.
    I like turtles

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmreed View Post
    330lbs, just started riding... a cannondale trail 4 29er. It has manual disc brakes - just rode today and wow... I cant stop!!!

    Do the hydraulic brakes make a big difference? if so, is it expensive to replace the manual ones I have?

    now that i asked about the brakes, time to look at how to get a softer seat hahahah
    There is only one mechanical disc that is worth owning, the Avid BB7. With a 203mm rotor up front and a 185mm rotor out back the BB7's will have plenty of power for you. Hydros give better modulation and less hand fatigue IME of owning both.

  10. #10
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    I recommend Avid BB7s with the organic pads, as long as you can run 203mm rotors. They don't have enough power for good modulation without 203s. Can't beat the price and simplicity, though. Dead simple to install and adjust for single finger braking.

  11. #11
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    Try a traditional juicy two piston and a four piston Code or other mfg.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the help folks. And my set up is 203 front and 185 rear. on my old hi-fi before going 29'er it was 203 front and rear with juicy 5's. I'm going to start checking out the four piston brakes and see if they help with the problem any.
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  13. #13
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    Pads

    One more help is aftermarket pads from company like EBC for their resin pads. An upgrade for sure vs the full metal standard on most brakes. Hekps elminate and noise as well and for $20 aprox....not expensive

  14. #14
    I Strava Hamburgers
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    I have a set of 11 Code Rs with 185mms. More then enough stopping power for 240lbs. I used to use 2010 Codes with 203s. At 300lbs it was more then enough to toss me over the bars if I wasn't careful. The only problem is that they weighed about the same as small bricks. The 2011s are XC friendly.

  15. #15
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    This is a confusing discussion. I am currently 255lbs, but was up to 290lbs at one time. Never had a problem stopping/slowing on trails, even downhill, except for a few times. Had trouble with old Shimano mechanicals (didn't stop as well as rim brakes), and had some Hope minis heat up on me on a downhill (should not have been using those brakes on a downhill).

    Other than that, all brakes (Avid BB7s, Magure Louise, Formulas, Elixers) have been fine--slow and stop when I want to. I usually have 180f/160r, but even 160f&r is fine on cross country trails. Only bike with big rotors is the, well, big bike, with 200f and 180r. That is just for heat considerations though. Hydro discs are best for me, but I still remember how those Avid arch rival rim brakes could clamp down and send me over the bars.

    Strange that Juicy 5s do not do the job. I guess try some of the other mid to high end FR or DH brakes, but maybe also check what you got. Need a bleed, or new pads, or better pads? Locking up your rear wheel should be easy for any brake.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaLD View Post
    If this question has been asked, I can't find it. What brakes are you guys using to stop yourself? I've used Avid Juicy 5's and Clark Skeletals and neither have been able to stop me very well. Now I'm looking to upgrade and I just want to be able to lock up my rear wheel on the trail. Now, I'm not planning on leaving long skid marks all over the place, but when I'm going into a switchback, it would be nice to be able to slow down for it. What is happening right now is basically I "push" (think like NASCAR) on the downhill switchbacks and no matter what I do the bike goes wide or I have to go so slow I just get left in the dust by the other riders because they can carry more speed through the switchbacks.
    Hope tech v2 203 front and rear......bananas. I weigh 295 and the brakes will stop me on a dime

  17. #17
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    I am the odd man out...

    in that I still use and love v-brakes. I am 6ft 2in and 250 lbs w/o gear and have never had trouble stopping on any of my bikes. Avid single digit ti and Sram 9.0's on all my bikes. I have ridden almost everywhere, West, Midwest, South East, North East, Mid Atlantic with zero issues. I do ride all 29ers so that definitely helps . My 29ers w/ v-brakes stop better than my 26ers with the same v's ever did. Also a non disc rear wheel can be built up stronger than a disc rear. Forget the reasons why but have read several articles in the past about it. At my weight and the fact that I don't ride in the wet a stronger wheel is more important to me.
    Now, I don't expect the OP to use v's, just adding some variety to this thread.
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  18. #18
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    "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride." - John F. Kennedy

    Setup:
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by edouble View Post
    in that I still use and love v-brakes. I am 6ft 2in and 250 lbs w/o gear and have never had trouble stopping on any of my bikes.
    Good god man!!!! Stop living in the dark ages!!!!!!!!

    j/k.... I am with you... I run Avid SD7 with vintage/original XTR V brakes.... more than enough power to launch my large ass over the bars.
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  20. #20
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    I'm 280 ish and the stock shimano hydralics on my Rocky Mountain vertex stop so well that if I'm not careful they could double as an ejector seat.

  21. #21
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    Shimano Saints, even though a bit $$
    8 inch rotors f/b.
    Loved them!!
    Specially all the steep stuff I rode in Nelson, BC.
    Could stop on a dime.......kind of.
    (6' 7' 240lbs)

    Avids are to noisy!!!!!


  22. #22
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    Hope Tech M4s. 183 F and R.
    Was 240 loaded - no issues.

  23. #23
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    240, 6'6" here. I've used the following and they've all stopped me sufficiently. In descending order of power:
    Hayes Stoker Ace (203/180)
    XT (203/180) - Big improvement over 180/160
    Avid BB7 (185/160)

    Just got a set of the 2012 XTs I'm putting on a build, and will be very interested to see how they perform with the new XT "Ice Tech" rotors.

  24. #24
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    I bought BB7''s with 8 inch rotors and was not happy until I figured out how you could shim the arm out for much better braking and control and now for me I would not even bother with hydro's. Just one more thing to go wrong with fluid and all.

  25. #25
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    I've recently been looking at the BB7's, my hayes mx2's are REALLY loud and annoying

    Is there any reason for me to go 185 instead of 203 on the rear if the price is the same?

  26. #26
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    I run 203 front and rear and had problems getting the rear to modulate right until I shimmed the cable out further from the arm and now I am real happy.Once you do this I need no fancy cables or levers,the stock levers work fine for me but the caliper in stock form required to much pull so in stock form you need good levers.I am 300 pounds.

    The guy in the earlier post that likes V brakes I agree but find a good disc gives way better control.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by TitanofChaos View Post
    I've recently been looking at the BB7's, my hayes mx2's are REALLY loud and annoying

    Is there any reason for me to go 185 instead of 203 on the rear if the price is the same?
    A 203 rotor may not fit in your frame, is the only reason I can think of to run a 185 instead.

  28. #28
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalized View Post
    A 203 rotor may not fit in your frame, is the only reason I can think of to run a 185 instead.
    a potential good point, I would not have checked this, thanks for the tip

  29. #29
    The Mountain Bike Life
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    I <3 my new style Saints...great brakes, I was running 8" in the rear but I am going to tone that down a bit to 7".

  30. #30
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    Unless....

    Quote Originally Posted by LaLD View Post
    Thanks for the help folks. And my set up is 203 front and 185 rear. on my old hi-fi before going 29'er it was 203 front and rear with juicy 5's. I'm going to start checking out the four piston brakes and see if they help with the problem any.
    Unless you fell like you need to buy new brakes, I suggest cleaning the rotors (there are plenty of threads about how to de-glaze rotors) and replacing the brake pads then properly bedding them. With 203/185 you should have stopping power unless: 1) Dirt/contamination/glazing has affected brakes/discs, or 2) there is something wrong with the calipers (or air in the lines).

    ...If you just want new brakes, then by all means get them. Who can resist new parts.
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  31. #31
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    And my set up is 203 front and 185 rear. on my old hi-fi before going 29'er it was 203 front and rear with juicy 5's

    I weigh nearly 200 lbs in full kit(so I'm not really a clyde) and had an Elixir CR 203/203 front/rear setup on my Giant Faith 0 and aside from the lockup in the rear I felt the powel levels were inadequate. Of course the Faith is a heavy free ride bike so that may have something to do with my stopping power issues as well. I changed the brakes out to the Code R's which were good and then upgraded to Shimano Saints which are even better!

    If you're big guy I would go with a four piston brake such as Shimano's Saints or Avid's Code R's. The Hope V2 is also a great brake ,although it is a little pricier. For a hardtail at my weight level the Codes are perfect,however for my full suspension 29ers I definitely prefer the Saints the extra power provides a margin of safety that allows me to push the bike just that much faster. If extra power is an issue at my weight I imagine that the issue would be even more critical for heavier riders.

  32. #32
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    I'm 235 and the new XT's are incredible stoppers. I run 180's front and rear. Make sure you get the ICE Tech rotors and finned pads. Great price also.

  33. #33
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    My BB7's arrived this last friday, got em on in about an hour and now we're waiting for the freakin rain to stop, it's been raining for a week

    sorry for the poor quality photos (cell phone pics)



    good call on not buying the 203's in the back


  34. #34
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    I just switched from Elixir CRs with 180 rotors front and rear to the new 2012 Shimano XTs with the ICE tech XT rotors and also 180 front and rear. The power increase with the Shimano's is noticeable and the modulation is head and shoulders over anything by Avid (I've had BB7s, Juicy 7's, Elixir 5 and Elixir CRs). I'm 235 ready to ride.

  35. #35
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    I use 2009 Shimano SLX brakes on my MTB. No issues with stopping my 119kgs with 1 finger.

    My CX bike has BB5's but I need to upgrade to BB7's as they sometimes struggle.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Realslowww View Post
    I run 203 front and rear and had problems getting the rear to modulate right until I shimmed the cable out further from the arm and now I am real happy.Once you do this I need no fancy cables or levers,the stock levers work fine for me but the caliper in stock form required to much pull so in stock form you need good levers.I am 300 pounds
    DONT DO THIS.

    BB7s are plenty strong if you set them up with good cables and housing. Realslowww keeps posting this around and it's just unsafe, if a longer shimmed brake arm was worth a damn, Avid would spec it. Brakes are too important to experiment with. Even when I was 290, 185mm BB7s could throw me OTB, it's all about the setup. Sure you can run a larger rotor and have your pads set up poorly, or you can run a larger rotor and some garage rigged setup as an excuse for poorly set up pads/caliper, but if you take the time to set everything up properly you'll have safe consistent braking until your pads wear out.

    A lot of good info in this thread. My 2 cents, dont just throw the largest rotor on that you can find. Forks and frames are rated to certain rotor strenghts. Quick releases are never rated for 203mm rotors, a lot of rigid forks shimmy like hell with 185mm rotors. Most skinny legged XC forks arent rated for anything more than 185mm rotors. Most frames dont have clearance for larger rotors in the rear. Check with your manufacturer if you ever have a question about how much brake your frame/fork can handle.

  37. #37
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    I'm 250 and run 185/160 BB7's and don't find myself wanting for more braking power. Using the Full Metal Jacket housing/cable system as well.

  38. #38
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    I'm very happy with my SLX 665's. 180F/160R Storm SL rotors. I'm 225 and I've never not been able to stop.
    Last edited by Bryank930; 10-07-2011 at 07:28 AM.

  39. #39
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    Have you experimented with your braking position?? Im 6'5 and 225 so I carry a lot of my mass up higher than the majority of riders. The first few rides out this season with the stock Tetkro brakes were down right scary. They would heat soak and I would have zero braking power. I learned how to throw my weight around to get them to work better but still not good enough for me.

    Throw on the BB7s and I damn near go OTB if I grab hard enough and Im not in the correct position. I know it sounds silly but practice on your street and on some small hills. Then, try to turn and brake at the same time. What works best for me is just loading up the front of the bike a little more than normal and you can feel the front tire grabbing and slowing. Dont just use the rear!!! That will never get you to stop with the full power you can. Its the reason that a cars front brakes are ALWAYS bigger and strong than the rear.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72 View Post
    There is only one mechanical disc that is worth owning, the Avid BB7. With a 203mm rotor up front and a 185mm rotor out back the BB7's will have plenty of power for you. Hydros give better modulation and less hand fatigue IME of owning both.
    Yep, totally agree. That is the set-up that I am running, stops fine, easy to adjust & work on and pretty darn inexpensive

    -E

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    Have you experimented with your braking position?? Im 6'5 and 225 so I carry a lot of my mass up higher than the majority of riders. The first few rides out this season with the stock Tetkro brakes were down right scary. They would heat soak and I would have zero braking power. I learned how to throw my weight around to get them to work better but still not good enough for me.

    Throw on the BB7s and I damn near go OTB if I grab hard enough and Im not in the correct position. I know it sounds silly but practice on your street and on some small hills. Then, try to turn and brake at the same time. What works best for me is just loading up the front of the bike a little more than normal and you can feel the front tire grabbing and slowing. Dont just use the rear!!! That will never get you to stop with the full power you can. Its the reason that a cars front brakes are ALWAYS bigger and strong than the rear.
    +1
    It's a 60/40 or 70/30 split in breaking power from front to rear. When you brake your weight is shifted to the front and that's why it's the most effective brake. Also, if you only use your rear brake and not your front you can over heat and glaze over/temper (blue color) your rotor on long technical descents... Don't ask me how I know...

  42. #42
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    2011 giant revel 3

    I have the old school brake setup on my bike. The one that go on the rim. I weight 385 and they don't stop good at all. My bike has holes to mount disc brakes. What do y'all think would be a good setup for me? Would I have to get new rims to have disc brakes? Thanks for all your time.

  43. #43
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    Magura Gustav 210/190 - definitely better than Avid BB7 and Juicy 5. Problem is that they are moving on the rails and knocking sound is terrible when riding on pavement. Also they must be cleaned after each ride because in other case they cannot move on the rails and stopping power decrease drastically. Also adapters are very rare and expensive if you choose to change the fork/frame mount standard.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sternadel View Post
    I have the old school brake setup on my bike. The one that go on the rim. I weight 385 and they don't stop good at all. My bike has holes to mount disc brakes. What do y'all think would be a good setup for me? Would I have to get new rims to have disc brakes? Thanks for all your time.
    I think disc brakes would be an upgrade over your existing brakes, but your existing brakes may be good enough. It is up to you as a rider to decide what is good enough and what needs improving.

    Take your bike to the local bike shop and ask both questions. Can your existing brakes work better? What would be required / cost to upgrade to disc brakes? Sometimes a bike will have part of what it needs to upgrade but not everything. For example, my previous bike had mounting points for the disc and the caliper but the lacing of the spokes was wrong for disc brakes.

  45. #45
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    My Gary Fisher Marlin came with Avid BB-5's and I became scared to go down hill when they would hardly stop my 220lbs (resulting in a few bails and near crashes). I got a great deal from a friend for an older pair of Hayes 9 hydro brakes with 180mm rotors. These brakes stop on a dime no matter what the conditions - I ride in anything and these are great. Easy to set up and adjust, too.

  46. #46
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    note: on the Avid BB7's, you can adjust the inner (fixed) pad with the same torx wrench tool you use to fasten rotor bolts. I have the shop-mechanic version of this torx tool with a handle and it makes setting the brakes up very simple.

    OT: Love my Avid BB7's. On my dualie, I run 8" BB7 (203) rotors. On my SS HT and my geared HT, I run the 6" rotors. I've used Juicy7's, Juicy5's, Hayes ElCamino's, and the (original) Hayes 4(?) piston (circa 1998) disc brakes, and nothing compares to the BB7's. One suggestion, next time in the shop, buy an extra set of BB7 brake pads, put them in your Camelpack, and forget about them. There will come a day when you are out in the middle of nowhere on top of some remote ridge or mtn and you will need them.

    Second suggestion: buy the disc/rotor truing tool. Bigger rotors tend to warp more frequently due to heat dissipitation and getting knocked around.

  47. #47
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    note: on the Avid BB7's, you can adjust the inner (fixed) pad with the same torx wrench tool you use to fasten rotor bolts. I have the shop-mechanic version of this torx tool with a handle and it makes setting the brakes up very simple.
    I like using a screwdriver with the torx bit. I find it the easiest, by far, to reach through the spokes and adjust the inner pad.

  48. #48
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    280#, riding a hardtail with Avid BB5s on 160mm rotors. once they are set up right, you will not want for braking power. I cannot comment on how they hold up under the heat of sustained downhilling, as we don't have too much of that in MN, but they stop me just fine.

    It has taken me a few tries to figure out the adjustment procedure- you have to move the caliper to account for wear on the mobile pad, and take up the slack with the dial adjuster on the stationary pad. If you try to just dial in the stationary pad and take slack out of the cable with the barrel adjusters or a cable adjustment, you run the risk of running out of travel on the caliper arm. If you pull too much cable, the arm on the caliper will contact the mounting boss for the barrel adjuster, limiting the amount of brake you can apply.

    They are not (and never will be) hydro brakes, but they can be set up to perform well with proper adjustment.

    my adjustment procedure is the following:
    loosen tri-align bolts
    dial pad in to account for wear on both pads (usually a guess, 10 clicks or so)
    hold brake lever while alternately tightening caliper bolts until tight
    release brake lever and turn wheel.
    adjust stationary pad (dial) back until no rotor noise is heard (usually 4 or 5 clicks on mine)
    adjust barrel adjusters to a comfortable take-up position on the lever.
    check to make sure there is no danger of caliper lever coming in contact with barrel adjuster mount
    repeat as necessary, moving stationary pad in will give you more room on the lever, while moving it back will move the caliper lever closer and give you more cable to play with if you want more take-up on the lever.

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