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  1. #1
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    Brake Lever - distance to brake

    I have disc brakes on my bike and I feel that the distance I have to squeeze the levers to get the brakes to work is too far and I would like that distance decreased. I thought I knew how to adjust by pulling the cable a bit but that did nothing (the cable didn't budge).

    I know there's an adjustment at the end of the lever (the two metal pieces that unscrew away from the lever) but I thought you could pull the cable to get a shorter squeeze distance on the lever. I hope I make sense but I am so new to bike mechanic work. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Probably drunk right now
    Reputation: Ken in KC's Avatar
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    Mechanical Disc....

    Quote Originally Posted by bmwuk
    I have disc brakes on my bike and I feel that the distance I have to squeeze the levers to get the brakes to work is too far and I would like that distance decreased. I thought I knew how to adjust by pulling the cable a bit but that did nothing (the cable didn't budge).

    I know there's an adjustment at the end of the lever (the two metal pieces that unscrew away from the lever) but I thought you could pull the cable to get a shorter squeeze distance on the lever. I hope I make sense but I am so new to bike mechanic work. Thanks.
    It sounds like your pads need to be adjusted, not your cable or cable tension.

  3. #3
    wyrd bi ful rd
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    screw the barrel adjuster out and this will shorten your lever travel. if the adjuster is already at the end ... then you might need adjust the barrel adjuster at the caliper end ... if you have one ...

    what brakes are you using?

    if all the adjusters are already maxed out ...

    then you have to adjust the cable length at the caliper end ... you will need to turn all the adjusters back in, loosen the cable clamp at the caliper end, pull the cable through the clamp a bit, tighten it, then go back and re-adjust the barrel adjuster at the lever end etcetc.

    check that your pads do not need replacing first ... cables do slacken due to stretch and worn out pads, as the piston will need to come out further for the pads to come into contact with the rotor.

  4. #4
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    ok, so you're running mechanical disks, there's actually several adjustments. The barrel adjuster on the brake cable housing on the lever controls the tension of the cable. You want only enough tension so that the cable is not slack, when you are setting up the brakes, so let's not discuss it yet. Assuming you don't have avid bb7's, which have an adjustment to move the outside pad, you'd want to move the inside pad toward the rotor by sticking an allen key through the spokes into the slot on the back of the caliper and turning clockwise. Move it until it touches the rotor, then back it off a tiny bit. If that isn't enough, you can use the barrel adjuster to move the outboard pad closer, making sure that you don't bottom the caliper out when you squeeze the levers as hard as you can.

    If you bottom out the lever, you have to reposition the caliper. Slightly open the bolts that hold the caliper on. Close down the barrel adjusters all the way, make sure the cable doesn't have any slack, then give them 3 or so complete turns of unscrewed. Then tighten the inboard pad until it is locked on to the rotor. Now tighten the caliper bolts, then open up the barrel adjuster and the inboard pad adjustment a bit.


    It's all a lot easier than it sounds.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  5. #5
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    Before adjusting the inside pad, you should locate and loosen(couple of turns) the small retainer bolt(at HMX-2 it is Allen 2 mm) on the caliper. After finishing the adjustment, tighten the bolt up.
    Last edited by xenon; 03-28-2008 at 02:23 AM.

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