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  1. #1
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    Suntour Roller Cam Brake Setup Answers

    I got the original instructions for anyone who needs them!

    I recently bought on old Schwinn High Sierra with these brakes on it. Tried to find some comprehensive info on the web to set them up but could only find fragmentary instructions. Took it to the lbs for a tune up and they set the brakes up like crap! When I told them the brakes weren't articulating properly, they called over some kid mechanic who was not nearly as old as the bike who took a look at it and said, "that's how they are supposed to work."

    Anyway, I just bought a nos Suntour third hand tool that is made for adjusting these and it came with the original, detailed instructions. I've seen lots of questions posted around the web about setting these up. I'd be happy to send them to anyone in the form of a pdf.
    Last edited by MetalHealth; 04-03-2009 at 06:58 PM.

  2. #2
    illuminaughty
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    Thanx what quick service!

  3. #3
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    No worries dude! Pay it foward.

    By the way, I just noticed there is another one of those "third hand" tools on Ebay right now for anyone interested. Looks like the same guy I got mine from. Seems like it'll make adjustment easier.

  4. #4
    Full Tilt Boogie
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    I'd love to have a set of those if you wouldn't mind. I have mine working as well as I can figure them to be, but would love to see how they actually tell you to set them up. Thanks so much, Ben.
    I sell bikes here. Check out the Blog here. Facebook.

  5. #5
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    i'd love to see the PDF ( mr2donalson@gmail.com )

    I finished putting on a new cable for my 3:1 odyssey stem... thankfuly I got it with the bike having already been setup right so i saw how it was setup... but man it was a PITA to get the cable to stay in the cam while getting the yoke set... i won't be playing with it again any time soon... but it'd be good to know next time
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  6. #6
    Full Tilt Boogie
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    Thank you so much!
    I sell bikes here. Check out the Blog here. Facebook.

  7. #7
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    I'd love to have that pdf. I just got a Schwinn High Sierra with roller-cams, and was having some difficulty getting them properly set-up. irsurra@gmail.com

  8. #8
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    I would really appreciate that PDF. Having some trouble adjusting them on my schwinn jimmy1725@gmail.com

  9. #9
    Master of the Face Plant
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    I am having a heck of a time with mine too. I will pm you my email. On a side note, does anyone know where to get a third hand tool for rollercams or can I just use one of the newer pedros tools?
    http://www.nbbikes.com/
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  10. #10
    one chain, two sprockets
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    You can make your own tool. Essentially it is a metal "U", or three sides of a square. Get the center-to-center dimenson from the PDF and make your own. I made one from a section of 105ga. spoke, with a nipple on each end (head ground off).

    This tool will properly space the rollers for the standard cam. The roller position on teh cam, both static and dynamic-as-it-contacts-the-rim, are ciritcal to proper set-up and performance. Don't freak-out over it though, you can set it up by eye when you know what you are doing...

    Tom P.

  11. #11
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    Roller Cam adjustment

    Hello
    I new to this forum and I just got my bike back from the bike for a tuneup and they could not tune up my rear roller cam breaks any suggestions would be great. I own a Bridgestone MB-3.

    Thank you:

  12. #12
    Humanoid Lobster
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    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=588871

    (From First Flight)

    It's hard to believe that so many "mechanics" don't take a few extra minutes and try to get the 'cams set up properly. I used to love to take my time with the stuff that I didn't know about when it showed up on the workstand. It's how you learn and become a better mechanic after all. I didn't even have the benefit of Google when I was a shop rat.
    Don't call it a gooseneck.

  13. #13
    VRC Illuminati
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol Lady
    Hello
    I new to this forum and I just got my bike back from the bike for a tuneup and they could not tune up my rear roller cam breaks any suggestions would be great. I own a Bridgestone MB-3.

    Thank you:

    Thats the problem with shows now-a-days...not familiar with the old stuff. If you can't find the info you need online or do it yourself, find an older mtb friendly bike shop or old school mechanic who will know what to do. It can be a good brake when set up properly.
    -eric-

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    Wanted: NDS Suntour XC Pro Microdrive 175mm Crank Arm.

  14. #14
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    is that pdf still available?

    Hi, First post. I was wondering if that pdf was still available. I recently got an '87 Schwinn High Sierra, and definitely need help figuring out the brakes. Hopefully I can get a hold of some diagrams - I'm a tech newbie, so most of the technical descriptions tend to go over my head.

  15. #15
    gobsmacked Moderator
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  16. #16
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    Hey thanks for posting those.

    FWIW: I'm not sure if it's applicable to Suntour roller cams, but the Cunningham Bikes folks have graciously provided a scan of Charlie Cunningham's "Swiss Watch" document on their site. The doc has long and detailed (and very readable) instructions on how to properly adjust the WTB Roller cam breaks.

    Here is the link:
    How to Keep Your Bike Working Like a Swiss Watch

    There is also more general information about roller cam brakes in the Cunningham Bikes Infopacks (also provided by Cunningham Bikes). Go to page 8:

    The 1989 Infopac
    Last edited by Austin Dave; 06-23-2011 at 04:04 AM.

  17. #17
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    Thanks

    Thanks so much for the Suntour scans! Those should definitely help.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol Lady View Post
    Hello
    I new to this forum and I just got my bike back from the bike for a tuneup and they could not tune up my rear roller cam breaks any suggestions would be great. I own a Bridgestone MB-3.

    Thank you:
    I want to thank you for the information you provided me. I had some assistance but I got the brakes working properly. I need to find a bike shop in Minneapolis MN that can help keep my bike tuned up.

  19. #19
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    1986 Cannondale SM600

    Hi everyone, I'm brand new here. I too am trying to properly adjust the Suntour roller cam brakes. Unfortunately it appears that all of the links provided in this thread, as well as this other thread no longer work.
    I know it's a long shot, especially since this thread is getting a little older now, but I thought I'd check and see if anyone is out there still that can help. Even a lead on some information would be delightful. The only other thing I have been able to find is Sheldon Brown's piece, but I am hoping there is something out there with a little more detail.
    Thanks for your time and patience everyone, much appreciated!

    P.S.
    I almost forgot to include my email, incase Mentalhealth is still sending out that PDF.
    bicyclesafaris@gmail.com
    Thanks again everyone!

  20. #20
    Humanoid Lobster
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    This is all I can find. Not sure if it is the doc that was in the Mombat archive (HT: Retrobike)

    Suntour BA-XDOO Instructions | Technical and Manuals | Retrobike

    EDIT: And these were available through archive.org:

    Suntour Roller Cam Brake Setup Answers-85xcsport4.jpg
    Suntour Roller Cam Brake Setup Answers-85xcsport5.jpg
    Don't call it a gooseneck.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BicycleSafari View Post
    Hi everyone, I'm brand new here. I too am trying to properly adjust the Suntour roller cam brakes.
    Just in case nothing is forthcoming, my top tips:

    1. Adjust the pads on the rim without spring tension.
    2. Clean the posts with sanding tape and run a rat tail file through the bushing on the brake itself. Make sure these parts are extra clean and well lubed.
    3. Use fresh cables when possible.
    4. Set up to minimum tension first and see how you like the brake feel. Increase by 1/8th turn on each side until desired lever snappiness is achieved.

  22. #22
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    Thank you both so much for the time and the help, this is great! Looking forward to using archive.org as a resource too.
    Thanks again!

  23. #23
    one chain, two sprockets
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    Pay attention to the cam profile - there should be a very slight shoulder on it. Some cheaper cams did not have this - just a straight slope.

    Name:  Suntour_Roller_Cam.jpg
Views: 245
Size:  27.9 KB

    Rollers "above" the shoulder equated to more pad travel. As the roller moves "below" the shoulder, more power can be applied with less effort and modulation improves. You typically want pad/rim contact just as they rollers roll over the shoulder.

    Lastly, Suntour used to offer a tool to help set them up:

    RollerCam_Tool_50mm.jpg

    IIRC, the pins were 50mm on center, and this created the ideal roller/shoulder set-up. Then you just adjusted your pads.

    I love the Roller Cam! I have a WTB Speedmaster on the Wicked Fat Chance, and a Suntour XC on my custom GT Trials bike!

    Gotta love 1980's technology!

  24. #24
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    Thank you one piece crank! This is great info. I just ordered that 3rd hand tool from The Bike Stash last week, and it should be here any day now.
    It's such a crazy design, but I have really been enjoying the learning process of getting them tuned properly. There's something rewarding about having a mechanism that requires care and effort and patience to get it to work well.

    I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it's neat to hear that the setup worked out on a Trials bike even!

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