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Thread: brake barrel adjusters adjustment--informal poll

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    Default brake barrel adjusters adjustment--informal poll

    so this is probably fodder for a winter thread (as we set record highs in south Louisiana) but the guys I work with insist on screwing barrel adjusters on brakes all the way in during tune-ups. I don't have any reasons for or against this practice other than not liking the requirement to re-set the cable tension as a result and the fact that occasionally there are those bikes whose fully inflated tires can't be installed with properly adjusted brakes that could use a little extra room that is then taken back out with the BA. I'm curious what your practice is when doing tune-ups or setting up new brakes:

    --always screw the adjuster in completely
    --keep it backed out a few turns just in case
    --who cares, leave it how the last guy had it set up, unless I have to re-set the cable or install a new one, in which case I do X

    realize this is probably like grease the tapers on cranks (well, there is a right answer for that one, right?), ....
     

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    Default Re: brake barrel adjusters adjustment--informal poll

    Caveat: I'm not a pro wrench and far from it.

    B. Keep it backed out a few turns. Shops, when I do use them, always set my brakes up tighter than I like and when they do what you describe I have to release the cable and re-setup the brakes. When I set them up myself, which I usually do, I leave room to move in either direction. More room to back out the barrel adjuster so I can account for pad wear, but still some room to space the pads out if needed.
    "I guess you're some weird relic of an obsolete age." - davids

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    Default Re: brake barrel adjusters adjustment--informal poll

    Backed out for sure. I probably even back them out more than average.
     

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    Default Re: brake barrel adjusters adjustment--informal poll

    Quote Originally Posted by rec head View Post
    Backed out for sure. I probably even back them out more than average.
    inquiring minds want to know: why?
     

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    Default Re: brake barrel adjusters adjustment--informal poll

    Probably because I had no idea what to do the first time I setup some brakes. Now I just like to have room to go either way.
     

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    Default Re: brake barrel adjusters adjustment--informal poll

    Backed out a couple of turns is best, imho.

    And oil, not grease, on tapers iirc.
    Steve Hampsten
    www.hampsten.blogspot.com
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    Default Re: brake barrel adjusters adjustment--informal poll

    Couple of turns, but because I use two different wheels with different width rims. All the way in is for the wider rims and a couple turns out is for the narrower ones. Also I keep the brake levers set with about 3/4-1.0" of pull (measured tip of lever to handlebar) before the pads engage with the rim. Works better in the drops with Campy's inboard shift lever and just generally going downhill etc.
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    Default Re: brake barrel adjusters adjustment--informal poll

    When I wrenched at a bike shop, I deliberately assembled bikes with such that:

    With cantilevers or V-brakes, you could squeeze the calipers together and readily unhook the cable.

    With road bikes, I adjusted brakes so that, whatever width tire was on there, you could open the cable release and the tire would clear the shoes, making wheel removal easy.

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    Default Re: brake barrel adjusters adjustment--informal poll

    I always leave some threads in both directions, with the most weight given to ensuring there's more than enough to cover pad wear to the nubs if necessary. The primary reason I do this is because I often see brakes on road bikes (which comprise 95% of the cable-actuated brakes I work on; hydraulic brakes predominate everywhere else) adjusted such that the pads contact the rim in the first 1/5 or so of the lever stroke, which is pretty backward. I almost always "loosen" customer's brakes so they can actually develop and modulate leverage when braking, as opposed to just having a binary switch. Leaving some room for easy adjustment by the customer in either direction makes things simpler when/if they complain.

    What I request from my staff isn't that they screw it all the way in and take up the cable slack at the pinchbolt; rather, all I want to see is that they have paid attention to the position of the barrel adjuster, the life of the pads, and slack that could or should be taken up in the cable. Likewise, for hydraulic brakes, I really do not want to see every reservoir topped up regardless of the state of the pads, because it just causes problems for the poor bastard who will eventually have to push those caliper pistons back... But if there's a quantity of air in the reservoir, I want to see that they have paid attention to it, and topped up the reservoir and reset the pistons to correct system volume if needed, whether we replace the pads or not.
     

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    Default Re: brake barrel adjusters adjustment--informal poll

    I gave up this rim brake non-sense but I use to back them out one and a half turn or so.

    Do the same for derailleur cables.
    --
    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: brake barrel adjusters adjustment--informal poll

    I leave it how it was given to me. Even if replacing a cable. Pad wear/ replacement being considered, as well.

    My personal bikes - all the way in. I also run my brakes super loose. Can’t remember the last time I had to open the calipers to drop the wheel. Gonna guess it was the time I did a gravel ride on DT 1.1s with 28mm Ultra Sports.

    New bikes with nothing to go by will get the cable tightened down while holding the pads against the rim. A good few squeezes to set everything and then adjusted via the barrel adjuster if necessary.
    -Dustin

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    Default Re: brake barrel adjusters adjustment--informal poll

    My opinion is that is pretty obvious that you can't read people's minds, so leave the adjusters to cope in both directions, and obviously been able to cope with the slack of the cable/pad wear.

    But may people seem to overlook an important thing: how the cable arrives to the adjuster, if the ferrule stays in place without too much play or it's too tight, and this ferrule has been greased too, and if the adjuster threads have been greased (because in two years time will become a "cable-stop" and no more), etcetc. And I'm not even saying about touching with a file the end of the adjuster springs
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi così colà dove si puote
    ciò che si vuole, e più non dimandare"

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