Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Brake cables are a drag...

Sometime last season (winter of '07) I noticed that the rear brake on my CX bike was performing in a bit sluggishly. I'd pull on the lever and it wouldn't snap back. There would be a little play. Damned annoying. So I adjusted the spring tension on the cantilever arms. All the way. And that barely did it.

So what happened? Where did that horrible drag come from? I replaced the cables and -- pfft -- nothing. Same draggy performance.

I pulled on the cable between the top tube stops and the cantis just snapped back the way they were supposed to. So the problem seems to be somewhere between the lever and the first stop on the TT. I guess.

So it's almost spring and the CX bike is getting a nice big fat overhaul. I even removed the boss sleeves on the Shortys and applied some grease. Annnnd new cables. Helloooo drag. I was sort of hoping for some sort of magical re-birth of the rear brake system. The lightest and smoothest of pulls at the lever. Naw.

At this point I'm thinking about moving the spring position on the canti boss itself to set the spring tension to a higher default. Having the adjusting screws all the way in on the cantis leaves me no room to... adjust.

I toyed with the idea of running cable housing all the way from the lever to the rear hanger. That works well enough on the road bike and with the BB7's on my MTB. I noticed that the 2008 Kona Major Jake has cable guides on the TT that will accommodate just such a thing. At least the bikes I saw the pros riding had such a setup. The front and rear cable stops were actually like hose guides. They had alloy inserts that made them into conventional stops. A middle guide was an open cradle with a slot for a zip-tie. So remove the alloy inserts, run yourcable housing all the way to the back hanger and tie it down in the middle with a zip tie. Nice. Options are good.

So. Is this going to be a stand-up fight or another bug hunt?

I think it's going to be another bug hunt.

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