What's involved in bicycle brake cable repair?


Quick Answer

Bicycle brake cable repair involves either servicing and adjusting the cables or replacing them. If the cable does not move when the handle is squeezed, it may be caught in the housing, or the handle clamp may be loose. If the cable moves but the brake caliper does not, the cable may be broken. Lubricate the cables and pivots, and check that the cables are adjusted correctly.

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Full Answer

Use an aerosol oil to lubricate the cable near the housing to ensure that oil can enter. WD-40 evaporates and can take the factory lubricant with it when it does, which is not desirable. If the brake is very stiff, loosen the clamp at one end of the cable, and pull it out. Use a solvent to remove dirt from the housing.

If the brake still does not move when the handle is squeezed, replace the cable with a factory fitted cable of the same diameter. Use an Allen key to undo the bolt above the brake pad, and undo the adjuster that is next to the brake lever. Replace the outer casing, sliding the new cable through it. Reconnect the new cable at the handlebar end, and reattach the other end to the brake caliper. Check that the tension is correct, and cut off any excess cable.

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