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How to Install Bicycle Brake Cables & Housing

Learn how to install brake cables and housing from Silk Road Cycles' Brendon Nicholas in this Howcast bicycle repair and maintenance video.


So to reinstall it, basically you're just going to push the lever all the way to the bar. Place the barrel nice and neat inside the holder. Push it through the slit that's in the brake. Bring it all the way down towards the brake, so righty-tighty. Make sure the lock ring is also pulled all the way back. And then, install your piece of hosing.

Remember this is brake hosing so it should be flexible with coil hosing. And it should be to the correct length. If it's too long, it could create too much friction or it could just flop all over the place. If it's too short, it may pinch and not work properly.

So a lot of times when you're installing new cables in hosing you want to make sure that there's as little friction as possible. So when you have a new piece of hosing, sometimes what you want to do is you want to make sure that the end is opened up properly so you can use, like, a pin or something sharp and just poke it open to make sure that there isn't going to be any friction and the hole's really nice and easy to get through.

And you put your brake needle on which there's different sized brake needles but they will either come with your bike or you can ask a professional which angle you need for your type of brake and your type of bicycle. And you put it in the quick release spot right here. Add a dust protector onto it. And then thread it through the other side of the brake where the nut and bolt is.

And then you're going to pull the brakes tight to where you'd like them to be and get a five millimeter hex wrench or Allen wrench and screw it tight. Check the brake and make sure it's working properly. If it's a little too loose, tighten it up a little bit. If it's a little too tight and it's hitting the wheel, then you can loosen it. Also, on a lot of brakes, there are little adjustment screws so if this pad is a little too close, you can adjust this screw with a Phillips head or an Allen key and basically you loosen it, it loosens the tension on the side. You tighten it, it tightens the tension. So you can get the brakes nice and even so the wheel rolls in the middle perfectly.

And that is a brake cable installation.

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