Do Bike Brake Cables Stretch
It is undeniable that bicycle brakes are the main component of a bicycle, which can help you have a safe and enjoyable riding experience. You will not have fun or feel safe if you cannot slow down properly in traffic, changes in altitude, or when approaching pedestrians.
At the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how the brake cable works, its purpose, the costs involved, and how to replace your own cable.
Will the bike brake cables stretch? The short answer is yes, the bicycle cable does stretch. There is a lot of debate among cyclists, because some are sure they have reached their maximum capacity, while others have posted demonstration videos on how to stretch the cable. Note, however, that stretching them beyond the natural feel will break the cables and cause expensive repairs.
If you own a bicycle, you need to know the cables connected to it-it’s that simple. The brake cable is essential for safe riding. You only need to know how to fine-tune your bicycle to avoid accidents, dangerous situations, and expensive repairs.
Will the bicycle brake cable stretch?
Cable stretching can be simplified by thinking of it as-fixed in place. The cable has the natural elasticity of metal and will stretch slightly. This is trivial, and you may not notice it, but you will only notice the change in the brakes. This may mean that it is time to replace the cable and fine-tune it.
Although they should be “pre-stretched” from the dealer, riders often adjust their cables when buying a new bike. New bicycles may be a bit hard, and regular adjustments are normal.
This is a topic that you would think has a fixed answer. But opinions on professional cyclists’ blogs, forums and articles are completely different. Here are some range of answers:
“As far as I know, the cable won’t stretch…” Another misunderstanding. Make adjustments.
“If you need to stretch the cable, please use a barrel adjuster to adjust. The problem is solved.”
“Cables will stretch over time, but they will not become elastic.”
In fact, as we all know, metal stretches slightly and has elasticity, which is why we use it for steel springs and the like. But surprisingly, the debate on this topic spread throughout the Internet.
Since there is a large amount of evidence that can stretch cables, process videos and service shops-we will continue to support the statement “Yes, bicycle cables can indeed be stretched.”
How does cable stretching happen?
This kind of stretching is often noticed when buying a new bicycle or having only ridden the bicycle a few times.
The internal mechanism of the bicycle is related to the speed change. Frequent shifting up and down can greatly affect the bicycle cable. Once you install the derailleur into what we call “your joy gear”, you will want to leave it there to avoid shaking the cable like a monkey vine.
If you feel pressure on the derailleur, just push harder to get there. You may want to reduce it by a notch, but this will ultimately make the rider comfortable. This bike is designed for it, but the point to take away is not to pull it too tight.
Your brakes will be affected by cables unless they are hydraulic. When you try to break, you will feel loose and will be forced to pull back further, making it harder to get the same braking force as before.
This indicates a cable problem that you may need to look for or make adjustments.
When to stretch the brake cable
Everyone agrees that cables will eventually wear out and tear, so it’s not uncommon for new cables to be needed. If you often ride a bicycle or participate in a bicycle race, you need to understand what the cable problem on the bicycle is and what is a completely independent braking problem.
There are many reasons why you may need to replace the brake cable. Some seem obvious, while others are very surprising.
If you are a bicycle owner, please be aware of the following possibilities:
1. You stay in the sun for too long and are exposed to the natural environment. This will lead to premature rusting and degradation of your precious riding. To avoid this problem, I recommend storing the bicycle indoors, in a garage or in a waterproof bicycle shed. You don’t want to buy a new bicycle every year, so take care of the bicycles you own.
2. You notice that your bicycle does not have proper tension. This is how you feel while riding, not your visual attention. If you feel something loose or slow down when you try to brake, you may need to check the cable connection.
3. You have just had an accident, and now it is very bad. If you hit a curb or throw off any stem, structure or rim-you may have damaged the cable connection. This may require a simple repair at a local bicycle repair shop, or it may mean a new bicycle investment for you.
4. You will feel that the brake pads have worn out, so you must apply more force to the brake lever than before. This is normal for bicycles that have been used and loved. You can go to a bicycle shop to see what lubricant or repair method they recommend. This may cause the brake pads to be replaced.
5. The rim is actually the part of the bicycle that the brakes touch. It clamps the rim like a crab claw to ensure that the wheel stops. Check if your brake is actually in contact with the rim, not just rubbing it lightly.
6. It may have slipped over the clamping bolt (where the cable is connected). Find the cables and where they are connected on the bicycle, and then just re-adjust to a tighter position. Test the bike to see if it is too tight for you or if the brakes should be released.
Likewise, if the bicycle is new, then the cable is new. So this is normal. If this seems to be a persistent problem to you, the cable may be worn and finished.
How to prevent the cable from stretching
There is really no way to prevent this, because it is part of becoming a bicycle owner. If you ride a bike often, you will need to change the brake cable or the entire bike at some point.
The absolute best way to solve this problem is to buy a bicycle that says “pre-stretched cable” directly on the information label. They should go this way, but some dealers are lax about it.
Stretching only exerts a lot of force on the system, which will cause a certain impact on the bicycle. Damping your bike can prepare you for heavier rides and braking in fast driving situations. Pre-setting the system is essential for a healthy bicycle structure.
If you are not an expert in wiring or braking, it will save you a lot of time and readjustment.
How to pre-stretch your own cable
Some riders say that just riding a bicycle will stretch the cable, while others think this is naive.
The conclusion seems to be that they will tighten over time and need to be stretched. If you are a handy playboy and like to take on these tasks yourself, here is how you do it.
If you are keen to repair it yourself, the thing you need to invest in is a barrel adjuster (available on Amazon). This is the tool you need to loosen the bolt.
One piece of advice before you start is that you might want to recruit a friend there as an extra set of hands. They can fix the brakes when you adjust the cables.
1. First, check the brake pads. If they need to be replaced, they will wear out like old tires. If this is not a problem, this can save you time to stretch the cable.
2. Let the extra hand hold the brake so that it touches the rim.
3. Pick up the barrel regulator you bought from Amazon. Wrap it around the brake leveler as tightly as possible. Then relax a little to release the touch.
4. Locate the bolt connected to the brake and loosen it counterclockwise.
5. Move the bike upwards while keeping the wheels still. Don’t turn it or push the bike where it feels like it will damage it. It only takes a little force to make these cables work properly.
6. Let the extra hand release the brake. Wrap the barrel adjuster on the brake leveler and check if they still hit the rim in the correct position.
7. Feel the overall balance of the bicycle and check whether the brakes are even. If someone is rubbing the rim, make sure that the brake pads do not touch the rim. You want both brake pads to stay away from the rim.
8. If it still shakes a bit, rotate the barrel adjuster slightly outward to relax the tension.
Tension is the purpose of bicycle brake cables. If the tension feels tight enough to brake, but not so tight that you are restricted when pedaling, you will know that it has been done correctly.
Although only a small part is stretched, the cable will bend into the natural functional range of that particular bicycle. Other things that can help you stretch the cable is to look at the brake levelers, brake pads and calipers to add natural springs.
The cost of stretched cables
Likewise, they should now be pre-stretched. However, if you invest in a high-quality bicycle and you run out of cables, I’m sure you will not be keen on replacing the entire bicycle.
Bringing it to your local bike shop will be a quick affair, and they can usually return it to you within a few hours. The true range of costs depends on your region and the quality of the bike model. The average price for stretching or replacing the brake cable is about US$20 to US$150 (plus labor).
I want to point out that many people in the forum debate are trying to oil their bicycles. This is not a safe technique. The manufacturer recommends not to do this because it will damage your parts faster and cause higher repair/replacement costs.
General monthly inspections will make your bike a wonderful world. This can be done easily by taking a few minutes to check that all nuts and bolts are tightly tightened.
Really, it all boils down to tension and balance. These are the uses of bicycle cables that need to be natural to the specific rider. If you need to make changes, take it to your bike store to customize and adapt to your needs.
Now that you are an expert in brake cables, you can freely gallop in the sunset with the tassels that flutter in the wind.
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