Monday, August 27, 2012

Wiring it all up

The bike is now loaded with most of the components that it needs, although I have to say I have not put the mechs in the correct positions. In fact I am not even sure what the correct postions for these are! I am sure a little reading and a lot of fiddling around will sort this out. The chain will have to wait until this is completed.

I have cabled up the brakes which was a comparatively simple job. On this bike the brakes are of the cantilever style, which to look at the forum were going out of style in favour of the better stopping power of V style brakes. I am pleased to see that the brakes have made a come back, mostly due to the style conscious fixie couriers who clearly prefer them for some reason.  Not quite an evolutionary dead yet.

Cabling the brakes was simple as the brakes have a fixed length of cable defined by the hanger to operate the brakes. The rest of the cable length is actually irrelevant. It doesn't really seem to change the stiffness of the brakes. This means you can get away with bigish loops of  cable in the housing. Which is exactly what I didn't do, and I am now regretting the rather measly amount of cable I gave myself for the front brake. It is not affecting performance but it does look slight inelegant. I'd go back and change it, but that would mean a new cable and I am loathe to buy more just to satisfy a little bit of artistic flare. It can be correct when the brakes need changing again.

Cursing and fumbling with a 10mm spanner and a 5mm Hex key I remember that there is a pay off for canti brakes. Each brake block is adjustable. Fantastic for getting the perfect fit, but then again each of the two pairs of brake blocks needs to hit the rims at exactly the same point in time. Time slows as I fiddle moving blocks back and forward, fingers cramping from holding spanners and pulling brake levers. Back is aching from leaning over the bike until the stopping power of the brakes can be applied cleanly and evenly. "Think of it as a pay off", I tell myself "in the wet weather when a car decides to stop suddenly or turn across you. Then the bike will stop in a straight line and not slew across the road."
"Or I could just not cycle in the rain!" I reply.

I am now left with a large amount of cable housing and some spare cable. The housing is fine, there is always a need for housing and it fits both brakes and and gear cables. But the cable is a different matter. You can't use it on the bike to replace cable so what can you use it for. I am sure there is some hidden purpose for which it could usefully be employed. But what?

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