Cable disc brakes

With the introduction of disc brakes to cyclocross and road bikes, the much overlooked cable disc brake is regaining some share of the martketplace, being cheaper and easier to maintain than its hydraulic counterpart.

Here I discuss the best way to install and adjust cable disc brakes for best performance.

Step 1. Mount the caliper loosely, attach the lever and cable, and clamp the cable into place at the caliper.

If you’re using chicken brakes, these will need to be installed too. Adjust lever reach to suit before proceeding.

Wind the non-moving piston in as far as it will go (i.e. so the brake pad is at it’s best contact point)

Now, spin the wheel, apply the brake and tighten the caliper/frame bolts to secure the caliper in place. Try to twist the bolts only, and not apply any sideways force to the caliper. Don’t worry about cable tension at this point – we’re only aligning the caliper.

Spin the wheel. Wind out the static piston slowly until the disc stops rubbing. Now, adjust the cable tension (using the clamp, barrel adjusters) to achieve the correct feel at the levers.

Job done. You should now have a secure, non-rubbing, effective brake, with a dialled in feel to suit your style!


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