Wednesday, April 30, 2008

don’t try this at home

For the last few weeks I’ve noticed that my rear brake line housing is frayed. In that period since I first noticed it I’ve been steadily losing rear braking power. (Basically, as you pull the brake lever, the brake housing expands outward like an opening spring and you lose pull on the actual brake line wire that runs inside the housing, or something) I’ve been adjusting the barrel adjuster to try to keep up with the loss and it’s worked okay for the most part. Yesterday though, after returning from the grocery store with a heavy load and making a left hand turn on a downhill section of road (left hand extended – no front brake) I pulled the right lever to the bar which only barely slowed me down. Maybe time to fix that, I thought. But, who wants to deal with putting on a new brake line? I woke up this morning with a great idea for jimmy-rigging the line. (I know I should have taken photos as I went, but I was too excited. I hope you can still follow along. One of these days I will post another photo – I know it’s been pretty wordy lately.)

Supplies:
One length of copper wire (about 5 inches)
Two lengths of duct tape (about 5 inches long X 1/4 inch wide)

Wrap copper wire around frayed area of brake line housing. This provides structural support for the line. Wrap duct tape over and around copper wire to keep wire in place and protect finish of frame/paint. Add one more length of duct tape just because. Bingo!

3 comments:

Jeff said...

Housing and cable are cheap! Get yourself a nice cable cutter too that does the end cap crimping (like Park Tools). Not only will it be safer, but brand new cable and housing feels...well, brand new! And it's kind of fun to replace I think... Brakes are a rather important feature on your bike.

Jonah said...

Sound advice. I totally agree. Sometimes I just like to jimmy around and practice alternative/emergency fixes… I’m sure I’ll put a new cable on there soon.

Thanks for dropping by…

supahb said...

i havent looked at your blog in ages! still cool as ever. and i am now qualified to fix that cable+housing! will gladly do it for more practice, too....