How to Install Bicycle Brake Cables

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Make sure your bike stops! Learn how to install brake cables on a bike with expert tips on bicycle repair in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Basic Bicycle Repairs
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Video Transcript

Hello I'm Russ and I'm here on behalf of the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective, online at slcbikecollective.org and also on behalf of Expert Village. I'm going to be showing you how to install a brake cable today. You are going to remove the old brake cable just by getting it off the bike. You'll need a five millimeter Allen wrench, normally, to disconnect it. Once you've removed that, you can start with the new parts. A lot of brake levers; there's a lot of different kinds out there. But, the main thing that you are going to do is attach the brake cable into the lever. There's a couple of different ways that that might happen. But, you are going to have this barrel, and it normally goes through a slot somehow and comes through the lever here. Then, this brake barrel right here is slotted. What you are going to do is throw this through those two slots. After you have that tightened down in there and you are good to go, you are going to take a piece of brake housing and you are going to have two ends to it. One end is going to have a feral on it (the metal end), and the other end is not. The metal end is going to go on first. You are going to slide that through there. There should be no friction at this point. You should go on there real smooth, real easy. You are going to connect that and go into the barrel adjuster there. On the bottom, you are going to have what we call a noodle and then you are also going to have a little brake boot here on the end (it's a little rubber piece that keeps dust out of there). You're going to come out of the other side. Again, this should be relatively frictionless as it goes through there. There's a little plastic piece in here, sometimes it gets a little bit stuck, so you are just going to want to maneuver it through there. Pull the stem through here, all the way to the end. This side, if you were to attach a feral here, normally won't fit inside this, so you are going to want to make sure that side is open. So you are going to go inside this little clip in here, inside that slot, and then you are going to slide the little boot onto the end of it. This just keeps dust from going inside the noodle. After you go inside there, you are going to want to run it through the little pinch bolt here. Normally, there's some sort of little clamp on some side that discerns which side is the front and the back. And you are going to just feed it through there. At this point, we are going to stop with this one. The next video you are going to want to look at is adjusting the brakes. That will show you how to adjust them to the wheel.

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