How to Build a Road Bike Step 12, Connecting Your Brake Cables

This is Step 12 of a multi-part series on how to build a road bike.  There is a free eBook available that gives you instant access to the following:
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To see Step 1, Installing your Bottom Bracket, click here.
To see Step 2, Installing your Crankset and Pedals, click here.
To see Step 3, Installing your Fork, Stem, and Handlebar, click here.
To see Step 4, Hanging your Derailleurs, click here.
To see Step 5, Installing your Saddle, click here.
To see Step 6, Installing your Shifters, click here.
To see Step 7, Installing your Cassette and Wheels, click here.
To see Step 8, Mounting your Brakes, click here.
To see Step 9, Aligning your Rear Derailleur, click here.
To see Step 10, Cutting and Installing your Chain, click here.
To see Step 11, Installing Cables and Housing, click here.
Step 12 – Connecting Your Brake Cables
What You Need

  • Torque Wrench (TW-1 or TW-5)
  • Socket and Bit Set (SBS-1)
  • Hex Set (HXS-1.2) 
  • Cutters (SP-7)
  • Pliers (NP-6)
  • Cable Tips/End Caps
Before You Get Started
  • Make sure your brake and shift cables are free of any cuts or frays before installing.

1.  Starting with the front brake, feed the brake cable through the barrel adjuster of the front brake.
  Note: Be sure to screw the barrel adjustor all of the way in and then back it off one full turn before tightening your brake cable.  Make sure the end cap (ferrule) on the end of your housing properly seats in the barrel adjuster.

Figure 1

2.  Feed the brake cable underneath the brake cable bolt and remove all slack from the cable (see Figure 2).

Figure 2

3.  You will more than likely need a friend for the next step.  Manually press the brake pads towards the brake track.  You’ll want to hold the brake pads about 1mm away from the brake tracks (see Figure 3).  Use a pair of pliers to pull the brake cable tight and then tighten the brake cable bolt to the manufacturer’s recommended torque value using a torque wrench. 

Figure 3

4.  If you are installing new brake cables, they will likely stretch after applying the brakes the first several times.  After stretching your brake cable, back off your brake cable bolt and repeat the last step. 

5.  You can repeat all of the above steps to connect the rear brake cable.

6.  You now have properly connected brakes.

This completes connecting your brake cables.
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