So you’ve been riding for a while and you’re starting to notice a little more play in the brake lever than you’d like. As the brake pads wear down and the cable “stretches” it’ll take more pull on the lever before you’ve got contact, friction, and stopping power. Since the best brakes are responsive ones, let’s give that saggy lever a 5-second tune-up!
Sure, you can rewire the brakes to tighten ‘em back up – but that can be a hassle and, if you’re already running late, you don’t have time to get dirty. Luckily for you, we can get everything snugged up on the fly, thanks to the magic of barrel adjustors!
See that little barrel shaped cylinder between the brake lever and the cable? That’s our hero today.
Facing the lever, turn the barrel adjustor counter-clockwise to tighten everything up.
You’re actually pulling the adjustor away from the lever, compacting the housing, and so undoing some of that pesky cable-stretch. Just alternate twisting the adjustor and pulling the lever until you’ve got everything where it feels right. You want to at least be able to slide a thumb between the bars and the lever with the brakes fully engaged, and any tighter than that is personal preference.
And that’s it! It’s a simple enough job that you can do it at a stoplight, and it’ll buy you some more time before you have to break out the wrenches to really re-tune everything!