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  1. #1
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    Centering Calipers

    Hey all,

    I have a '16 Emonda ALR 5 with 105 brakes. I noticed the rear caliper isn't perfectly centered to the wheel ( looking at the above arch that the caliper makes above the wheel, it's off to one side more). I tried moving the caliper over to center it and it worked, but the brakes are now not aligned on the rim. Do I need to mess with the cable and reset it?

  2. #2
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    Too old to ride plastic

  3. #3
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    From your description, it sounds like the mounting hole is off-center. I'd measure carefully from the edge of the hole to a common reference point on each side.

    Discounting that, make sure your brake pads have the same amount of material on them.

    Another thing to check would be the dish of the rear wheel. Flip the wheel around in the dropouts so the gears are on the left side. Observe whether the offset condition at the brake pads changes. It should not. If it does, the wheel is incorrectly dished.

  4. #4
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    This is a brand new bike, so def not wear. Also you mean the mounting hole on the frame or the calipers? Both look centered, and if I swing the calipers over a bit they center just fine. Just seems I'd need to pull / let loose some cable a tiny bit to get this new position to work right.

  5. #5
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    Sometimes the loop of housing from the stop to the caliper with "push" the caliper off-center and make the caliper stubbornly resistant to recentering. Changing the length of that housing may help.

  6. #6
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    What's the loop of the housing? So basically, if I move the calipers over to where the arch is center over the tire, one pad is completely touching one side of the rim. So I need to know how to then adjust the brakes from there.

  7. #7
    wim
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    Why are you trying to center the arch over the tire? The brake arms are not symmetrical in length, width and thickness and have no center reference points. If the brake pads are equidistant from the sides of the rims, your brakes are centered.

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    thats true, however I plan to run wider tires and don't want any clearance issues.

  9. #9
    wim
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    If you can only use wider tires by pushing your brakes off-center, you have to find a way to re-center the pads with washers on one side. Used to be called "a kludge," but I don't know what the current term is. My suggestion is to find a tire that just fits with the pads centered. The benefits of a tire any wider than that would be so small as to be unnoticeable.

    It's also possible that the wide-tire fad will die in a few yeas and we'll all be back to 700x23s. Someone will do a study proving that 'narrower is faster.' :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by wim View Post
    It's also possible that the wide-tire fad will die in a few yeas and we'll all be back to 700x23s. Someone will do a study proving that 'narrower is faster.' :-)
    I should probably be watching for any 20mm tires being closed out at fire sale prices then.
    Too old to ride plastic

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wim View Post
    If you can only use wider tires by pushing your brakes off-center, you have to find a way to re-center the pads with washers on one side. Used to be called "a kludge," but I don't know what the current term is. My suggestion is to find a tire that just fits with the pads centered. The benefits of a tire any wider than that would be so small as to be unnoticeable.

    It's also possible that the wide-tire fad will die in a few yeas and we'll all be back to 700x23s. Someone will do a study proving that 'narrower is faster.' :-)
    Well the thing is, its not pushing them off center, its pushing them center. I believe they were set up a little off center, thats the thing.

  12. #12
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    Well the thing is, its not pushing them off center, its pushing them center. I believe they were set up a little off center, thats the thing.
    No. Brakes "on-center" does not mean "caliper arches centered on the middle of the tire." It means "brake pads equidistant from the rim's braking area." And which arches are you going to center? There are two of them per brake, they're asymmetrical, they're not identical and they're offset. Look at the image, closely.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Centering Calipers-shimano-br-5800-font-b-105-b-font-caliper-font-b-brake-b-font-using-.jpg  
    Last edited by wim; 02-16-2017 at 09:30 AM.

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    if you look directly in front (those pics don't show this) both arches line up and the arch that both arms make is centered over other tires (including my front) that I've seen. Its tough to explain, i should take a photo at the angle i'm talking about and use photoshop ( i do for work) to point it out. Otherwise its just me explaining which I'm not very good at!

  14. #14
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    Maybe get some Ultegra brakes, mine have a screw on the top, maybe that would center the arch?
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  15. #15
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    Otherwise its just me explaining which I'm not very good at!
    No, that's not the problem. I think I understand what you're trying to do. But my basic point is this: you can line up the arches on the tire for maximum clearance, or you can center the brake pads on the rim. As you found out, you can't do both.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Maybe get some Ultegra brakes, mine have a screw on the top, maybe that would center the arch?
    All rim brakes have a centering screw or nut of some sort.
    use a torque wrench

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    If it's a "brand new bike" why not go to the shop that you bought it and get their help? I'm sure that they can explain things better than possible over the interwebs.
    Too old to ride plastic

  18. #18
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    i sure would like to see a pic of the actual problem.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  19. #19
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    His housing is probably too long, forcing the caliper to one side. The bolt may not be at 8nm either. Or maybe he's just wrong and it's fine.
    use a torque wrench

  20. #20
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    Pictures.... pictures... pictures... you maybe describing a monkey but others are seeing an elephant
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