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Whatís inside an in-line barrel adjuster?

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Whatís inside an in-line barrel adjuster?

Old 11-17-19, 12:27 PM
  #1  
rcd
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Whatís inside an in-line barrel adjuster?

Tried to post a far more detailed post yesterday, but somehow failed. I have an in-line barrel adjuster on the rear brake of my 20 year old Cannondale T800 touring bike. Turning it either way does nothing, so Iíve disconnected things enough that I can see into the black plastic housing (about 5-6 cm long). On the lever end, there is a metal cup extending from the lip of the housing down inside the housing by about a cm, and a hole in the bottom of the cup allows the cable to pass through. It is more difficult to see down inside the plastic housing from the other end ó there MIGHT be a threaded metal piece that enables the lengthening/shortening of the cable (increasing/decreasing tension on the cable). I really canít see well enough to say, but that would make sense, given how more visible barrel adjusters work.
Maybe some piece has been lost? Maybe something is just seized up? But even if everything were functioning fine, I donít understand how merely rotating the housing would do ANYTHING to alter the length of the mechanism itself. Turning the plastic housing only appears the rotate the whole unit around the cable, not to turn the adjusting mechanism itself. Yes, Iím going to go buy a replacement, but Iím still curious about whatís happening with the one I have. Enlightenment would be most welcome!
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Old 11-17-19, 12:46 PM
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Inside are threads and a spring. You have to hold on to one end and turn the other end.
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Old 11-17-19, 01:19 PM
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Thanks, Dave. Can’t see anything like a spring — maybe that’s gone missing. Still though, how does simply rotating the housing around the cable ever engage the mechanism so that it, too, will turn? It looks like rotating the plastic housing would just spin it via the ferrules, as I don’t see what would hold part of its innards stationary while rotating another part. Anyone know of any diagrams/pics/videos that might illustrate this?
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Old 11-17-19, 01:52 PM
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There should be a larger diameter part that has internal threads, so it works like a nut. The smaller diameter part has external threads, so it's like a bolt, with a small through hole for the cable to go through. If the small diameter end is turned CCW, it unscrews and increases tension.

If there are not two diameters, it's not a cable adjuster. Does the frame have an adjuster?

Also see YouTube there are many videos.

Last edited by DaveSSS; 11-17-19 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 11-17-19, 03:49 PM
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You mentioned a "lever." Maybe what you have is a QR to facilitate wheel removal, w/o an adjuster function.
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Old 11-17-19, 06:58 PM
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Can you post a picture?
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Old 11-17-19, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
You mentioned a "lever." Maybe what you have is a QR to facilitate wheel removal, w/o an adjuster function.
Sorry, I was just referring to the brake lever, some distance away from this in-line barrel adjuster. I wanted the reader to understand which end of the plastic housing held the metal cup. Iíll try to post a pic tomorrow, but it is simply a very common adjuster enabling you to do small adjustments on the brake (to compensate for pad wear) while riding. I say ďvery common adjusterĒ but I suppose the biking world has changed some since I got this bike 20 years ago! Maybe I should have provided a Seniors Alert! 😀
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Old 11-21-19, 12:47 PM
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So is the adjuster part of the brake lever or is it a separate adjuster?

The in-line adjusters are basically a hollow bolt with a cable stop on one end, and a nut with a cable stop on the other end. The cable housing is split and the ends are seated in the cable stops on the 'bolt' and on the 'nut', and turning the 'nut' in relation to the 'bolt' makes the split in the cable housing wider or narrower. Pulling the two ends further apart has the effect of 'tightening' the cable, turning so the two ends are closer together 'loosens' the cable.
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Old 11-21-19, 01:20 PM
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fwiw - when I changed my rear derailer cable I wound up removing the two barrel adjusters cuz I unscrewed one & it flew off the bike. Don’t know how all three of the little parts landed together on the floor next to me. That was a close call. But a good opportunity to clean & lube them. here's what they look like







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Old 11-24-19, 12:22 AM
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Check this out; it might help. I have them on a T800, T2 and use them on my CX bike.

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