Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Raleigh Project One, The Fitted Brake Wires

Up until the late 60's, Raleigh Sports came stock with "Fitted Brake Wires." Both ends of the cable had a soldered bead to operate the brake.
Different sized bicycles required different length cables and instead of simply cutting the cable to length and fixing it in a binder bolt, If you ever needed to replace a cable, you would need the whole part.

Raleigh made many different lengths and styles to fit both frame and brake lever. The Fitted cable came with the brakes barrel adjuster attached and when installing, you simply removed the barrel adjuster and remove the ends from the caliper and lever.
The women s bicycle required the cable to come from the underside of the brake for the step through frame. The Adjuster was fitted to the top of the brake, requiring a totally different cable design:

The Brake wires with this project were dirty and rusted. I assume that the cables were in fair shape in the center of the Housing and by spraying a light oil into the housing, I was able to free up any drag it had.

The ends were polished with oil and steel wool. I figured that the white polishing compound would only get stuck in the knurling on the adjuster and make more of a problem.

Although the cable housings were stained,all in all the Fitted Brake Wires look great!


  1. Forgot to say that you have doen some beautiful work and made an excellent chronicle of your efforts.

  2. Scott - Have found that aluminium foil and lemon juice worked extremely well to clean up chrome without the detrimental effects of a wire wheel.

    Oxalic acid immersion is the preferred method for more difficult rust removal and Mother's polish is this in a paste form.

  3. Thank You, I will have to give that a try on my next project, Its a total rust bucket!