I like having my front brakes very close to the rim (see image) as it makes it much easier to brake, especially when on the hoods or long descents. I recently swapped to Continental GP4000 25mm tires on Mavic CXP 22 rims and the tires seem to be much wider than my previous stock Felt All weather 25 mms. When I want to take the wheels off, I need to loosen the brake cable in addition opening up there brake calipers. This is of course very annoying and seems abnormal to me.

  • 105 shifters
  • Shimano calipers with no model number


  • 1
    Unfortunately, it's not that uncommon for the brake system to be this poorly designed/matched. You may have to let the air out of the tire before removing the wheel. Repeatedly loosening/tightening the brake cable is not a long-term solution. Jun 20, 2015 at 12:05
  • Don’t you have a cable adjustment screw somewhere? There are also inline cable adjustment parts available. As long as the brake can open far enough (which seems to be the case from what you say) it’s quite solveable.
    – Michael
    Jun 20, 2015 at 13:03
  • They look a bit close indeed. Up to 2mm between rubber and rim is acceptable. An additional in-cable housing release is an option. Shimano make those for their direct mount rear brakes that no built-in release lever.
    – Carel
    Jun 21, 2015 at 13:29

1 Answer 1


From the picture, and what you describe, the tire is wider than the rim. This means that if you like to run the brake shoes close the rim that you'll be unable to remove the tire without having to find some way to "lengthen" the cable. There are three common options that I know of:

  1. A release lever on the brakes. It appears that you have one. I think that is what the silver lever on the left side of the photo is (near the brake cable). If you lift up on it, the brakes should relax enabling you to remove the wheel.
  2. Some brake levers will have a button to release cable tension. My Tektro levers do, My Shimano levers don't.
  3. There may be a barrel adjuster screw on the brakes or levers someplace. The primary purpose of this is to let you tune the length of the cable, but it will also give you a way to release some cable tension (if they are screwed out some). Not ideal, but better than unscrewing the cable clamp.

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