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The cable for the front brake on a rim brake has come loose, and I can't get it to squeeze into the barrel adjuster screw properly.

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    The problem is that the cable is loose. If it were tight it would draw the ferrule into the barrel adjuster with little difficulty. Did the cable come loose somewhere else on the bike? – Daniel R Hicks Jul 23 '15 at 3:34
  • ah, yes, I didn't realize the cable was so dependent on tension to remain in position – cfye14 Jul 23 '15 at 4:55
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I'd guess that what happened is the other end of the cable slipped (at the anchor bolt on the brake). It probably wasn't tight enough and when the brakes were applied the cable pulled through the anchor bolt. Now the cable seems too loose at the barrel adjuster, but really it is too loose at the brake.

All you probably need to do is to loosen up the anchor bolt so that you can pull the cable back through and then tighten it down again. When you do this inspect the cable to make sure that it isn't starting to fray. If the brakes had been solid and this is a sudden change the cable fraying is one of the more likely reasons that I can think of for the cable suddenly becoming loose.

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I had a very similar problem, I took it to a bike shop and they told me I was missing a brake pad. Cost me $40 to get a new one and to get the brake tuned up. Take it to a shop and they'll tell you what the problem is!

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    boggle How do you not notice a missing brake pad while riding ? – Criggie Aug 2 '16 at 21:57
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    @Criggie Maybe it's a rear one. The bike stops with the front one just fine; rider ignores the malfunction in the rear one for a while. – Kaz Aug 2 '16 at 22:27
  • An answer saying "take it to a bike" shop, when there's an accepted answer describing how to fix the problem, isn't useful. Almost any question here can be answered that way, but people are almost always looking for how to fix the problem themselves. – Móż Aug 3 '16 at 5:39
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    Welcome to Bicycles @Kaden. Since you're new here, I recommend that you take our tour, and also browse the help center. In this case How to Answer could be helpful. I'm going to recommend this post be deleted because it doesn't address the question asked. As you'll see by reading those links, we're not a discussion site. – andy256 Aug 3 '16 at 6:07

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