I bought a new Salsa Colossal frame to build up and it has a cotter pin on the frame mounted barrel adjuster:

enter image description here

If I turn the barrel adjuster too much, it is going to start digging in to the paintwork. Should I remove the cotter pin? Is it required once a cable is installed?

  • 2
    It's to provide friction, so the adjuster doesn't unadjust itself from vibration. Apr 8, 2016 at 18:29
  • Yeah. You have them on barrel adjusters which aren't inline-- it's perfectly normal.
    – Batman
    Apr 8, 2016 at 19:47
  • 1
    Where's the friction? Between the cotter pin and the frame when it's screwed in? Aren't those little raised nodules (is that a word?) on the grey barrel adjuster meant to mate with the little indents on the frame?
    – Ben Mills
    Apr 8, 2016 at 20:18
  • 1
    @BenMills yes, they are meant to mate, you're right. I don't think extra friction is a good reason.
    – ebrohman
    Apr 8, 2016 at 23:14

2 Answers 2


I pulled the cotter pin off and it turns out there's a spring inside the grey knob that pushes it down to the blue frame piece. That engages the 4 bumps on the grey knob with the 4 dents in the frame (giving 4 index positions per rotation of the knob).

enter image description here

Seems like the cotter pin was meant to be removed all along and maybe only acts to hold the grey knob and spring in place before the barrel adjuster is installed on the frame. I'm not 100% sure that this is the answer to my question, so wanted to throw this information out there before accepting my own answer.

  • That seems right to me, I was about it add it as an answer. So well done, you've answered your own question.
    – Móż
    Apr 10, 2016 at 1:11
  • That sounds about right. I bet there was a new worker at the Salsa factory who didn't know that he was supposed to remove the clip after installing the barrel. Apr 10, 2016 at 23:52
  • 1
    This is the correct answer. The clips are in place to hold the barrel adjuster together during shipping, and to make installation easier. It's tough to thread in an adjuster when you have t o simultaneously compress it. Especially if you have big thumbs. These should be removed, otherwise the barrel adjuster can thread in/out on during rough riding. The spring in the adjuster keeps it from moving, not this clip.
    – JonR
    Apr 14, 2016 at 7:58

If you look at the bottom of the plastic adjusting knob you will notice small bumps. Your frame lacks the corresponding bumps that would normally act as a detent to hold the knob in position. In practice you remove the cotter pin make the adjustment and reinstall the cotter as close to frame as possible.

  • The frame has those little indents. I think you can see that in the photo. When I screw the barrel adjuster in, the cotter starts to catch on those indents. It would scratch that paint up pretty easily.
    – Ben Mills
    Apr 8, 2016 at 20:24
  • If the detents are big enough to hold, I would remove the adjuster, slide the plastic knob off the screw. Install the small spring the adjusters typically use, onto the screw prior to reinstalling the screw in the knob. This will push the plastic onto the detents to hold it in position.
    – mikes
    Apr 8, 2016 at 20:30
  • @BenMills - To be effective, the "bumps" on the adjuster must be in contact with corresponding "bumps" on the mating surface throughout the working range of the adjuster. That ain't gonna happen in this situation. Apr 9, 2016 at 0:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.