Regarding the V-brake calipers, where the cable is tightened with a screw:

Should the cable go between the head of the screw and the washer (1), or should it go between the screw head and the body of the brake caliper (2)? And most importantly, why? (Is either of the two dangerous, e.g. could the cable slip or break?)

(1) Cable between the head of the screw and the washer:

cable between the head of the screw and the washer

(2) Cable between the head of the screw and the body of the brake:

cable between screw and brake

  • 2
    Your second option looks like it might slip without warning. Normally, a washer with an obvious groove is included. May 23, 2021 at 20:00
  • So this means the first one is the correct one?
    – Attilio
    May 23, 2021 at 20:01
  • 1
    No, I do not think it is. May 23, 2021 at 20:06
  • 1
    Ok, after reading JoeK's answer, I think I get your point: the second option is the correct one, but the cable is not seated deep enough.
    – Attilio
    May 23, 2021 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


Picture 2 is correct. The washer should prevent the cable being damaged or pulled by tightening the bolt.

However, on some cheaper brakes the bolt and washer are such poor quality that they turn together and the benefit is lost.

I will add that your cable in picture 2 isn't seated deeply enough behind the washer.

enter image description here

Note that i usually leave more cable and tuck it away behind the spring. This photo is OK for reference to clamping though.

  • When would it be seated deeply enough? If the top of the cable was not visible at all? Or does it need to cover the side too?
    – Attilio
    May 23, 2021 at 20:06
  • 1
    @Attilo The cable should follow a straight path and is usually completely hidden at 12 o'clock on the washer. If you take out the bolt you will usually see there is a groove in the brake arm for the cable on most brakes of this type.
    – Noise
    May 23, 2021 at 20:10
  • 1
    And should it be hidden only at 12 o'clock, and then stick out (like in the picture), or is it better if it does a half turn and gets hidden from 12 o'clock to 3 o'clock?
    – Attilio
    May 23, 2021 at 20:14
  • 1
    +1 good spot on the cable too
    – Swifty
    May 23, 2021 at 20:54
  • 1
    On many V-brake calipers there's a groove directed in a generally vertical direction or with a slight angle from inside (top) to outside (bottom). Seating the cable in this groove and securing it beneath the washer helps generate the proper leverage on the caliper arm (the downward direction the cable follows makes a little hook or loop around the pinch bolt. This is good to secure the cable better, preventing slip, and puts the pulling force of the cable at and around the solid pinch bolt. Also, excess inner brake cable is directed down toward where you can seat it behind the lever arm.
    – Jeff
    May 23, 2021 at 21:48

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