How to Adjust the Brake Side Pull on a Shimano 105

Written by matthew ferguson
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Along with rowing and fishing gear, Shimano produces an impressive line of cycling products. Shimano 105 bicycle components incorporate designs from the more expensive Ultegra and Dura-Ace groups but are priced more economically. A Shimano 105 brake attaches to a hand-operated lever by way of a cable. When the lever is squeezed, the cable causes both arms of the brake to retract and grip the bicycle wheel. As the cable stretches from use, a hollow plastic bolt at the side of the brake allows for adjustment of the cable and restoration of the pulling action.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Locate the cable adjusting bolt. On 105 brakes, the bolt is placed where the cable enters the brake. The cable passes through the centre of the bolt.

  2. 2

    Turn the cable adjusting bolt counterclockwise to add tension to the cable. Without proper tension, the cable cannot effectively pull on the brake.

  3. 3

    Adjust the pulling action, using the cable adjusting bolt, until each brake pad sits approximately 1.5 to 2mm from the side of the rim of the wheel. Closer brake pads cause the brake to engage the wheel sooner.

  4. 4

    Take the bicycle for a ride and test the brake adjustment by squeezing the brake lever gently and stopping. If the braking action feels too abrupt, give the cable adjusting bolt a one-half turn clockwise to soften the braking. Adjust further as needed to meet personal preference.

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