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Front Brake Clearance Question

Hi Folks,

I got my new P-38 just after the holidays and am overall very pleased.

I have the large frame with the 20 inch front wheel, with no suspension. The front brake caliper is mounted behind the fork.

I noticed that when I turn the front wheel to the left, the cable adjuster and cable for the brake caliper strike the frame after a fairly short sweep, less than 15 degrees. I'm worried that this will eventually damage the finish or worse, the down tube in this area.

When I ride the bike I don't need to turn the wheel that far. But when lifting and maneuvering the bike I hit this limit fairly often. If I need to turn it, I wind up going around to the right because it only moves left in a wide arc (wider than my driveway).

I was wondering if anyone else has seen this or found a way to reduce the problem. In other pictures online I've seen the front brake mounted on the front of the fork instead of the back. I don't have that option because the cable adjuster and cable would interfere with the chain.

Sorry to come out whining, it's just that the clearance for turning the wheel left is so limited. This is the most I've spent on a bicycle so far, and I'd like to make sure it stays in prime condition for as long as possible.


Scott C.
Cary, NC USA


It sounds like you have the fork turned around backwards. When mine was shipped the fork was turn around also. I think they do that to make the package alittle shorter and it might protect the fork? The fork should have a slight rake to the front of the bike. If this is the problem take the brake cable loose from the brake and loosen the bolt that holds the handlebars to the fork turn the fork 180 deg. Tighten the bolt that holds the handlebars to the fork and reconnect the brake cable. I just when down and checked mine and also checked the manual. I think that will take care of it. You'll find the bike will handle alittle different with the fork turned around. Let me know what you find.


Hi Gary,

The fork is not reversed, it rakes forward. Because it has a caliper brake (rather than V-brakes or cantis) it is mounted behind the fork. This keeps the cable and cable tension adjuster from interfering with the chain - which would happen if it were mounted on the front.

Coincidentally, I have a BikeE "RoadE" from 1998 that also had the front caliper brake mounted in this way. It had greater clearance between the frame (I-beam) and the brake though.

Tim at Lightning was kind enough to call me about this yesterday and gave some advice for improving the brake installation. He said their mechanic should have done this prior to shipping.

Scott C.
Cary, NC USA

Hey Scott,

Every so often someone writes describing precisely the problem you have had with your front caliper brake mounted on the back of the fork.

If you could provide us with a detailed description of the before and after situation, it would be helpful to other people.

And also tell us your impressions of the bike after you get some miles in.

Safe riding,
Joel Dickman

I have a pic of my P-38 number 2 ,shows the front brake ,but it's not a close up ,anyway send me an e-mail and I'll send the pic ,maybe you want it for the gallery.

You could try a Bacchetta front caliper brake as the cable take up is from the bottom and not the top. This way you can mount it in front instead of rear of the fork with plenty of clearance. I have a 06 XL P-38 with Odyssey A brakes that I installed. Fits great as the noodle mount can be reversed to the other side.

Sounds like you may have a med size frame with a 20" front wheel?
I had one of those and upgraded the front brake to a 105 , I fed the cable in from the bottom .
I can't find the pics though. I think I just threaded the cable adjuster into the bottom and the had to come up with a barrel nut ,i think it's called, just a barrel shaped piece of steel with a hole and setscrew to lock down the cable.
I think RANS or Bachetta may have an adaptor to bottom feed the cable.

I recently purchased a used P-38. It has the front brake issue that has been discussed in this thread. Does anyone remember what can be done to fix, or help the situation?



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