Bicycle Mechanics - brake problem - caliper not opening
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05-18-07, 10:49 AM
I have an older Dia Compe brake caliper. When I pull the brake lever the brake closes, but when I release the lever the right arm stays closed/in.
I think the springs on the back are in the right position, I think the brake is functioning.
Any ideas on how to fix this? The left arm releases, but the right arm stays in and doesn't move off the rim, which is a problem.
05-18-07, 10:57 AM
You should check out this thread : http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=299673
Another cause for sticky return is the pivot adjustment if you have two nuts on the very outer portion of the caliper. The acorn nut (outermost) is a locknut that holds the adjustment in place. The inner is the adjusting nut. Use two 10mm wrenches, back off the acorn nut and then back off the adjusting nut just a little. You have to hold the adjusting nut in place while you tighten the acorn nut. This will free up the movement but make sure you don't do so much as to have the brake arms wiggle back and forth (grab the brake lever and rotate the wheel forward and back, your brake arms will "flex" but they shouldn't wobble).
05-18-07, 12:09 PM
Also, your cable can be hanging up inside the cable housing somewhere. Remove the cable and inspect for rough spots or corrosion. Thread the cable through the housing and manually pull it back and forth to see if it travels smoothly. I had this happen to me on older bikes more than once.
05-18-07, 01:22 PM
Thanks Tool Boy. I tried all that you said and still can't get it to work. I'm thinking the brake is old and not functioning so well. Plus, the nut that secures the brake cable stripped on me. For what a new caliper costs, I might just buy one. Thanks for the information though.
05-19-07, 10:47 AM
Make sure to recycle the old caliper in some way. Parts can be salvaged if the entire piece can't be used. Or at least be sure the metal makes it to a recycling plant.
05-19-07, 10:57 AM
If this is a bike that you really ride you have 2 choices.
The first is to struggle continuously with the brakes that you have. Even if you get them to work, the effect won't be very long lasting.
The permanent fix is to replace them with Tektro dual pivots. They come in 3 different reach lengths so be sure that you get the right ones.
05-19-07, 12:25 PM
I'll add to Retro Grouch's advice that at the same time you purchase the Tektro dual pivots, if you go that route, get some Kool Stop salmon brake pads to go with them. The stock Tektro pads are junk-
05-19-07, 08:05 PM
.... The stock Tektro pads are junk-
Yup - what he said. They are CRAP.
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