Bicycle Mechanics - Centering cheap cantilever brakes?
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11-16-10, 02:36 PM
I've got fairly cheap traditional cantilever brakes on my bike. The front one is currently awkward to set up as the left arm sits considerably further away from the rim than the right when released. As a result, I have to set up the brake so the pad is almost all the way in on the left arm, and all the way out on the right.
Normally you'd adjust the centering with the screw on one side, but, being cheap brakes, said screw is lacking from mine. Is there any way to adjust them other than dismantling the brakes and physically bending the springs?
11-16-10, 02:42 PM
Bend the springs. I've taken to bending springs on expensive brakes rather than messing with those screws.
I'm pretty sure you want the pads extended the same on both sides, otherwise one arm clamps harder than the other.
If that causes problems though, I'm not sure about. Does your wheel get forced sideways when ya engage the brakes?
11-16-10, 02:54 PM
if there is a continuous transverse wire ,
the hanger with the main cable clamped in it
that pulls up the cross over wire,
Doesn't have to be exactly in the middle.
11-16-10, 02:54 PM
Bending the springs is difficult. The metal is made to be "springy" so it just springs back to the original position.
There usually are 3 little holes on a tab on the bike frame that the spring is inserted to.
They are for "more springiness" "middle springiness" and "less springiness"
Play with inserting the spring in different holes... Left in the "less" hole, and right in the "more" hole.
I hope that works for you.
11-16-10, 03:33 PM
Thanks guys, will have a play around with the brakes tomorrow. I was actually considering switching to side-pull caliper brakes as I can get hold of a set from a BMX for next to nothing, and I think they'd suit my bike better with it's upright handlebars and 3-speed hub. Any potential issues with using these on my frame? I know they can be 'flexy' but my current brakes aren't exactly brilliant in that regard.
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