Bicycle Mechanics - Ted Williams Free Spirit Brakes
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Timmy The Nad
07-18-11, 04:30 PM
Hey guys, I've got a 70s Free Spirit, but the brakes aren't quite up to snuff, especially the back brake which provides very little stopping power. This is my first road bike, but it's also a bike for me to learn on. I'd like to go ahead and install some new brakes, but I'm on a budget. This rear brake caught my eye:
My first question is: Will this fit the bike? The 26" tires are 1 3/8". Also if I change out the brake, will I have to install a new brake cable, or will the old cable in place suffice?
I appreciate any help you can give as I'm still pretty dumb when it comes to bikes. Thanks.
07-18-11, 04:53 PM
'Nad: Your front brake should do most of your stopping; I seldom use my rear one. Probably the most bang for your buck would be to change out your brake pads and ensure that they are properly adjusted and that the wheel brake tracks are clean. Kool Stop Salmon pads are frequently mentioned as being an excellent choice. If your wheels are steel rather than aluminum your braking action will be mediocre at best, especially in wet weather.
Those are built for recessed mounting. If your brakes are attached with a through bolt and nut, they probably won't work.
However, you can likely get away with using a front brake in the rear, which will have a longer bolt.
If your brake mounting looks like this instead, it should work:
07-18-11, 05:10 PM
Ted Williams Free Spirit
AKA a Sears Huffy
If the rims are steel, you need to lower your expectations.
a fresh set of brake shoes will be about all you can do ,
short of replacing the rims with Aluminum ones ,
and given its a $20 bike , so may not even be a cost justifiable task.
replacing cables and housing will be = to the value of the bike,
but if it gets used as transportation , then It will earn it's keep.
07-18-11, 05:28 PM
to answer the OP's question, it probably will not fit the bike. The issue is that the Free Spirit almost surely came with long reach brakes, and the brake in the link given is not a long reach brake.
07-18-11, 06:03 PM
Replace the pads and the cable and housing and see how things are then .
Timmy The Nad
07-24-11, 08:58 PM
211854211855Thanks for all the input guys. Here are some pictures of how it looks with and without the brakes on the rear. Still think it wouldn't fit? It's supposed to be a commute bike, so I guess it would be worth some minimal investment. I guess I'll try the new cables and housing, I've already got new pads for it. It's not too hard to replace the cables and housing right?
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