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Old 05-27-05, 11:52 AM   #1
Drunken Chicken
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I've got a problem here: My vbrakes are skimming the rims now, and I wanted to loosen them so them don't scrape the rims anymore but the problem is that I don't know how to "loosen" the vbrake arm (i.e, to pull it slightly further away from the rims. On the back brake, the pads skim the rim and brake a bit without pulling the brake lever but at the front, it's halfway to locked wheel. The left pad moves about a millimeter to the right when I pull the front brake's lever. It's not stuck against the rim but it's skimming 80% of the time. I was wondering: How on earth can I make it so my wheels aren't constantly being braked upon?

Thanks in advance,
-Drunken Chicken

PS: Brake arm or caliper arm? Not sure.


NEVERMIND. When I took the wheel off I saw that both v-brakes were badly aligned. I'll try and follow what Parktool say but I have a feeling I won't succeed.
Parktool:
This is the setting of the pad vertical surface relative to the rim vertical surface. The vertical face of the pad should be set parallel to the face of the braking surface.
Vertical face alignment

Last edited by Drunken Chicken; 05-27-05 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 05-27-05, 12:12 PM   #2
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First, and I'm not being funny or snottyor just a jerk. First, have you made sure your wheels are straight.
Honestly, redo each wheel. If your wheels are straight and your cable is not too tight. Either 1 or both arms has a small screw, backing out the screw of the arm thats moving and/or screwing in the screw of the arm thats not moving, normally will fix this. There are other possible problems , but with out seeing it its hard to tell. But theres probably a website such as parktool that explains it better.
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Old 05-27-05, 12:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midgie
First, and I'm not being funny or snottyor just a jerk. First, have you made sure your wheels are straight.
Honestly, redo each wheel. If your wheels are straight and your cable is not too tight. Either 1 or both arms has a small screw, backing out the screw of the arm thats moving and/or screwing in the screw of the arm thats not moving, normally will fix this. There are other possible problems , but with out seeing it its hard to tell. But theres probably a website such as parktool that explains it better.
OK, thanks. I'll try and find my camera and snap a pic of whats up. As for redoing the wheels... well, thing is, I don't know how to. Just going to take a quick brake ( ) then I'll be back.
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Old 05-27-05, 12:26 PM   #4
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I only loosen the tension screws. Loosen the screw on the opposite caliper arm to the one that's rubbing.
When I adjust my brakes I flip the spring bars off, tighten the screws in =(not too tight, like squishing the spring)..then I put the bars on and start backing the screws out, repeatedly using the lever after each turn.
Toe in the pads, while doing this adjustment, you might clean the pads as well.
An elastic around the lever\bar can help setting the toe\rim alignment.

If you've taken your wheel off -and then your pads don't line up? Check that the wheel is correctly placed in the drops before you go off on the pads.
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Old 05-27-05, 12:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff williams
I only loosen the tension screws. Loosen the screw on the opposite caliper arm to the one that's rubbing.
When I adjust my brakes I flip the spring bars off, tighten the screws in =(not too tight, like squishing the spring)..then I put the bars on and start backing the screws out, repeatedly using the lever after each turn.
Toe in the pads, while doing this adjustment, you might clean the pads as well.
An elastic around the lever\bar can help setting the toe\rim alignment.

If you've taken your wheel off -and then your pads don't line up? Check that the wheel is correctly placed in the drops before you go off on the pads.
Thanks Jeff. I think what I need to do is loosen the screw that holds the pads to the caliper and then squeeze the brake, aline the pads and then tighten.
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Old 05-27-05, 01:31 PM   #6
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This is NOT going good!
It seems that the left pad is stuck to the rim and the right pad needs to travel more than usual to touch the rims. Any ideas?
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Old 05-27-05, 03:21 PM   #7
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Sheldon's website has better pics, shows everything clearer.


http://sheldonbrown.com/canti-direct.html
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Old 05-27-05, 03:24 PM   #8
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Is the wheel dished properly?

Just throwing out some possibilities for you.
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Old 05-27-05, 04:54 PM   #9
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I'm going to side with midgie.

The first thing to do is to set your bike upright on it's tires. Then push down as you loosen and retighten each quick release. That will seat your axles in the dropouts. If the wheels are askew in the dropouts, even a little bit, any attempt at brake adjustment is futile.

Still drag? If so, the next thing to do is to read the label that says what kind of brakes they are. Honestly, if they say Pro-Max on them, my advice is to throw them away and try a lower level Shimano brake. They're not too expensive and they will save you a ton of aggrivation.

If you already have a decent brake, like Shimano or Avid, the next step is to line up the brake pads. I just loosen the pads, push the arm against the rim with my finger and retighten the pad. If you haven't done it a lot, it might take a few tries to get it right.

Make sure that the cable tension is right.

Lastly, look at the base of each brake arm where it attaches to the frame. You will find a little screw or allen bolt. Tightening that screw will move that arm away from the rim and, at the same time, moves the other arm closer to the rim. What you are doing is balancing the return spring tension on the two arms. When it's right, the arms will move together towrad the rim when you pull the lever and move together away from the rim when you release it.

As an aside, I once went to the start of a group ride in which a fellow was having a brake drag problem. Another rider had actually gotten a spoke wrench out of his tool kit and was preparing to redish the fellow's wheel. Just in the nick of time I set the bike upright, loosened and retightened the QR which seated the wheel and solved the problem.
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Old 05-27-05, 05:22 PM   #10
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Assming that you can pull the brake away from the rim by hand, check for cable drag that might be preventing the return spring from pulling the brake away from the rim. Maybe the tension/return spring ain't doing it's job. Unhook it from where wver it is on the brake and bend it OUT a little. This will give the spring a bit more force.

If you can't pull the brake away from the rim by hand, then bad wheel position in the dropouts is most likely.
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Old 05-28-05, 01:32 AM   #11
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Woah! Thanks for the tips everyone, I really appreciate them. Well, time to try them out.

EDIT! Fixed. I really did have to get the perfect balance using the tension (I think that's what they're called) screws. Now both arms move, only problem is that my front brake lever doesn't feel as good as it used to: before, when I pulled, it'd stop perfectly as far as it'd go, even if I squeezed harder. Now if I squeeze harder it goes further. Nothing major, just doesn't give me the feeling that it locks the wheel as efficiently as before. I'll see if toeing the pads in helps.

Again, thanks all!

Last edited by Drunken Chicken; 05-28-05 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 05-28-05, 11:52 AM   #12
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It sounds as if you're saying you don't like the feeling of the brakes because you have to pull the brake levers farther towards the bar before the brakes will contact the rim. This is actually better than having brakes which touch the rim when you only pull on the lever a little. It gives the brakes more power and more modulation, both very good things. Just don't let the lever bottom out on the handlebar and you're in good shape.
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