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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 07-03-05, 10:54 AM   #1
duane041
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Brake shoe question-Just won't come to a stop

I'm wondering if I need new brake shoes. I bought an older Raleigh as a beater bike, and had it out for the first time today. When I pull the brakes, I get great contact, but not a whole lot happens. Could the rubber have hardened over time (the bike is an 84)? The bike just keeps going...and going. It eventually stops, but I have to REALLY jack on the brakes in order to get a fast stop. Wheels are true, and the brake cables have no kinks or anything else wird going on. Any ideas??? Thanks!
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Old 07-03-05, 11:07 AM   #2
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Scuff up the pads with sandpaper, use a 3m pad on the rims, then wipe with alcohol. If that doesn't work, get new pads.
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Old 07-03-05, 11:52 AM   #3
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I agree, that old they are probably fossilized. Breaking the glaze may help, but new pads are cheap.
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Old 07-03-05, 12:09 PM   #4
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If the rims are steel, don't sand or scuff them. The problem lies with your brakes and pads. Those brakes are not know for their prodigious stopping power and as you guessed the pads have most likely become quite hard. I would tell you to buy a new set of pads, install them and carefully adjust your brakes. That may be as good as it gets so give yourself enough leeway when riding that bike.
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Old 07-03-05, 12:43 PM   #5
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Thanks for the inout guys. I'll get some pads tomorrow. Hope I don't have to resort to using my heels like I did when I was a kid

By the way, only reason i picked up the bike was because I knew it was one of those with the chromed fork and rear triangle. Stripped the rest of the paint, and I have a totally chrome bike. Kinda neat
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Old 07-03-05, 07:16 PM   #6
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1) Replace the brake pads with KoolStop salmon;
2) Replace the brake cables and housings;
3) You may not like this one -- if you have steel rims, replace them with aluminum.
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Old 07-03-05, 07:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E
1) Replace the brake pads with KoolStop salmon;
2) Replace the brake cables and housings;
3) You may not like this one -- if you have steel rims, replace them with aluminum.
no prob, it actually has aluminum rims, so thankfully I can scratch #3!
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Old 07-04-05, 12:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duane041
no prob, it actually has aluminum rims, so thankfully I can scratch #3!
If you have aluminum rims, then you can clean the braking surface using rubbing alcohol and a green Scotchbrite pad. That combo will remove any gunk that may be fouling the braking surface.
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