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Thread: caliper brakes

  1. #1
    I'll get there vilelamb's Avatar
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    I was trying to help my friend adjust a beat old bike he bought. The brakes were all messed up and I was trying to unscrew the middle bolt holding the two sides of the caliper brake and the spring like thing on the inside popped out (sorry I dont know what it is called). Is that bad? I wish I could explain this better, we ended up not being able to adjust it.
    Last edited by vilelamb; 09-14-05 at 10:58 PM.

  2. #2
    BIKE MECHANIC king koeller's Avatar
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    You asked , is it bad, of course not.
    A caliper brake is a relatively simple thing to take apart and put together again. I would encourage you to take the brake off the bike and take it apart so as to learn how it works.
    The spring has a loop on each side and pops back into the coresponding pin on the back of each caliper arm.Taking a caliper brake apart and cleaning it up is kind of fun ...when your done finishing the final adjustment on the lock nut and the adjustment barrel, it's such a great feeling!
    You never remove the bolts on the outside, just adjust them, you only remove them if your going to do a full restoration and cleaning with an old tooth brush and some Kerosene. When assembling the calipers back together again, lightly oil the contact points and wipe away the excess. the bolt and lock nut should allow the brake to be velvetly smooth when squeezed but with no play or lost motion. Hook up the springs. squeeze a couple of times to check for smoothness. lastly attach the whole assembly to the bike with the bolt on the other side of the lock nut side. As you do the final tightening, the brake will want to lean to one side, so use a centering tool to set the even spacing of each caliper in relationship to the rim. I could go on and on but don't be afraid to take things apart to see how they work. THAT is WHAT WORKING ON BIKES IS ALL ABOUT ...LEARNING.
    I wish you the best of luck! Please remember to have fun!
    1976 Centurion Super Lemans 23"C-T Double butted chrome-moly Nervex style lugs Campy NR Wright Leather fiamme red label tubular rims Metallic silver, 1984-BCA 21.5"c-t Tange double butted lugged Shimano bio-pace Leather Brooks B-17 Champion Standard honey Black w Red head tube Lugged frame, 1986 FOCUS 22"c-t Tange double butted lugged Suntour XC Sport Sugino VP triple Dia-Compe Canti's Brooks B-17 Champion Standard, Trek Elance 400D 1986 Reynolds 531 Full Shimano SIS Black metallic silver

  3. #3
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by king koeller
    You asked , is it bad, of course not.
    A caliper brake is a relatively simple thing to take apart and put together again. I would encourage you to take the brake off the bike and take it apart so as to learn how it works.
    The spring has a loop on each side and pops back into the coresponding pin on the back of each caliper arm.Taking a caliper brake apart and cleaning it up is kind of fun ...when your done finishing the final adjustment on the lock nut and the adjustment barrel, it's such a great feeling!
    You never remove the bolts on the outside, just adjust them, you only remove them if your going to do a full restoration and cleaning with an old tooth brush and some Kerosene. When assembling the calipers back together again, lightly oil the contact points and wipe away the excess. the bolt and lock nut should allow the brake to be velvetly smooth when squeezed but with no play or lost motion. Hook up the springs. squeeze a couple of times to check for smoothness. lastly attach the whole assembly to the bike with the bolt on the other side of the lock nut side. As you do the final tightening, the brake will want to lean to one side, so use a centering tool to set the even spacing of each caliper in relationship to the rim. I could go on and on but don't be afraid to take things apart to see how they work. THAT is WHAT WORKING ON BIKES IS ALL ABOUT ...LEARNING.
    I wish you the best of luck! Please remember to have fun!
    Except the ones that are full of bearings that go everywhere when pulled apart. No fun if you have to mess with spiders and scorpions to retieve them.

  4. #4
    I'll get there vilelamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by king koeller
    You asked , is it bad, of course not.
    A caliper brake is a relatively simple thing to take apart and put together again. I would encourage you to take the brake off the bike and take it apart so as to learn how it works.
    The spring has a loop on each side and pops back into the coresponding pin on the back of each caliper arm.Taking a caliper brake apart and cleaning it up is kind of fun ...when your done finishing the final adjustment on the lock nut and the adjustment barrel, it's such a great feeling!
    You never remove the bolts on the outside, just adjust them, you only remove them if your going to do a full restoration and cleaning with an old tooth brush and some Kerosene. When assembling the calipers back together again, lightly oil the contact points and wipe away the excess. the bolt and lock nut should allow the brake to be velvetly smooth when squeezed but with no play or lost motion. Hook up the springs. squeeze a couple of times to check for smoothness. lastly attach the whole assembly to the bike with the bolt on the other side of the lock nut side. As you do the final tightening, the brake will want to lean to one side, so use a centering tool to set the even spacing of each caliper in relationship to the rim. I could go on and on but don't be afraid to take things apart to see how they work. THAT is WHAT WORKING ON BIKES IS ALL ABOUT ...LEARNING.
    I wish you the best of luck! Please remember to have fun!
    Thanks for your encouragement!

  5. #5
    BIKE MECHANIC king koeller's Avatar
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    Yes , sydney ,
    i've had my share of spiders, millipedes, and ect... living in old seat posts and brake calpers.
    I guess it's all part of the adventure!~
    1976 Centurion Super Lemans 23"C-T Double butted chrome-moly Nervex style lugs Campy NR Wright Leather fiamme red label tubular rims Metallic silver, 1984-BCA 21.5"c-t Tange double butted lugged Shimano bio-pace Leather Brooks B-17 Champion Standard honey Black w Red head tube Lugged frame, 1986 FOCUS 22"c-t Tange double butted lugged Suntour XC Sport Sugino VP triple Dia-Compe Canti's Brooks B-17 Champion Standard, Trek Elance 400D 1986 Reynolds 531 Full Shimano SIS Black metallic silver

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    Thanks for the info on caliper braking systems. I have a question about the centering tool. Where can I get one and are they expensive? Are there any good outlets online for used bike tools other than ebay?

  7. #7
    BIKE MECHANIC king koeller's Avatar
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    Usually the centering tool is just a 13, 14 or 15 mm cone wrench. Different model brakes have different flat slots for center adjustments, some models have none, in this case you have to hold the brake all the way to the opposide side of the way you are tightening up the locking nut, then when tight, apply the brake lever a couple of times to check for true. some times the brakes will still be off, so you have to experiment to find the right compromise. Centering caliper brakes can be frustrating at times, but don't give up, with time and skill,you'll get it perfect.
    1976 Centurion Super Lemans 23"C-T Double butted chrome-moly Nervex style lugs Campy NR Wright Leather fiamme red label tubular rims Metallic silver, 1984-BCA 21.5"c-t Tange double butted lugged Shimano bio-pace Leather Brooks B-17 Champion Standard honey Black w Red head tube Lugged frame, 1986 FOCUS 22"c-t Tange double butted lugged Suntour XC Sport Sugino VP triple Dia-Compe Canti's Brooks B-17 Champion Standard, Trek Elance 400D 1986 Reynolds 531 Full Shimano SIS Black metallic silver

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by king koeller
    Centering caliper brakes can be frustrating at times, but don't give up, with time and skill,you'll get it perfect.
    Somewhat off-topic but this is exactly the reason double pivot calipers are so much easier to work with. Not only are they more powerful (i.e. more braking for the same hand pressure) but they are so easy to center. Just pivot the brake assembly around the pivot bolt and both arms move the same amount at the same time. No need for cone wrenches or delicate fiddling with mounting bolt.

  9. #9
    BIKE MECHANIC king koeller's Avatar
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    Yes, I totally agree with the benifits of double pivit calipers. Check out those campy record double pivit brakes ...works of art! Easier to center, more power, and good looks too!
    1976 Centurion Super Lemans 23"C-T Double butted chrome-moly Nervex style lugs Campy NR Wright Leather fiamme red label tubular rims Metallic silver, 1984-BCA 21.5"c-t Tange double butted lugged Shimano bio-pace Leather Brooks B-17 Champion Standard honey Black w Red head tube Lugged frame, 1986 FOCUS 22"c-t Tange double butted lugged Suntour XC Sport Sugino VP triple Dia-Compe Canti's Brooks B-17 Champion Standard, Trek Elance 400D 1986 Reynolds 531 Full Shimano SIS Black metallic silver

  10. #10
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    My eyeballs are my centering tool

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

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