caliper brakes on cruiser
I've recently rebuilt an older cruiser for my wife. I'm having some trouble with the rear brake. It's just not stopping the bike more than a slow stop. There is just a little surface rust on the rims which i've tried lightly sanding off. Could this surface rust hinder the braking power that much? will new brake pads help? The brake was purchased as new old stock from a local bike shop. I don't even know what brand it is...Any help is appreciated...
You do need to get that rust off of the braking surface! It will eat up brake pads fairly quickly if you don't. Since the brake pads that are on there now are probably already bad, ride the bike while dragging the brake. The pads should wear off the rust. But make sure that rust is off before putting on new pads, or you'll just eat them up as well. Also sounds like the brake may need a good adjustment, even with the rust, would think it would do better than a slow stop.
There is probably rust in the cable. The loop in the cable on ladies bikes allows water to collect at the bottom. When you install new cable, make a break in the housing at the low point to allow any condensation to escape.