Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Oxford, UK or Mountain View, Ca
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I have the opposite problem on the rear calipers - that they become less effective over time this is a combined effect of grot in the cable/housing and dirt plus lack of lube in the caliper. In your position I'd disconnect the cablefrom the caliper and check the calipers and cable lever independantly to see where the stiffness is.
It is pretty easy to strip down a set of calipers (single or dual pivot? either is easy) if they need to be cleaned & lubed. Reassembly to get minimum bearing slop without tightness takes a little fiddling to get it right but it is worth the effort to have free running brakes.
Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.