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Old 05-29-07, 09:09 PM   #1
WilliamK1974
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Better brakes for my old Schwinn with sidepulls

Sorry, I accidently posted this in the General Bike Discussion area.

My old Schwinn is a World from 1990. It's equipped with sidepull brakes which are marked Star.

Not too long after I had to replace the brake pads a time or two, I was unable to get the best braking performance out of the brakes. While they will bring the bike to a stop, my memory believes that they used to be better. I put new $10-per-pair brake pads on it, and they're ok, but not great.

While using them on a ride today, I noticed that the front brake assembly seems to move back and forth when applying and releasing, which doesn't seem normal. However, if I were to tighten the nuts on the front of the brake assembly, it won't release properly. They've been oiled as directed. I looked for stuff like this in the manual, but there's not much there. I'm having to guess at making sure the return springs are correctly adjusted.

Is the washer that goes between the front and back halves of the brake assembly made of nylon? They may need to be replaced.

So, what can I do to improve this situation? I guess the best plan would be the cheapest, but hearing an expensive solution would be helpful as well. Getting rid of the bike is not an option. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you,
-Bill
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Old 05-30-07, 04:24 AM   #2
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May I interest you in a nice set of Dia-Comp centerpulls w/ salmons?
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Old 05-30-07, 05:56 AM   #3
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If you're going to replace them, get a set of dual-pivots. Tektro or Nashbar are probably cheapest. And Nashbar may BE Tektro, for all I know.
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Old 05-30-07, 08:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamK1974
Sorry, I accidently posted this in the General Bike Discussion area.

My old Schwinn is a World from 1990. It's equipped with sidepull brakes which are marked Star.

Not too long after I had to replace the brake pads a time or two, I was unable to get the best braking performance out of the brakes. While they will bring the bike to a stop, my memory believes that they used to be better. I put new $10-per-pair brake pads on it, and they're ok, but not great.

While using them on a ride today, I noticed that the front brake assembly seems to move back and forth when applying and releasing, which doesn't seem normal. However, if I were to tighten the nuts on the front of the brake assembly, it won't release properly. They've been oiled as directed. I looked for stuff like this in the manual, but there's not much there. I'm having to guess at making sure the return springs are correctly adjusted.

Is the washer that goes between the front and back halves of the brake assembly made of nylon? They may need to be replaced.

So, what can I do to improve this situation? I guess the best plan would be the cheapest, but hearing an expensive solution would be helpful as well. Getting rid of the bike is not an option. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank you,
-Bill
The two arms shouldn't rock back and forth at the pivot bolt. they need to be adjusted much like a cone and locknut. a shop should do that when installing pads and adjusting brakes.

chang star brakes are fairly lousy in my opinion, although i believe most of the problem lies in the pads and the (road) levers. i'd replace the pads with koolstops, and the levers with either aero levers or at least weinmman or diacompe nonaeros, preferably without the safety levers.
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Old 05-30-07, 04:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dafydd
The two arms shouldn't rock back and forth at the pivot bolt. they need to be adjusted much like a cone and locknut. a shop should do that when installing pads and adjusting brakes.

chang star brakes are fairly lousy in my opinion, although i believe most of the problem lies in the pads and the (road) levers. i'd replace the pads with koolstops, and the levers with either aero levers or at least weinmman or diacompe nonaeros, preferably without the safety levers.
I did some more adjusting, including using a wrench to bend the levers to a better angle, and they seem to be better. The return springs may be entering the beginning of the end, though. That and the wear on the plastic washer would be an excuse to upgrade. Hopefully, I can upgrade in the spirit of originality. I love my old Schwinn, but recognize that it was not the top of the line when it was new. It was just a nice bike, and a big step up from the K-Mart bike I had before it.

I've only had it in the shop a couple of times, and not in several years. I've always changed parts myself.

Do parts like you mentioned show up on ebay often? Is stuff like that pretty much "fits all road bikes?" Sorry for my ignorance, but I've never upgraded a bike before.

Thank you,
-Bill
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Old 05-30-07, 04:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacey
May I interest you in a nice set of Dia-Comp centerpulls w/ salmons?
Sounds interesting, but I'm afraid the cable routing won't accomodate centerpulls. Too bad, cause they'd probably be better than new.
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Old 05-30-07, 06:16 PM   #7
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Old 05-31-07, 05:52 AM   #8
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1) Tektro IS Nashbar.
2) The centerpulls will require a hanger at the headset and seatpost; no big deal. If Stacy doesn't have a set I do.
3) Single pivot sidepulls can be a PITA to set up, the trick being to center them well and then screw 'em down tight. A thin offset wrench is the tool for this.
4) Shimano Exage 500 and Exage Sport double piviot sidepulls can often be found on the 'bay cheap. They are quite nice. If you can also get the matching levers, so much the better.
I had a Schwinn World pass through my hands last year; still had the Giant factory tag in the rear dropout.
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Old 06-09-07, 10:51 AM   #9
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I bought a set of Dia-Compe G brakes, and they look good. Trouble is, they don't seem to have a long enough reach to keep the pads from rubbing the tires.

I've only installed the rear brake, and have loosened the pads to the point that they're at the lowest place on the caliper. At the rear of the bike facing front, I can get the right pad to be right below the edge of the rim, which should be enough to be effective. But the left side pad seems to be touching the tire.

Am I doing something wrong? I really wanted these to work.

Thank you,
-Bill
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Old 06-09-07, 11:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamK1974
I bought a set of Dia-Compe G brakes, and they look good. Trouble is, they don't seem to have a long enough reach to keep the pads from rubbing the tires.

I've only installed the rear brake, and have loosened the pads to the point that they're at the lowest place on the caliper. At the rear of the bike facing front, I can get the right pad to be right below the edge of the rim, which should be enough to be effective. But the left side pad seems to be touching the tire.

Am I doing something wrong? I really wanted these to work.

Thank you,
-Bill
The brakes simply don't have enough reach, it's a common problem on older frames/forks. You need to carefully measure from the center of the brake mount hole to the center of the rim brake surface, that's how you determine your reach requirement. It will likely be different on the front and rear. Then when you buy brakes, make sure the brakes have the range of adjustment that you need-
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Old 06-09-07, 05:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by well biked
The brakes simply don't have enough reach, it's a common problem on older frames/forks. You need to carefully measure from the center of the brake mount hole to the center of the rim brake surface, that's how you determine your reach requirement. It will likely be different on the front and rear. Then when you buy brakes, make sure the brakes have the range of adjustment that you need-
If I've measured correctly, the old brakes had a roughly 60mm reach, and the Dia-Comps are around 57mm. The problem is that it looks like brakes with a 60mm reach are very hard to find.
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Old 06-09-07, 05:59 PM   #12
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Long reach sidepulls are indeed hard to find and flexy as well. If you can return the sidepulls and try to salvage some good ol' Weinmann centerpulls from a junked bike if possible. Very strong brake, just need a hanger on the headset and seat bolt.
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Old 06-09-07, 08:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacey
May I interest you in a nice set of Dia-Comp centerpulls w/ salmons?
How much is your asking price on these?
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Old 06-09-07, 08:36 PM   #14
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Long reach sidepulls are indeed hard to find and flexy as well. If you can return the sidepulls and try to salvage some good ol' Weinmann centerpulls from a junked bike if possible. Very strong brake, just need a hanger on the headset and seat bolt.
+1 on the centerpulls. And in addition to Weinmann's, you can find Dia-Compe's, "Schwinn Approved" Dia Compes and Weinmanns, etc. Ebay usually has a good supply for cheap. For centermount brakes when you need very long reach, they're hard to beat-
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