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Old 01-12-08, 02:12 PM   #1
Raleigh71
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I can't adjust these brakes. Any tips?

I have an el-cheapo department store mountain bike made in China and sold by the likes of Walmart or other low-end retailers. For the life of me I can get the godd--n brakes adjusted right! One or the other side moves but not both sides. There are spring tension adjustment screws on either side but no matter what I do only one side moves, and it rubs on the other side. Any tips?

My impression has always been that the junkier the bike the harder it is to adjust, and this confirms it.
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Old 01-12-08, 02:13 PM   #2
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There are spring tension adjustment screws on either side but no matter what I do only one side moves, and it rubs on the other side. Any tips?
Have you been turning them both at the same time?
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i jam my thumbs up and back into the tubes. this way i can point my fingers straight out in front to split the wind and attain an even more aero profile, and the usual fixed gear - zen - connectedness feeling through the drivetrain is multiplied ten fold because my thumbs become one with the tubing.
A group for all Dawes Galaxy owners to give and recieve information about them
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Old 01-12-08, 02:16 PM   #3
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Actually I turn one a little bit, try it, then turn one or the other one by a little bit or back off a bit but it seems so touchy it's like an all-or-none phenemenon.
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Old 01-12-08, 02:19 PM   #4
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1. Spend $15 on a genu-wine Shimano v-brake.
2. Install.
3. Profit! I mean, enjoy an easily adjustable, powerful brake.

It's unfortunate, but there's not much you can do with that brake. I work at the local bike coop, and I work on them all the time. It doesn't help that the brake pads on Walmart bikes appear to be made out of cheese. I don't care about the rest of the parts so much, but I really wish that big box bike brands would spec their bicycles with decent brakes. Given OEM pricing, customers would be paying an extra $10 or so for a much, much safer bicycle.
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Old 01-12-08, 02:23 PM   #5
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Put some lube on the posts and work the brakes by hand to let it get inside. Then on the side that doesn't want to pull out, slip the spring from behind the arm and bend it outward slightly so that when put back it will have more tension. I've done this on the trail when even decent V brakes get sticky and start rubbing on one side. Then take the front tire off and turn it around. It looks backwards to me.
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Old 01-12-08, 02:41 PM   #6
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Put some lube on the posts and work the brakes by hand to let it get inside. Then on the side that doesn't want to pull out, slip the spring from behind the arm and bend it outward slightly so that when put back it will have more tension. I've done this on the trail when even decent V brakes get sticky and start rubbing on one side. Then take the front tire off and turn it around. It looks backwards to me.
+1

**** the tension screws. If there's a serious difference in spring balance between the two sides, the two small screws won't work and on those cheap brakes, you'll most likely break the plastic housing that the springs sit in - or strip something.

Do what the above poster said. It's easy. Slip spring out, bend and reinsert.
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Old 01-12-08, 06:03 PM   #7
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Thanks very much for the hints, gents. I'll spend a little more time on this then....it's Goodwill Store time!
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Old 01-12-08, 07:13 PM   #8
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Man, look at the nice offset welding job they did on that fork crown!
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Old 01-12-08, 09:26 PM   #9
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Another example of "You get what you pay for."

Life is too short to buy cheap stuff.
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Old 01-12-08, 09:33 PM   #10
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My suggestion:

www.bikeman.com
check the closesouts...
A front and rear set of Avid Single Digit 3 V brakes, OEM packaged: $12.95

Or a bottle of Advil: $5.98.
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Old 01-12-08, 09:52 PM   #11
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here is how i do my brakes,i push brakes together by hand not by lever so both sides touch rim,then pull cable tight and do up the nut where cable goes through,then brakes will move apart by adjusting those little screws,they work independent of each other on my bike,if you move one out the other side wont move,also check that you havent got a badly bent rim as they will rub no matter what you do.its those brakes are exactly the same as mine and they are cheapies but mine pull me up reall fast.nothing wrong with these type properly udjusted ps those two screws both do different things i forget to add one screw just lines both up where the other pulls one shoe out abit

Last edited by mike-on-da-bike; 01-12-08 at 10:38 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 01-13-08, 10:33 AM   #12
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My suggestion:

www.bikeman.com
check the closesouts...
A front and rear set of Avid Single Digit 3 V brakes, OEM packaged: $12.95

Or a bottle of Advil: $5.98.
I second this excellent advice. I bought two SETS of those last year and I don't ride cheap bikes. They're perfect. You can always move them to another bike when this one goes south.
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Old 01-13-08, 10:38 AM   #13
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Man, look at the nice offset welding job they did on that fork crown!
Damn, you're right! Looks to be about 3/16" difference in height.
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Old 01-15-08, 07:46 PM   #14
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haaaaa had to laugh at how those forks were welded i could have done them better with my eyes shut,no quality control at that factory it seems and just how did the shop sell that bike?they should have return it.
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Old 04-09-08, 09:51 AM   #15
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Yeah i've been fighting with my wal-mart bike's brakes for the last couple of days trying to get them adjusted...thanks for the post and the reply. It seems the only solution is to bin the brakes and get some new ones.

as I've been overhauling the bike, you really notice what a bad factory job these bikes are...little token squirts of lube here and there...use of rivets instead of screws...cheapo components with plastic bushings...etc
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Old 04-09-08, 04:43 PM   #16
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I fought with some crappy V brakes on a crappy bike for most of the winter, and in the end I broke down and bought new brakes for $13 per set from LBS and the difference was unbelievable.

I initially thought "what could possibly be bad about these, they are nothing but a lever and a pivot". Boy was I wrong. Save yourself the aggravation and get a new pair. It's worth the $20.

Also, make sure SURE SURE you are using V levers and not canti levers.
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