Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Dutchess County, NY
Bikes: Fuji S-12s, Trek Navigator 200, Dahon Vitesse D7, Raleigh Sprite Touring ('70's)
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Whoa... Take a look at a few things prior to messing with the spring. The arms swing on a shaft that has nuts at both ends, and a 'dime' sized round block with a slot in it attached in the middle. The slot holds the spring.
In front of the spring is a double nut (cap and lock nut). Loosening these ever so slightly and lubricating will allow the two arms to move freely if they are binding. Also as per the above, check the cables for free movement.
The single nut on the other side of the frame cross brace has a plastic insert (acts like Locktite). This binds the assembly tight to the frame so that the calipers don't get pulled/pushed when braking. This also serves to lock the 'dime' into permanent position so that the spring tension left to right is held constant. If one side is not retracting as well as it should, try putting a wrench on the single nut and rotating the whole assembly slightly to put the spring slot parallel to the frame cross brace. I've seen them canted off so far, that one pad would never come off the rim.
If the spring really does have a bias, first try rotating the 'dime' slot past parallel, or resort to bending the spring. Try first releasing the spring from behind the two posts and see if it sticks out roughly an equivilent distance on both sides. Rotate the dime, or bend the spring to get it balanced.
Also remember that this spring centers the pads, and determines how hard you have to squeeze to work the brakes. If you pull the springs out far, be prepared to work harder. On my kids bike I pushed the spring way in - just enough spring action to retract the pads, and no more.