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  1. #1
    Senior Member mjwarner's Avatar
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    197? Schwinn Suburban 5 Speed Brake Issues

    Hello Mechanics,

    I've just purchased a pair of Schwinn Suburban 5 spds, his and hers for $70 - seems a good deal. Both are in great shape and I'm already riding mine to work. However, the rear brake on my wife's does not work. Here is the problem:

    The cable is jammed or stuck somewhere, I think it is in the brake lever. There are no visible adjustments to make on the lever, and dissasembly seems impossible without damaging the lever. The lever is orginal, I'm pretty sure.

    When I pull the brake lever, well, I can't.

    Question: Is it possible to disassemble and reassemble the lever? If so, I can add new cable.

    Would it be better to buy a replacement lever, and if so, will there be compatibility issues due to the age of the bike?

    Thanks.
    "And I sincerely believe [...] that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity in the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." - Thomas Jefferson, 1816

  2. #2
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    It sounds to me like the brake cable is corroded and sticking in the housing. If her bike is a 'ladies-style' frame, then the way the rear section of housing is routed contributes to water getting into the housing easier and speeding the corrosion process, especially if the bike sits for months (or years).

  3. #3
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Start by cutting the cable (not the housing) at an exposed point as near to the brake lever as possible and see if you can move the lever. If you can, the problem is on the caliper side of that cut. If not, it is on the brake lever side. Cable and housing is cheap (and you're going to have to replace it anyway) so cut both an inch away from the brake lever and see what that does for you. If it is still frozen, replace lever, cable and housing. If it is fre, replace cable and housing. And don't forget to replace the brake pads. They are due.

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