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  1. #1
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    Front brake adjusting.. impossible?

    Hi,

    I don't know much about bikes but I have a problem with my bike which I was told to be impossible to fix (by a bike store) and I would like to have a second opinion from you please...
    I have a used mountain bikes by giant. It has front suspension... Anyhow, my front brake (one of the break parts there) is touching the wheel which of course makes my riding harder and really slows me down. I don't know what to do because the bike store told me that nothing could be done....?!!?
    I can add a pic if needed..

    What can I do?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Sounds like a simple pad adjustment. Please submit a pic.
    What type of brake is it? Cantilever? Linear (V-type), Disc?
    Last edited by urban_assault; 09-28-08 at 02:50 PM. Reason: reread OP

  3. #3
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Add a picture so we know exactly what seems to be the case. But there's nothing that can't be fixed as long as you're willing to go the distance.

    But in this case it sounds like a simple adjustment unless there's something else seriously wrong that you are not willing to address. For example if your wheel is seriously out of true but you told them that you're not willing to pay to have it trued. In that case there isn't anything to be done since you need to do the one before the other can be done. Something like that?
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  4. #4
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    I have added photos. If you need me to take more or of a different angel- just let me know and I'll do it.
    THANKS!




  5. #5
    Body By Nintendo Psydotek's Avatar
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    You could just lengthen the amount of cable between the caliper arms... Simply loosen the bolt on the non-drive side caliper arm (left side when sitting on the saddle) and let in a tad more slack. That should give the brakes a little more room to fall away from the wheel.

    If that doesn't work, then you might need to adjust the return spring tension on the brakes.

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  6. #6
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    THANKS! I will try and let you know.. I need to take it to shop and lend the tool from them because I don't have that kind of screw (I just tried using somethig else for it but to no avail)

  7. #7
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    There could be a few things going on...

    1. Make sure your wheel is properly oriented in the fork. Remove it and flip it around. If the probelm still persists your wheel is OK. Retrun back the way it was.

    2. You spring tensions may be out of wack left to right. Options are:
    2a. Most brakes have little adjustung screws to balance the tension. Loosen one or tighten the other or play with both.
    2b. Remove one of the caliper and put the spring in a different hole. Some forks ahve upto 3 spring insertion holes. You can either stifeen one side or lighten the other.
    2c. Bend one of the springs. For instance, the side thats rubbing, unhook the spring from the caliper and bend the end away a little. Re hook and check for clearance.

    3. Find a new shop.
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  8. #8
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
    There could be a few things going on...

    1. Make sure your wheel is properly oriented in the fork. Remove it and flip it around. If the probelm still persists your wheel is OK. Retrun back the way it was.

    2. You spring tensions may be out of wack left to right. Options are:
    2a. Most brakes have little adjustung screws to balance the tension. Loosen one or tighten the other or play with both.
    2b. Remove one of the caliper and put the spring in a different hole. Some forks ahve upto 3 spring insertion holes. You can either stifeen one side or lighten the other.
    2c. Bend one of the springs. For instance, the side thats rubbing, unhook the spring from the caliper and bend the end away a little. Re hook and check for clearance.

    3. Find a new shop.
    This bike doesn't have an ajustment screw...at least not on both sides. However, there are a couple of ways to balance tension without having to run with a loose brake.

    One way is to slip the spring off the post and bend it slightly outboard. This increase the spring tension and can be used to balance the brakes. Snap it back in place and you are good to go.

    You may also have an adjustment. Look at your first picture, greendot. There is a flat on the brake behind the spring. Although this may be part of the post, it looks like it might be part of the brake. Some brakes have tension adjustments by loosening the brake bolt (a little) and then turning the flat a little and then tightening the bolts back down. This might be one of those.

    And find a new shop. This is a pretty easy fix, really.
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  9. #9
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    Wow you guys went from one picture, and one vague description of "my brakes" touch my rim to find a new shop?

    Don't you think you it's a bit premature?

    The guy has $2 v-brakes is all you can tell from that picture and description.
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  10. #10
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    yeah, check your brake pad angle adjustment or the spring tension in your brake arms. when my brakes rub the rim, i check my pad alignment, then my tension adj screws by where the arms mount to the frame/fork. sometimes i tiny adjustment can really help recenter my brakes. the one on my wifes bike broke i think, cuz no matter how i adjust the brakes, one side keeps rubbing. think i'tt get some new ones. some better ones.

    obviosly make sure your wheel is true and centered in the frame/fork. good luck.

  11. #11
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    From that middle picture it looks like the pads have some extreme angle to them. That's likely an issue to start with. But if they are worn to a good fit then just leave them until it's time to replace them. The old adage "never mess with a working system" could well apply but without seeing it in person it's hard to judge.

    That's also a really big brake bridge. It almost looks like it prevents the arms from falling out to the sides far enough to get the wheel out because of the brake pads hitting the inside edges of the bridge. In fact forcing the tire past the pads may what produced the large toe out angle to them.

    I'm inclined to go with the suggestion that these are really cheap brakes and that if there is no small adjuster screw on the other arm then that the only way to even up the arms is to carefully bend the black spring wire that comes up the back side of the brake arm.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member tommy gayle's Avatar
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    it look like the return spring on the left side is missing
    is that right or am I just missing it
    that would through the adjustment out

  13. #13
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    miamijim,

    Sometimes I wish I could read I see that you suggested bending the spring and then I decided you hadn't. Sorry about the confusion.
    Stuart Black
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  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greendot View Post
    which I was told to be impossible to fix (by a bike store)...
    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Wow you guys went from one picture, and one vague description of "my brakes" touch my rim to find a new shop?

    Don't you think you it's a bit premature?

    The guy has $2 v-brakes is all you can tell from that picture and description.
    When greendot makes a comment like the above, I'd say the shop either doesn't what his business or it doesn't know what it is doing. Balancing brake springs either by bending the spring or using a built in adjuster is something a competent shop should know how to do. Nothing is 'impossible'
    Stuart Black
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  15. #15
    Senior Member JustChuck's Avatar
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    It looks like you adjust spring tension using the nut between the fork and plastic spring retainer. Typically either a 10mm or 13mm cone wrench will fit.
    You could also buy a new set of Deore brakes for about $20. That will get you excellent screw adjusters and new brake pads.

  16. #16
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    When greendot makes a comment like the above, I'd say the shop either doesn't what his business or it doesn't know what it is doing. Balancing brake springs either by bending the spring or using a built in adjuster is something a competent shop should know how to do. Nothing is 'impossible'
    I second this. I would be slow to ever step into that bike shop again. Either idiots or jerks or don't like your money.

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