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Old 03-23-09, 01:13 PM   #1
henrythenavigat
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changing brake pads -- making a mess of it!

I am a roadie and thought it would be a good idea and would save money to install brake pads myself...

I think I did everything right, except I mustn't have since now that I have replaced the pads and put the wheels back on, the wheels won't move anymore!!! It seems that the brakes are in lockdown mode even when the lever is down as it should be.
No amount of fiddling with the little knobs near the brake cables seem to help....

What have I done wrong and what can I do about it?

Thanks.
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Old 03-23-09, 01:26 PM   #2
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Nothing. Your brake caliper adjustment was for the worn pads, and the new pads has more material, and it's very likely that it would prevent your wheel from turning.

Try screwing in the barrel adjuster on the caliper. If you need to understand what I mean, observe the exposed wire when your brakes are relaxed (without the wheel in), and then press the brake lever. The exposed wire should shorten. The expose wire comes out of the barrel adjuster, and by screwing it in, it should let out more wire, therefore widening the caliper.

If it's completely screwed in, you'd have to release the cable bolt that's holding the caliper and adjust where the wire's clamped.
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Old 03-23-09, 01:26 PM   #3
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I thought I'd give more info as per the Sticky:

The brakes are 105's

The brake pads I put in there are Kool-stops salmon.

I just took off the shimano pads, put the new ones in, replaced the brake calipers and voila! I can spin my wheels any longer. Any help appreciated.
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Old 03-23-09, 01:30 PM   #4
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Loosen the cable.
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Old 03-23-09, 01:36 PM   #5
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Thanks fellows.
I twisted both barrels in both directions nothing moved.

All right so I need to loosen the cable -- by how much? an inch -- less?

And what about that notion (read in the park tool book) that the pads have to be slightly angled so that the front part hits the rim first -- tried to arrange for that but failed miserably (if anything the pads hit first from the rear... is that dangerous?)
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Old 03-23-09, 01:47 PM   #6
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what noglider said.
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Old 03-23-09, 01:55 PM   #7
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Loosen the cable by a quarter inch. See how that goes. You will need some trial and error. Sometimes an eighth of an inch makes the brakes too tight or loose.
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Old 03-23-09, 01:56 PM   #8
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what noglider said, again.

It also depends on how true your rims are. The truer the rims, the closer you can get the pads.
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Old 03-23-09, 01:57 PM   #9
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You should "toe in" the brakes if you need to. If there's no squeaking or vibration, then don't bother. But you have to get them adjusted first.
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Old 03-23-09, 01:58 PM   #10
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i never really figured out how to "toe in" the pads properly. Never needed to do it anyways.
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Old 03-23-09, 02:04 PM   #11
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Here is a video showing a brake adjustment of a cantilever brake. It's not complete, in my opinion, but it's a good start.

It's easy for the guy in the video, because his brake allows toe-in adjustment with the nut. Other brakes don't have an adjustment mechanism for toe-in. In that case, grab the caliper arm with an adjustable wrench and bend the caliper arm. That's right, you will actually deform the arm, but you will not break it.
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Old 03-23-09, 02:08 PM   #12
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haha, my brakes are fine. I'd rather not bend anything.
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Old 03-23-09, 02:16 PM   #13
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Here is a picture of a wrench toeing in a brake caliper. You don't need to remove the caliper as this person has done. In fact, that makes the job harder. The picture is useful in that it shows where to put the wrench. Put it either above or below the brake shoe. The caliper in the picture is a side-pull brake.

Here is a picture of a properly toed-in brake. The caliper in this picture is a cantilever. The goal with toeing in is the same for any type of brake.
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Old 03-23-09, 02:28 PM   #14
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Thanks. The vid is cool. Currently looking for one with road bike brakes.

I hope to god I don't need to toe in my pads. That I won't do alone.

And, oh, how much slack on the cable?
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Old 03-23-09, 02:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henrythenavigat View Post
Thanks. The vid is cool. Currently looking for one with road bike brakes.

I hope to god I don't need to toe in my pads. That I won't do alone.

And, oh, how much slack on the cable?
That's a matter of personal preference. Back it off until you've got a smidge of clearance on either side of the rim. You'll probably need to hit those adjustment screws again to center the calipers. If you're not getting enough swing in the lever, back the cable off some more. If it's too mushy, you've gone too far so cinch it up a bit. Trial and error is the only way.
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Old 03-23-09, 02:54 PM   #16
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Spin the wheel. Apply the brake. Spin the wheel again. Apply the brake again. Spin the wheel again. Apply the brake again. If the wheel spins freely, then it's not too tight. If you can't squeeze the lever all the way to the handlebar, then it's not too loose.
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Old 03-25-09, 03:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Spin the wheel. Apply the brake. Spin the wheel again. Apply the brake again. Spin the wheel again. Apply the brake again. If the wheel spins freely, then it's not too tight. If you can't squeeze the lever all the way to the handlebar, then it's not too loose.
Thanks noglider. Did that. Seems to work well.

Did not toe in though. Seems like I would need to as the end of the brake pads are hitting the rims first. But they do brake well and there is no squeaking noise so what the jell.
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Old 03-25-09, 06:03 PM   #18
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i wouldn't worry about toeing, in that case. The brakes on mine aren't toed, have worked fine for a season w/o squeaks.
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Old 03-25-09, 09:01 PM   #19
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Congratulations. You have adjusted your brakes properly.
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