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Old 04-25-09, 09:58 AM   #1
patrickfackrell
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Brakes not releasing smoothly HELP!

Alright so I've just completed building up my road bike. All components are sram rival (don't know if that helps determine what's wrong but it may) and I only have one issue. After I apply pressure to the brake/shifter lever, the brakes respond and grasp the rims, but when I let go of the lever, the calipers don't release. I have to take my hands to them and forcefully pull them apart. Is there a quick fix to this? I really don't know what the issue is, to my knowledge they're set up correctly. Any help greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Patrick
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Old 04-25-09, 11:13 AM   #2
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Make sure there are no kinks or harsh bends in the brake cables, you want smooth arcs wherever there is a bend.

Greasing the cables will help as well, not to mention it will keep them from corroding as quickly.

this video may help... http://bicycletutor.com/replace-cable-housings/
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Old 04-25-09, 03:17 PM   #3
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Either the cable kinking, or as you said you built the bike yourself, you might have accidently tightened the brake, rather than tightening the brake to the frame.
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Old 04-27-09, 10:19 AM   #4
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Make sure you're not doing the same thing my stupid noob ass did this weekend. The brake pad was catching on the side of the tire. Probably not a good thing.
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Old 04-27-09, 10:24 AM   #5
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I advise you use oil on the cables and inside the housing. Grease can become pasty in certain conditions - interfering with their operation.
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Old 04-27-09, 10:51 AM   #6
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Are the screws jammed in any way? Is the return spring installed correctly? Maybe you need a new spring...?
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Old 04-27-09, 12:05 PM   #7
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Either the cable kinking, or as you said you built the bike yourself, you might have accidently tightened the brake, rather than tightening the brake to the frame.
I would start here.^
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Old 04-28-09, 12:39 AM   #8
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pads, if set too low, may get caught "under" the rim and not allow the brakes to retract. make sure the pads are properly positioned.
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Old 04-28-09, 09:21 AM   #9
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The amount of crappy advice in this thread is mind blowing. First disconnect the cable from the brake anchor point. This will tell you if it's the cable and the housing that's the problem or if it's the brake itself. Do NOT put grease in the housing, and do NOT lube it. If you're building a new bike, you shouldn't be reusing old cable and housing anyways - especially any that would need lube.


Do you know how to adjust brakes properly? http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=22 <- Do this from top down and report back or we can randomly start guessing at things that may or may not help.
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Old 04-28-09, 02:33 PM   #10
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Cables should always be lubes, regardless of condition (keep in mind that when they start fraying, change them).
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Old 04-28-09, 08:23 PM   #11
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soviet: modern stainless cables with teflon coatings and plastic-lined housings seem to do better without added lube (IMHO!). The teflon coating acts as a dry lube; adding liquid lube to that will just tend to create gunk.
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Old 04-28-09, 08:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator View Post
The amount of crappy advice in this thread is mind blowing. First disconnect the cable from the brake anchor point. This will tell you if it's the cable and the housing that's the problem or if it's the brake itself. Do NOT put grease in the housing, and do NOT lube it. If you're building a new bike, you shouldn't be reusing old cable and housing anyways - especially any that would need lube.


Do you know how to adjust brakes properly? http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=22 <- Do this from top down and report back or we can randomly start guessing at things that may or may not help.
At the few shops I have worked for, greasing cables is standard practice, the higher quality cables getting shimanos "special grease" (shift cables). This is on new bikes as well as used bikes, it may be that I'm in the Pacific Northwest and we get more than enough rain, the grease being a precautionary measure.

/.02
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Old 04-28-09, 09:30 PM   #13
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The brake release problem sounds like the caliper bolt needs adjusting as per the Parktool instructions offered by Operator above.

Both Shimano and Campagnolo recommend greasing cables, but I doubt that is the OP's problem.

Al
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Old 04-29-09, 02:55 AM   #14
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Regarding the Shimano/Campy recommendations for grease, is that for teflon-coated cables, or for the traditional uncoated metal cables?
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Old 04-29-09, 12:55 PM   #15
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Not all cables are Teflon cables.
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Old 04-29-09, 02:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator View Post
The amount of crappy advice in this thread is mind blowing. First disconnect the cable from the brake anchor point. This will tell you if it's the cable and the housing that's the problem or if it's the brake itself. Do NOT put grease in the housing, and do NOT lube it. If you're building a new bike, you shouldn't be reusing old cable and housing anyways - especially any that would need lube.


Do you know how to adjust brakes properly? http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=22 <- Do this from top down and report back or we can randomly start guessing at things that may or may not help.
Yep, disconnect the brake cable from the caliper, squeeze the caliper with your hand and see if it returns to normal when released. If not your caliper is the issue, if it does then either your cabling or lever is at fault.

What brakes are you working with here??

Mike
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