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  1. #1
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    V-Brake not snapping back

    What actually forces the V-brake to spring back? Is it just the cable pushing it back? Because mines' sticking. The bike is pretty old, but hasn't seen much use. I tried lubricating the cable, I pull everything pretty tight, but when I release the brake, the brake handle just stays down. If I push the handle back up, the brake moves a little, or the cable bunches. This is the rear brake. Also the whole brake assembly is crooked, if I leave it too loose the brake doesn't close properly, if I pull it tighter, the whole assembly skews towards the left.

  2. #2
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    yep, mine too. Most brakes out there just really suck. I hear the linear pull kind of brakes are better. People seem to be happy with these kinds.

    http://www.amazon.com/Avid-Single-Di...ef=pd_sbs_sg_6

  3. #3
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    You have to determine where the problem lies. Brake handle, cable, or the brake assembly itself.

    Unhook the cable from the brake assembly, and the brake handle. Try all three until you find the culprit.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  4. #4
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    Is there a phillips screw on the side of the brakes? On many V-Brakes that screw will adjust the spring tension.
    1993 Cannondale T700 - 1994 Specialized Rockhopper - Actionbent T1 (Electrification in progress!)

  5. #5
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    You have to determine where the problem lies. Brake handle, cable, or the brake assembly itself.

    Unhook the cable from the brake assembly, and the brake handle. Try all three until you find the culprit.
    Yep. Find the problem, fix the problem.

    That being said, I've found that it's usually friction in the cable or the noodle at the brake that's the culprit. It's not that tough to unhook the cable, clean it off, and work a little lube into the noodle without messing with the adjustment. Here's some tips: http://parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=21
    Jeff Wills

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  6. #6
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Check to ensure the cable is moving freely... you will need to detach the brake cable from the brake itself but that is okay as you need to do this to set up the brake anyways.

    If the cable is moving freely when you pull the brake lever (and do put a little resistance on the free end) we can go to step two.

    If there is resistance you need to check the cable ends to make sure there are no burrs and that there is no frayed cable... if the problem is not there it is an internal issue and the cable and or housing will need to be replaced.

    At the brake lever, turn the barrel adjuster out 6-7 full turns... you may need to screw it all the way in first.

    If your brake pads are badly worn, you need to replace them at this step.

    Reposition the cable and with the brake arms in and brake pads firmly touching the rim, reattach the cable.

    The wheel will not move but should turn when you screw the barrel adjuster all the way in.

    If the brake arms are off centre they can be adjusted with the set screw on the sides... these will use an allen key or a screwdriver.

    When you tighten the screw it increases the spring tension and pulls that brake arm outwards while pulling the other inward... loosening the screw does the opposite.

    Both of these screws should be in at least half way to give to adjustment room in both directions and to make sure the brakes have a minimum of tension on the springs. Once the brake is centered you can screw in both sides in equal increments to increase spring tension.

    If the springs won't tension they are probably worn / fatigued and and a little life can be put back into them by detaching them where they clip at the top of the brake arm and bending them outwards just a little.

    And then the brakes can be centered.

    And they should work really well.
    Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 01-16-10 at 07:33 PM. Reason: typos

  7. #7
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    If the springs won't tension they are probably worn / fatigued and and a little life can be put back into them by detaching them where they clip at the top of the brake arm and bending them outwards just a little.

    And then the brakes can be centred.

    And they should work really well.
    You don't always have todo this... You can on some brakes just take the arm off the fork post using an allen key and you'll see the bottom of the spring clips into three holes on the brake arm near the bottom/post, usually it is setup in the middle for medium tension, you can set it in either one of the holes and then slide the arm back onto the post... this for sure will help them to spring back

  8. #8
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    One more thing... the bushings may need cleaning and lube to make sure they aren't binding and yes, you can reset the setpin to add or decrease sprig tension as well.

    Should not try to multi task here...

  9. #9
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik View Post
    You don't always have todo this... You can on some brakes just take the arm off the fork post using an allen key and you'll see the bottom of the spring clips into three holes on the brake arm near the bottom/post, usually it is setup in the middle for medium tension, you can set it in either one of the holes and then slide the arm back onto the post... this for sure will help them to spring back
    His method is better.

    Yours requires extra time-wasting that is completely unecessary.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  10. #10
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    His method is better.

    Yours requires extra time-wasting that is completely unnecessary.
    I am probably giving up our best kept secret... that setting up V brakes is really pretty easy and does not require black magic and burnt offerings.

    We save that for cantilever brakes...

    My girlfriend recently asked me to replace her front brake pads and tune up her V brakes and even though she knows I have mad skills, was pretty amazed when I was done in under 15 minutes. But really... who in their right mind would want to waste time working on brakes (or bikes) when there is a sweet smelling lady waiting to go for a ride ?

  11. #11
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    who in their right mind would want to waste time working on brakes (or bikes) when there is a sweet smelling lady waiting to go for a ride ?
    Riding with a GF is the worst idea ever. Experience.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Later on perhaps. But in the opening stages it's a great way to break the ice and offers up all manner of possible scenarios for leaving a good first impression of being a sauve and sensitive guy. A basket with a checker cloth, small sandwiches with the crusts cut off and a bottle of wine with actual glass stemware for a mid ride picnic is a sure fire guarantee of getting a few more dates.... Just don't EVER let your buddies know that you did it because you thought it would be sweet to do this rather than as an out and out ploy to get to second base....
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  13. #13
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Riding with a GF is the worst idea ever. Experience.
    Oh, I don't know... I'd been dating a nice girl for a couple months when I bought my first commercial recumbent. We went for a ride together (she was on her upright) and I let her borrow it for a couple circle around a parking lot. She came back with a big smile and asked me to get her one.

    2 years later we got married, and 17 years further on we're still nutty in love. We spent about 3 hours today riding together. So there. Nyah, nyah...
    Jeff Wills

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  14. #14
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Unlike the OP i might have trouble not snapping back!

    sorry, hahaha.

  15. #15
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    Later on perhaps. But in the opening stages it's a great way to break the ice and offers up all manner of possible scenarios for leaving a good first impression of being a sauve and sensitive guy. A basket with a checker cloth, small sandwiches with the crusts cut off and a bottle of wine with actual glass stemware for a mid ride picnic is a sure fire guarantee of getting a few more dates.... Just don't EVER let your buddies know that you did it because you thought it would be sweet to do this rather than as an out and out ploy to get to second base....
    That actually works? Rofl.

    Anyways, BCrider - i'm in vancouver now. You'll probably see me around
    Last edited by operator; 01-16-10 at 09:08 PM.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  16. #16
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    Riding with a GF is the worst idea ever. Experience.
    Actually... she is my favourite riding companion.

    Experience.

    So... is Vancouver a permanent thing ?

  17. #17
    RT
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    I just today replaced my brakes with your basic Tektro Linears from eBikeStop. What a serious upgrade this was. At $10.95, yeah, I bought two

    It is an easy swap if your bike is configured for it. Took all of half an hour, cable routing included. Why fiddle with your old brakes for months when $25 and half an hour will give you what you seek.

  18. #18
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Depends what your old brakes are... my MTB has XT dual pivot V brakes and anything else would be a downgrade. The XTR version is not as good as the XT as they are just too light and squeal like banshees and this is the case for much of Shimano's stuff... the XT delivers way more bang for the buck.

    Even Deore level V brakes are really decent and they don't cost much at all.

    Toddorado - Do replace the stock pads on those Tektros as you will get better stopping power with Kool Stops and won't have to deal with the issue of having those Tektro pads eat your rims up prematurely. Unless something has changed those pads will really cause some serious rim wear.

  19. #19
    RT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Toddorado - Do replace the stock pads on those Tektros as you will get better stopping power with Kool Stops and won't have to deal with the issue of having those Tektro pads eat your rims up prematurely. Unless something has changed those pads will really cause some serious rim wear.
    Thanks for the heads up. I took it for a half mile test ride, and while the brakes grip and are quiet, if there's a risk of rim wear, I'll swap. In the same parts order I got two sets of the Aztec Deep-V cartridge shoes, so I can replace them with Kool-Stops when the Aztecs run out. I plan on a ton of riding this year.

  20. #20
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Why mess around? Avid Single Digit 7 V-Brakes leave 'em all, for the money, in the dust. Though it is a sharp learning-curve with V-Brakes (installation & adjustment), it's also very fast.

    Hey! 65'er! Did you take my Goat's Head??
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  21. #21
    RT
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    I took a tour of three LBSs this week, asking opinions on rim brake pads. While Kool Stop was always a 'good pad', I came away with the distinct impression that the Aztec Ultra-V was good, and Avid was the unanimous choice for pads. I guess there's science, then there's preference. I'll swap out my Tektro stock pads and use them for spares in a pinch. Luckily, Nashbar had a wicked sale on the Aztecs, and I got some of those in the same order as my new brake calipers.

  22. #22
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    As to Avid pads being better than Kool Stops... this must be a new development.

    For the $$$ Avid V brakes are a really good value.

  23. #23
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    Why mess around? Avid Single Digit 7 V-Brakes leave 'em all, for the money, in the dust. Though it is a sharp learning-curve with V-Brakes (installation & adjustment), it's also very fast.

    Hey! 65'er! Did you take my Goat's Head??
    I sacrifice baby carrots to the bike gods... why waste tasty goat ?

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