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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    adjusting rod brakes

    Any ideas?

    I have a 1977 Raleigh tourist, and the rear brake pads are sticking. I've fiddled around with almost everything, but haven't found a fix which works for more than a few tries.

  2. #2
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Rods in 77?

    Reckon we need pics of the system.

  3. #3
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    The "pads" are sticking? You mean that the stirrup is sticking in the engaged position?
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  4. #4
    ride, paint, ride simplify's Avatar
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    No car. No TV. Three bikes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    yes, the stirrup is sticking in the engaged position. I didn't know that part was called the stirrup--but that is exactly what is sticking (I rode horses for a while). Any ideas?

  6. #6
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Wow, that thing's old hat.

    As for ideas, examine it till you get some of your own. The longer you look at it, the more likely it is you'll understand exactly how it should work and why it's not.

    I've never worked on such brakes and I doubt many around here have, so you'd prolly be lucky to get any specific tips without detailed pics.

    That exploded diagram gives a rough idea of the principle of its operation but does stuff-all to tell us what your problem might be.

    If it was my problem and I couldn't work it out, I'd completely disassemble, clean and inspect it. Doubtless I'd discover the problem then or upon reassembly.

    I'm guessing either something's bent, too worn or gummed up with crud.

  7. #7
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    Those had a nickname. " Bobbie Bikes," for Englands police force. I would do what " Kimmo " suggested.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Yes-that is the bike exactly. woman's frame and everything (I think there also is a corresponding man's frame)

  9. #9
    Senior Member oldroads's Avatar
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    We have exploded diagrams on our site, plus a lot of info rod brake cycles.
    Sticking could be the linkage or right at the pads. Can you determine which?
    Vinny - Menotomy Vintage Bicycles - OldRoads.com
    BUY/SELL forum (no fees) - Price Guides - 19 years of archives

  10. #10
    Passista Reynolds's Avatar
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    Those brakes don't have a return spring, the stirrup acts as a spring. That's why the guides are at an angle and not paralell. Check that the stirrup is not bent narrower than it should be. Unhook the stirrup guides and if necessary "open" the stirrup a bit, by hand. Put some grease in the guides and reassemble.
    The springs at he handlebar are for lever return only.

  11. #11
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    My first bike had brakes like that but I got one with calipers when I was about 10 (nearly 60 yrs ago). They were not exactly the same - they had post extensions from the ends of the stirrups that went through holes in pieces under the chainstays. These posts served the same function as the guides Reynolds mentioned. See if the stirrup is jamming in the guides. I think the return spring was a coilspring on the levers which worked the rods in compression.

  12. #12
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
    Those brakes don't have a return spring, the stirrup acts as a spring. That's why the guides are at an angle and not paralell. Check that the stirrup is not bent narrower than it should be.
    That sounds pretty shoddy... I'm guessing this'd be the problem.

  13. #13
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Raleigh offered a rod brake version of the Tourist as late as 1978...

    Working on rod brakes is not that hard and the preferred tools are a wrench and a hammer for gently tapping the rods to get them positioned correctly.

    If the pad is sticking at the stirrup check to see that the stirrup has not been misaligned as they should allow free movement of the brake ... if the braking action is correct you don't have to mess with any rod adjustments but merely have to make sure the pad moves freely as there is not a lot of return force at the brake pad.

    The rear brakes are always a little harder to set up but neither set of brakes is actually that hard to service.

    I used to ride a rod brake roadster and have worked on a good number of them... one can actually get some decent braking if you are willing to tweak things.

  14. #14
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    I wonder how hard it is to find replacement rims now... or brake pads for that matter.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

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