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  1. #1
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    Sluggish rear brake - HELP!

    I am putting together a frankestein and i cant get the rear side pull caliper brake to work at all..
    I realize the rear brake is only about 20% of the stopping power, but on this bike it is barley noticeable.
    I can depress the brake lever as hard as possible and the rear wheel still moves with little resistance.
    I started replacing parts one by one with no luck. New pads, new cable, new housing, newish brake levers, fresh lube inside the housing, and a like new caliper.

    Granted i am using the old school type of housing, with no plastic coating inside, as well as a steel rim. But I can't believe that these are enough to cause this much of a problem.

    Any help would be appreciated, this is driving me nuts!

    Thanks!

    -MC

  2. #2
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    steel rims really suck as braking surface.

    photos will help
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  3. #3
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    Oh.. and i also tried two different routing styles.. its a ladies frame.

    along the top tube and up the seat post
    and
    along the top tube and swung up to the brake.. like on a mixte.

    The second was a bit better. but not much at all.

  4. #4
    thompsonpost
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    Most likely the housing. Major friction inside against the cable. Remember that the cable is always under stress. It's always tight, even slightly.

  5. #5
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    If it is a mixte, mount the brakes on the middle set of stays, you get a much cleaner routing that way.

    otherwise, I'd replace the wheel first, steel rims just barely work under the best of circumstances.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I suspect cable-friction. Take the entire cable-assembly apart and grease the inner cable. I prefer a mix of graphite mixed in with white lithium grease. Over time as the grease dries out, the graphite still provides residual lubrication.

    Also be careful of all cable-stops and cable-housing ends. They should be tight fitting and fit straight with no angles or else the housing will rub on the cable.

    Steel rims are awful. There are Kool-Stop pads made for chrome-plated steel rims, but they're only a minor improvement. Cheaper to replace the wheel with one using an aluminium rim.

  7. #7
    thompsonpost
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    I tried doing this on an old Continental many years ago, and it was a failure. If you know the frame configuration of a Schwinn Continental, it's a straight shot along the top tube to just under the saddle from the right lever. No extreme bends at all, but yet, it was really hard to get the rear brake to work, even after gallons of Tri-Flow. YMMV, but I doubt it. get a length of inner sleeve housing, re-cut the housing and grab a new cable just in case you get a frayed end.

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