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Old 08-06-10, 09:18 AM   #1
scruggle
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How to stop v-brake pads from spinning?

The problem:
When I install v-brake pads/holders the assembly wants to turn when I tighten it.

The details:
I get the pad aligned properly, holding it to the rim, but when I tighten it, it often spins slightly out of alignment; enough to have to readjust it. Am I using too much force to the bolt? Well, if I apply any less force the pad simply doesn't stay in place - it falls down once I let go of it. In other words, the force necessary to tighten the pad is sufficient to spin it, even when I try to hold everything in place.

What I've done:
I get the pad aligned and hold it in place against the rim by pulling on the brake lever. The free hand tightens the assembly. I have to apply an awful lot of force to the brake lever though.

The questions:
Am I doing something wrong? Have others had this problem? Is there a better way to do it?
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Old 08-06-10, 09:23 AM   #2
Al Criner
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That's exactly the right way to do it.
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Old 08-06-10, 09:48 AM   #3
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I've always used an adjustable wrench for pads that are not cooperative, as it allows enough leverage to keep the pad from rotating at all. You can still use the brake lever of cours - it's fairly easy to prop the brake lever open so you still have two hands.
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Old 08-06-10, 10:25 AM   #4
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To get the initial pinch to hold the pads I do exactly what you're doing with the brake lever. And yes, even to just get the nut medium tight it's a lot of lever pressure. But if the cable won't support that much tension safely then it's not good enough to be used as a brake cable in the first place. So don't feel worried about squeezing the snot out of it.

Once semi tight I then either hold the pad with some counter torque with one hand while the other uses the allen key while finishing the tightening or on occasion I've used slip joint pliers or an adjustable wrench as cny' mentioned.
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Old 08-06-10, 10:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
I've always used an adjustable wrench for pads that are not cooperative, as it allows enough leverage to keep the pad from rotating at all. You can still use the brake lever of cours - it's fairly easy to prop the brake lever open so you still have two hands.
Rofl.

Adjustable wrench.

1) Lightly lube the v-brake hardware - washers et al.
2) If necessary lube/grease the nut

If you need a wrench to hold the pads in place you are doing something wrong.
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Old 08-06-10, 05:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by scruggle View Post
[B]
I get the pad aligned and hold it in place against the rim by pulling on the brake lever. The free hand tightens the assembly. I have to apply an awful lot of force to the brake lever though.
No need to do all that. If you want the pad against the rim, just release the spring on that side. The other arm will pull the brake against the rim. Now, you have two hands, one to turn the wrench and one to hold the pad.
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Old 08-07-10, 01:54 AM   #7
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No need to do all that. If you want the pad against the rim, just release the spring on that side. The other arm will pull the brake against the rim. Now, you have two hands, one to turn the wrench and one to hold the pad.

The spring pressure alone is no where near enough to hold the pad while the nut is pinched up tight enough to hold the pad in place. That's where the heavy squeeze on the brake lever comes in.
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Old 08-07-10, 06:02 PM   #8
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No, the spring allows for easy placement of the pad, your now free hand holds the pad from rotating. There is no need to squeeze the brake levers. I also like this method because it is easy to place a shim under the pad for toe-in and it makes for easy squaring of the pad. If I had to have a "heavy squeeze" of the brake levers, then if the brakes aren't centered, they would push the rim to one side. This will throw your height adjustment off.

Now, I don't know about you, but I do the toe-in, height adjustment first on the bikes I work on. I will also have to say that I have never needed to squeeze the brake levers on any V-brake bike I have worked on for pad alignment or to prevent the pads from rotating.
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Old 08-07-10, 06:05 PM   #9
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Tighten the pads until they won't move when you let go of them, then while tightening, hold your finger on the side of the pad that will tend to move 'up' and tighten fully. Voila.
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Old 08-07-10, 06:06 PM   #10
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OK SweetLou, I'll have to try that. I've always relied on using the brake cable along with repleated pulses of pressure to make the ball and cup washer joint align and then hold position while I pinch the nut up half tight. Do you tap the arm at all to aid the ball and cup washers achieving the best seating?
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Old 08-07-10, 06:44 PM   #11
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lube the hardware. quick way to do v brakes. pull all slack out of the brake system, lube pad hardware, set each pad, reset the cable, finally adjust spring tension/centering. should be no more than 5 mins a brake.
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