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Old 09-10-10, 06:54 PM   #1
Kazarad
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1972 schwwin varsity back brake problem

Iím completely stuck my back brakes are not clamping together but one side is being pulled to the wheel and then not springing back to its original position. anyone know whatís going on with it because iv taken that thing apart twice now and put it back together and still cant figure it out.
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Old 09-10-10, 10:08 PM   #2
Jeff Wills
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I’m completely stuck my back brakes are not clamping together but one side is being pulled to the wheel and then not springing back to its original position. anyone know what’s going on with it because iv taken that thing apart twice now and put it back together and still cant figure it out.
This is a very common problem with the old single-pivot sidepull brakes. It's inherent to the design- whenever you tighten the center bolt to keep the brake in place, the spring is pulled off-center. To quote from this Park Tools page:
http://parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=22

"If the brake is a double nut type, and has no centering flat, it may accept the OBW-3 spanner. Use the OBW-3 to grab the spring and move the pivot. It may also be necessary to loosen mounting bolt and move brake to center, hold it by hand and re-secure mounting nut."




If you don't want to invest in the Park centering tool, it's possible to tighten the brake down and then center the caliper by banging on the spring with a hammer and punch. This takes a little finesse, but it works.

Also, since you're in Portland, see if you can haul your bike to Citybikes on Ankeny. They have lots of experience with old Varsities. Or, if you're out & about, I'll be doing the Tour De Lab on Saturday and riding to the PDX Cycle Swap on Sunday. I'm easy to spot- I'm 6-foot-4, gray haired, and I ride a polished aluminum Easy Racer recumbent.
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Old 09-11-10, 01:32 AM   #3
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i would be amazing to meet up with someone that knows what to do what would be a good time/ place and if your able to show me what to do iv got a beer with your name on it.
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Old 09-11-10, 04:27 PM   #4
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i would be amazing to meet up with someone that knows what to do what would be a good time/ place and if your able to show me what to do iv got a beer with your name on it.
PM me- I'll be bopping around tomorrow.
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