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Old 10-18-10, 09:25 PM   #1
Thumpic 
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bending brake springs by hand???

I was having trouble getting a front brake to operate smoothly and returning to center. Upon closer inspection, I found the spring was way outawack. For the hell of it I tried to bend it by hand and was very surprised to find it fairly easy to correct. I also realize that it will probably will not stay corrected very long if it is so easy to bend.

Is this common?? Shouldn't they be stiffer??
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Old 10-18-10, 09:42 PM   #2
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It is common practice to do this.
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Old 10-18-10, 09:53 PM   #3
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It is common practice to do this.
Really?? I always feel like I'm doing something wrong when I bend those springs. But it has always worked for me.
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Old 10-18-10, 10:07 PM   #4
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I'll stick with my patented $176.97 Park Tool Brand Brake spring bending tool thank you very much. Only foolish amateur bicycle mechanics would ever sink to using their hands to bend a spring.
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Old 10-18-10, 10:22 PM   #5
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I'll stick with my patented $176.97 Park Tool Brand Brake spring bending tool thank you very much. Only foolish amateur bicycle mechanics would ever sink to using their hands to bend a spring.


Park does make an overpriced tool for nearly everything.
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Old 10-19-10, 09:47 AM   #6
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... was something, not uncommon, to tweak on old centerpulls, back in the day.
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Old 10-19-10, 09:56 AM   #7
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That's how the head mechanic at the shop I worked for taught me to adjust V-brakes.
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Old 10-19-10, 10:21 AM   #8
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I've been doing it for years too. Sometimes you get pinched when reassembling the brake and then have a fun little purple blood blister to pick at for a few days...
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Old 10-19-10, 11:25 AM   #9
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We bought several Smith & Wesson patrol bikes that all came with sub-par brakes (one of the low-end Avid units). I have to tweak the springs all the time.
Almost never with the Shimano units that come on the Trek police bikes.
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Old 10-19-10, 11:49 AM   #10
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An even nicer trick is to bend it on the flat section of the spring (closer to the ends) and not bend it at the round "spring" section. This makes the bend (and henceforth the spring action) last longer as on cheaper springs (and even dia-compes) you can eventually weaken the spring over time. We did this all the time on our BMX bikes. I had a friend that always accused me of having the best brake action around. We would do this and then drill out the brake and put in something like the suntour cyclone pivot bolts (that adjust from the rear) because the bolt was thicker and wouldn't flex. After those tweaks I just don't understand how anyone can complain about single pivot brakes. If they where just made that way to begin with...
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Old 10-19-10, 12:43 PM   #11
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I adjust my brakes all the time with my bare hands, as I switch wheelsets quite often. No problem at all.
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Old 10-19-10, 07:25 PM   #12
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You sholdn't have to adjust the springs on your brakes when you change wheels.

Some older cantilevers can only be adjusted by bending the springs. The Dia compes on my Bridgestone, for instance.
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Old 10-19-10, 08:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by kludgefudge View Post
I'll stick with my patented $176.97 Park Tool Brand Brake spring bending tool thank you very much. Only foolish amateur bicycle mechanics would ever sink to using their hands to bend a spring.
Ah yes, the coveted Park SB-1. I've been looking for one of those myself.
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Old 10-20-10, 11:47 AM   #14
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You sholdn't have to adjust the springs on your brakes when you change wheels.

Some older cantilevers can only be adjusted by bending the springs. The Dia compes on my Bridgestone, for instance.
My bad. I just forgot for a second that he was asking about springs rather than the brake calipers themselves.
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