Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
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Goldfinch, you should have stayed in Arizona another week.
Most brake levers don't have a return spring, and rely on the one in the brake caliper to pull everything back.
Some DiaCompe levers have a spring which they added to help the brake's spring, diiding the load and making a lighter action. They called it the Balanced Response System, or BRS. It's nice and does work well with light action brake calipers, but isn't necessary.
In your case, either there's a mixed set of levers, or the spring in one broke or fell out. It doesn't matter as long as the lever itself moves freely without binding. Then the brake will spring open, pulling the cable, which pulls the lever back to open position.
An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.
“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin
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