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  1. #1
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Diacomp brake lever problem

    I am back from a trip and bike tasks have piled up.

    The current bike issue: A Trek 520 which has sat for years has bar end shifters and regular old Diacomp road bike brakes. I don't know what those type of brakes are called. Help with the terminology? I am putting new housing and cable on the brakes but the front brake lever would not spring back. This is not a cable or housing issue. I took both off and the lever moves but not loosely and doesn't spring back like the rear brake lever. It is a simple mechanism. I took it apart. There is a little spring inside which is OK. I know this because if I take out one of the little plastic washer type things that sit where the brake pivots the lever will snap back.

    Suggestions? Right now I have one of the two plastic washers out of the lever and it works fine but I assume this isn't a good long term solution.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 04-17-14 at 08:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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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.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I should have stayed in Arizona. We hauled 7 bikes back, two of which I need to work on and get rid of. We didn't make it all the way to Minnesota though, stopping for a month at our place in southeast Iowa to await Minnesota summer.

    OK, I'll put cable on it and see if they work. I was just surprised because the other snapped back smartly even without cable. They both have springs and both are in place.

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