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Old 10-07-06, 12:41 AM   #1
Digital Gee
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Question about my brakes

I had the LBS install new pads about a month, six weeks ago. They work just fine, but now, the tension in the back brake handle has gotten looser, and the back brake is actually just slightly rubbing the wheel every revolution.

I know this is simple for you guys, but remember I was born mechanically challenged, so help me out here. What do I have to adjust -- the little set screw that determines how far away the pads are from the wheel, or something up by the brake lever, or something else? I'd really like to know what to do so I can save a trip to the LBS.

While I'm thinking of it, do brakes require fiddling every few weeks, or is this an anomoly?
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Old 10-07-06, 12:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I had the LBS install new pads about a month, six weeks ago. They work just fine, but now, the tension in the back brake handle has gotten looser, and the back brake is actually just slightly rubbing the wheel every revolution.

I know this is simple for you guys, but remember I was born mechanically challenged, so help me out here. What do I have to adjust -- the little set screw that determines how far away the pads are from the wheel, or something up by the brake lever, or something else? I'd really like to know what to do so I can save a trip to the LBS.

While I'm thinking of it, do brakes require fiddling every few weeks, or is this an anomoly?
Don't know if I can explain fully for you to repair the brakes without them spilling all the springs and tensioners all over the floor but here goes.

On the arm there is a small screw. Normally a screw head but coule be allen key. This will push the arms of V.brakes-which is what you have? nearer or further away from the rim. Just try adjusting that screw and if it has got worse- then screw it the other way. Only point is that after each screw adjustment- pull on the brake lever as it does not self adjust immediately. After you have done the adjustment- and it hasn't worked- carry the bike to the LBS and get them to correct.

Honestly - an easy job and not beyond the capabilities of any 5 year old. Except that they will probably do it quicker.
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Old 10-07-06, 09:55 AM   #3
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But I don't have a five year old. Back to you. . . .
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Old 10-07-06, 10:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
They work just fine, but now, the tension in the back brake handle has gotten looser, and the back brake is actually just slightly rubbing the wheel every revolution.

While I'm thinking of it, do brakes require fiddling every few weeks, or is this an anomoly?
Sounds to me like you have two separate problems:
1) not enough tension on cable ("back brake handle has gotten looser")
2) rim out of true ("slightly rubbing the wheel every revolution").

Suggested solutions:
1) open cable clamp on brake, pull cable and close clamp tightly while applying tension on the cable.
2) true the rear rim by adjusting spokes. If you have no experience with this it would be best to go to the LBS. My LBS does not charge me for truing wheels.
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Old 10-07-06, 11:08 AM   #5
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If the cable is slack check to make sure it is not binding or rusted. Sometimes that is the case, although if you had the LBS just put new pads in I would expect they would notice this. As for adjustements take a look at http://www.parktool.com/repair/byreg...mageField2.y=9

Select the type of brakes you have and the service instructions have pictures to walk you through adjustment. If you have the manual for your bike it should also have instructions. Good luck
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Old 10-07-06, 11:16 AM   #6
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HEY, DG!

I haven't "fiddled" with my brakes on any of my families 6 bikes (except minor tension adjustments) since I got them, starting in 1998.

I haven't even had to replace any brake pads.

It is NOT normal to fiddle all the time with brakes.
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Old 10-07-06, 12:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
It is NOT normal to fiddle all the time with brakes.
Leave that to the bluegrass band.
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Old 10-07-06, 01:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nermal
But I don't have a five year old. Back to you. . . .
Sorry about that- but I am not talking about a
the age of a 5 year old- just the mentality of a 5 year old- so if a 5 year old is not to hand- Get the wife to do it.

(By the way- my wife and I got together because she was the only girl I ever came across that could change the plugs and adjust the points of a VW beetle with a bent Distributor drive.
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Old 10-07-06, 01:29 PM   #9
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No five year old, and no wife herabouts. Sigh!
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Old 10-07-06, 03:00 PM   #10
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Tighten the philips head screw on the pivot that the shoe is mounted on and that will push the shoe out.
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Old 10-07-06, 05:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
While I'm thinking of it, do brakes require fiddling every few weeks, or is this an anomoly?
What kind of brakes? If they say Pro-Max on them, it's not an anomoly.
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Old 10-07-06, 06:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox

It is NOT normal to fiddle all the time with brakes.
Older style cantilevers (which you probably don't have Gary) can sometimes become uncentered requiring a quick adjustment, often via screw, to equalize distance or even keep one pad from rubbing. Dnvr's caliper brakes can indeed go a long time between adjustments. Pads can sometimes benefit froma light abrasive rub....like pencil erasures, they can "harden" with age and a little rub cleans and "freshens" them with a little more grippiness.
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