It's true, man.
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: North Texas
Bikes: Cannondale T1000, Inbred SS 29er, Supercaliber 29er, Crescent Mark XX, Burley Rumba Tandem
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despite what you said about the lever - First I'd release the cable from the brake, to see if the lever then moved freely.
If no, I'd pull the cable free of the housing and try it again.
If it still didn't return freely, then I'd remove the cable entirely and see what was binding in the lever housing.
If it DID move freely with the wire out of the housing, I'd replace the cable housing.