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Old 04-18-05, 08:00 PM   #1
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repairing a drum brake

I just inherited my grandparents 1960 schwinn tandem and it seems to be in reasonable shape with the exception of the rear drum brake.

When I got the bike the bolt that takes up some of the cable slack to the drum brake was busted and the drum itself was not tight against the rear hub, loose enough that I could just peak inside. This bike has been sitting in a garage for ten years and I was wondering if/how I should dissasemble the drum brake to clean it or if I should just tighten things down and go riding. Also, where I could get a hollow bolt that would take up the cable slack for the drum brake? The brake has "union" and "Germany" stamped on it.

I have no experience with this type of brake and any advice would be appreciated.

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Old 04-18-05, 09:53 PM   #2
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There should be some nuts on the axle that hold it together. Take some pictures for us.
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Old 04-19-05, 04:08 AM   #3
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Probably an Atom hub brake. Seems like just the rear wheel on that Schwinn tandem weighs around 7 or 8 pounds right?

If it is, the hub itself forms the drum and the plate that holds the shoes floats onto the axle with a locknut that you should be able to see from the left side of the bike. If you make it fit too tightly against the drumm it'll rub and scrape. You can adjust the clearance from the drum with washers on the inside. Once you take that plate off, the mechanism is pretty self-explanatory.

You might be able to substitute a cable binder bolt from an older side pull rim brake or even just use a common bolt and pinch the brake cable up against the brake arm the way that a derailleur does. If you need to replace the brake lever, you might want to look at mountain bike linear pull levers because Atom's take more cable pull than most other brakes.

Good luck!
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