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Rear brake lever is stuck and won't pull, and rear calipers are stuck closed

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Rear brake lever is stuck and won't pull, and rear calipers are stuck closed

Old 05-04-15, 09:18 AM
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Eazy123
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Rear brake lever is stuck and won't pull, and rear calipers are stuck closed

My son has a Mongoose (I believe?), and has rode it every day without a problem. This morning his rear wheel wouldn't move. The calipers are closed firmly on the rim and won't move. The rear brake lever is stuck open and no matter how hard I pull it won't budge. How can I fix this? Thanks for any help at all!
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Old 05-04-15, 09:30 AM
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Greenfieldja
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Perhaps the cable is frayed inside the outer housing that it runs through.

First disconnect the cable at the caliper and see if that allows the caliper to spring open.

Next, with some diagonal cutters or a proper cable/housing cutter, cut the housing and cable about a foot away from the brake lever. If that does not free the lever and allow you to extract the cable then keep cutting a few inches at a time until you have cut past the frayed area and can remove the cable and housing from the brake lever.

Then replace with new housing and cable. Brake cable and housing is not very expensive.

If it is a frayed cable then expect this job to take 30 minutes or less (deinstall of old and install of new) and cost about $20 or less if you do it yourself. A shop will probably charge about $15 to $20 labor + parts for this.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

-j
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Old 05-04-15, 09:32 AM
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Eazy123
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Will do! Thanks so much, Greenfieldja!
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Old 05-04-15, 09:34 AM
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oneidabow1
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The cable might be locked up inside from corrosion. Remove cable from caliper and see if the caliper moves. If so, the squirt some WD40 or PB Blaster down inside cable with that little staw thingy that comes on the can. Let it sit for a while then squeeze the brake lever to see if it moves. keep adding more until it slides freely. If the cable moves and the caliper doesn't move, loosen the pivot bolt and squirt lube onto the screw mechanism manually moving the the caliper open and closed until it moves freely. Lube cable and bolt occasionally to prevent that from happening again. Is there a kink in the cable anywhere?
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Old 05-04-15, 11:30 AM
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Greenfieldja
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Originally Posted by oneidabow1 View Post
The cable might be locked up inside from corrosion. Remove cable from caliper and see if the caliper moves. If so, the squirt some WD40 or PB Blaster down inside cable with that little staw thingy that comes on the can. Let it sit for a while then squeeze the brake lever to see if it moves. keep adding more until it slides freely. If the cable moves and the caliper doesn't move, loosen the pivot bolt and squirt lube onto the screw mechanism manually moving the the caliper open and closed until it moves freely. Lube cable and bolt occasionally to prevent that from happening again. Is there a kink in the cable anywhere?
While there is nothing patently wrong with this suggestion, the idea that the cable or housing may be suffering from corrosion, especially enough to lockup the caliper and keep the lever from moving means that it is time for replacement. What you suggest is great advice for folks with unlined housing as preventive maintenance to avoid corrosion.

-j
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Old 05-04-15, 11:48 AM
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Eazy123
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Sigh...just found out he was walking his bike across the street and the bike was was clipped by a car, and he never bothered to tell me about that part - he just said it stopped working. Thank God he's fine but now that I know that, I'm pretty sure that has something to do with the issue.

Anyway, I'll remove the cable from the caliper and see what that does and go from there. The bike is 2nd hand but still relatively new so I'm not too sure there's corrosion, but I've been wrong before.
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