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Brakes Out of Adjustment after opening and then closing back up

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Brakes Out of Adjustment after opening and then closing back up

Old 07-31-15, 10:55 AM
  #1  
DTownDave22
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Brakes Out of Adjustment after opening and then closing back up

I'm not certain when exactly this problem started, but I believe it started sometime in 2014 (bought this bike in 2007) and has essentially continued through now. I know that according to one of LBS transaction receipts, I had in early '14, two repairs done:

1.) "BrkNoodle w/ rubber 90 degree"
2.) "BrkWire MTN Stainless"


I'm fairly certain those two are replacement parts for a new brake noodle and new brake wire, because of the sales tax for the order and the price of each of those two items on the receipt.

The problem I have now, and have since around that time, is that I noticed that after opening my rear brakes, when trying to close the rear brakes back up, it is considerably difficult to do so (most if not all the time), so much so that I seem to put my rear brakes out of adjustment after closing them back up, because I have to pull so much, to close them back up. If I knew more about mechanics, I'd be able to diagnose what the likely cause is, but I don't.

Is this due to one or more problems on the mechanic's end?

-Brake wire? Not a good match or a cheap one? The brake wire not having quite enough slack?

I was told by a customer associate employee at my LBS when I took my bike in recently after describing to them my problem, that a newer brake wire may cause this problem, but again, it's been almost 1 1/2 years since the brake wire (and noodle too) were replaced. It's far from a poor bike shop, but it's not exactly the most thorough bike shop either--she perhaps isn't quite informed enough to make an informed comment about the issue, so she didn't really comment too in-depth about it. I didn't mention to her that the wire is that old--I feel too rushed too often.


I already dropped my bike off at this LBS to have some work done on the brakes (the problem that occurs when trying to close my brakes). I briefly described them the same problem I mentioned here and asked them to show me, after the work is done: How do I get the brakes get closed back up without this problem occurring again. She said they would........

However,if this main problem I described is mostly or even partly their fault, what issues, demands, etc., should I be making a point to make sure they address, so to essentially help make sure they do everything on their end? I understand that sometimes people make mistakes and doubt they they would do something like this on purpose,and I do not rule out that it could be my fault (but again, I'm not doing anything out of the ordinary from what I used to do). What I'm a little bit worried about is I'll pay them to address the brakes being out of adjustment, have them briefly show me how to close the rear brakes back up after opening them, but then when I try doing it myself a week later or two, I will have the same problem.

Essentially, is anyone familiar with this problem, and what I should be asking my LBS to make sure they do? I do plan on going back there or calling, as my bike is not due for several more days, but I am still quite uninformed about mechanics, and want to have an idea of what to say and such.

Thanks!
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Old 07-31-15, 12:52 PM
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Crazy idea: maybe wait and see what they show you?
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Old 07-31-15, 01:42 PM
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I am having difficulty in determining the problem statement. As I understand, you have difficulty opening the V brake and closing it. After closing the brake is no longer adjusted correctly. What does not correctly adjusted mean? One side now rubs on the rim, the pads no long align with the brake surface, only one side springs away from the rim?

The noodle has a short section(nose) that protrudes through the hole on the bracket, as seen in the non drive side in this picture. The cable liner is protruding as well, but ignore that issue!
[IMG]P1000033, on Flickr[/IMG]

This is often covered up with a rubber boot. To release the brake you need to pinch the two arms together enough to allow the "nose" to move far enough out of the bracket hole to allow the cable to escape through the slot in the bracket. Installing is the reverse.

What contributes to the difficulty is if the overall cable to housing distance is too short. In this case, the nose cannot be removed from the bracket because of the pads locking onto the rim. solution is to release the cable enough to allow easy removal. This will also increase the pad to brake surface distance. That is OK and should be expected. The trick is getting the cable length right. You can compensate at the lever by adjusting the housing position using the adjustment there. The shiny round items on the brake lever with the cable housing exiting.

[IMG]RHLightsFront, on Flickr[/IMG]

If after releasing and engaging the brake assembly for riding results in brake pad rub, then the issue is tension adjustment. Not all V brakes have them. They are the tiny screw perpendicular to the mounting shaft of the V brake, if they are there (near the bottom of the picture below). Usually, but not always, there is one on each side. Sometimes only on one side. This screw adjusts the tension with the idea that when it is set up properly, the levers spring back evenly. However, the level of lubrication can impact the result. Make sure those posts are well lubricated.

[IMG]P1000034 , on Flickr[/IMG]

Hopefully this helped.
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Last edited by SJX426; 07-31-15 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 08-01-15, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
I am having difficulty in determining the problem statement. As I understand, you have difficulty opening the V brake and closing it. After closing the brake is no longer adjusted correctly. What does not correctly adjusted mean? One side now rubs on the rim, the pads no long align with the brake surface, only one side springs away from the rim?

The noodle has a short section(nose) that protrudes through the hole on the bracket, as seen in the non drive side in this picture. The cable liner is protruding as well, but ignore that issue!
After I am able to get the rear brakes "closed", the rear brakes start to severely rub on the rims. Sometimes, I'm able to get them adjusted relatively OK. I was able to do so once a few weeks ago or so, by using the barrel adjuster near the brake lever for the rear brakes. The most recent time a few days ago, I wasn't able to repeat this result, and when I tried tinkering with other parts of the rear brake, it didn't work and I only made it worse (I undid the brake cable..I believe the bolt, but ended up making it way too loose.


Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
The noodle has a short section(nose) that protrudes through the hole on the bracket, as seen in the non drive side in this picture. The cable liner is protruding as well, but ignore that issue!

I understand this part

Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
What contributes to the difficulty is if the overall cable to housing distance is too short. In this case, the nose cannot be removed from the bracket because of the pads locking onto the rim. solution is to release the cable enough to allow easy removal. This will also increase the pad to brake surface distance. That is OK and should be expected. The trick is getting the cable length right. You can compensate at the lever by adjusting the housing position using the adjustment there. The shiny round items on the brake lever with the cable housing exiting.

I think I may know, though am not 100% certain, precisely what “cable to housing distance” is. Is it right about this distance below I have marked?

-“Release the cable enough to allow easy removal”: I think this means removing the boot and moving the brake arms together with a hand, and pulling the noodle nose away from the bracket.

“The trick is getting the cable length right” I’m not 100% certain how to do this.

The rest of your post, while I am not completely unfamiliar with the various parts, I’m not well-learned and experienced.



Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
If after releasing and engaging the brake assembly for riding results in brake pad rub, then the issue is tension adjustment. Not all V brakes have them. They are the tiny screw perpendicular to the mounting shaft of the V brake, if they are there (near the bottom of the picture below). Usually, but not always, there is one on each side. Sometimes only on one side. This screw adjusts the tension with the idea that when it is set up properly, the levers spring back evenly. However, the level of lubrication can impact the result. Make sure those posts are well lubricated.

I am somewhat familiar with those screws, but I find too often, me tinkering with my one and only bike, with very limited knowledge, just results in it getting worse (like just recently) and I want to take a brief class and have a secondary bike to practice on, to learn about some basic mechanics, not working on this bike. I do appreciate the input though.

So in sum, based on what you shared, it seems likely from what I can decipher based on your description (much harder than in person) is that the brake cable distance from the bolt (the furthest end from the lever) to the housing may be one likely cause and/or the other adjustments (barrel adjuster, tension screws).
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Old 08-01-15, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by DTownDave22 View Post
. . . I tried tinkering with other parts of the rear brake, it didn't work and I only made it worse . . . me tinkering with my one and only bike, with very limited knowledge, just results in it getting worse . . .
From your posts I can't really tell what you're doing but "tinkering" does not seem like the prescribed procedure. Maybe find a good tutorial online and follow it carefully or ask a pro to show you what you need to do?
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Old 08-01-15, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DTownDave22 View Post
After I am able to get the rear brakes "closed", the rear brakes start to severely rub on the rims. Sometimes, I'm able to get them adjusted relatively OK. I was able to do so once a few weeks ago or so, by using the barrel adjuster near the brake lever for the rear brakes. The most recent time a few days ago, I wasn't able to repeat this result, and when I tried tinkering with other parts of the rear brake, it didn't work and I only made it worse (I undid the brake cable..I believe the bolt, but ended up making it way too loose.

I understand this part




I think I may know, though am not 100% certain, precisely what “cable to housing distance” is. Is it right about this distance below I have marked?

-“Release the cable enough to allow easy removal”: I think this means removing the boot and moving the brake arms together with a hand, and pulling the noodle nose away from the bracket.

“The trick is getting the cable length right” I’m not 100% certain how to do this.

The rest of your post, while I am not completely unfamiliar with the various parts, I’m not well-learned and experienced.






I am somewhat familiar with those screws, but I find too often, me tinkering with my one and only bike, with very limited knowledge, just results in it getting worse (like just recently) and I want to take a brief class and have a secondary bike to practice on, to learn about some basic mechanics, not working on this bike. I do appreciate the input though.

So in sum, based on what you shared, it seems likely from what I can decipher based on your description (much harder than in person) is that the brake cable distance from the bolt (the furthest end from the lever) to the housing may be one likely cause and/or the other adjustments (barrel adjuster, tension screws).
I suggest you read this: Adjusting Direct-pull Cantilever Bicycle Brakes ("V-Brakes ®")
It's a clear and concise guide to solving your problem. I recently had the same problem and this tutorial helped me. The instructions posted by SJX426 were excellent, but sometimes reading the same information in another person's words is helpful.

Last edited by habilis; 08-01-15 at 01:50 PM.
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