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rear brake is driving me crazy!!!

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rear brake is driving me crazy!!!

Old 06-02-05, 09:17 AM
  #1  
phileepo
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rear brake is driving me crazy!!!

Ok here is the story. I have an old GT Tequesta All-Terra mountain bike which I believe is 89 vintage. I really like this bike and have no intentions of replacing it. I am now the father of twin boys who are now 2 and a half and I do a considerable amount of riding pulling one of those trailer thingies. Since my bike had me pushed forward with a lot of weight on my hands, I was experiencing a lot of pain and numbness in my wrists, hands, forearms, etc. I just had a riser put in the front to alleviate this along with some long bar ends. This problem is now solved. But I have created a new problem. The idiot at the bike shop I went to did a half-*** job of getting my brakes readjusted and left me with practically no brakes. I have adjusted the front ones just fine but when I tried to adjust my back brakes, I now have this problem where the right side will not release properly. It stays pushed against the rim all the time. I think I have U brakes. The mounting posts are on each side of the tire, the upper arms cross, and are pulled from the center. There is also a spring that is coiled on the inside with two tabs, one that go into a slot in the arms and in the bolt head. When I tighten the left side, it causes the pad to spring away from the tire like I believe it should. But, when I tighten the right side it either pushes onto the rim (the oppisite of what it should do) or has no spring to it at all. I even went out and bought a cheapie replacement and am having the same problem. Please help, one brake is not good enough to stop me weighing in at about 230, and my two kids and a trailer. The flintstone method of braking is not all that comforting either.
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Old 06-02-05, 03:54 PM
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Roadmistress
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Hmn...

I know exactly what problem you're having because the old LeTour I worked on had the same prolem on it's front wheel.


What I did, because it was an old bike, was dissasemble the entire front brake caliper, clean it out and wire brush it, and reassemble carefully. I also oiled the joint on JUST the side that wasn't moving properly. Without rust gumming up the works, the brakes worked fine.

Only three years old, you shoulnd't be having rust problems, but that doesn't mean there isn't gunk inside the joint.

Because there is just one spring spreading both bars from the center, instead of two, one pulling on eahc bar from the side, it's hard to turn up the tensin on one side and turn it down on the other. Someone whose a better mechanic than me might have a more accurate solution.
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Old 06-02-05, 04:46 PM
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From what you're describing, I tend to think that Roadmistress has you on the right track, but . . . a couple of things:

1) Some DIY help can be found at:

https://www.parktool.com/repair_help/...x.shtml#brakes

2) Why wouldn't you take it back to the LBS to ask them to fix what you say they left in poor shape?

3) What you describe could also be explained by a rear wheel that wasn't seated perfectly centered in the dropouts prior to securing the quick release. You may want to verify that it's in there correctly before you go too far tweaking the brakes. IOW: unless they changed something about your brakes, you shouldn't have to either.

4) See number 2

Good luck!
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Old 06-02-05, 04:47 PM
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That U-brake isn't the easiest bicycle brake to adjust. It's been a while since I've messed with one and there are also a couple of different styles and I can't tell from your description which one you have. In general, the release spring tension is adjusted by a 5mm allen wrench in the center of the mounting stud and a 14mm open end wrench on the outside of the mounting stud. If you decide to attempt this adjustment yourself, it might be a good idea to keep the kids away lest they enrich their vocabularly with words that only bike mechanics are allowed to use.
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Old 06-02-05, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
That U-brake isn't the easiest bicycle brake to adjust. It's been a while since I've messed with one and there are also a couple of different styles and I can't tell from your description which one you have. In general, the release spring tension is adjusted by a 5mm allen wrench in the center of the mounting stud and a 14mm open end wrench on the outside of the mounting stud. If you decide to attempt this adjustment yourself, it might be a good idea to keep the kids away lest they enrich their vocabularly with words that only bike mechanics are allowed to use.
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Old 06-02-05, 04:52 PM
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More helpful hints from Sheldon Brown, including U-brake specific...

https://www.sheldonbrown.com/canti-u.html

I'd still verify centered rim first, then take the bike back to the wrench. YMMV.
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Old 06-02-05, 08:08 PM
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You hit it right on Retro. I had to tighten the inner hex nut, and then tighten the outer nut to set the spring tension. I don't know why I didnt figure it out myself but it works great now. And it was quite a time getting it done but not as much of a hassle as trying to re-readjust the front brakes. I took it out for a two hour spin today and it rode great. Who needs a new bike. My Pink Tigerstriped GT lives on. RRRooar. Good for another 15 years, or at least this season. thanks again for everybodys help, I see many people were stumped by my post.
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