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Brake lever has started jamming

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Brake lever has started jamming

Old 03-16-19, 01:34 PM
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ricecrispies
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Brake lever has started jamming

Today my front brake lever started jamming. It sometimes jams just as I begin to pull on the lever. If I let go and try again it usually works properly, in that I can pull the lever all the way down, particularly if I lift it upwards a bit before I start to pull on it. The lever is attached to a V-brake, but even if I disengage the lever from the brake, it is still prone to jamming, suggesting that the problem is in the lever and not further down the cable. I tried lubricating it, and that has helped a bit, but it has not completely solved the problem. The lever is several years old and feels quite loose, in that I can tilt it up and down quite a bit, in addition to the backward and forward motion that it is supposed to have. Can it be repaired, or is it simply worn out and in need of replacement?
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Old 03-16-19, 02:01 PM
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A common cause of brake lever jamming is a bent or distorted body so that some part of it interferes with the lever as the lever is pulled through it's range. Often from a fall down where the lever or body has impacted the ground. A bent lever can also cause this. Should be easy to spot the contact point if this is what's going on. many times gentle prying of the lever or body can free up the rub. Andy
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Old 03-16-19, 02:25 PM
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... or the cable fraying in the brifter.
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Old 03-16-19, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
A common cause of brake lever jamming is a bent or distorted body so that some part of it interferes with the lever as the lever is pulled through it's range. Often from a fall down where the lever or body has impacted the ground. A bent lever can also cause this. Should be easy to spot the contact point if this is what's going on. many times gentle prying of the lever or body can free up the rub. Andy
Thanks for replying, Andy.

The bike hasn't fallen over for quite a while, but the jamming only started today. This means that some time has elapsed between when such an impact could have occurred and the lever starting to jam. In other words there is some other factor involved, which I'm guessing is simply wear. I've tried taking the brake apart but I can't see anything that looks to me obviously broken.

Although having just written that, I now notice that I can't reproduce the jam any more. I don't know whether I've completely fixed it or whether there's still a chance it could jam on me again at some dangerous moment.
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Old 03-16-19, 03:55 PM
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Try to wiggle the lever perpendicularly to the direction of travel. If it wiggles, slightly tighten the nut on the pivot screw. Repeat until it moves freely, with minimal up-down play.

This is sometimes a cause of a lever that sticks in an otherwise undamaged brake lever.
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Old 03-16-19, 05:44 PM
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A photo or three would help us advise you. Does the lever have a threaded bolt as the pivot or a peened over (rivet) shaft. Does the cable end ride in a carrier, that then is pivoted off the lever, or does the cable end fit directly in the lever? Is there a cable adjuster? When the lever jammed was it just hard to continue moving but would or no mater how hard the lever is pulled the jam maintains? Are there any cable pull changing aspects involved?

We're really just shooting in the dark right now. Andy
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Old 03-16-19, 08:09 PM
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Check your cable, mine was hanging up right before it broke.

Last edited by Bmach; 03-21-19 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 03-17-19, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
Try to wiggle the lever perpendicularly to the direction of travel. If it wiggles, slightly tighten the nut on the pivot screw. Repeat until it moves freely, with minimal up-down play.

This is sometimes a cause of a lever that sticks in an otherwise undamaged brake lever.
I think that's probably what I did when I disassembled and reassembled the lever. It seems to be moving without sticking now, but there is still what I would consider a fair bit of perpendicular wiggle even when the nut on the pivot screw is tightened to just before the point where the lever won't spring back automatically. Does this mean that the lever is worn out and needs replacing?
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Old 03-17-19, 01:30 PM
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As Andy already mentioned, a picture would help greatly at this point. The usual arrangement for most levers is a lever blade with two plastic bushings in it that run on the pivot. These can wear to the point that they no longer hold the lever tight on the pivot. Replacement is only an option in as much as you can harvest them from another lever--nobody sells them, as far as I'm aware.
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Old 03-18-19, 01:04 AM
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Old 03-18-19, 01:08 AM
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Here are some photos in my previous post. I wasn't sure exactly what to photograph to be useful. I think I may have exaggerated the amount of perpendicular wiggle. It actually doesn't seem much different now from the wiggle for the back brake lever.
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