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Front brakes will not touch rim when I squeeze

Old 05-14-20, 05:49 PM
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koffee brown
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Front brakes will not touch rim when I squeeze

Hi all,

My roommate has a crap Walmart type bike she keeps out back covered with a tarp. She decided to go for a ride Friday morning, so I took q look at the bike. The front brake was completely messed ho, the back brake was loose. There was no air in the tires. All the bolts needed tightening. I'm instslling a water bottle holder, and I've re-lubed the chain. One thing I can't seem to figure out is why the brake shoes won't touch the rim when I squeeze the brakes. Any ideas on what I can do to fix it?

Thanks,

koffee
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Old 05-14-20, 05:56 PM
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Old 05-14-20, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
Is that your way of telling me to tighten those bolts? If so, I did. Nothing is happening.
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Old 05-14-20, 06:34 PM
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Look at your photo & then look at the other photo. Forget about the finger. Look particularly at the top of the brake arms where the cable and the cable housing attach to the arms.

People are likely not answering your question in words because they don't want to be responsible for you or your friend's safety.

If you have ANY doubts—even the slightest micro-doubt—about whether you've attached the brake cable to the arms correctly, and/or the pads do not touch the rim consistently, GO TO A MECHANIC AT A BIKE SHOP. It should take them only a minute to fix this—assuming there're no other issues.

The bike shop will probably tell you that supermarket type bikes are not worth buying. In general, they are right.
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Old 05-14-20, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by koffee brown View Post
Is that your way of telling me to tighten those bolts? If so, I did. Nothing is happening.
Sorry, I was on my way out and was moving too fast. I was just showing that the noodle should be oriented the way it is in the pic that I found on the web. Never mind where the finger is pointing — just notice the way the parts of the brake are set in relation to each other. You’re almost there, just need to loosen the cable, reset the parts, then set cable tension and tighten. If you need more help, search for “adjust v brake” on youtube and you’ll find a lot of helpful short videos.

EDIT: To the above poster’s point, if you can’t get it set, please take it to a bike shop. The brakes are not something to mess around with.

Last edited by noobinsf; 05-14-20 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 05-14-20, 07:00 PM
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The way I adjust brakes: after checking the cable run and making sure hardware is right, loosen the cable retainer nut at the top of the brake arm. Next, locate the small screws, on the lower brake arms, near but not on the brake pads. These are fine adjustment screws... screw them all the way in. This will put the springs as far away from the rims as possible. Then, squeeze the arms, by one hand, to within a mm or two of the rim sides. Lightly cinch the cable and tighten the retainer nut. If the brake hardware is sound (levers to brake arms to pad seating) you should get very reasonable braking now. Back out the tiny adjustment screws as needed for small refinements and pad wear.

Last edited by Digger Goreman; 05-14-20 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 05-14-20, 07:14 PM
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Looking at the OP pic: the metal brake noodle is not properly seated. The bottom of the noodle should be seated in the swing arm, with wire and boot (little rubber object) only over the tire. With everything properly seated, there should be 2-3 inches of wire past the retainer nut... not what is hanging out there in the photo. I believe the length will be about right, once seated properly.
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Old 05-14-20, 07:58 PM
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Here is a
showing proper connection of the linear pull brake noodle.
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Old 05-14-20, 08:06 PM
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As the previous posts explained,
This part needs to hook over the tube here. Slide the rubber boot out of the way so you can hook the short swing arm onto the "noodle" tube.

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Old 05-14-20, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
As the previous posts explained,
This part needs to hook over the tube here. Slide the rubber boot out of the way so you can hook the short swing arm onto the "noodle" tube.

And then make sure the "noodle" stays there once it's in the correct spot. I've worked on a cheap bikes where the parts were so flimsy the noodle came unhooked when squeezed hard. This is a bad accident waiting to happen.

As others have said: take it to a bike shop. A good mechanic can show you how to hook up the brake and test it so stays that way.
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Old 05-14-20, 09:52 PM
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How the noodle sits.


With rubber boot in place.
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Old 05-15-20, 06:39 AM
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I'd like to point out that the OPs picture shows how the brake cable noodle can be released from its seat so that the front wheel can be removed. This is a very helpful thing to know. Someone likely had the wheel off and forgot to reseat the noodle. I wonder why the OP didn't ask the roommate.
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Old 05-15-20, 03:04 PM
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Ok, thanks to all. I tried all the fixes last night, but there is definitely something off with the brakes. I insisted on going to the bike shop around the corner, but she was very nonchalant about it, and then they closed. Well... she went out this morning anyway despite my warnings and had a horrible time. So all the talking I gave her about getting a new bike has paid off. Qe are going to the bike shop together and she's getting a new one. This is great, because I hate the cheap bikes. I don't own a cheap one and now she'll have a decent one as well.

Thanks for everyone's help!
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