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caliper brake doesn't work properly

Old 08-07-23, 05:44 AM
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caliper brake doesn't work properly

Hello there,

Problem: basically the right "pad" doesn't retract after braking. Rather, not the right pad, but the whole brake dislocates to a new rotation angle and stays there.

-I've tried squeezing the spring a little bit but the problem doesn't seem to come from there.
-I've tightened the mount bolt with respectable strength, but still the whole brake keeps rotating when touched.
-Also tried to adjust the front nut, but no deal.

Would post pictures but still not allowed

Would appreciate any help!
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Old 08-07-23, 07:51 AM
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if it is a sidepull brake, you have to "center" it typically using a cone wrench.

discussed earlier Brake caliper comes uncentered when I pull brake lever (video) - Bike Forums

see pic below

/markp

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Old 08-07-23, 09:30 AM
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If you have modern double pivot rim brakes on your bike there might be a adjustment screw. Usually it only moves one arm and you have to control the gap with the barrel adjust screw or reposition the cable in the pinch bolt.
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Old 08-07-23, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
if it is a sidepull brake, you have to "center" it typically using a cone wrench.

discussed earlier

see pic below

/markp
Does seem to be something of this sort... Old sidepull peugeot caliper brakes. I've been having troubles with them for some years, but the bike has been stopped. Previously I had tried to re-arc the spring, but with no success (probably didn't do it right).

This time I went with your advice and tried to center the spring with a cone spanner, but no results. I can't even understand what's wrong with the brake, but something feels off in the spring. Sooo frustrating
Is the spring supposed to move a bit when pulling the brake? (apart from the normal squeeze movement)

Have now a video and a bunch of pics, maybe I'll be able to post them soon...
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Old 08-07-23, 11:02 AM
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On the usual single pivot side pull caliper it is the orientation of the spring's central section that really maters. The image Mark showed is doing just this. By rotating the center bolt and the attached spring carrier (the big round part with the slot the spring is trapped in) one is also rotating where the spring ends will sit at. And at the ends of the springs are the caliper arms/pads.

One added spring like aspect is the cable casing loop between the frame and the caliper arm. If this section of casing is too short or if as one turns the handle bars the casing gets tugged on this can try to pull the caliper off center too. Full length casing that isn't also well secured against the top tube can do this tugging often. Andy
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Old 08-07-23, 11:35 AM
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also arupaka make sure the the brake center bolt and nut are correctly adjusted so as to allow both caliper arms to move freely without binding.

there is an outer nut and an inner jam nut, make sure they are not too tight (restricting the caliper arms movement) and then tighten the outer nut to lock it in place

/markp
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Old 08-07-23, 12:07 PM
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Dave Moulton's Blog - Dave Moulton's Bike Blog - Centering side-pull brakes
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Old 08-07-23, 12:17 PM
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Good share there. Comments are worth reading as well

there was a comment made about tightening the brake bolt with the lever clamped down.

I don't like the center punch method, would be afraid the tool would slip.

but what do I know.

/markp
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Old 08-07-23, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
One added spring like aspect is the cable casing loop between the frame and the caliper arm. If this section of casing is too short or if as one turns the handle bars the casing gets tugged on this can try to pull the caliper off center too.
This is the most important part. Centering the caliper is easy. Making it stay centered is impossible unless the cable housing is just the right length. When the cable housing is too short it pulls up on the caliper. When it is too long it pushes down on the Caliper.
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Old 08-07-23, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
Good share there. Comments are worth reading as well

there was a comment made about tightening the brake bolt with the lever clamped down.

I don't like the center punch method, would be afraid the tool would slip.

but what do I know.

/markp
No big deal. I use a flat screwdriver and my palm to hit it. Done hundreds
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Old 08-07-23, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by arupaka
Hello there,

Problem: basically the right "pad" doesn't retract after braking. Rather, not the right pad, but the whole brake dislocates to a new rotation angle and stays there.

-I've tried squeezing the spring a little bit but the problem doesn't seem to come from there.
-I've tightened the mount bolt with respectable strength, but still the whole brake keeps rotating when touched.
-Also tried to adjust the front nut, but no deal.

Would post pictures but still not allowed

Would appreciate any help!
All bicycle brakes involve calipers. (Well, except drum.) What kind of brake is it? Side pull, cantilever, center pull, linear pull, or disc? I'm not going to go through every possible diagnosis for every type of brake.
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Old 08-08-23, 06:32 AM
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Thanks everyone, turns out it was the cable casing causing problems...
Rear brake is kinda fixed, still need to mess with the spring position!
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