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Old 04-03-08, 05:54 PM   #1
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How to Fix Bike Brakes

I have a mid 70's Gitane 10 speed road bike and I am trying to fix the brakes myself. The old cable snapped. I bought a new cable and installed it. The brake provided no stopping power. Even when the cable is quite tense, the right pad does not make contact with the wheel. Could the problem be related to the casing on the outside of the cable? I don't know what it is called but does it need to be a certain length? And is it an important part of the braking mechanism?
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Old 04-03-08, 06:22 PM   #2
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Yes casing is important.

Also, when you say tense... what do you mean?

When you apply the brake, does the lever come all the way in to the handlebar, or does it tighten up and not get to the bar?
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Old 04-03-08, 08:23 PM   #3
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Sounds like the arm is rusted to the pivot bolt or some such thing. Or if the housing (your casing) is stupid tight it may be holding the caliper from being able to move that arm. If that is the case pull some of the housing through the guides so the cable at the caliper is a little loose.

If that still doesn't free things up then try moving the brake arms by hand to see if they can both move. If one arm is stuck then you're going to have to take it apart and clean off any rust and polish the parts with some very fine sanpaper and oil to return a little of the nice surface. Use some 400 wetordry and light oil or WD40 as lube. Clean it all well and re-assemble with a thin wipe of grease in the pivots. Keep an on out for all the washers and the order they fit in between the arms.
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