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Adjusting v-brakes causes more hissing sound and handlebar stuttering?

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Adjusting v-brakes causes more hissing sound and handlebar stuttering?

Old 07-17-09, 01:38 AM
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Adjusting v-brakes causes more hissing sound and handlebar stuttering?

Hey everyone. I just got two questions regarding the adjustment of V-brakes. I'm no expert at adjusting them but I have been experimenting with a few bikes' brakes. The bikes are entry-level hybrid bikes ($400ish), but both pretty new and within a few months of purchase. I've been tweaking them around making sure that they are fit properly, touching at the same time, aligned, etc, and don't squeal. However, I noticed two different things while adjusting them.

1. If I adjust brakes a certain way (toe-in or no toe-in, etc), it seems it will produce more of a distinct hissing sound as I ride and brake. It seems that the hissing becomes more apparent when the brakes are adjusted a certain way. If I try to move their position and angle around, the hissing goes away. Is this relatively normal? What would be the cause of the hissing? It seems the brake functionality works, but the sound is just there. I think originally my bike (when built by the LBS) had less of a hissing sound.

2. Also, after tweaking on another bike, the bike feels like its stuttering a little when I come to a full stop. Specifically, it feels like its coming from the handlebar or somewhere in the front part. Is this normal? Could tweaking the brakes have done this? Or perhaps it was already on my bike before...maybe headset not adjusted? What causes this and how should I reverse this? Or perhaps it was there already and I have just noticed it now?

Thanks!

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Old 07-17-09, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Kabigon View Post
Hey everyone. I just got two questions regarding the adjustment of V-brakes. I'm no expert at adjusting them but I have been experimenting with a few bikes' brakes. The bikes are entry-level hybrid bikes ($400ish), but both pretty new and within a few months of purchase. I've been tweaking them around making sure that they are fit properly, touching at the same time, aligned, etc, and don't squeal. However, I noticed two different things while adjusting them.

1. If I adjust brakes a certain way (toe-in or no toe-in, etc), it seems it will produce more of a distinct hissing sound as I ride and brake. It seems that the hissing becomes more apparent when the brakes are adjusted a certain way. If I try to move their position and angle around, the hissing goes away. Is this relatively normal? What would be the cause of the hissing? It seems the brake functionality works, but the sound is just there. I think originally my bike (when built by the LBS) had less of a hissing sound.
Yeah, it's pretty normal in my experience. Not sure exactly what causes it, though. Anyone have an explanation?

Originally Posted by Kabigon View Post
2. Also, after tweaking on another bike, the bike feels like its stuttering a little when I come to a full stop. Specifically, it feels like its coming from the handlebar or somewhere in the front part. Is this normal? Could tweaking the brakes have done this? Or perhaps it was already on my bike before...maybe headset not adjusted? What causes this and how should I reverse this? Or perhaps it was there already and I have just noticed it now?

Thanks!
The headset is a good guess. If your headset is loose at all, there steer tube will chatter as you brake... not a good feeling. Tighten the headset a bit. If it's too rough, it may need to be overhauled. Sometimes cheap bikes come with the headsets and other bearings woefully under-lubed, though on a $400 hybrid I would expect better.

Another possibility is that your wheels are slightly out of true, which will cause the brakes to chatter as they move over the rims. You can generally distinguish this from the loose headset by the fact that the braking rate will feel uneven if you make a sudden, hard, stop. (Be careful!)
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