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Brakes making a rubbing noise and not slowing me down

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Brakes making a rubbing noise and not slowing me down

Old 04-07-12, 07:48 AM
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Brakes making a rubbing noise and not slowing me down

This is my first post other than in introductions! Whats up dudes?!!

I have just a cheap Wal-Mart bike, a Next Evolution. When I got it for Christmas, the brakes were not adjusted right so I took it to a bike shop and they alligned it up for me. I understand that the pads are supposed to line up with the rim and they are. But they make a rubbing sound and my brakes do not slow me down as quickly as I may need them to.

Is there something I can do? Do the brakes just need to wear themselves in? Oh BTW, the bike has only been ridden like 5 times. I had to get a new seat. The one that came with the bike hurt way to much to ride it.

Thanks guys!
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Old 04-07-12, 08:43 AM
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All bikes, and not just department store bikes, are designed to sell at a given price point. As you move down the food chain the components get cheaper and cheaper until they barely work. When a bike product manager is looking for a place to cut the production cost, I suspect that the first place they go is to the brakes.

You can continually fight with what you have or you can upgrade the brakes to a low end Shimano or Avid brake and get much better performance.
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Old 04-07-12, 09:18 AM
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Most original brake pads are pretty poor in performance, as mentioned above to meet a price point. Probably the simplest change you can make to improve your brakes would be to replace your brake pads with better ones and then adjust your brakes correctly. Kool Stop Salmon pads are frequently recommended. Also, brakes are not particularly complicated and you should be able to do most of the work by yourself. Go to this site: https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help and click on the part of the bike which you need help about, in this case "Brake Service and Repair" and follow from there. Another great resource is Sheldon Brown's site: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/ click on the "Brakes" section and that will lead you to many articles which may be helpful. In your case "Rim Brakes" would be appropriate. Of course if you still have questions the folks on this forum will be glad to help. Including photos of the problem area will often get you faster, better answers, especially if you do not know the correct names of the parts you are having problems with. Good luck, you CAN do this.
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Old 04-07-12, 10:47 AM
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I flip cheap bikes on CL and the main problem I have is brakes.
The calipers tend to be thin metal stampings that flex too much.
Often, you simply bottom out the brake lever against the grip.

One thing that you can check is if the wheel is true.
ANY side to side wobble means the brake pad has to be that much further away from the rim to clear, thus using up lever travel.
I actually bought a truing stand, mainly for that purpose.

Other than cutting off the grips to give that little bit extra lever travel, that's about all you can do with those brakes.
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Old 04-07-12, 02:58 PM
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I agree about going through correct adjustment procedure and trying better quality pads.

I had a contract with a local Sears to do their assembly and maintenance contract work many years ago. I was able to greatly cut down returns and maintenance claims by just lubricating cables and cutting housings to proper length during assembly. Many low end manufacturers do not lubricate cables at all and provide excessive cable housing length. The former increases friction and the latter increases flex in the system, decreasing the amount of your power that gets to the calipers.
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Old 04-07-12, 05:36 PM
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Cheap rims, stamped brakes arms, poor quality brake pads, plastic levers, poor quality cable and housing. These all cause issues on cheap department store bikes.

Make sure your rims are true, replace your pads, replace your brake arms, replace your brake levers, replace your cables and housing, replace your rims, replace your bike. Do this in successive order until the problem goes away.
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Old 04-07-12, 05:42 PM
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I'd be curious to see the set up. Is there a way you can post a picture or 2?
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