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Brakes

Old 06-27-13, 04:23 PM
  #1  
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Brakes

I bought a used Huffy "Stone Mountain" mountain bike and am thinking about replacing the whole V brake assembly. Will most any brand/model fit my bike? it's a 24" bike. I've been looking on the web and I haven't seen a list of the bikes brakes will fit or a size chart. Thanks.
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Old 06-27-13, 04:25 PM
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Why ?
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Old 06-27-13, 04:32 PM
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Most V brakes should be compatible, but It's probably not worth upgrading a Huffy. Is there a problem with the existing brakeset?
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Old 06-28-13, 02:12 PM
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"Why ?"

True, this is a throw away society so why bother?
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Old 06-28-13, 03:10 PM
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by "why" people meant "is there any problem with your existing brakes?"
not much point in upgrades to a bike at such the low-end of market/quality unless you need to for it to function.
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Old 06-28-13, 03:36 PM
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Whole bike is worth approximately what two wheels' worth of lowend V-brakes would cost at retail. This is why the why
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Old 06-28-13, 05:01 PM
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If you decide to upgrade, the Shimano Acera V-brakes are an excellent value. Excellent stopping power; About just $12/each set. But often times, the specs on the Huffy's call for any lowest-cost brake levers, so you may also need to replace those with decent long-pull levers. I'm a fan of Tektro 316 or 319AG levers. Good for kids. Economical too, at about $15/pr. However, when you add up the brake upgrades alone, its already topping $40. Had Huffy actually had their sporting goods ordering person spec a bike that cost them $5 more, you wouldn't be posting this question on brake upgrades and for just that little extra money, they'd have a BSO that one could actually call a bike.
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Old 06-28-13, 08:36 PM
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Its a lever of a given length.. if the math is the same . it will be..
Buy top quality Brake shoes and call it good.

no reason to gilt wrap a BSO...
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Old 06-28-13, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
.....Buy top quality Brake shoes and call it good....
+1
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Old 06-29-13, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Its a lever of a given length.. if the math is the same . it will be..
Buy top quality Brake shoes and call it good.

no reason to gilt wrap a BSO...
Problem with a lot of BSO V-brakes is two fold: a) bad levers, and b) bad plastic housings on the adjustment cams. The brakes literally won't hold there position. And the levers are short pull and mushy because they're spec'd wrong. If those are the case, new shoes aren't going to solve the problems. Yeah, I understand they're BSOs and why should folks even buy these, but they do and instead of throwing the bike away, spending another $35 or so might actually make the bike safer and it's still considerable less than spending like $400 on a decent bike.
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Old 07-02-13, 03:42 PM
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.
Yeah, I understand they're BSOs and why should folks even buy these, but they do and instead of throwing the bike away, spending another $35 or so might actually make the bike safer and it's still considerable less than spending like $400 on a decent bike.
I have no intention on spending a lot of money on any bike, new or used. I just want one to ride on my days off, keep in shape, get out in the fresh air and go on short camping trips. This bike is also giving me time to see what do and don't like in a bike. I haven't ridden an expensive mountain bike but so far I'm not impressed with the "quick shift" gear shifting system. I like the "old school" shifters that I had on my ten speed a long time ago. Asking me why I would put new brakes on an old low quality bike is like asking me why I would put new brakes on an old car. The car may be a rust bucket but if it saves me money on gas and the like especially in these times I would do it.
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Old 07-02-13, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by milesofsmiles View Post
. I have no intention on spending a lot of money on any bike, new or used. I just want one to ride on my days off, keep in shape, get out in the fresh air and go on short camping trips. This bike is also giving me time to see what do and don't like in a bike. I haven't ridden an expensive mountain bike but so far I'm not impressed with the "quick shift" gear shifting system. I like the "old school" shifters that I had on my ten speed a long time ago. Asking me why I would put new brakes on an old low quality bike is like asking me why I would put new brakes on an old car. The car may be a rust bucket but if it saves me money on gas and the like especially in these times I would do it.
What is a "lot" of money is subjective. It used to be that $100 was a lot for a bike in the late 70's. In the 80's, a lot was spending like $1000 on a bike. And these days, $10000 is a lot to spend. $400 is NOT a lot to spend on a decent bike. But I'm not surprised your not impressed with the "quick" shift system on your BSO, because it's perhaps the crappiest shifting system that they could put on that bike. Okay, maybe the 2nd to crappiest. So it's not likely to perform. On the other hand, one doesn't need to blow a ransom on a bike either. However, if you plan to "go on short camping trips" then you'd need something more reliable. Just like you wouldn't go into the woods with a cheap multi-tool/pocketknife and you'd spend something moderate at least and get something like a Victorinox Swiss Army knife or something at a -minimum-, the same would go for a bike.

The analogy to a car makes sense. If you start with a decent car, and the brakes are gone, it does make sense to buy and install new brakes. But if the car was a Yugo or some other piece if paper thin metal that was totally unreliable, then would it make sense buying new brakes to put on that car, when something else was likely to break and then the maintenance cost would be more than the car was worth? I think that's what people are getting at here. Not to say that your bike is in that category, but it could be.
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Old 07-03-13, 03:01 AM
  #13  
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Hi,

Sounds like there is nothing wrong with the current brakes.

Most brakes just need servicing and new pads on the front.
If the front pads are still useable, save as spares for the rear.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 07-03-13, 04:56 AM
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Do yourself a favor. Take the money you are going to spend on a pair of brakes/levers, and buy yourself a better bike, a used one that didn't come out of Walmart/k-mart/Target/Sears or TrU, or any other store like that. For $25 I bought a Fuji 24" wheel mtb for my son when he was 9, and he used it, then my daughters used it. It is NOT a BSO, but has real working parts that fit tight. Deals like that are out there.

And on this subject, what really irks me are the used bike sellers in the hipster neighborhoods of Brooklyn selling these crappy 70s bikes with the suicide levers.
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Old 07-03-13, 06:26 AM
  #15  
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Once again I find myself on the minority side. There are no bad bikes, there is only inappropriate use. I see no problem with having a low end department store bike for putzing around the neighborhood or going to the store or the like. Maintenance to keep it working to your satisfaction is a good thing.

The linear pull (it has to be Shimano to be a v-brake) brakes on department store bikes suck! They're hard to keep adjusted and they don't like to retract evenly. New brake pads won't fix that. Low end Shimano v-brakes are much, much better and not too costly.
Originally Posted by gyozadude View Post
If you decide to upgrade, the Shimano Acera V-brakes are an excellent value.
If you decide to replace the calipers, you'll probably find the brake cables are frayed so you'll have to replace them too. If it was my bike, I wouldn't bother replacing the levers - they're probably connected to the shifters anyway.
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Old 07-03-13, 06:59 AM
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Yeah, I have to throw myself into Retro Grouch's camp. A frame is little more than something to hang components off of. I've seen my fare share of non-BSOs, sold at LBSs that are made by major manufacturers, with really cheap levers and/or other components. They are at the bottom end of the price spectrum, but I've seen it nonetheless.

Maybe one day the OP will run across that awesome cro-moly frame in the future that someone discarded. Then he'll have some nice components to put on said frame.


Oh, and to answer the OP, as far as I know, MTB linear pull (v-brakes) are all the same, size wise, regardless of wheel size (24" or 26"). BMX might do things differently. I'm pretty sure all of them are also able to use cantilever brakes as well, but you will need cable hangers. I'd look at Tektros as well, if you want to keep the costs down.

Last edited by krome; 07-03-13 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 07-03-13, 08:41 AM
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Hi,

Even the cheapest v-brakes work well adjusted correctly,
greased and with decent brake pads on the front.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 07-03-13, 08:54 AM
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Not really. I've had some plastic ones and some stamped ones that just plain sucked no matter what you do with them.
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Old 07-03-13, 01:51 PM
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Thanks for all the comments. I can understand each point of view. I guess one of the main reasons I bought a crappy used bike, and I knew it was on the crappy side, was I saw (and don't laugh too hard) "a diamond in the rough". I saw a bike that maybe had potential and at that price I wasn't loosing much money if it didn't work but it would give me a chance to learn to work on that style of bike. If it did work out I would have a inexpensive ride. I haven't decided whether I am going to fix this one or buy new. But my budget is in the BSO range. I figured that upgrading this one would put it above the BSO range. We'll see.
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Old 07-03-13, 02:47 PM
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And to answer the question
Is there a problem with the existing brake set?
, yes. Each set leans to one side and is very close to rubbing. I oiled them to loosen them up, it helped a little. From what I have learned there are springs down at the pad areas of the arms(?). These must be really small, hidden springs because I don't see any. I can understand that an undersized or old spring would cause the brakes not to function properly. It doesn't look like you can change the springs that's why I wanted to replace the whole brake.
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Old 07-03-13, 02:55 PM
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blind guess time,again..

V type brakes with a straight type return spring, are easy to balance ,
most straightforward method is to bend a curve in the spring on the side that is almost dragging..

the pivot bushing should be greased. you will have to remove the brake to do that..

These must be really small, hidden springs because I don't see any.
and I cannot see a thing..

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-03-13 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 07-03-13, 03:00 PM
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If the brake isn't centered, on most V-brakes, near the base, is a small screw on each arm. Lower end brakes use take a slotted or philips. Higher end brakes take a 2mm or 2.5mm allen. Tighten this adjustment screw in to put more stress on the spring and pull the brake shoe toward the side you're screwing. Loosen to relieve stress on the spring. The problem with low-end V-brakes is the plastic housing with metal screw. Many times, the plastic is not strong enough to hold the screw pressing against the spring. The plastic fails and you'll lose adjustability. They typically don't sell just the cam cover with screw. You'll need to buy a replacement brake. The low cost Shimano Acera V-brakes are all metal and should last much longer and hold their center. The two small screws on each side are actually acting as cam stops for the main springs on each V-brake. Thus adjusting the depth of each screw adjusts the compression on each spring thus controlling the midpoint between brake arms, which is how it keeps the brakes centered.
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Old 07-03-13, 03:13 PM
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I would follow gyozadudes procedure rather than trying to bend springs. Because of the problem he noted with plastic parts it's best to try to center by loosening the screw (cclockwise) on the side that is too far away.
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Old 07-03-13, 04:07 PM
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near the base, is a small screw on each arm.
Thanks for the tip. I was learning about that adjustment from searching about brakes. I wanted to oil them up first, which I did, to see if they would center, which they haven't. I undid the cable at the back break and pushed on the arms. They seem to have a good amount of resistance/springiness but these are the first of this type I've worked on.

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Old 07-03-13, 05:19 PM
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Hi,

Adjustment is the key and can be lost if not correctly assembled.

Basic V-brakes are easy to balance and stay balanced.

Make sure the adjustment screws are correctly engaged.

rgds,sreten.
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