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Replace Brakes on 7.3FX

Old 10-14-10, 02:30 AM
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USAF1C1X1
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Replace Brakes on 7.3FX

Hey everyone. I am looking for suggestions on a replacement set of V Brakes for my 7.3. The Avid SD-3's are crap. Every day I have to adjust them and I am sick of it. Today I was doing a half century and was halfway through and I used the front brakes and they got STUCK to the front wheel! I stopped and adjusted them AGAIN and then when riding, they would pulsate when my front tire was rolling. They are pieces of crap and must go. Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 10-14-10, 07:00 AM
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I have the 7.3 and also hated the brakes on the bike.
I replaced them with these: AVID SINGLE DIGIT 7 V-BRAKE CALIPER SET
Bought from Ebay.
Went on easy and they are great.
This advice came from the good guys on this forum.
Good luck.
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Old 10-14-10, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jgjulio View Post
I have the 7.3 and also hated the brakes on the bike.
I replaced them with these: AVID SINGLE DIGIT 7 V-BRAKE CALIPER SET
Bought from Ebay.
Went on easy and they are great.
This advice came from the good guys on this forum.
Good luck.
I don't know if I want to use Avid brakes again. Do you have to adjust those all the time?
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Old 10-14-10, 09:04 AM
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I have a set of Shimano XT brakes with the XT levers that have servo-wave, which is great for emergency stops and really makes your wheels stop dead.
They aren't dirt cheap but not that expensive either ... I paid about 100€ for the complete set with cables and everything.
I never have to adjust them at all, just simply tighten at the levers with time as the brakepads wear off and those levers are real easy to tighten with just one hand or even while riding.
My quick review: Fookin Fantastic!
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Old 10-14-10, 09:14 AM
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I was looking at the vanilla Deore brakeset. I can get the set for $50 on Amazon. I wonder how those would stack up against the XT. Obviously the XT is better, but by how much? Decisions, decisions...
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Old 10-14-10, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by USAF1C1X1 View Post
I was looking at the vanilla Deore brakeset. I can get the set for $50 on Amazon. I wonder how those would stack up against the XT. Obviously the XT is better, but by how much? Decisions, decisions...
You said you ordered new brakes, what did you settle on?
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Old 10-14-10, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Joel S. View Post
You said you ordered new brakes, what did you settle on?

I ended up with the regular Deore brakeset. I liked the XT, but Amazon didn't have them and they're pretty much the only reliable vendor that ships to APO addresses. I kind of wish they still made the old LX brakeset. Those seem like they would be a happy medium between the vanilla and XT. I can't order somewhere else for brakes because I need to keep riding and most other online vendors take 3 weeks to get stuff here. I didn't know which Kool Stop pads to get though.
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Old 10-14-10, 11:43 AM
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I'm sure the Deore's are fine aswell.
As long as you get decent cables and housings ... those are the most overlooked things on a bike but make a huge difference in sensitivity and power of the brakes.
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Old 10-14-10, 11:51 AM
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What's a good cable set? Just Shimano?
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Old 10-14-10, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by USAF1C1X1 View Post
I don't know if I want to use Avid brakes again. Do you have to adjust those all the time?
Adjust your brakes correctly. You're doing something wrong.
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Old 10-14-10, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
Adjust your brakes correctly. You're doing something wrong.
I've done everything from checking springs to changing spacer order and it's always the same. One side on the front ALWAYS binds, so I think it's safe to assume they're defective.
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Old 10-14-10, 03:48 PM
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If the pad is binding to the rim, most likely it needs to be realigned or possibly replaced. The pad is aligned too low and is catching on the bottom edge of the rim. You need to shave off the ridge that has formed on the pad and adjust so the bottom of the pad does not miss the rim and go under it.
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Old 10-14-10, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
If the pad is binding to the rim, most likely it needs to be realigned or possibly replaced. The pad is aligned too low and is catching on the bottom edge of the rim. You need to shave off the ridge that has formed on the pad and adjust so the bottom of the pad does not miss the rim and go under it.
I thought that too. I guess I should have been a little clearer. One of the brake arms binds. I pull the brake lever and the brakes pull, but then one lever gets stuck. It's done that ever since I got the bike. I am going to get some pads today from the bike shop on base and see if replacing them works. If not then I have done pretty much everything short of replacing the brakes themselves.
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Old 10-14-10, 04:47 PM
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I have a 7.3 also, the OP is right, the brakes suck. I have to adjust mine all the time also, and I'm positive I'm doing it right. I've cleaned everything, adjusted the spring tension, and adjusted the pads in every direction possible, and they still suck/get out of whack all the time.
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Old 10-14-10, 04:57 PM
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You said the brake "gets stuck to the rim". If you remove the wheel, does the brake arm return when you release the lever or does it stay as though it's 'stuck to the rim' even when there is no rim there?
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Old 10-14-10, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by awesomejack View Post
I have a 7.3 also, the OP is right, the brakes suck. I have to adjust mine all the time also, and I'm positive I'm doing it right. I've cleaned everything, adjusted the spring tension, and adjusted the pads in every direction possible, and they still suck/get out of whack all the time.
What is the brake sticking to? It's possible you tightened the bolt that fastens brake arm to fork too tightly causing the stud to 'mushroom' (widen). Try using some sandpaper to restore the proper shape to the brake mount.
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Old 10-14-10, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
You said the brake "gets stuck to the rim". If you remove the wheel, does the brake arm return when you release the lever or does it stay as though it's 'stuck to the rim' even when there is no rim there?
I just checked it without the wheel. It still stays stuck.
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Old 10-14-10, 05:07 PM
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And the brake moves fine when not attached (no gunk causing resistance to moving)?
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Old 10-14-10, 05:09 PM
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The brake mount on your fork maybe deformed from over tightening. I don't know. You've already purchased new brakes, so hopefully that change will solve your problem.
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Old 10-14-10, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
And the brake moves fine when not attached (no gunk causing resistance to moving)?
When it's not attached it moves totally fine.
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Old 10-14-10, 05:21 PM
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Just to be clear, the brake lever moves freely, not the brake arm, when they are not connected to each other.

I must point out that you will get much better feedback on this if you post about it in the bike mechanic subforum, but I'm starting to believe you when you say you have already tried everything. Hopefully replacing the brakes will solve the problem.
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Old 10-14-10, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
Just to be clear, the brake lever moves freely, not the brake arm, when they are not connected to each other.

I must point out that you will get much better feedback on this if you post about it in the bike mechanic subforum, but I'm starting to believe you when you say you have already tried everything. Hopefully replacing the brakes will solve the problem.
The lever moves totally freely. I am going to post this in the mechanics forum. Thanks again everyone for all the help and suggestions!
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Old 10-14-10, 07:50 PM
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so wait, the arm doesn't move freely? if you move it with your hand when the cables are disconnected it doesn't move easily? That begins to sound like a mount problem or something that needs to be cleaned out so there's no friction stopping motion.
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Old 10-14-10, 08:50 PM
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Sounds like you just need to adjust the centering screws, or one of the springs broke.

I've been using an Avid SD-3 on my Breezer's rear for quite a long time. Seems to brake just like any other brake.
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Old 10-15-10, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by USAF1C1X1 View Post
I don't know if I want to use Avid brakes again. Do you have to adjust those all the time?

No I do not have to adjust them all the time. The difference between the Avid 3 and 7 is like night and day.
The Avid 3's are cheap and I had to adjust them all the time and would not stay adjusted. Once I changed to the higher quality brakes I have not had to constantly tend to them.
IMO any set of higher quality brakes will work better than the cheap OEM brakes on the Trek 7.3.
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