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Brake Question

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bluebug32

Asshat
Jan 14, 2005
6,143
0
Floating down the Hudson
I've got my new road bike all set, but the left brake is a little sluggish compared to the right one. I've got 2 sets of brakes on my bike and 3 of the levers are very responsive. The main left one can be pulled without much resitance, but fails to spring back into it's housing after it's pulled (it's staying out halfways with a little gap). Any suggestions?
 
J

JRB

Guest
It likely has to do with the roller that the cable pulls to activate the brake. If it is the flat lever, I don't know what to tell you.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,411
0
SF
You might want to release the cable from the brake, and see what happens when you squeeze the brake manually. You could also hold the loose cable while squeezing the brake lever and see if you feel any drag.
 

bluebug32

Asshat
Jan 14, 2005
6,143
0
Floating down the Hudson
ps: there was a lot of excess cable that's now pulled through the brake (where it feeds through and is clamped down). This seems odd. Did I somehow not attach the cable when I was assembling the bike? How do I do this?
 

Pau11y

Turbo Monkey
Err, yeah, forgot to warn you. Sometimes the production bikes come w/ housing that's WAY too long. To trim housing, get a proper pair of cutters (Park work well) and you should grind down the end after cutting so it's flat. Length should be JUST enough for everywhere that's not moving. For the moving, it should be JUST enough at the max throw (ie. handle bars: crank your bars 90 degrees, set your lenght, and cut). By doing this, you'll also be able to check for any burs or drag in the housing.
 

MtnbikeMike

Turbo Monkey
Mar 6, 2004
2,639
1
The 909
I work at a shop where we sell a few Iron Horse road bikes. For some reason, all of the bikes have a problem like you describe. I would suggest replacing the cables and housing.
 

Pau11y

Turbo Monkey
Oh, yeah. The other thing is the return spring tension. I tend to set mine to the strongest for a very snappy feel. But if you don't have good squishing power in the hands, you may want to tweak this a bit. It's set at the calipers - look for a tiny little screw (2mm) at one of the pivots. Crank it in to make the lever feel stiffer.
Here's a trick on setting the brakes:
Put 10-12 turns on the barrel adjuster at the caliper from the bottomed out position w/ the cable NOT anchored. Then w/ your QR engaged (cranked down) anchor the cable w/ the pads touching the rim and you tensioning the cable as you anchor it. Then, back the barrel adjuster into the caliper and feel the brake lever as you go. At 10-12 turns, you should have enough throw to bring the lever into the bars when you bottom the barrel adjuster.
 

bluebug32

Asshat
Jan 14, 2005
6,143
0
Floating down the Hudson
Thanks. These are great suggestions. The front brake is working well now. The only problem is that the pads are rubbing (and one pad seems to be turned in a little more than the other). I'm not having this problem in the back at all. What can I do to alievate the rubbing?
 

campbell90

Chimp
Sep 26, 2005
4
0
my bike has a brake problem too, the back brake is some what lopsided. when i ride my bike i get this awful squeeking sound. one side of the brake is pretty close to the rim and the other side is kinda far off. i've tried fixing it but everytime i go to ride it, it just goes back to it. its not the best bike in the world, it's from Canadian Tire and i got it for a hundred bucks so that could be why.
 

Pau11y

Turbo Monkey
There are these little star thingies between the caliper and frame that keeps things static once you've tighten everything together. They serve the same purpose as lock washers. Goto your LBS to see if they have any. If that's not the issue, they you may have housing that is too short and it's pulling on your brake caliper. So, even tho you tweak it into position, when you squeeze the lever, the tension on the cable/housing gets it all whacked out again.