/ Road bike brake maintenance

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girlymonkey 03 Jul 2018

I have a cheap road bike which I have used and abused as a commuter as well as doing "roadie" type rides. It has done a lot of mileage in all weathers (including riding in quite deep snow!).

So while I wait for the garage to finish fixing my van, I thought I would give the bike some tlc.

The back brake has a little lever to open the brakes to remove the wheel, and this was fully open. So I closed it and then went to look at adjusting the brakes a bit. However, when I pulled the brake lever, the little lever opened. I know it's not meant to do this, but not sure how to stop it. Any suggestions?

elsewhere 03 Jul 2018
In reply to girlymonkey:

Push the little lever in a bit further towards the rim, once it's past a certain point the brake  csble tension keeps it there.

 

Post edited at 11:59
JLS 03 Jul 2018
In reply to girlymonkey:

That's an odd one...

I can only imagine that some dirt is preventing the lever getting back to the fully closed position and hence not past the fulcrum point where a pull on the cable will either pull the lever open or pull the lever closed.

If you are not in the habit of removing the wheels while the tire is inflated the brakes *could* be adjusted to work fine while the lever is open, so in a sense, it doesn't really matter if you manage to fix it or not...

Post edited at 12:06
Toby_W 03 Jul 2018
In reply to girlymonkey:

Hi

If you don't have the big blue book, it's also all online at parktool.com

Might not answer all your questions but really useful.

Coolstop pads are great as well.

Good luck

Toby

Rigid Raider 03 Jul 2018
In reply to girlymonkey:

Yes the lever has a camming or "over the top" action against the cable tension. Once it's closed, unscrew the little cable adjuster to shorten the cable so as to take up wear in the brake pads. For a really good service, remove the brake pads, rub them on a flat piece of coarse sand paper then pick out the little glimmering bits of grit and aluminium with the point of a Stanley knife. 

A well-adjusted brake should make a little "clack" as the pads hit the wheel rim when you pull the lever sharply. 

elsewhere 03 Jul 2018
In reply to JLS:

> That's an odd one...

> I can only imagine that some dirt is preventing the lever getting back to the fully closed position and hence not past the fulcrum point where a pull on the cable will either pull the lever open or pull the lever closed.

> If you are not in the habit of removing the wheels while the tire is inflated the brakes *could* be adjusted to work fine while the lever is open, so it a sense, it doesn't really matter if you manage to fix it or not...

Noooooo! Based on the way my brakes look, the lever might be ripped off when you brake.

JLS 03 Jul 2018
In reply to elsewhere:

Possible I suppose depending on the design of the calliper lever.

But that design must be pretty rare these days...

girlymonkey 03 Jul 2018
In reply to JLS:

Dirt stopping it sounds like the likely culprit, thanks.

Most things have seized with dirt or rust, so it's of that this moves! Lol. 

girlymonkey 03 Jul 2018
In reply to girlymonkey:

Thanks for the replies. Sounds like it is something blocking it, so will get the toothbrush into it. 

Rigid Raider 03 Jul 2018
In reply to girlymonkey:

The part with the lever is supposed to rotate on the brake arm and the part with the cable clamp is also supposed to rotate within the lever part, remaining in the same position until the lever has gone past the point of no return but if either gets rusted up, it won't work properly. Try soaking it all in light oil or penetrating oil and waggling it. 

If it doesn't come free it's no disaster, it's simply a quick-release for easy removal of the wheel. Just adjust the brake clearance so that there's space for the tyre to pass between the brake blocks.

Post edited at 15:51
PaulScramble 03 Jul 2018
In reply to girlymonkey:

The brake cable needs adjusting. Before you do anything watch a relevant repair video so you know exactly what you are going to do. http://www.cyclingweekly.com/videos/bike-fit-and-maintenance/how-to-set-up-your-brakes-video

girlymonkey 03 Jul 2018
In reply to PaulKing:

Thanks, I know how to adjust cables!

I couldn't see anything that was stopping this from fully closing, but I held it closed while pulling the brakes and that seems to have sorted it. Not sure what the actual problem was!

I've always been a mountain bikes, and have rebuilt mtb from bare frames. Most of road bike maintenance is pretty similar, or even easier, but you get the odd wee bit that I've not come across before!


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