Bicycle

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Old 10-08-03, 09:11 PM
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Bicycle

I have a bicycle that is at least 5 years old. Without taking it down to the shop I would like to adjust the breaks myself. You know what I mean? After a certain amount of time, pretty soon you have to pull the break levers all the way in order to stop the bicycle. When I used to take it to the shop they adjusted the breaks so well that only a little pull on the levers and you are stoppen...LOL
 
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Old 10-10-03, 06:43 AM
Precision Pedal
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Bicycle

What type of brake system do you have?
 
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Old 10-10-03, 10:18 AM
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The only thing I know about these breaks is its the kind where you pull the lever at your handle bar and makes this bar that has breaks on both sides touch the rubber to the tire.
 
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Old 10-10-03, 10:58 AM
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If its 20 years old and has been adjusted a number of times I would guess that by now the pads are worn down. Do you have much rubber left on the pads? If not get new pads, just remove the existing ones and take them with you to make sure the size it right.

Reinstall the pads and test it out. If the brakes stay on then you need to loosen the screw above the brake mechanism and let out some of the cable. Let enough out so that the caliper is extended all the way. Tighten and test again. Keep taking away some of the cable until the pads make solid contact when the lever is pulled.

That should do it.
 
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Old 10-10-03, 11:15 AM
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Thankyou very much for your information. And remember...

Ill Be Back... LOL
 
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Old 10-11-03, 03:37 PM
Douglas M
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tea makes some good points. One way to tell if your brake pads are worn to the point of replacing is to look at the grooves in the brake pads. If the pads are worn down to the top of the grooves, it's time to replace them.
Also, if you have what's known as caliper brakes -- usually the type found on road bikes -- there is often a hollow bolt which the brake cable runs through that's found on the brake and which can be twisted by hand. This will allow you to adjust the brakes closer or farther from the rim. The closer the brakes are to the rim, the less distance your lever will travel on the handlebars before the brakes take hold. Of course, you want to make sure there's enough space between the pads and rims that the rim doesn't rub when the tire spins, unless you're looking for some resistance training. Good luck.
Doug
 
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Old 10-12-03, 10:54 AM
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I agree Doug but one thing to remember on brake pads is that the rubber hardens with time. If the pads are firm they will have the tendency to slide on the tire vice grip it. To test the pads stick your fingernail into them if the dent disappears the pads are fine. If the dent stays get rid of them they are a safety hazard.
 

Last edited by tea3803; 10-12-03 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 10-12-03, 12:11 PM
Douglas M
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good point and a good strategy for checking hardness. I'll use it in the future.
 
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Old 10-14-03, 08:16 PM
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I am back guys. Thanks for all the great advice. I am starting to learn about bicycles. I checked the breaks and the pads are still good for right now. Keep in mind I have had this bike for 6 years and its only been in repair shop twice! When the breaks really become a problem I will take care of it. Thankyou very much guys.
 
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Old 10-15-03, 06:55 AM
Precision Pedal
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Bicycle

The reason for me asking what type of brake is there are sidepull brakes which act like scissors, cantilever which have two small calipers that are activated by a center pull hanger, linear which are longer calipers that pull from the side, hydraulic rim which you probably do not have, disc brakes. These are the current brakes used on bikes.
All these brakes adjust differently. From your first description you need to take up cable slack at the barrel adjuster on the brake lever. This can be done by turning the adjuster out until you get the desired distance, without the pads touching the rim. All brakes but real cheap low end stuff , hydraulic rim and hydraulic disc, have this feature on the levers. If not then it has to be taken up at the fixing bolt on the brake.
A good site with easy step by step info is here:http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/index.shtml
 
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