Old 05-21-02, 07:20 PM
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My little girl has a Schwinn bicycle with one hand brake which operates the rear brake system. Slowly it has been getting weaker as far as it's ability to stop the bike. I have made feeble attempts to adjust the brake with little bicycle knowlegde. Now one side of the brake drags not releasing properly. Does anyone know the correct protocol to strengthen bicycle brakes? Any help is dearly appreciated.

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Old 05-22-02, 05:26 AM
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Three things I would try:

1. Put some new brake pads on; they are cheap and easy to install.

2. Lubricate the brake parts that swivel or have to move; a little WD-40 should work, but don't overspray.

3. As last option, replace the brake cable; if the cable gets corroded, dirty, or worn inside it could be hanging up.
Old 05-22-02, 11:59 AM
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Here are some suggestions:

1. Have you tried to tighten the brake cable? There should be an adjustment "barrel" where the cable comes out of the brake lever ( on the handlebars ) or where the cable attaches to the brake itself. If you have this, try tightening to see if it improves the stopping power.

2. Is the brake cable loose at the brake? The cable attaches to the brake by running through a screw/bolt with a hole in it. Tightening a nut on that bolt pulls the cable tight against the side of part of the brake mechanism. Make sure the nut is tight. If there is any slack in the cable, pull it tight and tighten the nut.

3. One side of brakes drags. Is the brake attached to the bike by means of a single screw/bolt through the brake and then through the bike frame? Is the brake pivoting here? Straighten the brake and then make sure the nut on the bolt is tight.

If all else fails, take the bike to a local bike shop. They should be glad to fix the problem for a reasonable fee and will probably also be able to tell you how to adjust it yourself in the future.
Old 05-22-02, 06:14 PM
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Thanks for all the advice. I'll give it a try.

Old 04-22-03, 07:09 PM
engine ear
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i would suggest going to your local bike shop and buying a new brake
Old 04-24-03, 08:03 PM
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Side pull brake adjustment can be made with a screwdriver and a hammer. Place the screwdriver on the spring where it fixes to the pivot bolt and tap the screwdriver with the hammer until it centers. As far as the braking performance goes periordic cleaning of the rim brake surface with soapy water and a scotchbrite sponge will work. Also lightly sand the pads with a emory board to scuff off the old pad residue. If this does not work then replace the pads. Oh yeah WD 40 should NEVER be used a a bicyce lubricant. It is a good cleaner and rust breaker but NOT a lube. Any LBS should have some drip or aerosol lube that is sufficient.

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