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Instructable on how to adjust/align bicycle caliper brakes? Answered

Does anyone have (or could easily post or direct me to) an Instructable on adjusting old-style caliper brakes (the kind with two arms on a central sprung pivot)? I found Bicycle Tutor's video on cantilever brakes, but nothing for my specific need. Google came up with mostly cantilever-brake stuff, and the few caliper-brake Web pages were not very clear.


They're a pain. Make sure you show us how it was done when you've succeeded. L

Thank you for your support :-/

You sound like an old Bartles and James commercial LOL

. What part are you having trouble with? There are enough similarities that you should be able to get a pretty good idea of what's going on by checking out the cantilever (just a slightly different form of caliper brake) instructions.
. How about this: http://www.bikewebsite.com/bicycle-bra.htm ?

The cantilever brakes have separate pivot points for each pad/lever. The caliper brakes on my wife's bike has a single spring-loaded pivot point at the center of the two arms, and a cable that pulls up on only one arm.

There are two problems we currently have. FIrst, I can manually position the two arms so that neither pad is touching the rim. If we then squeeze and release the brake handle, one pad is left in contact with the rim, while the other pulls back. That leaves a consequential amount of drag on the tire.

The second problem is that the brake handle itself has an assembly with a latching pin. You're supposed to be able to engage the brake and push the pin in to hold it closed. That pin no longer engages properly.

You mentioned http://www.bikewebsite.com/bicycle-bra.htm. That was one of the first-page Google hits. I looked at it and it is useful, but I'm sufficiently unfamiliar with this stuff that I didn't feel like it gave the level detail I need. Maybe I'm just underconfident, but I don't like to be cavalier about safety (especially not my wife's safety :-).

> If we then squeeze and release the brake handle, one pad is left in contact with the rim . Sounds like the whole assembly, especially the pivot, needs to be disassembled, cleaned, polished, and maybe a little lube added. . Clean/lube (or replace) the cable, too. . If the cable assembly is too long, it can push the calipers out of alignment, but that is usually just an inconvenience, it doesn't cause that much drag. . > That pin no longer engages properly. . Either the cable is too tight and you can't get to the lock position or it's broke. Or maybe the cable is too loose and your traveling past the lock hole. . > Maybe I'm just underconfident . Well, it's good to be cautious, but I have to believe that a Physicist can figure out a simple cable and lever system. ;)

This is a wee bit bigger than the particles he's used to dealing with :-) Oh wait, did I say that out loud? ;-)

Quantum mechanics is not the same as bicycle mechanics... Oh wait, there's an echo in here?

Echo-ology is a totally different science also ;-)

It should be the same if it repeats itself unless you change the environment around it.

It should be similar, but the environment does alter it's intensity, etc. somewhat. But, as far as I know, there isn't a separate science that deals only with echoes, but there is one that deals with SONAR, which is, after all, dependent on the echo.

This video shows how to adjust caliper brakes (and specifically mentions ones that are rubbing up against the side of the tire) - perhaps it will help?

And I'm sure you've seen this one, but just in case you haven't there it is...

Ah, ha! That second link is exactly what I need; thank you! The first link is for "canitlever brakes," which are the wrong kind (see my reply to NM).

Whoops! Easy to confuse those... You're welcome. :) Glad it helps.

To adjust center pull brakes, you need to get the Park 3rd hand tool. Or rig up a C-clamp of some sort to pinch both of the brake pads against the wheel rim and then do the adjustment on the cable. Good luck.