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Thread: Brakes...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    Brakes...

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    My lovely Gunnar has V-brakes, and they've never been a problem. Today I did a 27 mile ride and had significant problems with my brakes.

    I just didn't have the stopping power I expected to have which means that when I DID have to stop, I was still going faster than I should have been. This led me to fall once, then I almost got ran over because I....just...couldn't...get....stopped in time. Thankfully the pickup was paying attention and he stopped for me. Whewww! I don't know if he realized that there was a problem or if I was just being clueless, but he stopped.

    I've never tried to adjust my brakes, and am a little nervous to do so. There hasn't been any problems in recent rides, just today. Is there something I can check as far as troubleshooting is concerned? Neither brake is dragging, that was the first thing I checked.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2009
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    Are they sticking? Are the pads worn or glazed?
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
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    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


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  3. #3
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    Nope, they aren't sticking, just not giving me much stopping power... I will look at the pads and see if they are glazed.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2006
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    Could be a cable issue. If you don't see an obvious issue with the brakes themselves, I'd suggest taking it to Nebo for a tuneup.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

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  5. #5
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    Sep 2007
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    Does it feel any different at your hand when you apply them? Sluggish, jerky, grinding, lever going too close to the bar? Or do they feel normal but just don't work?

    Sometimes a little touchup with sandpaper is helpful even if they don't look badly glazed.

    Glad you're okay!
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
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    The right brake feels a bit soft, I will take a good look at them and if I don't see anything will take it to my shop for a tuneup. I've been debating if that was needed anyway. I've got over 1K miles since my last tuneup...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    Could be a cable issue. If you don't see an obvious issue with the brakes themselves, I'd suggest taking it to Nebo for a tuneup.
    That was my next thought.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  8. #8
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    Apr 2011
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    perpetual traveler
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    Try turning the cable adjuster to the left to see if that helps.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
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    Have your bike shop or mechanic show you how to adjust the barrel adjuster. You might need new brake pads, or maybe just more cable tension. The barrel adjuster can give you a little more cable tension which can get you by a little longer.

    Be careful after your brakes have been adjusted. They'll suddenly be much more powerful than you expect. I call this the "pitch me over my handlebar" feeling.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  10. #10
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    I spoke with my LBS and I am going to have them check it out before I ride it again. Because of my small hands and my very short reach, there isn't hardly any room for adjustment. Before taking it I will make certain the wheels are centered, clean the brakes with a bit of rubbing alcohol and make certain nothing is in the grooves of the brake pads, and clean the rims. I won't do more than that with the brakes. These brake pads have over 2k miles on them so I imagine that is at least part of this.

    I won't be able to take it in before next Monday, so guess I won't be riding this week Hopefully there will be a miracle cure when I do the above, but frankly, as hard as I've been hitting all of my activities lately my legs will probably appreciate the break. After my experiences yesterday every time I tried to stop, I won't risk a repeat until I know it is fixed.
    Last edited by Catrin; 08-13-2012 at 08:54 AM.

  11. #11
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    No, clean the RIMs with alcohol. Clean the brake PADs by scuffing them with an emery board. Make sure you keep it flat so that you don't change the angle of the toe-in. Pads will glaze with use or just sitting around.

    If the brakes feel soft, Melalvai is right on.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SadieKate View Post
    No, clean the RIMs with alcohol. Clean the brake PADs by scuffing them with an emery board. Make sure you keep it flat so that you don't change the angle of the toe-in. Pads will glaze with use or just sitting around.

    If the brakes feel soft, Melalvai is right on.
    Ooops, thanks for catching that. It is only the right brake that feels mushy, and I know most of the braking power isn't from that brake. Hoping this will fix it, and thanks again!

  13. #13
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    When I squeezed the levers in my apartment where it was nice and quite, I noticed a lot of noise coming from rear brake cable housing. Very odd in that it seems to be coming from the actual rubber, so that in itself may not be a matter of concern.

    The right lever is coming noticeably closer to my bar, but I can't budge the barrel adjuster - and I looked it up to make certain you ladies meant the black thing and not the little red thingie. Thingie = technical term
    Last edited by Catrin; 08-13-2012 at 07:24 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    For most simple adjustments, you can go to the Park Tool web site for instructions - they have drawings and such to help you out : http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...ice-and-repair
    JEAN

    2011 Specialized Ruby Elite - carbon fiber go-fast bike
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    Klein Pinnacle - classic no-suspension aluminum MTB

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the link!I am just going to wait and take it to my LBS as soon as I can, I couldn't adjust the barrel adjuster at all, in any direction (and I did look it up on the internet to make certain I had the right part). I doubt the noise coming from the rear rubber housing means anything.

    Hopefully I can get it there Thursday as I am taking that day off.
    Last edited by Catrin; 08-14-2012 at 03:02 AM.

 

 

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