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Bicycle brakes question/query?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by jojo, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. jojo
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    jojo Looking for Boost! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 15, 2011]
    Not owned a push bike in ages, so a bit rusty in this department, but anyways, I got one for my son to practice in, and yes, it's on stabilisers!

    My query is the brakes though, whilst they work like they should, I keep thinking they have been routed wrong(by the Halfords guy who built it), so someone put me at peace.

    Front brakes: Front right lever operates this is normal right, the cable come out correctly and under the reflector before making a 180 bend to go towards the otherside to operate the brake, but where it joins the brake part near the forks of the bike, it makes a tight 180 which I'm not happy about. it looks quite tight... opinions?

    [​IMG]

    Rear brakes: Left brake lever seems to be more angled downwards than the right one, I don't know if the builder did this to allow the cable to route where it goes, but anyways, it goes under the left handlebar, then does a loop before it's fed into the guide hole/bit on the frame, is this the normal route also?

    [​IMG]
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  3. crazy88
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    crazy88 Loving the anonymity

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    [Apr 15, 2011]
    Halfords at their best there mate!

    They are v-brake style, and yes it looks like he has done the worst job of routing them cables. I'm not big up on v brakes as I skipped them when I was out of biking for years, but the cable shouldn't do the tight 180 back into the brakes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These are the only pics I have of a bike i had a few months back with v-brakes. His angles just seem all wrong. You can see from the 2nd picture that the front brake cable doesn't do a sharp 180 into the brake but instead a nice sweep. That metal bit is called the Noodle, and shouldn't bend back on itself.

    The rear looks really bad though, I can't think of any reason why it goes over the stem and back round, unless it just got caught over there? Perhaps you can pull it back across to the other side? It might have got moved over when you brought it home in the car?

    As for the brake levers, they should be level really, but at an angle that suits. Don't put them horizontal as it'll be hard for him to brake. They should be angled down, but at the same level. An allen key (think it'll be 4mm will allow you to loosen them and twist them to a level you want.

    One thing you don't want is cables too tight, as it can cause problems. I'd consider taking it back and saying it's done really badly. Having said that, my mtb was from halfords, and i've not let them anywhere near my bike again.

    Sorry if this is unclear.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
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  4. monkey_lewis
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    monkey_lewis Reverse Gear

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    [Apr 15, 2011]
    to be honest i didnt see what you meant properly to start with, but no i dont think it should be the other way, try taking the whole v brake set up off and turn it the other way, so the exit of the brake cable is the other side of the front tyre, and the rear.... it should go round the front of the steering king pin, this is easy todo by either 360ing the handle bars if they will, or just disconnect the cable and re route it. to be fair most of the people that work in halfords dont care and even if they did they have to concentrate on building bikes then they would have to stop biting their shoulder first......
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  5. jojo
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    jojo Looking for Boost! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 15, 2011]
    Well, looking at Crazy's bike pics, the fronts look like it's done properly, but because the bike is small, the cable doesn't quite flex as much for it to route the way it does on the larger mountain bike. I thought about rotating the brake things(don't know the technical name) on the front so the cable on bends once, I might give it a try, if it fails, I'll just revert back to the original route.

    With regards to the rear, it's fine where it hooks upto the brake mech, I'm just not happy with the way it's routed by the handlebars, but I might just do the 360 thing as suggested by Lewis whilst the fronts are off and see how that goes.

    Cheers.
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  6. crazy88
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    crazy88 Loving the anonymity

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    [Apr 15, 2011]
    But if i'm not wrong the rear cable can just pop back across the stem can't it? From the picture it doesn't look like it's fed through anything, so just grab it and pull it left? Or am i missing something?

    As for swapping the brake arms, i'd consider it yes. I'm not sure if it's possible though, but i'd give it a try. I bet there isn't too much difference between an adult bike and kids bike at that point, as the head tube is still only a few inches long, and the brakes are at the top of the wheel.

    Let us know how you get on.
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  7. jojo
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    jojo Looking for Boost! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Apr 15, 2011]
    Yes, you are right, after a quick think about it, I can pull the cable back accross stem and see if it's ok, but as the handlebar width is narrower that your mountainbike, I think that routing around the front and goin pass the stem on the otherside is safer.
    With the front brakes, I tried moving the cable to above the reflector and it was much better, but the cable would rub against the left brake lever, which is probably wht the guy pushed it under the reflector in the first place.

    I'm at work now, so I'll give it a bash tonight.
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