Brakes Question

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Rob_E_Rob, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. Rob_E_Rob

    Rob_E_Rob Member

    Hey Ya'll,

    I am a "noob" here and to MB's in general and I have a question that I can't find the answer to in the searches. I have an old 10 speed that is going to be my MB platform, but the side pull brakes are terrible. No matter how hard I grab the lever, I cannot lock up the rear. The best I can do is a gradual slowing down. I just replaced the pads with whatever Wall Mart had to offer. No improvement. I sanded the rim down to get all the old brake pad galling off. No improvement. I just don't know what to do to fix them short of welding some bungs on the frame and putting V brakes on it, which I don't want to do. I feel like side pull brakes can be made to work just fine, but I don't know what brand to replace these with, or how to fix these. I'll take all the advise I can get!!

    P.S. I just noticed that the brake lever housing flexes when I grab the lever hard. I suppose this could cause a loss of pressure at the side pull mechanism, but what can I do about that??


  2. AndyT

    AndyT Member

    I think you may have found the problem. Many of the older housings and inner cables do flex, giving a mushy feeling. Replacing them with some decent quality cables should help. Getting some better quality pads will help as well.

    Side pull brakes work fine. Most road bikes use them and you should be able to lock up the rear pretty easy.
  3. DougC

    DougC Guest

    Various suggestions......

    -For regular "rim" brakes, the Salmon-colored Kool Stop brake pads are regarded by many bicycle riders to be the best choices around. Here's one place that sells them, but it's far from the only place; you might even be able to find them at local bike shops.
    ....The things you got at Wal-Mart are almost certainly junk, not worth stealing.

    -does the bike have steel rims? Aluminum rims generate a lot more friction. Steel rims are especially slippery when they get wet, like in the rain. If your bike is 27x1-1/4" wheels/tires then you may not be able to find aluminum rims easily. You could buy another set of 700C wheels but then that runs into money, which kills the whole idea of doing it cheap by using an old bike....

    -Both the brakes themselves, the brake levers, and the cable could be junk.... but again, putting better ones on costs money. Personally I don't think that spending the money for good brakes is such a lousy idea, but anyway.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2009
  4. Rob_E_Rob

    Rob_E_Rob Member

    Hey, thanks guys! I think I will definetly look into those pads.

    Have you guys ever used that lever that has the 2 cables going into one lever? Aparently it controls both front and rear and it is adjustable. Just wondering what the quality is on that and if it comes with cables?

    Oh yeah, I just put a magnet to the rims and they ARE steel. 26 inch rims/tires FWIW

    Anyone else have any thoughts?
  5. Youngbird

    Youngbird Member

    Sturmey/Archer front drum it into the front wheel. They work very well.
  6. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    You might fasten the cable housing to the frame in more places. Any number of techniques will do it. Hose clamps, mildly stiff wire, etc.

    Cheap pads and cables are, well, cheap. But that has advantages; you don't have to empty your wallet and they are easily available. Maybe they need a bit more attention than higher priced stuff. But you want to pay a fair amount of attention to your bike anyway.