Brakes How do you adjust side-pull calipers?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by Xavier, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Xavier

    Xavier New Member

    I scavenged a set of an old mountain bike for my MB and they were working fine. Now, the left side drags on the rim. From what I've read I need to adjust the barrel at the lever? I've tried and it is all the way tight yet when I release the lever it doesn't "spring" back out anymore. The sound is very irritating.

  2. professor

    professor Active Member

    Those brakes are a great design but they are a bit fussy.

    There are adjusting screws on both side of the arms that hold the pads, these screws load/ unload the springs inside the arms ( the springs create the outward pull of these arms-keeping them from dragging the brakes on the rim).

    If the cable going to the brakes exerts any sideways pull on the brakes as the cable goes down to the arms, you need to offset the pull by screwing in or out the adjusting screws - pushing the spring more to one side than the other. Centering the whole brake deal.
    Sometimes there is rust or dirt on the arms. I like to shoot some oil on the pivot points but will take them apart (one at a time) to oil them if they don't move nicely after a bit.
    Once you get the concept, you will be able to ballance them out perfectly.

    The springs are what pulls your brake lever back to OFF position. Is the brake cable rusty inside? Take it apart, clean and grease or oil it.
  3. retromike3

    retromike3 Member

    Side pull or what?

    If your talking about "classic side pull brakes that have a center bolt that holds everything together. First see if the brake is mounted firmly on the bike. There should be a nut on the front and a lock nut next to it. If you look a little further back on the other side of the arms there is a spring that goes from the center section to the each side arm. now go to the side that is not dragging, get out a steel punch or solid axel and center it on the spring right next to the center blot. Tap the spring. You don't need to clobber it. that should help center the brake. If it still hasn't moved repeat the process. Thats a trick that I learned working at my first good bike shop and I still use it today on some of the older bikes I see at my shop.

    If you are talking about the newer compact brakes they should have an adjusting allen fixture that will center them. let me know the year and brand if you have any questions.

    Mike Frye A.K.A. frye bikes
  4. Hajuu

    Hajuu Member

    I've had a lot of problems with all my sidepull breaks as they got old and the spring kind of seized, i've been unable to reset it's position. Pain in the butt.

    Hope you have better luck :)