Have questions or want to discuss cycling? Join Now or Sign In to participate in the BikeRide community.

New: Take Part in the June Giveaway to Win the Kazam Buddi 20" Aluminum Trailer Bike

One side of V brake doesn't spring back
I had one of the springs break on my V brakes a few days ago, and couldn't find a replacement so I bought a $2 spring at the hardware store and put it between the two brake arms to push them apart. It was a #49 general-purpose spring, and I put it around the brake cable between. I disconnected the cable from one of the brake arms, and just slid the spring over the cable. Despite what it looks like in the picture, the spring is nowhere near the tire.

[Image: vbrake_fix.jpg]

I had to remove both of the original springs in the arms, since the still-working one would otherwise pull that pad away from the wheel, and thus cause the pad on the other side to be pulled slightly against it. Even after that, the brake cable pushed the brakes slightly to one side so that one of the pads very lightly touched the wheel rim. I solved this by making a stop so that the arm on one side couldn't move more than a fraction of an inch away from the wheel rim, so that the spring would then force the other arm away from the wheel as well.

It's ridiculous that one can't buy replacement springs, since this is what clearly wears out over the years. No way was I going to spend $20 or more on a new set of brakes, and all the problems installing them, when is just a simple spring that needs to be replaced.
It's quite an ingenious bodge, but if you're not worried about the front and rear matching you could probably find a cheap single V-brake for under $10.00.

Have a look on Ebay, you might even find a decent used set for not much more than you paid for the spring.
(08-08-2010, 06:03 PM)blargg Wrote:  It's ridiculous that one can't buy replacement springs, since this is what clearly wears out over the years. No way was I going to spend $20 or more on a new set of brakes, and all the problems installing them, when is just a simple spring that needs to be replaced.

And that is EXACTLY how the companies make money.

Just like Microsoft engineered Windows to make hard drives obsolete quicker, the brake companies COULD make a stronger spring to last the ages. But why? They can save a couple cents, and force you to buy new brakes, because, wonder of all wonders, replacement springs aren't available.
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
I don't care that it wears out, since no spring will last forever; it's that there doesn't seem to be any place to buy a replacement spring. I don't attribute it to malice on the manufacturer, though; I think it's more likely that hardly anyone would replace the spring, since it requires actually examining the brakes and thinking. Even if the manufacturer didn't make replacements, some third-party could. I tried to bend the broken spring's end, but that metal is almost impossible to bend with normal tools.

Another frustrating thing was that I went to the local bicycle shop (Ozone, in Austin, Texas) and one of the mechanics looked at them and said they were some custom OEM type when I asked what they were called. He never called them "V brakes" (or "direct pull brakes"). I'm going to try the other nearby University Cycle Shop, in case they have one for a reasonable price.
Hi ppl I'd like to share my experience and how I overcame with it. I gave my Lumala Platina Supreme to a guy who fixes bikes just to give her a full service and he ended up ruining up my newly bought 3 month old bike. he even broke my rear derailer and was really upset. I soon realised that he has even meddled with my vbrakes and the alignment was a nightmare. Every time I brake the rear brake left side got locked and leaned towards the cable side. It was almost the same with front but wasn't that severe, plus both front and rear brakes were squeaking like crazy even at slow speeds.

I even realised that the Cable Lock's key was stuck to the key hole and couldn't get it out.

I made up my mind not to get mad and get the bike fixed by myself as a long weekend was coming for me to do a road trip. I also felt that I made up my mind never to give my bike to a "idiot-skilled" bike mechanic.

Before doing anything Wash your bike well. Use any cheap hair shampoo in a very diluted concentration to remove only mud and wash thoroughly. Nicely wipe the bike let it dry well and use a hair dryer on corners to dry fast.

Apply Kerosine on rusty oily joints to remove grease that is solidified with dust/mud. Kerosine wipes out all dirt but make sure it doesn't make contact with painted surfaces for a long time for it's a slow solvent on paints. If it did just wipe it with a clean cloth. Clean the part of the cable where the noodle is and check for rust marks. If you see rust time to replace the cable Smile

so here goes

1) So first What I did was checking the gap between the rim and the pads. use a used credit card and see if it perfectly fits between If not slowly push the brake arms opposite to the cable noodle direction

2) Gently let go and apply brakes while observing if both arms are moving even. If both arms lean towards the cable direction then you should,

2. a) gently reach your arms towards the spring and feel the pressure on both ways individually.

2. b) Focus on the one that feels tight and loosen the screw, and do the opposite other side. This takes patience. Apply the brakes and check during calibration.

3) If step 2 didn't work check the cable tension and do the basic procedure for cable tension adjustment, loosen the pads and see if there is some mud/dirt/rim deformations.

I soon realised my trouble maker in the bike. It was the Car Wash Shampoo used by the genius. It tends to solidify and turn into a powder form. It sorta solidified when dries on small gaps and when I applied Kerosine it nicely liquified it. This shampoo was so bad that it was the reason why my cable lock was stuck and even my aliment screws were stuck thanks to them. Kerosine was my savior Smile
I was having the same issue and had to step away and rethink troubleshooting.
Ok so I have a Schwinn Prelude and it has the Promax v break front and rear. The front works fine but the rear doesn't spring back all the way on one side and not at all on the other.
Thinking like everyone else I assumed it was the break, I took it all apart cleaned it, took care of rough edges, and even put a little white lithium grease on the parts that move or contact each other. After all this no change.
So after wondering what I did wrong I decided to go step by step to see if I could identify the "trouble area".
Step one: pull the break and release
First check: did the hand lever go all the way down and back to starting position.
BAM!!!!! No it didn't, so I checked and it seems the break wire wasn't returning back to it's start position.
Step two: can I get the wire back to start position
Yes I could if I pulled on an exposed part past the hand lever, this in turn reset the break back to its fully open position.

How I fixed it: I sprayed a crap load of WD-40 into the hand lever where the wire was, I made sure it let the WD-40 into the protective cover for the wire. Then I angled the bike so I could spray WD-40 into the other end of the wire cover.
I worked the breaks for a couple minutes by pulling the lever then resetting it by pulling the wire by hand. After doing this I can now pull the hand lever and the break will get applied and in turn reset back to the correct position.

So my conclusion is that the break problem wasn't with my actual break but the fact that inside the wire protection it was dirty and clogged up and didn't give free movement for the wire. Once I got that cleaned out it now works without a problem. I have now sprayed all my lines and even my gears are working smoother now as well.

I hope this helps someone, I'm not an expert and it's been many years since I had worked on bikes but it came back pretty fast.
I'm also new here and this is my first post. Smile
Make sure the brake line is not being pinched somewhere along its length (I pinched mine at the shifter!).
(04-02-2009, 11:50 AM)awmeat Wrote:  As cyclerUK mentioned, both arms should move and spring back freely when the brake cable is released. If not, often times when the brakes are first installed on the frame the assembler may get a little aggro and tighten the brake arm on too hard. There is a little washer just underneath the brake post bolt (the bolt that holds the brake arm onto the post). It may get pinched and develop a groove on it that causes the brake arm to catch and get sticky. Just take the bolt all the way off, take off the washer (you may need to use something to knock the washer free, straight bladed screwdriver should do), reverse it and tighten it all down carefully again. Should swing freely. Cheers!

I tried everything that I could think of but just could not get the one side of the rear brake to spring back completely. Then I read your post. As soon as I loosened the bolt on the problem brake just a little, it immediately sprang back to where it should be. Thanks for the idea.
Another trick is to increase the sprin tension by bending it outwards a little bit. Pop it out from behind the retaining tab. Hold the bottom of the spring and tweak the spring away from the bike. Do not deform the spring, just give it a little extra bend. Replace spring behind the tab and actuate the brake a few times to check brake pad clearance. You may have to do this a couple of times to get the correct spacing.

Possibly Related Threads...

Forum Jump:

10 Latest Posts
How to keep your bicycle safe?
Yesterday 03:20 PM
1998 Cannondale H300 Hybrid
Yesterday 03:16 PM
1994 Trek 730
Yesterday 03:15 PM
Would you use WD-40 for cleaning and/or ...
Yesterday 03:14 PM
Freehub pawls or ratchet : Grease or oil...
Yesterday 03:07 PM
Community Discussion Cycling Myths
Yesterday 03:01 PM
Sora, shift gear cable stuck (wrongly in...
Yesterday 12:12 PM
Man on e-bicycle, Fire, pregnant woman!
Yesterday 09:15 AM
Failure to stop at stop sign means $500 ...
Yesterday 09:11 AM
The HELMET Thread
Yesterday 09:09 AM

Join BikeRide on Strava
Feel free to join if you are on Strava: www.strava.com/clubs/bikeridecom

Top 5 Posters This Month
no avatar 1. Jesper
30 posts
no avatar 2. Flowrider
22 posts
no avatar 3. meamoantonio
21 posts
no avatar 4. GirishH
18 posts
no avatar 5. enkei
16 posts