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V Brake tension problem
I've just joined the forum and am hoping someone can give me some advice and save the remaining hair I have from being pulled out.
I have an old Raleigh mountain bike that I have given to my son, but before I did I attempted to upgrade it a little.
I have fitted new brake levers, cables and V brakes (All Clarks brand), yet I cannot get any tension in the rear brake. I have fitted the v brake and used the location hole (choice of 3) that gives the most springiness, but no joy.
I set it all up and pull the lever, but the lever will not return to its original position on its own? I have also tried puling the cable tighter at the v brake end to the extent that there is only a small amount of cable visible between the two arms and as a result little movement in the arms.

Is it faulty or am I doing something wrong

Hair is a precious thing, something one should endeavor to maintain. (Sorry, I believe that it's
endeavour to you).
Compare the front brake arms to the rears & make sure the stiff wire spring arm is hooked correctly on the rear arms.
Unhook the the noodle from the brake arm so the arms pop apart.
With the spring in the center (centre to you) position:
1) Do you have "springiness" in both brake arms? If you squeeze the arms together, (simulating the brakes being applied) then suddenly let go, do they spring apart, all the way apart. in a reasonably vigorous fashion?
If they do, which I think they will, grip the brake cable (with the brake noodle still released) with your fingertips and work the brake lever. Is it difficult to return the brake lever from the cable end? You may have kinked the cable somewhere or done too tight of a turn.
Another test is to disconnect the cable at both ends and pull it back & forth with your fingertips, it should move fairly freely.

2) Did you cut the new brake cable & housing?
If you did you may have neglected to finish the housing properly after the cut, resulting in friction.
If you didn't, you may have an unacceptable amount of excess length which is curved in a manner resulting in excessive friction.

I'm sure you didn't, but please check that your brake lever purchase wasn't suited to the cantilever type, rather than the v-brake or linear pull type of brake.

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