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


Side pull caliper brakes malfunctioning?
#1
I am attempting to replace the brakes on my bicycle, and I have a set of side-pull caliper brakes. When I took them apart, they worked just fine. But putting them back together, I cannot get them to function properly...the arms are both pulling up, and pulling the entire brake assembly to one side, instead of squeezing together as they should. What in the world is going on? I put it back together exactly the same way as I took it apart...it doesn't make sense!
  Reply
#2
(04-29-2015, 07:10 AM)Psylock1045 Wrote:  I am attempting to replace the brakes on my bicycle, and I have a set of side-pull caliper brakes. When I took them apart, they worked just fine. But putting them back together, I cannot get them to function properly...the arms are both pulling up, and pulling the entire brake assembly to one side, instead of squeezing together as they should. What in the world is going on? I put it back together exactly the same way as I took it apart...it doesn't make sense!

You may have them tightened them down too much?
"Where ever we go, there we are"
  Reply
#3
what kind of side pull caliper brakes?  Pictures are most helpful, brand and model are also useful.
Nigel
  Reply
#4
https://youtu.be/LKmgvt4aQqI

took a quick video of what issues I'm having. I thought I had it figured out but I still can't get them to work quite right. Stressing out because I need this bike ready to roll by Wednesday morning, and this is seriously causing a headache. Been working on these stupid brakes for at least 5 days.
  Reply
#5
Looks like you have several other issues with the bike besides the brakes.  

The rear wheel bearings need to be adjusted - should be taken apart, inspect the cups and cones, if good, pack with grease and replace the balls.  

There is a reason that single pivot side pull brakes are not used anymore except on the cheapest of bikes - they are not easy to keep working reliably.  Make sure that you have all the washers oriented in the correct direction so that the die roll does not cause one are or the other to hang up.  Make sure you are not missing a thin washer (maybe metal or plastic).  Do not over tighten.  Use a lubricant compatible with the materials used in the brake - this is important - a lubricant that degrades the plastic parts will result in a sticking brake.  Use only soap and water to clean the parts - solvents may degrade the plastic parts resulting in a sticking brake.
Nigel
  Reply
#6
(05-04-2015, 12:12 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  Looks like you have several other issues with the bike besides the brakes.  

The rear wheel bearings need to be adjusted - should be taken apart, inspect the cups and cones, if good, pack with grease and replace the balls.  

There is a reason that single pivot side pull brakes are not used anymore except on the cheapest of bikes - they are not easy to keep working reliably.  Make sure that you have all the washers oriented in the correct direction so that the die roll does not cause one are or the other to hang up.  Make sure you are not missing a thin washer (maybe metal or plastic).  Do not over tighten.  Use a lubricant compatible with the materials used in the brake - this is important - a lubricant that degrades the plastic parts will result in a sticking brake.  Use only soap and water to clean the parts - solvents may degrade the plastic parts resulting in a sticking brake.

yeah, I know I gotta get that taken care of, just don't have the time or funds at the moment. The bike will function fine for now and I'll get it worked on asap. As for the more problematic issue of the brakes, that is all just basic maintenance, any answer to getting them to work properly? I tried to fix them how I saw in a video tutorial, but they don't want to work for me like they did in the video. I can't seem to "center" them, and keep getting 1 arm doing more work than the other.
  Reply
#7
Pure speculation, but it could be that the whole caliper assembly is just off center. One way to fix this is to loosen the nut on the back that holds the caliper to the bike, center the caliper, and then retighten. The trick is that when you tighten the nut, it tends to twist the whole caliper around. One other technique is to put a flat screw driver tip against the spring on the caliper and give it a couple light taps with a hammer. Sometimes this will rotate the caliper to center.
  Reply


Possibly Related Threads...

Forum Jump:

[-]
10 Latest Posts
Chafing on the area where buttocks and t...
Today 02:39 PM
Riding in a foreign country?
Today 10:50 AM
Ever broken a bone in a bike crash?
Today 07:06 AM
Would you like a pizza after cycling?
Yesterday 05:04 AM
Triathletes disqualified after crossing ...
Yesterday 05:01 AM
Energy gels for cycling
01-24-2023 12:56 PM
Is the cycling belong aerobic or anaerob...
01-24-2023 04:01 AM
"New" 'Muddyfox' MTB - a wretched projec...
01-23-2023 01:04 PM
What should we pay attention to when cyc...
01-23-2023 05:15 AM
Is it cold where you are now?
01-23-2023 05:13 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. ReapThaWhirlwind
25 posts
no avatar 2. GirishH
22 posts
no avatar 3. enkei
15 posts
no avatar 4. ichitan
11 posts
no avatar 5. Sybian
10 posts