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My v-brakes suck

goldfinch2012-04-15 16:22:38 +0000 #1
I thought about hijacking Harmame's thread, but I was good and am starting my own. I can't stand the v-brakes on my Cannondale Quick. They always are going out of adjustment and most of all, refuse to stay centered for very long after the spring tension is adjusted. A few days ago I had a mushy rear brake so I was going to go through the adjustment routine. I saw that the cable was broken off right at the brake and I no longer had enough cable to adjust the brakes, as the barrel adjuster already was at its maximum. I ended up having to pay to have it fixed. I guess that is fine, that is how the LBS makes money. Anyway, are all v-brakes kind of a pain or are mine just too cheap? I've always been a bit unhappy with the components on my Quick4, which are not exactly the best. I do like the bike though and I ride it a lot, currently more than my road bike because of where I am staying. Anything I can do to make it better?
radacrider2012-04-15 16:37:58 +0000 #2
Did whoever fixed your brakes figure out why the cable broke? If it was at the brake arm, did they check for a rough edge where the bolt clamps onto the cable?

If that is okay, I suspect a lower quality cable and probably the replacement is better.
laura*2012-04-15 16:37:17 +0000 #3
Quote:

Originally Posted by goldfinch

They always are going out of adjustment and most of all, refuse to stay centered for very long after the spring tension is adjusted. ... Anyway, are all v-brakes kind of a pain or are mine just too cheap?

Several possible causes of the problem:

1) If the cable housing is too short, it might be putting a side load on the brake arms thus pushing them off center.

2) I once traced a sticky brake arm to a damaged retaining washer. The washer was made of a soft metal that had gotten deformed when the attaching bolt was firmly tightened. This meant that the bolt was squeezing the brake arm too much for it to move easily.

3) Cheap v-brakes aren't made to high tolerances. Such brake arms may turn sideways, wedging themselves against the mounting bolt, and then not retracting properly.
goldfinch2012-04-15 17:09:33 +0000 #4
Thanks Laura and rad. I hope with the new cable it is better. I'll do a careful look through on the whole system myself and if I still have problems I'll mention Laura's ideas to the LBS.

No idea why the cable broke off. The LBS said "it happens."

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