Issues with one side of V brakes not springing back

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by MikeJD, 13 Mar 2018.

  1. MikeJD

    MikeJD Regular

    Hi all,

    I've got an issue with my V brakes that's kept my bike off the road for a while now, I thought as a last measure before heading to the repair shop I'd post my problem up here and seek some assistance.

    Here's a video of the problem: https://streamable.com/x7tmo

    In brief one side of my front V brake doesn't return as it should do. I've taken the brake apart (removed them from the frame), but still when reassembled the problem persists.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Location:
    Chandler's Ford
    Unhook the cable and check that arm pivots freely.
    If no, the mounting pivot needs greasing.
    If yes, reconnect the cable and look for the small adjusting screw on each arm - usually one of those hybrid heads that takes either a flat head or a Philips cross-head.
    Wind that in (clockwise) on the side that is not springing back.
    Go half a turn at a time until the spring back one each side is balanced.
    Still no worky? - Possibly cable replacement may help.
     
    Ajax Bay, raleighnut and Milkfloat like this.
  3. OP
    OP
    MikeJD

    MikeJD Regular

    What would be appropriate to use to grease the mounting pivot?

    I probably should of mentioned, I've tried the above to no prevail. When the cable is unhooked the arm springs back as expected, and turning the adjustment screw does nothing to stop the 'sticking'.

    I'll go through those steps again, and if there's still no change I'll have to look into replacing the cable.

    Thanks
     
  4. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    Location:
    On 3 Wheels
    I use copaslip on the V-brake pivots.

    As for tightening the screw on the 'sticky' side you can loosen the one on the other arm too.
     
    C R likes this.
  5. glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Bang on!

    Everything you need to know is covered here:
    https://www.sheldonbrown.com/canti-direct.html
     
    Ajax Bay likes this.
  6. C R

    C R Senior Member

    Location:
    Worcester
    This, I had a similar problem, and the reason turned out to be that the adjusting screw in the other side was too far in, and not letting the other arm going back.
     
    raleighnut likes this.
  7. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    Location:
    East Devon
    In addition to the adjusting screw advice (and possibly renewed cable) above, also there are (maybe) three holes behind the braze on which the end of the spring goes into. Normally set up in the middle one. Engage the spring end in the hole that will give greater spring effect (on the side you want) or a lesser spring effect on the side you want to 'give' a bit.
     
    raleighnut and C R like this.
  8. OP
    OP
    MikeJD

    MikeJD Regular

    Thanks for the help guys, I re-tried the steps mentioned above and after initially thinking it was fixed, I pressed the brake hard and the problem reoccured.

    I'm gonna stump up the cash and pay for a brake service at Halfords (includes replacement cables). Hopefully that'll get everything back in working order and allow me to get out on the road.

    Thanks again.
     
  9. Ajax Bay

    Ajax Bay Veteran

    Location:
    East Devon
    Grease.
    If you have a local bike shop (LBS) I suggest you go there. The brake cables will not need replacing (from what you've said).
     
  10. C R

    C R Senior Member

    Location:
    Worcester
    One thing to keep in mind when adjusting the set screws is that the effect of the adjustment is not necessarily apparent until you press the lever. So the process normally is you adjust the screw a bit, press the lever hard and release, and see where then arms are, then readjust and repeat the lever press as needed, until you get the two arms symmetric around the rim.

    ETA, you may also have a sticky liner in the noodle, that happened to me recently.
     
  11. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    Location:
    On 3 Wheels
    Is there a ridge on the pad ?
     
    burntoutbanger likes this.
  12. queasyrider

    queasyrider Still perplexed

    When all the usual steps have failed I have tried bending the metal spring tensioner on the rear of the brake arm that is not moving to increase the tension. It usually works, (although not all V-brakes have these external springs).
     
    overmind and C R like this.
  13. Serge

    Serge Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Nuneaton
    As a chef, I have to agree: sticky noodles can be a problem.
     
    C R likes this.
  14. Kernowdreamer

    Kernowdreamer Regular

    Location:
    southampton
    Check the brake pad has worn evenly. if it was not straight or overhung the inner edge of the rim the pad can form a shelf of unworn material that gets trapped under the rim and stops the arm from returning.
    Also if your brake arm adjusters are held in a plastic carrier the adjuster screw can damage the thread hole in the plastic and turning the screw has little or no effect. A replacement brake is the only alternative.
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2018
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