V brake question, spring tension?

GoatBeard

Regular
I've just set my front brakes to the tightest spring tension setting on the pivot. I like the positive tension rather than spongy spring. Got me thinking, though. What's the rationale behind the other settings? The middle one is spongy, the bottom one is totally limp. Can someone school me a bit.
 

Ajax Bay

Veteran
Location
East Devon
The option of three settings on each side is to increase the ability of the rider/maintainer to 'balance' the brakes: pads close on both sides before the brakes are applied, and simultaneous contact between pads and rim on both sides when the lever is squeezed.
 

Ajax Bay

Veteran
Location
East Devon
Sheldon (about half way down)
Spring Adjustment

"If your wheels are centered, and your brakes are not, and, if the pivots are properly lubricated and free-moving, the brake shoes should be centered. If they are not, you probably need to adjust the spring tension on one or both of the cantilevers.

"Some brake bosses have more than one hole for the end of the spring, to allow a rough adjustment of spring tension. Generally, the hole which provides more tension should be used with a narrower rim. Make sure that both brake arms use matching holes. [Edit: Comment: My experience is that there are other aspects in play so the 'matching' thing is a start point: the end point is getting each brake pad an equidistance from its rim and enough spring tension to move them away when the tension on the cable is released.]

"Most direct-pull cantilevers have a fine adjustment for spring tension. The adjustment will be a small screw [ @figbat ] with the head facing outward to the side of the bike. The screw is generally located near the bottom of the cantilever, below the pivot point. Sometimes it works with a Phillips screwdriver; other times, a small Allen wrench may be needed."
 
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FrankCrank

Professional layabout
An adjustment screw fell out on one of my bikes brakes recently. I removed the other screw also. I then bent the springs till they were both in balance. Think of the weight saving now of not having those two little screws, serendipity is marvelous at times ^_^
 
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