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Sticking Caliper Brake

cjecje Posts: 148
edited May 2012 in Workshop

I'm having trouble with my rear brake. When I release the brake lever, the pads do not return to their original position. So they rub on the rim, causing untold misery, despair and reduced speed.

I have tried the following:

Taking the brake apart, cleaning and lubing it.
Adjusting the cable tension
Adjusting the spring tension

After fiddling with the cable tension last night, I managed to get it working. Eureka! I thought. Then I arrived home tonight and tried it again to find the pads sticking once more

Is there anything else I should try before buying a whole new caliper? My bike has only done 800-1000 miles.




  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Fear not, 'tis a common problem and usually ultimately solved with a new brake cable IME. Why not try undoing the cable and see if the brakes spring back into position when you compress them by hand? If so, the problem lies upstream (so to speak) so you can forget about the brakes themselves.

    You can then try removing the brake cable completely, cleaning with a cloth and then relubing with some light oil (not grease or waxy lube), refitting and see how you get on. Failing that, just remove/clean/replace the last bit of the cable at the small piece of cable outer at the tail of the bike as that is where the problem often is due to muck getting in. Sometimes the removal/replacement is a bit unlucky and the end frays too much, necessitating a new cable anyway but there you go. If it all sounds extreme then chill as it is only a 5 minute job and cable is fairly cheap.

    As part of routine maintenance I periodically invert the bike and dribble a bit of oil into the hole where the brake cable emerges and also into the cable outer, press the brake a few times to work it in and then clean off any excess. same at the bar end.

    Always worth having the odd spare brake/gear cable in the house and the best cable cutters you can afford.
  • cjecje Posts: 148
    Thanks for that mate. I'll give it a whirl tonight or in the morning and see if it solves the problem.
  • cjecje Posts: 148
    Problem solved! Removed the cable, as suggested, and the movement of the brake was fine. Wiggled the cable about in the housing, and a load of dirt and censored came out. Sprayed a bit of GT85 down it, cleaned and lubed the cable and now it all works perfectly.

    I've spent about two hours in total on this problem, to no avail, and it was as simple as a bit of muck in the cable housing.

    Thank you for your help - I'm now looking forward to my weekend 50 miler, whereas before I was sitting feeling sorry for myself.
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