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Man, do I feel stupid.(10 posts)

Man, do I feel stupid.BQ
Jun 13, 2001 7:57 AM
I decided to get in a quick 20 miles this morning -- I'm usually an evening rider, but the bike was calling me. Anyhow, I headed out without eating and hit the road. Gradually the ride got to be more and more difficult, and I started thinking "guess I should have at least had some OJ and a bagel". At the end of the 20 miles, I was struggling to do even 12 mph.

I pulled into my driveway, opened the garage door, and as I started to roll my bike into the garage, I could hear the rear wheel dragging across the concrete. I tried to spin the rear wheel by hand -- no movement. The brake cable had stretched or something 'cuz the brake was locked down tight. Doh!

This bike is new, about 325 miles on it, and as a rule, I do check the wheels, brakes and tires before each ride. How much more cable stretch should I expect? Is this a normal phenomenon? Any tips on how to prevent this in the future?

Now, if you'll pardon me, I'm exhausted. I think I'll take a nap.
Not cable stretchCima Coppi
Jun 13, 2001 8:03 AM
If the brake cable stretched, the brake would not touch the wheel at all. Quite the opposite in fact, the brake calipers would be farther from the rim.

Check the internal spring in the caliper that forces them apart when you are not applying the brakes. Also check that the cable is not seized in the housing. A good cable lubrication may be in order. Good Luck!!
That couldn't be stretch; the springs are loaded to keep thebill
Jun 13, 2001 8:17 AM
calipers open. Stretch would go the other way. I guess something could have moved, and I definitely would check all of the bolts, etc. Are you sure that the calipers were closed bilaterally? This happened to me once (don't we both feel stupid?), and what had happened was that the wheel was set unevenly between the stays, causing one of the calipers to rub. I think that I went 24 miles like that, wondering, like you, what possibly could have caused such awful noodle leg.
It might not be the brake...Greg Taylor
Jun 13, 2001 8:59 AM
Check to see if you didn't pull the wheel out of the dropouts. It could be canted over and rubbing.

If it is the brake, something has siezed in the "on" position. Is a cable housing crimped? Are the cables fully seated in the stops and adjusters? Does the brake lever fully return to the top of its travel? Are the pads rubbing a tire?
Dropouts/skewersMass Biker
Jun 13, 2001 9:07 AM
With 325 miles on it, the brake cables should be stretched out enough. My guess is that the wheel shifted in the dropouts when under load (i.e. muscling the bike out of the saddle in a big gear)and as a result, the tire is either rubbing the chainstay or the rim is rubbing the brake pad. The problem could be misaligned chainstays (unlikely if the bike is new) or a quick release skewer that is not clamping down tight enough (either because it lacks clamping power or because it is clamping down on a too-smooth surface, i.e. chromed dropouts).
My 2 cents...FWIWLen J
Jun 13, 2001 9:26 AM
1.)Brake streach would have opposite effect.
2.)Check micro adjustment on brake, may have turned it inadvertantly.
3.)Check to see if Brakes were set up with Brake "Quick Release" Open. I have seen LBS do this inadvertantly, when you close it Brakes tighten against Rim.
4.)Corroded & locked up cables. Need to lubricate. You can check this by seeing if there is play in the Brake grip. Also check this by releasing cable from brake
5.)Out of true wheel. This would lock against the Brake on only one side.
6.)Wheel moved within Dropouts. Again If brakes adjusted correctly, this would only rub on on side of rim. However it could grip tire on both sides.
7.)Seized Brake spring. See if you can pull it apart by Hand (after releasing Cable).

Good Luck (Some Consolation: It was a great workout)

BTW this happened to me due to misadjustment by LBS. Ever since, the first thing I do before riding and after rest stops is pick my bike up and hand spin the wheels to ensure that nothing is binding. It's hard enough to ride long distance without built in resistance.
re: Man, do I feel stupid.Spiderman
Jun 13, 2001 10:03 AM
also check that the cable didnt detach from the caliper. Check under the screw that holds the cable down, idon't know the name for it.
Migrating brake leversGregJ
Jun 13, 2001 5:46 PM
Check that the brake and shifter levers have not moved slightly on the bars. The brake cable housing is usually firmly taped to the bars then wrapped with handlebar tape. If the lever migrates this will effectively take up slack in the brakes as the housing stays firm. If this is the problem you can unwrap the bars, reposition the lever and tighten it firmly, then reseat the cable housing into the lever.
Thanks for the input, everyone.BQ
Jun 13, 2001 6:35 PM
It looks like this will remain a mystery. When I checked the bike this evening, the wheel turned just fine. I suspect that when I adjusted the cable last week, I left it too loose and that let the cable wander where no good brake cable should go. I adjusted it again tonight. It'll either work, or I'll be in for one heck of a work out again tomorrow morning!
Been there. Done that!Live Steam
Jun 13, 2001 8:10 PM
I road the Saturday morning regular with my front caliper off center and rubbing the rim. I felt like I was 70 miles into a 35 mile loop. I didn't realize what was up until I was nearly bonking. Yes I did feel pretty dumb. ;-)