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Adjusting Linear Pull Brakes(4 posts)

Adjusting Linear Pull Brakesgrettman
Apr 12, 2003 5:14 AM
I just bought my wife a 7700FX hybrid type bike and it has linear pull brakes. I have never had to adjust these before. They were fine when we were at the shop and now after removing the front week to get it home, I put it back on the bike and the pads rub against the rim. Do you know of any good web sites that cover various bike maintenance tips or do you know how to fix this problem?
Try this first.Spoke Wrench
Apr 12, 2003 5:27 AM
Stand the bike up on it's own wheels. Now reach down, loosen and retighten the quick release. 99% of the time, that will solve your problem. The most common cause for the problem you mention is that the wheel isn't square in the dropouts.

Park Tool has an on line bike maintenance manual that is always available, convenient to use, and as good as any.
They're very easy to work on...girchygirchy
Apr 12, 2003 9:28 AM
I've used and adjusted side-pull, cantilever, linear pull (V-brakes) and discs, and linear pulls are by far the easiest rim brakes to adjust. The first part is to adjust the cable at the brake end, spreading the two arms far enough apart so the pads don't rub the rim, but close enough to where you don't have to pull the lever to the bars to get power. You can use the adjusting barrel on the brake lever to fine-tune this. Next, you play with the spring tension screws to get both pads to touch the rim at the same time. Here are some more details for your problem:

If the pads are rubbing on only one side, which is usually the case, the fix is to adjust the spring tension screws on the brake arms. On the lower part of the arm, where it attaches to the brake boss, you'll see a little phillips head screw. Turn it different ways and watch how both arms will move from side to side, then you can get the two arms centred. You might have to adjust both sides for the best feel.

Sometimes if you adjust the tension screws to be too loose, the tension won't be high enough to pull the lever slack, resulting in sloppy, mushy brakes. So if you get them adjusted for your rim but the lever's loose, just tighten both tension screws the same amount.

If both are rubbing, use the barrel adjuster on the brake lever to let out some slack. If that doesn't go far enough, loosen the cable pinch bolt on the brake arm and spread the two arms further apart.

Don't worry about messing something up, especially with the tension screws. I was scared the first time I messed with them, but you can't really mess them up. The more you work with them, the more used to it you'll get, and the better you can adjust them.

For pictures, go here:

Good luck! Post again or email me if you have any other questions about the brakes.

Try Spoke Wrench's idea first though, BTW :) nmgirchygirchy
Apr 12, 2003 9:32 AM