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Grrr. I just don't get cantilever brakes.(14 posts)

Grrr. I just don't get cantilever brakes.Kristin
Aug 26, 2003 7:08 AM
I can't balance these brakes. I've turned the limit screw all the way in. I've turned it all the way out. Still my the left brake pad rests against the rim while the right one is no where near the rim. Turning the rear limit screws on the derailleur also seems to have no effect on the position of the pulleys. Is there a book titled, "Bike repair for dummies?" I may have to break down and take it to the shop for help, unless someone here can tell me what I'm doing wrong.
Try Park........Len J
Aug 26, 2003 7:11 AM
I'm not an expert but Park gives good advice:

http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/FAQindex.shtml#brakes

Len
re: Grrr. I just don't get cantilever brakes.Alpedhuez55
Aug 26, 2003 7:28 AM
If they are olf it is possible one of the srings is a little worn. You may be able to bend it out the other way a bit. What model brakes are they???
Just take it into a "good" local shop.MR_GRUMPY
Aug 26, 2003 7:33 AM
Just keep your receipt. If things aren't right a week or two or three later, just take it back for "free" adjustments.
Ps. It's not the limit screws that change the position of the rear derailleur. It's the adjuster where the rear housing enters the rear derailleur. (I hope that's what you meant)
It's time to try the hammer again :) nmdivve
Aug 26, 2003 7:58 AM
re: Grrr. I just don't get cantilever brakes.gtx
Aug 26, 2003 8:04 AM
You can try bending the spring back a bit. Also, there are three holes on the brake boss--you can reposition the spring. But yes, buy the Zinn book. btw, many beginning mechanics have a lot of trouble with cantis, so you're not alone.
re: Grrr. I just don't get cantilever brakes.txcross
Aug 26, 2003 8:09 AM
Here is a shot. On the post where the brakes mount to the fork/seatstays there should be three holes. On your cantilever brakes there should be a pin that can go into one of the three holes. First make sure you have both sides set up exaclty the same. If they are setup the same you may want to try switching the pin location.

I had the same problem on my cyclocross bike and moving the pins to a location where it put more spring tension fixed the problem.

Hope this helps.
here is a pictxcross
Aug 26, 2003 8:10 AM
That makes total sense!!Kristin
Aug 26, 2003 8:18 AM
I had the brake off the bike so the shop could rethread the cable mount for me. (My second victim...I must be very strong :) Anyway, I bet that's it. The bikes sitting in my car still, so I'll take a look at lunch.
derailuer limit screwsSteve_0
Aug 26, 2003 8:34 AM
are used to limit the range of travel by the deraileur; does not serve as positional adjustment.
I told you to get V's =) NMJervis
Aug 26, 2003 10:15 AM
re: Grrr. I just don't get cantilever brakes.IDH2
Aug 26, 2003 9:03 PM
Kristin - here's the best advice...take your bike in for service...I don't mean to be mean, but you really are confused and unless your willing to put in a lot of effort into learning how to make your own standard adjustments (brakes, derailleurs, headsets, bottom brackets, and hubs), it's probably best not to mess around with it. Really - you're talking limit screws and brake adjustments - derailleurs have limit screws and brakes have tension screws. As someone pointed out - limit screws establish the upper and lower end of the derailleur's movement through the cassette (r) and chainrings (f) and the tension screw on your brakes adjust the "return" or tension on the spring that returns your brake pad to its "off" position.

Anyway - if I'm interpreting your question well and your wanting to "balance" the brakes so they both hit the rim at the same time, one or more tension screws are probably what you will need to adjust - but since it sounds like you've been there, you may have a cracked spring housing...in that case, you'll need to replace them (done and sold as a pair) or you'll never get it right.

Just trying to help
Um. If you'd read my post carefully... :)Kristin
Aug 27, 2003 6:13 AM
I was talking about both the brakes and the rear derailleur limit screws. I do know the difference and am not as confused as you think--based on your obvious speed read of my post.
oh - sorry I misunderstood....IDH2
Aug 27, 2003 5:51 PM
you wrote:

"I can't balance these brakes. I've turned the limit screw all the way in. I've turned it all the way out. Still my the left brake pad rests against the rim while the right one is no where near the rim."

I wasn't trying to offend you or anything...really...what about that cracked spring housing idea? Are one or more of them split?