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V-Brake Has Very Little Play
#1
I have a problem with adjusting a set of v-brakes. What I'm noticing is that the side the noodle hooks into hits against the side of the tire quickly, especially when I give the cable a lot of play. In other words, when the noodle is off, I don't have to push the arm very far before it strikes the tire. and the brake arms aren't parallel with the tire. That's the main issue, I can't seem to get the brakes to adjust properly so they don't rub the wheels. So I think I have another problem going.

The tire appears to be centered in the frame, though I can't say it's centered with the brake arms, so I wonder if this is it? Also, if I were to remove the brake pad entirely (and I did, that's how I found this problem), I notice it has a lot of play in the bracket where the mounting bolt and spring tension screw is. I see it wiggle a little bit along with the assembly the spring tension screw is in.

So, any thoughts on this? If it is a different problem like the bracket, is there any good guidance on fixing that? Thanks.

Photo added. Brake pad on the left side is pushing against the wheel rim.
[attachment=4110]
Why is it that they make adult bikes that'll generally work for 5'9" or above, yet when you pedal these same bikes they only work for someone who is 5'4" or so?
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#2
List of things to do/check:
1. verify that the springs for each side are not broken (rare, but does happen).
2. on most bikes, there are three holes on each side that the springs can go into, verify that both sides are in the same hole position.
3. with the noodle out of the brake, adjust the spring tension on both sides so that they are about the same force when the pads are against the rim. At this step, I tend to increase the tension of the side that has lower force.
4. re-install noodle.
5. tweak spring adjustment so that the force is balanced side to side, and the arms both move about the same distance off the rim. At this step, I tend to loosen the tension on the side that has the higher force.
Nigel
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#3
+1 to nfmisso's advice.
To be clear on #3, you adjust the spring tension with the small screw that stick out of either brake arm down near the bottom.

One other thing, I can't be sure from the picture, but it looks to me like you may have put the brake pads on with too many washers on the inside of the brake arm and not enough on the outside. There's often a pair that goes on each side with a convex washer fitting into a concave one so you can angle the pad. This could also make the brakes harder to adjust.
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#4
Very good advice from nfmisso. I don't know if it's just my eyes playing tricks but it looks like your wheel might not be in the frame straight?
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#5
(04-29-2013, 03:45 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  List of things to do/check:
2. on most bikes, there are three holes on each side that the springs can go into, verify that both sides are in the same hole position.

Seems to be solved now. Removed both of the brake arms to inspect them. Verified #2, but noticed again the spring was loose on the left side. Still had "spring" in it though when I pushed it in.

Anyhow, the cable was improperly tensioned with the brake arms and the left side's spring tension needed a ton of adjustment to compensate for the looseness.

A side question: By #1 I gather that they can and do break. Do they wear out as well? What kind of parts are there for this? Or do you have to replace the whole brake arm?
Why is it that they make adult bikes that'll generally work for 5'9" or above, yet when you pedal these same bikes they only work for someone who is 5'4" or so?
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#6
(04-29-2013, 11:48 PM)Skyguy9999 Wrote:  ........
A side question: By #1 I gather that they can and do break. Do they wear out as well? What kind of parts are there for this? Or do you have to replace the whole brake arm?

The better brakes (Tektro, Avid, etc) come with better springs that will last pretty much forever. And they whole brake assembly is not very expensive. Lower end ones aren't worth dealing with, and parts are not available.
Nigel
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