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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    tightening single pivot side pulls

    what's the best method to tighten the grip on a single pivot sidepull rear break?

    I find that I really have to squeeze the break hard before it starts clamping down.
    the problem I'm having with tightening this is everything I do to tighten it ends up pulling the break pads too close to the wheel (that it touches the wheel and causes drag).
    usually what happens is one side of the mechinism will get kinda slanted so one pad is closer to the wheel than the other.
    I can fix this by tightening the middle pin. But, it seems either It's on straight and a loose break grip. or slanted with a tighter break grip and probably some drag on the wheel.
    these are shimano side pull breaks breaks. I forget the model off the top of myy head but I think they might be the older 1000's? tightening single pivot side pulls-photo-2.jpgtightening single pivot side pulls-photo-1.jpg

  2. #2
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    Here is the method I like to use for single pivot brakes like you have there. Maybe it will work for you also.

    1- Set the cable adjuster to the max tightness (turn it so it comes up until the bottom of the adjuster has just a few threads left), verify the quick release on the caliper is pointing down
    2- Loosen the cable on the brake so it moves easily
    3- Squeeze the brake caliper together on the rim as tight as you can hold it by hand and then pull the cable as tight as you can get it
    4- Hold the caliper together and tighten the cable up nice and snug
    5- loosen the nut that holds the caliper to the frame, let the caliper align itself and then tighten the nut
    6- turn the adjuster from step one so that it loosens up the brake on the rim until it is where you like the feel on the brake lever

  3. #3
    wim
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    Keep in mind that you can't really "tighten" single-pivot brakes in the sense of the brake not moving if pushed left or right by your finger, an out-of-true rim or moved by a cable that's too short or too long. In other words, the entire unit can still move left or right no matter how tightly it's mounted to the frame.

    To center single-pivot brakes after installation, you need to move the spring retaining washer slightly left or right with a cone wrench as shown in the photo of an unmounted single-pivot brake.

    Before you do more work on your brake: turn the barrel adjuster in (down). It looks like it's barely holding on by just a couple of threads. And flip the quick-release lever down—that's the operating position. If you clamp the cable into its final position with that lever up, you lose the quick-relase function.
    Last edited by wim; 02-01-2013 at 02:35 PM.

  4. #4
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    A cruder & quicker way to center single pivot brakes to use a steel rod & hammer. Place rod on spring & tap with hammer. Direction moved will be apparent.

  5. #5
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by burkeqc View Post
    A cruder & quicker way to center single pivot brakes to use a steel rod & hammer. Place rod on spring & tap with hammer. Direction moved will be apparent.
    Cruder, yes. Quicker: not really. You never get it right on the first (or second or third) hammer tap. And that's not figuring the time it takes to find a suitable steel rod or an appropriate substitute. I admit, there are instances when the cone wrench can't be used. But it can on the OP's brakes.

  6. #6
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    Excelent bit about adjusting these brakes.

    Half way down is the adjustment for a brake that doesnt have a slot for adjusting with a flat 14 wrench. Its the oppisite side of the tool with the U shape with two nubs. Thos nubs go into the springs them selves and help you center the brake.

    I have used the hammer method on accasion, but on a nice set of brakes there are better adjustments.

  7. #7
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    I have had the suitable steel rod in my tool box for a about 40 years. Yes, it may take more than one tap. You have to be carefull.

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