Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Brake Dancing

First of all, sorry about that title. What a dreadful pun.

A few years ago somebody gave me a bike. Specifically, a Peugeot road bike. I don't know the reputation or status of Peugeot bikes. This one has a "Made in France" sticker on the top tube, which could be considered a conversation starter. But it's got really cheap components.

I'm no mechanic – but even I can tell that. So it's my guinea pig bike.

The other day I continued my experiments in bike mechanics. I put the bike into my new-used bike stand – another item somebody gave to me! – and began taking apart the rear brake. In this first photo, the procedure has already begun with the removal of the brake cable and the center-pivoting nut that attaches the thing to the bike.

Next, I have removed one of the brake calipers. The picture is a bit fuzzy – auto-focus is not infallible! (I took pictures because I thought I might mess up the job, and wanted a step-by-step record, in case I needed a reference when I re-assembled everything.)

In the picture at right I have removed the other brake caliper. Behind it are the springs which push the two calipers back into position. You may not be able to tell in this picture, but when you remove it – it just lifts right out – this spring unit resembles those old-fashioned pincher eyeglasses.

At left, the spring has been removed. Perhaps you can make out the slot that holds the spring in place. It's on that circular thing. Right behind it is a bracket that holds a reflector (just visible). At this point, the brake disassembly is nearly complete.

Photo at right: same as before, different angle. When I put the brake back together I wavered about putting the reflector back on. Since my daughter is the one most likely to ride this bike, I did.

In the center of the above-right picture is a nut. I unscrewed it. And then, as you can see below, the remaining screw slid right out of that mounting hole. At that point I cleaned the entire area (using diluted Simple Green and a rag), congratulated myself, and began putting it all back together. I did indeed need the photos as a reference in places. But I got it all back together and it works.

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