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  1. #1
    Eff U Gee Em
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    painted rim-braking surface

    My upstairs neighbors moved out and left behind a bike they didn't want, so I'm fixing it up for my step-mother's grandkids. The bike looks like it's been ridden about twice, and is (was) missing a left crank arm and seatpost.

    The rims appear to be painted or powdercoated black, and when I first checked over the bike the brakes didn't seem to grab too well. Should I consider removing the paint, or just let the pads do their thing?

    Best way to remove paint? Wedge some sandpaper in there and ride around the neighborhood?

  2. #2
    Never trust a fart
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    Just hit them with some sandpaper to rough them up since it's not a machined brake track.

  3. #3
    Eff U Gee Em
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    Just sanded down the front rim on this bike, and the pads, then swapped out the pads for some old ones I had kicking around. Spinning the wheel by hand in the repair stand and I get nothing, this bike has zero stopping power. I've never seen anything like it. I'm going to try swapping the levers and brake arms tomorrow.

  4. #4
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    The pads may have hardened up. A fresh pair might help. The rim surface should'nt matter since most of them are smooth anyway. If you sand them then make sure ALL the dust and crap is cleaned off of the rim and pads also. The dust will make a barrier that will stop the braking force.

  5. #5
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    As suggested by Bataivah, the old pads could be hard. Pick up a set of either Kool Stops (preferred) or Aztecs (work surprisingly well). And try again

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc
    As suggested by Bataivah, the old pads could be hard. Pick up a set of either Kool Stops (preferred) or Aztecs (work surprisingly well). And try again
    Not to mention the fact that painting a rim is not a good idea in the first place with rim brakes. You will probably have to get ALL that paint off there before they will ever work properly. Every time you brake you'll rub some off and gunk up the pads.

  7. #7
    Never trust a fart
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    Your correct there. I've seen some rims that have been painted, (K-mart bikes, etc) and after a while the paint just wears off.

  8. #8
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    They must use one heck of a hard paint to not gunk up the pads. Rims are usually chrome or anodized most of the time. I wore the black anodizing off my old Schwinn
    rims but they have always worked great and still do. I still have the original pads on
    it and it's a 1991 Paramount!

  9. #9
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    Finally figured it out

    Kind of hard to describe, but here goes:

    the pivoting "bracket" that the brake noodle slots into on the brake arm is too long. Basically you run out of cable to pull before the pads hit the rim. It's not obvious unless you remove the rubber boot first; I thought the brake cable was hanging up in the noodle, so I swapped out the cable and housing, that's when I realized what was going on. The bracket is about an extra half-inch longer than the other brakes I had. This kraap should be outlawed. I've got some genuine Shimano brakes on order (since my extra set is all corroded up). I'm swapping out the plastic-bodied brake levers (alloy lever blades) with some full-alloy ones I have kicking around.

    The pads actually seem to be OK, I was able to squeeze the brake arms directly by hand (w/o the lever) and generate some stopping power- in the stand. Removing the paint off the rims wasn't too bad. I took the tires off and went at it with some medium grit sandpaper, wiped down the rims with a wet paper towel, then cleaned the brake track with isopropyl alcohol. They actually look pretty cool with the black spoke area and silver brake tracks, I thought it was gonna look horrible. Fortunately it's a very square rim so I was able to limit the paint removal to just the brake track.

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