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  1. #1
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    Mechanical Disc Brakes

    My mountain bike has mechanical disc brakes. It appears that the pads are good, and I've cleaned them lightly with some fine sandpaper. I've adjust them, but still the rear brake barely slows me down. You can pull the lever as hard as you wish...you won't hit the handle bars but neither will the brakes grab any better.

    Kind of at a loss. Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    They all have a dial on the inside of the caliper, like the size of a quarter or something, try giving that a half turn in, shouldn't need much. It brings the inside pad a little closer so you can adjust it as the pad wears. Every mech brake I've dealt with has it. If you leave this alone then the pad will wear enough that you'll be pretty much only braking with the outside pad and it will not lock the wheel, sounds like what you are experiencing.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Kevin. My Tektro system does not have an adjustment wheel, but there is an adjustment screw that I understand takes an allen key...but so far I have not been able to adjust it as the allen key just pops out when I try to turn it.

    I did manage to adjust the stationary pad by readjusting the whole unit, it took out the rubbing, but maybe I got it too far. Will check it out when I get a chance.

  4. #4
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    There has to be a way to adjust for pad wear. Post a pic or model #?

  5. #5
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    I've tried to post two pics...one trying to let you see what type/which brake system I have...and the other of the adjustment screw on the fixed side. I have not been able to adjust the screw...every time I try the allen key slips out. There may be a little pin in it, so not sure if it is a regular allen key. Could that be? (Hope the pics attach) Mechanical Disc Brakes-brake-name.jpg

  6. #6
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    OK, seems only one pic posted...I think. Here is the other. (I hope.)Mechanical Disc Brakes-adjusting-screw.jpg

  7. #7
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    That bottom bolt has got to be it, looks a bit stripped, make sure you have the right key (looks like a 5mm, you're not using imperial Allen keys are you?) and hold it in tight while you try to adjust it

  8. #8
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    Double checked my key...it is a 5mm. Not able to work on bike tonight, but will give it another try asap.

  9. #9
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    I'm almost never the guy to advocate just throwing money at a bike, but in this case:

    Just buy new, decent brakes.

    two BB7 calipers, plus two rotors can be found on Amazon for $70 total, shipped.
    Amazon.com : AVID MTB BB7 Mechanical Disc Brake Front and Rear 160mm G3 : Bike Brakes : Sports & Outdoors

    I went down exactly the same path you're about to on my commuter/cyclocross bike. It had cheap tektros that didn't work, I bought new cables, cleaned the rotors, barbecued the pads, sanded the pads and rotors, nothing helped... I eventually bought new pads and chinese knock-off Avid HS1 Rotors. It fixed the problem... for about $50, and it lasted about 6 weeks. I still can't figure out what happened and why they didn't stay fixed.

    I sacked up, bought BB7 road calipers and discs and a year later have done nothing but occasional minor truing of the disc. And I can lock the front wheel on pavement. on a road bike.

    Edit: don't skimp and save the $15 to get BB5s instead. the pad adjustment is a PITA, BB7s is almost stupid easy. Well worth the small price increase.

  10. #10
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    Out of curiosity...was the first picture taken with the brake lever pulled in completely, or not at all? If it was taken with the brake lever in it's resting position, that's most of your problem...the arm is bottoming out before it's able to fully engage the brake.

    That brake looks like it has seen better days with it's rusted/stripped bolts, and the pads could likely benefit from being replaced. You'd be much better off just taking ARandomBiker's advice and picking up a new set of brakes. BB7 brakes are worlds better than what you have and extremely simple to adjust.

  11. #11
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    Yea, it was bottoming out...realized that when I test rode it and had NO brakes, not just bad ones. The brakes have seen some better days, but I suspect if I could get the stripped adjustment bolt to work it might work.

    Was hoping to do some mountain biking over the winter as a change of pace from the road...but guess I need to go save some money for some new brakes.

  12. #12
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    Btw anyone running regular cheap ass steel cable through jagwire housings?? And can compare it to running jagwire teflon wire instead?
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  13. #13
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    Well, perhaps user error/stupidity strikes again. While the adjustment screw is less than perfect, a friend was able to get break it free and get it out. It is still usable...so, while I have put some BB7's on my wish list...I now have brakes in working condition and can head out.

    I've been on my road bike only for the past 3 years so looking forward to a change of scenery over the winter. Thanks for all your help!

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