Today’s QT is actually a 2-pack of advice from Tech Editor Jim Langley. Here’s what he wrote:
Check Your Pulleys Regularly
When lubricating your drivetrain, be sure to inspect your rear derailleur pulleys to make sure they’re still happy. It’s amazing how much crud your smallest sprockets pick up. It can prematurely wear or even cause the pulleys to tighten up enough that pedaling is significantly harder. For example, I once pulled a long piece of fishing line out of mine!
Give the pulleys a visual inspection, and also lift the chain off them and give them a spin to make sure they’re turning freely. It’s a good idea to check that the pulley bolts are still tight, too. It’s an easy job to clean off any crud with a rag. And, if they look dry at all, lay the bike on its side and put a few drips of lube on the center of the pulleys where the bearings are.
Easy Way to Re-Center Brakes
There’s a pretty easy way to fix brakes that have gotten off center and now are too close to the rim or disc rotor on one side. Because wheels can get knocked off in the frame and/or installed crooked, first make sure that the wheel is fully inserted in the frame and tight. If it was off-center, just doing that will probably center the brake, too.
If not, do this: Hold the brake on so that it’s tight against the rim or rotor. Wrap something around the handlebars and lever to keep the brake full on like this. Now, your hands are free to center the brake. All you do is loosen the caliper mounting bolt(s) and then re-tighten them. This causes the brake to center itself around the rim/rotor. When you free the lever and operate the brake, it should center nicely and feel a little better, too.
If this doesn’t work, you likely have a wheel or rotor that needs some minor truing. Have that done, and the centering trick should work.
If you have an idea for a QT, fire away. We’re always looking for good info we can share with fellow roadies. We would love to hear from you with any suggestions you have. Contact us by clicking Quick Tips Ideas.
—John Marsh & The RBR Team
Kerry Irons says
If you don’t “super tighten” your rim brake mounting bolt, you should be able to easily center the rim brake with a firm grip on the brake. Many people just push on the brake to center it but this doesn’t work. You have to actually move the “brake body” – the mechanism that is attached to the mounting bolt.
Killa Barrilleaux says
Most road rim brakes are dual pivot design with a centering adjustment screw. I discussed using this screw to center the brake in my blog: http://www.killasgarage.bike/uncategorized/centering-dual-pivot-brake-calipers-the-right-way/
Granted, for rim brakes without a centering adjustment, or for single pivot brakes, Jim’s technique is the way to go. After you have your brake in the right place, tighten the mounting bolt down to specified torque. This will prevent it from getting bumped out of position in the first place.