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Roadmaster Elite Front Brake Issue

Old 07-10-21, 04:31 PM
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scoostraw
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Roadmaster Elite Front Brake Issue

Hello all.

I picked up a bike today at a garage sale for 5 bucks for my neighbor. I was going thru it and found that the front brake pads were at the end of their adjustment, but still were not aligned correctly with the rim.



The front hub is completely seated in the front fork. Both wheels are 26".

What is curious to me is that the front brake is a center-pull style, while the rear brake is a side-pull. Is it typical for a bike like this (early 1980's?) to have two different style brakes? If not, I suspect maybe someone might have replaced the front brake and has thus introduced this issue.

In any case, I am hoping you guys might be able to shed some light on this issue for me. Many thanks in advance.
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Old 07-10-21, 04:41 PM
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I suspect it's an incorrect replacement.
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Old 07-10-21, 05:08 PM
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On a bike that old, I just suspect that someone put parts on it that they had available to them. Whether it's correct for the bike really doesn't matter if it suits their needs. All that matters is whether they work good enough.

And whose to say that someone had a bunch of miscellaneous bike parts laying around and put them on a frame they also had and sold it at a garage sale. <grin>
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Old 07-10-21, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
On a bike that old, I just suspect that someone put parts on it that they had available to them. Whether it's correct for the bike really doesn't matter if it suits their needs. All that matters is whether they work good enough.

And whose to say that someone had a bunch of miscellaneous bike parts laying around and put them on a frame they also had and sold it at a garage sale. <grin>
+1. Obviously the seller never rode the bike in that configuration. The OP has to find a suitable front brake (and whatever else need to be replaced or overhauled) or give the neighbor the bad news that they wasted $5.
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Old 07-10-21, 06:19 PM
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If that pad rubs on the rubber of the tire you will have a blow out before you know it. Either the front brake is wrong, which is the likely culprit, or you could put a larger front wheel on it (27" or 700C) because it looks like there''s plenty of room for it and then the brake pads might reach. Or you can remove the pads before you damage the tire and just use the rear brake, depends on what kind of riding your neighbor does. This is where lots of extra parts lying around comes in handy. Good luck,
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Old 07-10-21, 08:30 PM
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It is a 5.00 low end bike can you cut the slot in the fork 3/8 of an inch deeper to make the brake pads line up?
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Old 07-11-21, 02:33 AM
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Maybe its the wrong size wheel, big gap at top of fork in pic seems to match frame but that is another possibility of it being changed..... where are you at? (location)
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Old 07-11-21, 07:42 AM
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Thanks for the replies everyone. You confirmed my suspicions. My plan is to scrounge up a different brake for the front and hopefully get it to work.

Yeah there is no pressure here. We have 5 bucks invested in the bike.

>> can you cut the slot in the fork 3/8 of an inch deeper to make the brake pads line up?

You read my mind! I thought of that and may give this a try actually.

>> where are you at? (location)

I am in Wisconsin.
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Old 07-11-21, 09:47 AM
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Aican and bdop make drop pad holders, but honestly that bike isn't worth the expense. Best to junk pick or head to the coop for a used caliper with longer reach.

​​​​​​https://www.ebay.com/itm/12468418681...UAAOxyhSBR-wqg
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Old 07-11-21, 10:08 AM
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Are the front and back wheels the same diameter? I mean this isn't something made for 27" wheels and someone put a 700C wheel on the front or similar is it?

I wouldn't slot the hole in the fork, but I might make a plate to drop the hole some.
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/home-drop.html
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Old 07-11-21, 10:19 AM
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I might have stumbled onto a possible remedy. I went to remove the pads with the idea of possibly elongating the slot in the caliper so I could move the pads further. When I loosened the nut, the pads naturally settled into a position where they would contact the rim correctly.



So now I'm thinking maybe of using a beveled washer on the stud? Something like this:


Thoughts?
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Old 07-11-21, 09:46 PM
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Will the calipers spread enough to allow them between the pad and the arm? If so, it's a cheap fix.
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Old 07-12-21, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by scoostraw View Post
I might have stumbled onto a possible remedy. I went to remove the pads with the idea of possibly elongating the slot in the caliper so I could move the pads further. When I loosened the nut, the pads naturally settled into a position where they would contact the rim correctly.



So now I'm thinking maybe of using a beveled washer on the stud? Something like this:


Thoughts?
you’d need a pair for each side. One between brake arm and pad, one between brake arm and nut. Otherwise you end up bending the stud.
brake looks to be steel. Why not simply bend the lower half of the slot?
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Old 07-12-21, 06:10 AM
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It crossed my mind to bend it, but was afraid it might break. But now that I think about it, it should be strong enough to take it. I could gently heat it.

Maybe I will try bending. If it works, this would be the simplest fix.
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Old 07-12-21, 07:11 AM
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Look at a set of brake shoes for V-brakes. They come with conical washers, one set thin, one thick, for angular adjustment. The calipers may not spread enough to fit them in, but I'd try it with the thin set inboard. If you have another bike with V-brakes, temporarily strip them off it to try it out.

I wouldn't mess around too much with modifying the front brake. When properly adjusted, it's supposed to do most of the work. You don't want your $5 investment leading to major trauma. Sheldon's site says he's never done the drop bolt for a customer, only for himself, and the example shown is a rear brake.
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Old 07-12-21, 10:04 AM
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Heck, bikes we grew up on only had rear brakes... Just saying
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Old 07-13-21, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
Look at a set of brake shoes for V-brakes. They come with conical washers, one set thin, one thick, for angular adjustment. The calipers may not spread enough to fit them in, but I'd try it with the thin set inboard. If you have another bike with V-brakes, temporarily strip them off it to try it out.

I wouldn't mess around too much with modifying the front brake. When properly adjusted, it's supposed to do most of the work. You don't want your $5 investment leading to major trauma. Sheldon's site says he's never done the drop bolt for a customer, only for himself, and the example shown is a rear brake.
I looked at doing this, but the studs on the brake pads are too short unfortunately.
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Old 07-13-21, 12:32 PM
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>> Why not simply bend the lower half of the slot?

I did this, and it worked great!! I may bevel the pads now to make fuller contact with the rim, but even as it is the front brake feels fine.




Thanks for the idea!
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Old 07-14-21, 10:24 AM
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Just keep an eye on the wear as they will slowly creep closer to the rubber as they wear down. If it stops you as is, I wouldn't bevel them. But if you need more stopping power up front, beveling might help. Good luck
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Old 07-14-21, 12:39 PM
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Thanks Bigbus. It stops just fine, so I will leave things as is.
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