Braking Problem

by Richthornton   April 16, 2012  

Hi, I have a braking issue on a bike, bought new in Jan/Feb this year. Since very shortly after acquiring it the rear brake of the Shimano 105 is quite 'sticky'. What I mean is that rather than a nice smooth pull on the lever to gradually apply and increase braking power it takes a good firm squeeze to apply this initial force which results in the initial force being too great. It's not a case of having to pull the lever a certain distance until the brake engages but of having to move the lever a certain distance until any effect occurs.
I have tried lubing the lever mechanism itself which has no effect and the same with the brake cables. When I increase the distance from the pad to the rim using the adjustment lever on the side of one of the arms this does seem to reduce he problem a bit but obviously this is not ideal.
Can you suggest what this problem might be?

4 user comments

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You use your rear brake? =)

have you tried adjusting the toe in of the pad? This will help it bite sooner.
Also check pads for metal fragments or glaze too
If you've done both of those then it might be worth trying a new cable.

Cannondale CAAD10, Condor Terra-X and an orange Brompton.
Ride for East London Velo

zzgavin's picture

posted by zzgavin [208 posts]
16th April 2012 - 11:31


Disconnect the cable at the cable clamp at the brake caliper and make sure the caliper arms can be squeezed together smoothly and easily - if not you need to dismantle it and clean all the bearings/springs etc. I have had issues in the past with a sticky caliper due to winter crud building up.

Hold the disconnected cable end and pull the brake lever - the cable should move smoothly in and out as you pull the brake lever and then pull the cable. If there's any roughness or sticking try a new cable.

Hopefully one of these will fix it!

posted by jimmo62 [59 posts]
16th April 2012 - 11:58

1 Like

If the bike is only a couple of months old try asking the shop you got it from if they offer a free first service. Lots do.
If they don't they might still have a look just at the offending brake and adjust/clean it as necessary.
Worth a try.

posted by Chris [118 posts]
16th April 2012 - 12:12


Thanks all,
plenty of suggestions for me to look into here.
Hopefully one of the above will sole the problem.

Richthornton's picture

posted by Richthornton [102 posts]
16th April 2012 - 18:46