I've been riding a lot thins winter in spite of unusually snowy, icy, and slushy conditions. While I know how to lube and clean my chain and can deal with other accumulated filth, I'm having trouble with my V-brakes.
When I'm squeezing the brakes, they work fine. That's the most important thing, but the problem starts when I release the brakes and continue riding. The brake arms aren't pulling the brakes back off the rims.
The brake arms have springy metal rods that are supposed to pull the brakes back when they're not being applied to the rims. Those springy rods are working as usual but the brake arms are firmly stuck and don't move back and forth freely. The force of my hands through my cables is enough to force them but the springy rods is not. I removed the brake assemblies and they're really resistant to swinging and salt encrusted at the ring where the motion happens.
I don't know weather there are bearings inside or just metal sleeves rubbing against each other, but I can't reach inside the mechanism to lubricate anything. I tried scraping the salt out and scrubbing with a damp cloth and that improved things but still isn't really satisfactory.
I'd like advice about what to do or any information about the internals of V-brakes. If it's just metal sleeves, I'll immerse them in warm water and rinse them out. If it's bearings, I guess they're not user-serviceable. Or maybe there's some secret I'm not seeing.
Help me out.