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I found an old bike and I am not experienced with bikes. I am wondering if these brakes need to be changed:

enter image description here

I am not sure if this is in all bikes, but the mechanism of the brakes looks too old to me. You just press the brakes and those cables get stretched and the bike stops. Is that ok/normal and safe?

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If you are asking if that is a valid brake design the answer is yes. Those are cantilever brakes. Not the most common brake but still very common. If the brakes are worn out then yes you would replace them but I would still replace them with cantilever as that is what the frame is set up for. – Frisbee Jun 9 '14 at 14:24
It's hard to say for sure from that picture but it appears that the brake pad may be misadjusted and rubbing against the tire. This is a standard adjustment for this type of brake (and no different really from the adjustment made on the most common "V-brake" style of brake). Other than that the brakes are fine, and, in fact, I prefer that style over any other. – Daniel R Hicks Jun 9 '14 at 15:14
If the brake pads are touching the tire, then it might be a good idea to replace the tire. – Mike Baranczak Jun 10 '14 at 3:25

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Those are cantilever brakes and as long as the cables are still intact, everything works as it should and the pads still have plenty of material left, they're perfectly fine. From the photo it looks like the pads are still okay, but replacing them can never hurt. A drop of oil on the hinges might not be a bad idea, too.

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