When I pull the rear break lever, the cable contracts, but the lever doesn't return to its original position. How can I fix this?

If this is not enough information, please let me know. I will post a video or something.

  • 2
    You really need to study and understand how the brake works, from one end to the other. But from your description it's most likely that the cable is sticking in its housing. Sometimes lubing the cable helps this, other times the cable (and housing) must be replaced. If there is visible rust on the cable it likely needs replacing. Jul 30, 2016 at 16:14
  • It could be the cable. It could be the brake arms not being able to move freely. It could be a lot of things. What kind of brake is it anyway?
    – Batman
    Jul 30, 2016 at 16:58
  • Do you have anywhere that you can pull the inner cable with your hand? Try and separate the brake lever function from the brake caliper. Both have return springs, may be that the springs are not strong enough to overcome the cable resistance. Some brake calipers have high/low positiions for the brake springs, so a photo or two might help. Otherwise your bike might benefit from new outers and inner wire. This reduces friction and allows things to move better.
    – Criggie
    Jul 31, 2016 at 2:39

1 Answer 1


If it's just the wire that's not working, I'd replace the housing and cable for that wire to make sure there is no gunk or anything keeping it from moving freely.

If it's the brake, and it is a rim brake, the first thing to do is play with the screws that are on each arm of the brake. The farther in the screw is, the more tension is on the brakes spring which will help pull it back out. See if you can tighten that enough to get it moving enough.

If not check the mount points on the frame. A lot of the times there's a spring hidden inside the mount point which helps provide the return force for the brake. Generally it's three small holes in the frame which the spring will go through one, and then the spring is also pressing against some plastic housing, so if the plastic is damaged you'll need to get a new brake. If it doesn't looked damage, try changing it to a different hole to provide more return force and grease/clean the whole thing.

I'm speaking only generalities though, a picture or name of the brakes would be great.

  • 2
    It's unwise to go playing with the screw adjustments when one does not understand the operation of the brake pretty well. Jul 30, 2016 at 16:16

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