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I'm installing deore v brakes on a 1988 Bridgestone mb2. The front brakes installed fine. On the rear, the pin on the v brakes that is inserted into the frame to set spring tension does not align with the hole in the frame. It's misaligned by a mm or two. This is my first v brake setup, could be missing something obvious. I definitely have rear brakes. Also tried installing a front brake in the rear, with the same misalignment. Not sure if this is an issue with standards that have changed over the years? Strange that the front pins insert perfectly. enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • Hello and welcome to the website! To get a higher chance for help or advice, a picture of the rear brake so that pins/holes are visible will help. You can edit your question and add pictures to it any time. Noting (exact) models of old brakes that were present on the frame and the new ones you try to install might also help. – Grigory Rechistov Oct 2 at 7:49
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I find the v-brake on the front fork, which often times has just one hole for the spring pin, is a smoother install. Idk why. There is no difference in "front" or "rear" v-brakes except the direction of the pads.

Typically at the rear, the frame's tabs where the brake bosses are threaded or brazed on will have three holes per side drilled in them from which to choose the insertion of the brake arm's spring pin. Each arm's spring pin should be placed in the same relative hole (if the left spring's pin is in the middle hole, the right spring should also be in that side's middle hole). Spring tension is highest when the upper most hole is used. Typically the middle hole is chosen.

One way to ease getting the pin into the desired hole is loosen the brake pad's nut enough so the pad can be rotated parallel with the arm. In this position the whole side of the brake can freely rotate on its boss without the pad bumping into the seat stay. This way allows easier access and placement of the spring pin into your desired hole. This may be the crux of the problem. Is the brake pad blocking the movement of the arm before it's pin is sufficiently lined up with the hole?

Park Tool has a great tutorial on installation of linear pull brakes. V-brakes is a term coined by Shimano and is a linear pull brake system.

  • Thanks for the response! I've updated the post with pictures. I tried your trick of loosening and rotating the pad, no luck. Also watched the Park Tool video. I have some old cantilever brakes (unbranded), and these installed fine. The bike was sold with cantilever brakes back in 1988. Perhaps the frame or linear pull pin require some persuasion, the misalignment is quite small. I'll leave that to a mechanic! I'll also try visiting a LBS with old parts bins & see if I can get a linear pull brake to fit. I'd rather not use cantilevers over the wet winter here. – Ted Lewis Oct 3 at 15:39
  • @ Ted Lewis Is the misalignment one in which the receiving hole seems a little too far outside from where the pin can fall? In other words, the distance between the center of the bike's brake boss to the receiving hole is greater than the distance between the caliper arm's mounting hole center and the spring pin. Enlarging picture #2 and examining the pin hole, there's a notable wear notch from previous spring pin(s). It's in the area you'd expect from a slight discrepancy between the aforementioned distances. Previous spring pins were barely clearing the distance to be received by the hole. – Jeff Oct 4 at 4:46
  • Good eye Jeff. You're correct about the direction of the misalignment. Turns out the right rear will fit the new linear pull brakes with some persuasion. It's just the left rear where the pin is too far from the hole. – Ted Lewis Oct 5 at 18:14
  • I brought the bike to my LBS. The mechanic had more balls than me & simply tightened the brake & the pin found its way into the hole. I'm sure the pin bent along the way, but it's on. Thanks to those who responded! – Ted Lewis Oct 6 at 1:11
  • Way to persevere, Ted. – Jeff Oct 6 at 4:06

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