My V-brake isn't working and I am not sure how I can fix it. I have uploaded a photo of it. Any advice or tips?!

I think the flange might have come off the noodle and got stuck in the boot - any tips on getting it out??

Thank you.

V Brake not working

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 5
    +1 for clear photo of problem area - makes diagnosis and explainaition of fix much easier. May 4 '20 at 20:11
  • You should be able to just pull the rubber boot off the noodle May 4 '20 at 20:44
  • 1
    I tried but I think the flange has come off the noodle and is stuck inside the boot bit (I have added another photo)
    – Leah F
    May 4 '20 at 20:59

The 'noodle' (the curved silver tube the brake cable passes through) has slipped through the holder on the right-hand (in your picture) brake caliper. The noodle is designed to come out of the holder to spread the calipers to enable the wheel to be taken out.

The proper configuration looks like this:

enter image description here

Squeeze the calipers together and free the noodle from the holder. Pull the dust boot off the end of the noodle, you should see a little flange on the end - that fits into the end of the holder. Before you attempt to fit the noodle in the holder, slide the cable housing into the other end of the noddle, and also make sure the housing is inserted in the brake lever body on the handlebar. Squeeze the calipers together to fit the end of the noodle in the housing. When the noodle is back in the holder you can push the boot back on.

if that's not clear, here's a video on assembling v-brakes at a point where it shows how the noodle fits in the holder.

Updates based on futher info:

The flange has come off the end of the noodle. Normally the flange is permanently fixed to the noodle and it should not come off. You can probably shove the flange through the boot with the noodle, then slip it back on the end of the noodle, and re-assemble the brake as in the Park tool video. That will get the brake working. The real solution of course is to get a new noodle. A local bike shop will have one, they can also be found on Amazon or any of the the on-line bike stores.

  • Thank you so much, I am going to give this a go!
    – Leah F
    May 4 '20 at 19:43
  • Hi I just added another picture, as I think the flange might be stuck in the boot - any tips on getting it out?? Thank you!
    – Leah F
    May 4 '20 at 20:42
  • @LeahF brute force. You need a new noodle, so anything in the old one is scrap and can be removed. I'd suggest pulling the end-cap off the wire, and unthreading the unneeded pieces.
    – Criggie
    May 4 '20 at 21:33
  • 3
    @LeahF Watch the Park Tool video in the answer, that shows how to install noodle, boot and attach cable The difficulty can be that the cable has come a bit unwound and can't be rethreaded through the new noodle, in which case a new cable should be installed. May 4 '20 at 23:28
  • 1
    @ArgentiApparatus: Judging by the second photo, the cable is definitely unwound, and should be replaced. Cables are cheap, and do not last for ever anyways, and since OP needs to buy a new noodle anyways, the cable should be replaced, too.
    – sleske
    May 5 '20 at 9:57

A further thing to watch out for when following Argenti's (correct) advice:

Check the end of the noodle holder very carefully. I've seen some old, cheap V brakes in which this was too soft and opened up allowing the noodle to slip through in a similar way to the photos in the question, when you squeeze the brakes very hard. Here's a sketch of the end of the noodle holder - good on the left, bent on the right. Imagine you're looking through the boot:

End view of noodle holders, both good and bent

Either the ferrule can slip through the hole, or more likely the noodle can ride through the slot that should only clear the cable; either way the brake fails.

Squeezing it back together is easy with pliers, but a get-you-home fix as the metal will bend more and more easily as it's flexed. The proper fix if this has happened id to replace the V-brake

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.