The "normal" way is pretty clear: you press the brake lever, it pulls the bowden, which then forces the V-brake calipers together.
However, the question is: should it work also the other way round? I.e. should manually pressing the calipers together also cause the bowden to slide inside the housing, and hence pull the lever on the handle bar?
Case in point: yesterday I replaced my front brake calipers and bowden/housing on my bike, and observed the mentioned behaviour (which I am 99% sure was not the case previously). The brake lever does not go all the way, but it does move considerably (I would say 20-30% of all the way).
I can interpret this in two ways:
- I did something wrong during the process (maybe not fixed well enough something, which should have been fixed?). In particular, I am concerned about the lever being too lose (I intended to replace it as well, but unfortunately, the replacement I bought turned out to be too small.)
- Since the bowden/housing is new and greased, maybe the bowden can just slide more easily, so the force, instead of bending the housing (which was probably the case before), makes the bowden slide smoothly, up till the lever.
Some more thoughts:
- On the old rear brake caliper, this does not work. The bowden for the rear brake has 3 sections: the first one, which runs from the lever to the top tube of the bike is inside a housing. Then, it runs "naked" (without any housing) below the tube, and the last section (which connects to the calipers) also has a housing. If I press the rear calipers together, then the wire slides up to the "naked" section, but then it bends at the "covered" section of the front.
- In case the answer to the original question is "yes" (i.e.: yes, with a well-greased bowden, pushing the calipers together should move the lever), can this be used as a test to tell if the bowden needs greasing ("press the brake calipers together: if the lever does not move, you need to grease the bowden")? And if so, would this test work also for the rear brake, or only the front brake? (In case of the rear brake, I can imagine that due to longer bowden, and the covered/naked sections, the force will always cause the cable to twist at some point before moving the lever, no matter how smooth the bowden runs inside of the housing.)