1. remove the hub . you may need a friend’s help to sit on the bike and hold the brakes down while trying to remove the rear hub.

2. remove ‘fish clips’/circlips on the pivot post/posts… use a needlenose pliers and watch where they land if they go flying!

3. get a big flathead screwdriver. stick it in between the brake-operating cam and the lower shoe’s end (where it rests against the cam) for brakes with one pivot per shoe. the cam is that thing to the right between the brake shoes. as you pull the brake lever/pedal, the brake cable pulls an arm which rotates the cam, which forces one end of the shoes apart, pressing them into the rim. you’ll notice that the cam has a lip that keeps the shoes from sliding over it easily.

for bikes with one pivot for both shoes, you will have to remove whatever shoe is ‘on top’ of the other one at the pivot point.
tap the screwdriver in between the shoe you are trying to remove and the cam. do it lightly with a hammer if you have to, but don’t go berserk.

3. get another flathead and stick it behind the shoe, up against the backplate. the closer to the pivot you are, the stiffer the backplate will be, and the more leverage you’ll get.

4. twist the first screwdriver (the big one). this will lever the end of the shoe past the lip on the cam and make it possible to pry the shoe off its post.

5. now pry with the other screwdriver, working the shoe out on its pivot post. you may have to move the screwdriver around a bit in order to get the shoe to move evenly.

once one shoe is off, the spring tension will be gone and you can just rotate the other shoe off the cam and lift it off the pivot.

6. to reassemble, lightly grease the pivots and cam. put the appropriate shoe on first (start with the top shoe if y’r working on a two-pivot brake, and whichever shoe must go on first if you are working with a brake that has two shoes overlapped on one pivot). put it on its pivot and rotate it to rest against the cam. the brake cable should be slackened at this point.

7. then hook the spring to the other shoe, and hold the shoe roughly perpendicular to the backplate, with the pivot hole and the end that rides against the cam roughly lined up with their destinations (the pivot and the cam.) then ‘flip’ the shoe thru 90 degrees til it’s parallel to the backplate… this ‘flipping down’ of the shoe helps you to stretch the spring out by employing the leverage of the pivot against the shoe… it allows you to stretch the spring in a way that’s much easier than, say, putting the shoe on its pivot, hooking up the spring, and trying to pull the shoe out over the lip of the cam. think of pushing the shoe flat against the backplate, and pay attention to the alignment of both the cam end and the pivot end of the shoe. you must get it lined up on both ends.

8. gently tap the shoe onto its pivot. it should ‘snap’ into place as slides further onto the pivot and as its cam end clears the lip on the cam.

9. clean well with brake cleaner (avoid getting it on rubber, it loves to eat that) and reattach the hub and cable.

TORQUE the rear hub nut to 72 ft/lbs! PUT THE COTTER PIN IN on the hub, if needed! if no pin, PEEN THE FLEXIBLE NUT!