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I've had several bikes, and none had that "protector" on the spring wire end, even when brand new. Never noticed any roughness without it; the spring tension keeps it firmly seated.

Mark H

Yeah, a lot of older brakes didn't have the sleeve around the spring, but think about it- you've got the steel spring sliding against the aluminum brake arm. Anything to make it slide easier is going to make the brakes feel better- they'll snap back easier and you won't be wasting the (minimal) effort overcoming that little extra bit of friction.

You can also use the inner liner out of cable housing (you might need some of the older 6mm mtn bike brake housing) or just wrap some teflon tape around the spring.

Garage flooring

My brakes have been pretty rough for some time now and I couldn't out why, I had it checked but I was told nothing's wrong. Good thing I came across this blog and so I checked my tensioner spring and it was starting to chip off. I had it fixed and my baby's in great shape again!

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