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Adjusting the rim brakes

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Mountain bikes use a v-brake braking system. by its example, we will consider the principles of tuning, as it is also available on other bicycles with rim brakes. The difference can only consist in a different arrangement of bolts and screws that will need to be tightened / tightened.

Note: it is important to observe three main rules:

  • the pads should be parallel to the rim;
  • the gap between the rim and the block should not be more or less than 1 mm;
  • the pads should be symmetrical with respect to each other.

How to achieve these guidelines when adjusting rim brakes on a bicycle:

  • You need to find a hex nut. it fixes the pads. To loosen it and set the brake pads in the desired position, you need to press the brake lever and watch how the shoe touches the rim. By releasing the brake lever, the shoe can be set to the desired position. it moves up, down and at an angle.
  • The distance between the block and the rim of the wheel should not be more than 1 mm, although in some models of bicycles there are also 2-3 mm. exact information about a specific vehicle can be obtained either from the instructions for it, or on the Internet for technical characteristics. It should be for Honor that the wheel should be braked even with the smallest pressure on the brake lever. That is, if the wheel stops only when the brake lever is fully pressed “all the way”, then this is incorrect.

After carrying out all the specified work, it is imperative to check the operation of the brake system. First, this is done at idle speed. lift the front wheel up, spin it up and press the handle sharply, then do the same with the rear wheel. The next step is to check the operation of the brake system “in action”. get on the bike and ride 3-5 meters, braking sharply. If the bike stops even when the brake lever is pressed slightly, then the system has been serviced correctly.

Security issue

Safety comes first! Yes, this rule is worth remembering every time you want to ride a bike. After all, many “ordinary” walks end with injuries.

How to install and adjust the V-brake yourself

After installation, you will definitely need to adjust the brakes.

The accuracy of the mechanism depends largely on its settings. So, even an expensive system will not work well without proper adjustment, and conversely, a mid-range V-brake can outperform a disc brake in terms of efficiency. What needs to be done to adjust the brakes?

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Adjust the cable tension. After adjusting, the brake should instantly respond to the squeeze of the handle and rebound when it is released. If the pads do not move away from the rims, this indicates insufficient tension. On the overtightened cable, the handle will be hard to press, and the sheath may burst.

The tension is adjusted with a bolt on the side of the levers. The setup looks like this:

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  • Reset Springs.
  • Loosen the cable fixing bolt.
  • Adjust the tension so that in the fully clamped position, the distance from the handle to the handlebar corresponds to the thickness of the finger.

If damage is noticed on the cable sheath, it is recommended to immediately install a new set.

Clearance adjustment. The optimal distance is 2. 3 mm from the edge of the pad to the rim. Determination of brake pad wear: cannot be used when the diverter grooves are completely erased (the whole surface is flat).

How do I fit new pads? The location relative to the rim affects the size of the contact area of ​​the pads with it, the braking force and the life of the material. For brake pads with soft rubber surfaces, install them with the leading edge closer to the rim. Brake pads made of rigid material are placed strictly parallel to the surface of rotation of the wheel.

If your bike has cartridge pads, you only need to change the pads. Their position is set with a cotter pin; before removing the old surface, it is removed from the body. Similarly, in the reverse order, insert a new pad and fix it with a cotter pin.

Adjustment of the position and displacement of the shoe housings are carried out by means of a bolt and washers. For accurate fixation, you need to squeeze the brake and set the position of the pads strictly on the surface of the rim.

The last step will be to test the operation of the system in practice, that is, in real driving conditions. As a rule, the V-brake setting is obtained immediately. However, if braking is delayed or the handle does not fully return to its original position, the brakes must be readjusted.

Self-adjusting the brakes on the bike

Cycling is an incomparable pleasure. A constant wind in your hair, a feeling of complete freedom and independence, besides, cycling can replace constant trips to the gym, it’s no secret that riding a “two-wheeled” affects absolutely all muscle groups. First of all, the legs, back, arms, abs. all this is maintained in an active tone thanks to the cycling load. The benefits of a bicycle cannot be understated. But in order to enjoy walks day after day, you need to take care of your “horse”. Preventive maintenance includes adjusting the brakes.

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Adjusting the brakes on a bicycle

Adjusting the brakes on a bicycle should be carried out regularly. such maintenance will guarantee the safe operation of the vehicle. There are two main types of brakes on modern bicycles. rim and disc brakes, but disc brakes can be mechanical or hydraulic. The process of their maintenance will depend on what type of brake system is installed on a particular bike.

Spring tension

The springs that are part of the mechanical rim brake system are also responsible for the distance between the wheel and the block. But, unlike a nut with a cable, they allow you to adjust the distance down to a millimeter. That is, more precisely. The spring tension can be changed with a single bolt that is screwed on and off every now and then. This bolt is located on both sides of the brake. Therefore, when a situation arises that one side touches the rim, and the other is separated, you just have to turn the bolt. and everything will fall into place. When this element is twisted, the spring becomes “harder”. Consequently, the distance will increase. If you unscrew the bolt, the spring will weaken. From this the distance will decrease. So, by adjusting each element, you can achieve perfect accuracy.

Disc hydraulic brake

So, the winner of the rating. It is hydraulics that rules the world of brakes. How does this system work? There are handles, there is a disc and there are braking elements. They are connected together by rubber tubes, inside of which there is oil, or, as it should be correctly said, brake fluid. What are its pros and cons? The hydraulics are responsive to every pressure. It can be said to instantly transmit pressure. That is why many athletes and extreme sportsmen use hydraulic disc brakes on their bikes. After all, the accurate transmission of sensations helps to win important seconds. The hydraulic brake firmly compresses the metal disc so that when pressed firmly, the rider can fly out of the saddle in the truest sense of the word. But, like everyone else, hydraulics have their negative sides.

First, the high cost. This, of course, is a dubious minus, because this system is bought not by ordinary amateurs, but by professionals. Second, the fix issue. Yes, the hydraulics simply cannot be repaired by yourself. The slightest upset. and a trip to the workshop is assured. And again, repairs will cost a pretty penny. Parts of the system, such as tubes, are not very reliable. If this part bursts, the brake fluid will escape. Therefore, you can only brake with your feet. Adjusting hydraulic brakes on a bicycle is tricky. If possible, it is better to entrust this to the master.

Bicycle disc brakes

Disc brakes are designed to brake a bicycle by converting kinetic energy into thermal energy by rubbing the pads against the brake disc. As mentioned earlier, bicycle disc brakes are mechanical and hydraulic. Their principle of operation is the same, but there are slight differences in design.

Remove dirt and oil from brake pads and rotor

During cycling, over time, dirt and oil accumulate on the rotor and brake pads, which impairs the braking performance of disc mechanics or hydraulics. Therefore, before adjusting the disc brakes, remove it from these surfaces. For this, you can use fine sandpaper. Remove the rotor from the wheel and clean the surface on both sides in a circular motion. We perform the same operation with pads (of course, on the one hand). Do not be too zealous, it is enough to remove a thin layer. After you have completed this procedure, try not to touch the pads and rotor with your hands or oily objects.

Adjusting the front brake on a bicycle

The hardest part lies ahead. Do not be afraid, you just need to concentrate. So, you need to adjust the distance between the pads and the wheel. It is important. Again, action monitoring is similar for the rear and front brakes. It is worth remembering: if the distance is too large, then the clamps will not fit well. Therefore, there will be no inhibitory effect. If, on the contrary, you leave little room for the brakes, they will strike the rim. This will quickly wear off the pads, and the wheel will constantly brake. In general, you can adjust the distance between the pads and the rim using one nut, which is located on the levers, on top, where the metal cable is attached.

It should be unscrewed, thereby loosening the grip. From this action, the levers will disperse, do not be afraid. With the force of your hand, you need to lean against the rim. Then squeeze the brake lever so that it does not reach the steering wheel for a couple of centimeters. Keeping the levers in the same position, screw the nut back. Adjusting the brakes on a bike doesn’t stop there.

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Spring tension

The springs that are part of the mechanical rim brake system are also responsible for the distance between the wheel and the block. But, unlike a nut with a cable, they allow you to adjust the distance down to a millimeter. That is, more precisely. The spring tension can be changed with a single bolt that is screwed on and off every now and then. This bolt is located on both sides of the brake. Therefore, when a situation arises that one side touches the rim, and the other is separated, you just have to turn the bolt. and everything will fall into place. When this element is twisted, the spring becomes “harder”. Consequently, the distance will increase. If you unscrew the bolt, the spring will weaken. From this the distance will decrease. So, by adjusting each element, you can achieve perfect accuracy.

How to adjust hydraulic disc brakes

Although hydraulic brakes are called self-adjusting brakes, it is sometimes possible to notice a rustle or squeak that they emit during the braking process. In this case, adjust the disc hydraulics of the bicycle. Also, a similar procedure is necessary on a new bike if the brakes were set incorrectly from the factory.

  • Slightly unscrew the bolts that fix the caliper to the adapter.
  • We clamp the brake lever and fix it with electrical tape, rope or other improvised material.
  • We make sure that the rotor is clearly in the middle of the caliper slot, and the brake pads are extended equally on both sides. If this is not the case, then you can set its position by slightly pressing on the rotor from the desired side. Due to pressure, the brake fluid will be evenly redistributed between the pistons.
  • After that, we tighten the mounting bolts and remove the electrical tape from the brake lever.

After you have adjusted the hydraulic disc brakes, turn the wheel and check for friction. If you observe intermittent shuffling, then this is a signal that your rotor is slightly bent. To eliminate this malfunction, it is necessary to determine the place of friction, and on which side of the pads the rotor clings. Then rotate the rubbing area 180 degrees from the caliper and gently push in the opposite direction. This should be done very carefully in several passes, with each of which add force until friction completely disappears.

Setting up hydraulic disc brakes is shown in the video below.

How to properly adjust the steering wheel, steering block and stem.

If you have problems with a bicycle handlebar, steering block or stem, it is better to entrust the bike repair to the trusted specialists of the VeloTemp bicycle workshop, who guarantee the quality of the work performed and a conscientious attitude. They will also check how the steering system is tuned, test the degree of tension of these elements. To adjust the functioning of parts, specialists cannot do without a hexagon. You should also exclude the presence of a backlash, and if it is detected, you need to urgently take measures to eliminate the problem.
Do not forget that the steering wheel should also be adjusted from time to time. This process involves clamping the steering wheel with special wrenches. Make sure the steering wheel is tight enough.
Only experienced specialists will fully and accurately repair the bike without damaging its mechanisms. Modern bicycles are expensive enough to risk doing repairs yourself.

Setting rim brakes using the example of V-brake

When set up correctly, v-brakes will perform just as well, and some models even better than disc brakes! The design features of the v-brakes allow adjusting the pads in almost any plane, but this is not possible with caliper rim brakes. The price of rim brakes is significantly less than that of disc brakes, they weigh less and are easier to adjust than disc brakes.

Useful to pay attention

If the brakes squeak, start by cleaning the wheel rim with denatured alcohol to remove any plaque from the brake pad rubber. If that doesn’t work, check the pads and carefully remove the dirt with a sharp tool. Also check the condition of the pads and replace if they are worn out.

No squeak
The brakes squeak if the pads are not flattened and do not touch the wheel rim with the entire surface, but with the leading edges. Many brake designs have an adjustable camber, but if your bike is different, use a little force. Using an adjustable wrench, grab the brake pads just above the pads and give them a slight “pinch”. Make a 2mm clearance at the trailing edge of the pad when the brake lever is compressed so that the leading edges touch the rim.

When it’s wet
The braking distance is very long in wet weather and can be up to four times the braking distance on dry roads. One way to improve brake performance is often to brake slightly while driving to wipe off water from the wheel rim and dry out the brake pads.

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Tension potential
Before installing a new brake cable, tighten the adjusting sleeve on the brake unit until it stops. This will give the most freedom of adjustment to tighten the brakes as the pads wear out. Do not forget to install the cable caps on the brake lever and brakes, otherwise the sheath will fray and the inner cable will wear out.

Both feet in tune
If fine adjustment does not result in equal pressure on each brake foot, disconnect the cable and rotate the looser tab around the rack until you feel resistance. Turn the brake a quarter turn or more if the tension needs to be tighter. When installing the legs on the frame, make sure that their tensioning spring-loaded lugs fit into the corresponding holes in the lugs.

Centering the mechanism
Lateral pad brakes often only press one rim to the rim if the mechanism is not centered. Loosen the nut or socket head screw securing the brake to the frame and turn it until you have the same clearance between the brake shoe and rim on each side of the wheel. Then press the pads against the rim and tighten the mount. Alternatively, use a thin wrench to turn the nut between the frame and the back side.

Third hand
The third hand tool is useful when working with brakes. By pressing the pads against the wheel rim, it frees up your hands for delicate work when installing a new cable or adjusting the brakes.

Setting up the brakes means paying attention to every detail, from the brake levers to the brake pads.

First step. Adjusting the brake levers

Brake levers should be located so that they can be reached quickly and comfortably. In order to adjust the position of the brake lever, loosen the fastening screw, place the handle as it is convenient for you and fix it. Usually there is a screw on the brake lever, with which you can adjust the distance of the brake lever to the grip. adjust the position of the lever with it.

Second step. Position of the brake pads

It is easier to adjust the position of the brake pads as follows: press one of the pads with your hands close to the rim, adjust its position. Make sure that the block is not too low (the edge of the block is below the rim), but also not too high. the block touches the tire.

I would like to draw special attention to the next moment, since there is little clear written about it. Until the nut of which the shoe is fixed is not tightened, the shoe has three degrees of freedom: the washers form something like a ball joint. (Pay attention to how many washers are there? That’s what they are for!). It is believed that the leading edge of the pads should touch the rim slightly earlier than the rear. Therefore, we do this: put a small gasket under the rear end (see fig).

This number of washers is needed to get something like a ball joint

Now you can tighten the nut that fixes the shoe.

Step three. Centering the positions of the levers

At this step, you need to fix the brake cable: so that the brake pads touch the rims at least a little if you press the brake lever. At the bottom of the levers there are special bolts that adjust the tension of the springs that press the pads against the rim.

We set it up as follows: press the brake and see which of the pads touches earlier. For the one that touched earlier, we increase the spring tension (or vice versa, weaken it on the other side). It is necessary to ensure that the pads touch the rim at the same time.

Fourth step. Adjusting the distance from the pads to the rim

I believe that this distance should be as small as possible. (1-2 mm. If the rim is even). But then the brakes will work very sharply. the slightest pressure leads to sharp braking. Therefore, the distance can be made a little more.

The distance is adjusted in two steps: first, due to the screw with which the cable is attached to the brakes. Then fine tuning on the brake lever.

The large washer acts as a lock: when it is tightened, the cable tension adjustment screw cannot be turned.