How disc brakes work on a bicycle

disc, brakes, work, bicycle

V-brake brakes

Since this type of rim brakes is the most common on the modern market, let’s dwell on its advantages and disadvantages noted by users.

  • Simple and highly efficient design that provides good braking power.
  • Lightweight compared to drum and disc brakes.
  • Low cost.
  • Durability of the mechanism.
  • Reduced efficiency when moisture and dirt get on the rims.
  • Acceleration of rim wear in case of contamination.
  • Inability to use wide tires.
  • If the wheel is uneven (has “eights”), this type of brakes are difficult to adjust for high-quality performance.

Brake types

The bicycle market is growing and developing rapidly. Every year more and more new technologies, solutions and spare parts appear. Therefore, some of the details are outdated and cannot withstand the competition. Today we will discuss those types of bicycle brake systems that are actively used in our time.

So, bicycle brakes are of the following types:

  • Drum.
  • Rim (in turn are divided into: cantilever, tick-borne, hydraulic, and V-break).
  • Disk (there are: mechanical and hydraulic).

According to the popular classification, the first type is called a pedal brake, and the rest are called manual brakes. Now we will analyze each of the types separately.

Drum brakes

This type is known to many from childhood. These are the brakes that were installed on the legendary bike “Ukraine”, as well as children’s bicycles “Eaglet”, “Lastochka” and others. It is often referred to as rear or pedal. This is true because it is located in the rear wheel hub and is activated by pedaling in the opposite direction of travel. As a result of the rotation of the carriage in the opposite direction, the brake shoes installed inside the drum are spread apart and press the drum. Braking occurs due to the frictional force between the pads and the drum. Today this type is used in children’s bicycles, as well as in budget models of adult city bicycles.

  • Durability. It is mainly due to the fact that moisture, dust and dirt practically do not get into the closed-type mechanism.
  • The drum brake does not wear the wheel rim.
  • Simplicity. These brakes do not need constant maintenance.
  • They work even in case of wheel curvature, do not require fine adjustments.
  • Heavy weight.
  • It takes a lot of effort to slow down.
  • Cannot be used on multi-speed bike models.
  • The presence of a dead zone. Braking is not possible when the connecting rods are in vertical position.
  • If the chain falls off the sprocket, the brake will stop working.
  • Bicycle drum brakes do not provide an opportunity to brake suddenly. When every second counts, it matters.

Drum brakes are used on simple walking bicycles. In case the chain falls off, for greater safety, many put an additional brake of a different type on the front wheel.

Disc Bicycle Brakes

So, a disc brake consists of a rotor (disc) and a caliper (brake machine). The rotors are available in diameters from 140 to 220 mm. The higher this figure, the larger the lever arm and the more efficiently the brake works. The caliper is mounted on a frame or bushing. Pads are installed inside it, which are driven by special pistons. Bicycle disc brake pads are made from organic materials or metal filings. The first option allows for smooth braking and quickly grinds in, and the second grinds in for a long time and wears out longer.

How to set up disc brakes on a bicycle. answering user questions

The procedure for adjusting bicycle brakes fully depends on the type of system installed on the technical device. As a rule, such brakes are rarely adjusted, but sometimes such a procedure cannot be dispensed with.

There are two types of disc braking systems. “mechanics” and “hydraulics”. Their work is based on the same principle, but from a constructive point of view, there are some differences. The main difference is that the force directed to the handle is transmitted to the pads with the help of a special liquid or mineral oils, the cable is not used.

To understand how to set up disc brakes on a bicycle, it is recommended that you first learn how to install the system and its braces:

  • use a hex wrench to adjust the attachment points and the location of the handles;
  • a caliper is installed in a disc-type fastener located on a bicycle frame;
  • with special bolts included in the kit for the bicycle, they mount the brake discs;
  • a cable is inserted into the brake lever, it is connected to the caliper through the guides on the frame;
  • perform system setup.

Understanding your motorcycle’s brake | Disc Brake

When deciding to match the brakes on your bike, the first step is to adjust the travel of the brake lever located on the handlebar. Squeeze it all the way: if the stroke is long enough, pull the cable.

We continue to figure out how to set up disc brakes on a bicycle. The fact is that the process does not end with the tightening of the cable. it is necessary to adjust or change the pads.

Abrasion of the pads indicates that they need to be replaced. On a disc brake system, the pads do not wear out as quickly as in the rim version. To secure the process of an abrupt stop, the repair is carried out by pulling the cable. The distance from the pad to the disc should be between 0.2 and 0.4 mm so that the pad fits evenly onto the surface of the disc.

A reliable quick-stop system ensures a safe ride on your bike. If you do not know how to adjust them, please contact our company for help. Experienced craftsmen will carry out all the necessary activities, starting with checking the brakes and repairing them, and ending with setting up the system by adjusting its performance.

The price for the services provided is acceptable, depending on the model

Setting up mechanical disc brakes on a bicycle

In cases where one of the elements of the brake system fails, which makes it necessary to replace it, adjustments should be made. There are several sequential steps that will help you cope with this task efficiently and quickly:

  • We check all fixing elements (bolts). If one or more of them are not tightly screwed in, then they lose their functional purpose.
  • We unscrew (not completely, but only in order to loosen the fixation) the lock nut, after which we tighten the cable tension regulator on the steering wheel. We bring the locknut to the previous position (fix). With the adjustment located on the caliper, we perform the same actions. Pull the cable by hand after loosening the lock. When the required tension is reached, we twist the retainer back.
  • Dismantle the car.
  • As you know, one of the pads is motionless, and the other is vice versa. It is important to achieve an equal distance from the center of the caliper slot for proper rotor positioning. The fixed block is adjusted with a lock nut. By loosening it, you can move the position of the element as much as necessary. The movable block is adjusted by rotating the cable tension adjustment on the caliper. Having reached the desired position, we fix the non-static block.
  • We adjust the caliper. It must be aligned exactly in relation to the rotor.

How Disc Brakes Works. Part 1 | Autotechlabs

That’s all done. It often happens that the rotor still rubs against the block when moving. This is not surprising, because it is not always possible to align the pads themselves exactly. Determine which one is not fixed correctly (just push the bike and see, this will be enough) and adjust the desired one as described in the instructions above. But sometimes the cause of friction is rotor deformation. To do this, it must be aligned. If the flaws are too serious, it is better to replace.

How to set up disc brakes on a bicycle

Running a bike is one thing, but fixing it is another. Even skilled and experienced cyclists are faced with the problem of incorrect / defective disc brakes. You can deal with this phenomenon if you clearly know the principle of operation and the structure of the system. And you should start with these main points.

The main differences between hydraulic and mechanical disc brakes

The main difference between the hydraulic and mechanical types is the principle of transferring the force exerted on the handle to activate them. So, if a cable serves as a conductor of the pressure force in mechanics, then in hydraulics it is a liquid. Both brake and mineral oil (depending on the manufacturer) can be used as a fluid. Both of them are good in their own way, and their effect differs from each other to an insignificant degree. The photo shows a schematic representation of the device of the hydraulic type of disc brakes.

Photo: the main elements of the hydraulic system of disc brakes

Adjusting hydraulic disc brakes

Hydraulic bike brakes are positioned as self-adjusting, requiring no intervention or adjustment. But you still need to set them up from time to time. For example, if you hear strange creaks or rustles during operation, or the factory settings are initially incorrectly set. The following few steps will help you quickly and efficiently set up your hydraulic disc brakes:

  • The bolts fixing the caliper on the adapter must be loosened.
  • Squeeze the brake lever and fix it in this position (if there is no assistant, use the materials at hand: electrical tape, fishing line, wire).
  • We carry out a visual inspection. As with a mechanical system, the rotor should be positioned clearly in the middle of the caliper slot, with pads equidistant from it. If the rotor is not positioned correctly, align it by pressing in the direction where the unevenness is noticed. This will contribute to the even distribution of the liquid and fixation in the desired position of the pads and the rotor.
  • At this point, the adjustment can be considered complete, and you just have to fix the mounting bolts and return the handle to its original position.
READ  How to correctly bearings on a bicycle axle

As with mechanics, hydraulics also have a rotor that performs the same function. Sometimes it can give in to deformation. But this can be eliminated by determining the place of the bend and bending it in the opposite direction. Then the shuffling sounds when driving will stop.

Device and principle of operation

The difference between the principles of operation of disc and mechanical brakes is insignificant. But, there are still differences in their device. Let’s consider step by step, starting with the mechanical type, which is arranged as follows:

  • Brake handle. It is fixed on the steering wheel, for the convenience of squeezing, with a clamp. It is designed to transfer force to the brake pads, bringing them into action.
  • Cable adjuster with lock nut. The first element serves as a regulating device for limiting the cable tension. The second is for fixing the regulator itself.
  • Brake lever adjuster designed to determine a comfortable distance to the handlebars.
  • Cable jacket. protecting it from dirt, mechanical damage.
  • To fix the cable, a clamp in the form of a bolt is used, with the possibility of adjustment
  • The mechanism that allows the cable to be set in motion, when pressed on it, is called a caliper. Its action is not possible without brake pads. rubber or metal fragments that ensure a tight clamping of the disc.
  • Directly disc (rotor). It locks onto the wheel hub.

Figures 1 and 2 show schematically all of the above details.

Figure: Bicycle brakes

Figure: appearance of the brake lever with main elements

Brake system diagnostics

As with the human body, which functions as a whole, before fixing brake problems on a bicycle, diagnostics should be carried out to determine the extent of brake damage. After all, if the block is worn out, from which the impact on the disc becomes much worse, and there is no stopping effect (due), then only it needs to be replaced, and not the system as a whole. So, below are some of the diagnostic steps you need to take to identify the causes of your bike’s “ailment”:

  • Deformation of the rotor can be one of the reasons for the malfunctioning of the braking system. Therefore, removing it is a top priority. When you unscrew the clamps and remove the rotor, it must be placed on a flat surface, such as a mirror. Carefully inspect how tightly and evenly the rotor adheres to it, and if you notice irregularities, then they need to be corrected.
  • We dismantle the brake pads to carry out a visual inspection for damage. This action is as follows: find the extension on the caliper, and then turn the pads until they are removed. It is not difficult to visually determine the wear on their surface. So, the figure shows that the block on the right is already completely worn out and requires immediate replacement.
  • Figure: Determining Pad Wear
  • The next “candidates for close inspection” are cables and shirts. This item is suitable for those modes of transport where mechanics are used. It is necessary to check the cable for fiber breaks, deformations, and so on. As for the shirts, remember that their function is to protect the cable from negative factors (accumulation of dust, moisture). Therefore, cracks or breaks simply should not be present here. Both elements must be lubricated before installation / replacement.
  • For hydraulics, there is also a test exclusively inherent in this type of system. the condition of the hydraulic line for leaks. It is important to understand that in the presence of leaks in the hydraulics, the proper pressure may simply not be exerted on the pads, which automatically disables the system. Damage to the hydraulic lines is quite likely, which are revealed by visual inspection. over, it does not matter at all whether this damage is strong, or insignificant. It is also necessary to check the junction of the brake hose, caliper and master cylinder. A rod extends from the brake lever to the piston. another potential place from which fluid can be vented in case of mechanical damage (on the cuffs). After dismantling the brake pads, it is necessary to check for leaks on the caliper itself.
  • The rotator, like the pads themselves, can get dirty while using the bike. Both oil and dust accumulate here, forming solid layers that interfere with the operation of the system. Adjusting the brakes without cleaning the rotor and pads from dirt is a mistake. Cleaning can be done with fine-grained sandpaper. But for this you need to dismantle both parts so that cleaning is done as efficiently as possible.
  • The final is wheel adjustment. It should not be skewed to the side in any way. You can check this simply by placing the bike on a flat surface and performing a visual inspection. If the wheel is tilted to the side, it must be aligned (loosen the eccentric, then adjust the wheel).

A set of such activities is required. All this can be done quickly enough if you have all the necessary tools (screwdriver, wrenches). Next, we go directly to the processes of adjusting and installing the brakes.

It is possible to fix problems on a bicycle, even on your own, without proper experience and training. All you need to do is follow the instructions above. You should not rush through the setup, as this is a delicate process, and everything will work out for you!

Setting up mechanical disc brakes on a bicycle

In cases where one of the elements of the brake system fails, which makes it necessary to replace it, adjustments should be made. There are several sequential steps that will help you cope with this task efficiently and quickly:

  • We check all fixing elements (bolts). If one or more of them are not tightly screwed in, then they lose their functional purpose.
  • We unscrew (not completely, but only in order to loosen the fixation) the lock nut, after which we tighten the cable tension regulator on the steering wheel. We bring the locknut to the previous position (fix). With the adjustment located on the caliper, we perform the same actions. Pull the cable by hand after loosening the lock. When the required tension is reached, we twist the retainer back.
  • Dismantle the car.
  • As you know, one of the pads is motionless, and the other is vice versa. It is important to achieve an equal distance from the center of the caliper slot for proper rotor positioning. The fixed block is adjusted with a lock nut. By loosening it, you can move the position of the element as much as necessary. The movable block is adjusted by rotating the cable tension adjustment on the caliper. Having reached the desired position, we fix the non-static block.
  • We adjust the caliper. It must be aligned exactly in relation to the rotor.

That’s all done. It often happens that the rotor still rubs against the block when moving. This is not surprising, because it is not always possible to align the pads themselves exactly. Determine which one is not fixed correctly (just push the bike and see, this will be enough) and adjust the desired one as described in the instructions above. But sometimes the cause of friction is rotor deformation. To do this, it must be aligned. If the flaws are too serious, it is better to replace.

Device and principle of operation

The difference between the principles of operation of disc and mechanical brakes is insignificant. But, there are still differences in their device. Let’s consider step by step, starting with the mechanical type, which is arranged as follows:

  • Brake handle. It is fixed on the steering wheel, for the convenience of squeezing, with a clamp. It is designed to transfer force to the brake pads, bringing them into action.
  • Cable adjuster with lock nut. The first element serves as a regulating device for limiting the cable tension. The second is for fixing the regulator itself.
  • Brake lever adjuster designed to determine a comfortable distance to the handlebars.
  • Cable jacket. protecting it from dirt, mechanical damage.
  • To fix the cable, a clamp in the form of a bolt is used, with the possibility of adjustment
  • The mechanism that allows the cable to be set in motion, when pressed on it, is called a caliper. Its action is not possible without brake pads. rubber or metal fragments that ensure a tight clamping of the disc.
  • Directly disc (rotor). It locks onto the wheel hub.

Figures 1 and 2 show schematically all of the above details.

Figure: Bicycle brakes

Figure: appearance of the brake lever with main elements

How to release the disc brake on a bicycle

It is enough to screw in the cable tension drum a certain number of revolutions. If its stroke is not enough, unscrew the nut securing the cable to the caliper and loosen its tension. Option “so-so”. unscrew the handle adjustment bolt.

Don’t forget about the fixed shoe. Moving away the movable friction pad with a cable, move the static one, so that symmetry with respect to the rotor is maintained.

The main differences between hydraulic and mechanical disc brakes

The main difference between the hydraulic and mechanical types is the principle of transferring the force exerted on the handle to activate them. So, if a cable serves as a conductor of the pressure force in mechanics, then in hydraulics it is a liquid. Both brake and mineral oil (depending on the manufacturer) can be used as a fluid. Both of them are good in their own way, and their effect differs from each other to an insignificant degree. The photo shows a schematic representation of the device of the hydraulic type of disc brakes.

READ  Bicycle handlebar switch not working

Photo: the main elements of the hydraulic system of disc brakes

Working with the caliper

Adjusting mechanical disc brakes on a mountain bike is a two-step process: adjusting the caliper and adjusting the brake lever. To adjust the caliper means to align the pads symmetrically with respect to the disc, while the gaps should be minimal.

When adjusting the caliper, it is important to follow the sequence of actions:

  • Center the clipper. Loosen the bolts securing the caliper to the adapter and, moving the caliper, find such a position in which the pads will be equidistant from the disc and completely parallel to it. After centering the machine, pull it to the adapter, observing the rule of uniform tightening: turn one bolt ¼ turn, then the other also ¼, and repeat the described procedure again with the first and second fasteners.
  • Align the gap between the fixed pad and the disc. Any grade of mechanical disc brake caliper has a bolt or adjusting wheel to move the fixed pad closer / away from the disc. Here the task is to use this adjustment in order to bring the block as close to the rotor as possible, while maintaining the clearance. The easiest way to do this is to move the friction pad close to the disc, but so that it does not bend it, and loosen the bolt a little to get a small gap.
  • Adjust the clearance between the rolling block and the rotor. On serious kits, a special adjustment is provided for this. a bolt that moves the block regardless of the tension of the cable. On cheap bikes, this setting is combined with the cable tension. The task is to set the same gap as between the fixed friction lining and the disc.

Advice. Adjust the clearance so that the friction linings grip the disc tightly in the middle of the brake lever travel. To do this, you will need to adjust the tension of the cable using a wing and the position of the fixed shoe (in order to maintain symmetry about the rotor).

For your information. Caliper centering can be skipped if this operation has been performed before and the wheel has not been removed.

How Do Disc Brakes Work? | What Makes Your Bike Stop

BIKE BRAKE PADS, WHAT ARE

Cycling safety, the efficiency of its braking system directly depends on the used brake pads. Consider what are the brake pads for a bicycle, their advantages and disadvantages.

Depending on the design and price range, the pads are divided into varieties. And first of all, for two main types of brakes: rim (V-brake) and disc.

METALLIC BRAKE PADS

Consist of an alloy of metal-containing substances.

  • more resistant to heat from friction than organic brake pads;
  • work more efficiently in wet conditions;
  • I have a greater resource.
  • create noise;
  • long grinding;
  • modulation is relatively worse;
  • the caliper heats up instead of dissipating heat through the rotor.

These pads are preferred by riders with a lot of weight. Suitable for use on wet tracks in mud and rain. During long descents, they retain their power, although modulation is worse with them.

They work noisily, but due to the greater rigidity of the composition, they have a tangible advantage in resource. Therefore, when starting the choice of brake pads, first of all, consider in what conditions you will use them.

PADS FOR DISC BRAKE SYSTEMS

On the market, brake pads for disc brakes are metallized (Sintered) and organic (Resin). And these types have both advantages and disadvantages.

Factors such as rider weight, weather and trail conditions, riding style, and rotor size can dictate the selection of a suitable pad composition.

HOW TO SET UP DISC BRAKES ON A BIKE: INSTRUCTIONS

Setting up disc brakes on a bicycle is not a complicated process. Now see for yourself. Let’s find out how to set up disc brakes on a bicycle yourself without asking for professional help:

  • After fixing the wheel, the caliper should be centered in relation to the rotor by picking up and installing between the mounts on the frame and the caliper washers of various thicknesses that are included.
  • The position of the caliper will vary depending on how tight the bolts are. Accordingly, the thickness and number of washers will need to be selected to a fraction of a millimeter.
  • In the case when the rotor is in contact with both pads and friction occurs, the pads must be diluted. To do this, slightly unscrew the special hexagon on the caliper, while the brakes will start to work later.
  • If you want to achieve a shorter brake lever travel, the hex must be screwed in. This may be due to an uneven brake disc that will need to be leveled.
  • During the robot, do not turn the bike over to avoid air entering the system. Also, do not press the handle if there is no oil in the system, and the rotor does not stand between the brake pads, otherwise they will shrink, after which you will have to remove the caliper and open the brake pads with a screwdriver.
  • When all operations are completed, tighten all the bolts again. When checking the robot, we carefully monitor that the brake disc does not warp or shift when pressing the brake lever.

HOW TO INSTALL DISC BRAKES ON YOUR BIKE

Before considering how to install disc brakes on a bicycle, let’s understand a little what a hydraulic disc brake system is.

As a rule, the component parts of a disc hydraulic brake are: a brake lever, a hydraulic line, a rotor (brake disc) a caliper (having reservoirs for brake fluid, under the pressure of which the brake pads come into contact with the rotor), an adapter by means of which the caliper is attached to the bike frame.

Hydraulic disc brakes have a significant performance advantage over mechanical disc brakes. This is due to the fact that the fluid in the hydraulic lines does not change its density, does not compress or deform, in contrast to the mechanical brake cable.

There are open and closed types of hydraulic brakes. The disadvantages of closed ones include the need for adjustment during operation.

A decrease or increase in the volume of brake fluid, for example, due to the influence of temperature, causes the need to adjust the position of the brake pads. Also, brake pads should be adjusted when partial wear occurs.

Open brakes do not have this problem. Since their design provides for an expansion tank filled with brake fluid (usually located at the brake lever). Such brakes do not require adjustments during operation.

The presence of modulation (smooth movement of the handle at the beginning of the stroke and powerful adhesion of the pads to the rotor at the end) is influenced by the number of pistons in the caliper.

When it comes to choosing a particular model, it makes sense to consult with its owner. After all, different riding styles require different braking systems.

Cross country athletes are suitable for smooth and light, in downhill or freeride. powerful and well-controlled, in dirt jumping. with good modulation and, at the same time, as light and powerful as possible.

After the first adjustment of the pads, relative to the brake disc, they themselves take the correct position. This does not apply to single piston models. They require regulation, almost like mechanical ones. For example, Hayes Sole. This model is not considered the best among hydraulic brakes.

The preliminary preparation of open type hydraulic disc brakes is as follows:

  • The brake system must be filled with oil. Shimano brakes use mineral oil. Avid, Hayes, Helix brakes use DOT brake fluid.
  • The process of pumping the brake consists in squeezing out air from the hydraulic lines, cylinders and brake tanks, driving oil through them.
  • Then the caliper is set in such a way that the brake pads do not cling to the rotor.
  • Install disc brakes on a bicycle in the following sequence:
  • Fix the brake levers on the steering wheel and adjust their position using a hexagon;
  • We install the rotor on the hub, put the wheel in place, tighten with bolts or eccentrics;
  • We fasten the adapter firmly, it is possible to use a thread lock;
  • Install the caliper, but do not tighten the hexagons, so that it “floats”.
  • By pressing the brake lever, check whether the brake pads extend equally when pressed.
  • Clamping the brake disc with pads, the caliper will be in place. To help him, you should try to spin the wheel back and forth.
  • Tighten the bolts alternately. If the bolts were very loose, you will have to smoothly release again and sharply press the handle.
  • Having pressed the caliper, you need to sharply push the handle 15-30 times to bring the pads to the brake disc at the working distance.
  • With the handle released, we spin the wheel and check if there is any friction of the rotor on any of the pads. If there is, you need to loosen the clipper bolts and move it slightly towards the rubbing block.
  • Then we tighten the bolts back and check if there is a need, we repeat the above steps.

V-BRAKE BRAKE PADS

Disposable. their design consists of a bolt with spacer washers of a metal plate and a rubber base. They have small lines of operation, but also inexpensive.

Cartridge. their design consists of a bolt with spacer washers of a metal plate and cartridge pads, which are removed by pressing the cotter pins. The rubber base can be replaced.

READ  How To Change A Wheel On A Bicycle

There are pads for both dry and wet weather. You can determine the degree of wear of the rim brake pads by using special marks (grooves).

Worn pads should be replaced promptly to avoid damage to the rim. Note that both cartridge and disposable pads are suitable for V-brakes. And here the rule applies. the more expensive, the more effective.

ADJUSTMENT OF THE MECHANICAL DISC BRAKE

  • Since mechanical disc brakes are more sensitive to wheel axle misalignment, bolts or cams should be tightened while sitting on the bike or pressing down on the front shock. Otherwise, in the future, making small jumps, while driving, friction of the rotor against the block may appear.
  • We tighten the adapter tightly. Install the caliper using the instructions above. One of the pads is pulled out by screwing the screw half a turn, which adjusts its position.
  • In Hayes brake systems, before performing this operation, you need to unscrew the locking hexagon, and after all the adjustment is completed, return to its original position.
  • Gently press the caliper to the rotor so that its plane coincides with the plane of the fixed pad.
  • Then, alternately tighten the caliper mounting bolts. The actions given above are carried out with the jacket and cable disconnected. Make sure that the plane of the pad does not move relative to the plane of the brake disc.
  • We tighten both hexagons and return the pad adjusting bolt to its original position.
  • After that, we spin the wheel, checking for friction. If there is no friction, the static block can be pushed out slightly with the adjusting bolt and vice versa.
  • We press the movable block, pulling the lever to which the cable is attached. In this case, the rotor will be slightly displaced towards the static block, but slightly!
  • We put the cable and the shirt in the desired position in the lever, the outer block must be pressed. Tighten the corresponding bolt slightly.
  • Gently press the brake lever until the start of the working stroke, from which the cable will be in the desired position in the lever. We tighten the fastening of the cable and check for the presence of friction of the pads. We twist the adjustment on the handle a little, if the shoe rubs and vice versa.

The brakes need to be adjusted so that the adjustment on the handle is minimally unscrewed, therefore, it is better to correct the position of the cable on the caliper lever. So the thread of the handles will be protected from damage.

Bicycle brakes: slow down expertly

Home »Bicycle device» Bicycle brakes: slow down expertly

The brakes on any bike are designed to stop the bike or to regulate the speed of movement. That is why the braking system is evaluated primarily according to two parameters:

  • modulation. the ability to adjust the speed, slow down;
  • braking efficiency. the ability to abruptly stop driving.

Bicycle brake mechanisms are divided into:

  • rim;
  • disk;
  • drum (pedal);
  • roller;
  • aspiring.

Only the first 3 species are widespread. All braking systems of a bicycle can be divided depending on which wheel they stop rotation, that is, into front and rear.

Front brakes are usually hand brakes and are activated by pressing a handle on the steering wheel. Rear brakes are most often pedaled backwards and are therefore called foot brakes.

Disc brakes on a bicycle

Disc brakes are gaining more and more popularity day by day. They can be front and rear, mechanical and hydraulic. The way the disc brake works makes this type of construction very popular.

A steel disc, or rotor, is placed on the hub, usually on the left side. The caliper, a device that compresses the rotor with brake pads, is also attached to the hub. Braking force is transmitted using a cable or hydraulic line coming from the brake lever on the steering wheel.

Mechanical disc brakes. This design uses the same cable as, for example, in “V-breaks”. The simplicity of the engineering solution explains the pros and cons of this bicycle front brake circuit.

  • frequent stretching and jamming of the cable;
  • a large number of rubbing parts, and, as a result, the need for frequent replacement of components;
  • modulation level is worse than in hydraulics.
  • the possibility of repair “on the knee” due to the simplicity of the design of bicycle disc brakes;
  • relatively low price.

Hybrid disc brakes. Their working scheme combines the principles of mechanics and hydraulics. In more detail, the braking force is transmitted to the hydraulic part of the brake using a cable.

This type is not very common: it is considered that its advantages in relation to pure mechanics are not great enough compared to the difference in price.

Hydraulic disc brakes. The disc brake consists of a means of transmitting the braking force and the brake itself. The braking force is transmitted through a special high-pressure tube. Pressing the handle forces the brake master cylinder to press on the fluid in the tube, from which pressure is transferred to the brake cylinder in the caliper.

  • high leakage potential;
  • high price;
  • the complexity of repair and customization;
  • heavy weight.
  • high efficiency when properly configured;
  • practically unchanged braking force transmission, i.e. excellent modulation.

The way hydraulic brakes work on a bike makes them the best choice for high-end mountain bikes.

Pros and cons of rim brake systems in general:

  • braking forces are applied to the rim, and this reduces the load on the spokes and hub;
  • less heat than disc brakes;
  • comparative ease of customization;
  • small mass;
  • relatively low price.
  • an instant decrease in efficiency when snow, water, dirt, oil gets on the rim, but special notches for removing moisture partly solve this problem;
  • dependence of braking efficiency on wheel geometry;
  • the need for frequent replacement of pads;
  • impossibility of integration with many frames and forks;
  • rapid wear of the rim due to friction on the pads.

V-breaks can shorten frame life, and hydraulic rim brakes can simply rip out a feather or mount when braking hard. Depending on how the brakes are arranged on a particular bike, the pads can be made of different types of rubber, and their mount is made of metal.

Bicycle rim brakes

This group got its name from the word “rim”: it is he who compresses the brake pads, slowing down the movement. The brakes are activated by a cable from the brake lever. Varieties:

Tick-borne brakes, or “crabs”. It is widely believed that such a device for the brake system of a bicycle will soon lose its last fans. But so far, “crabs” are often installed on road and simple mountain bikes. The scheme of operation of such a bicycle brake system is very simple: the pads are attached to arcuate levers and, when you press the handle, squeeze the wheel rim, slowing down the speed of its rotation.

Taking a look at the list of advantages and disadvantages of caliper brakes, it is easy to see why they are losing popularity so quickly.

  • questionable braking efficiency;
  • constant distortions;
  • friction of the pads on the rim without pressing the brake lever;
  • the inability to integrate them with most suspension forks;
  • rapid pollution;
  • high price with such unflattering characteristics.
  • simplicity of design;
  • ease of maintenance.

Summing up, we can say that the very design of this bicycle handbrake is the cause of most of the problems.

Cantilever brakes. This system of bicycle brakes is quite rare nowadays. Cantilever brakes. another scheme that goes down in history.

The principle of their work can be described as follows: a pair of levers with brake pads are fixed with special fasteners to the fork. By pressing the brake lever, these levers are attracted to each other, compressing the rim with the brake pads.

  • mediocre braking performance;
  • bad modulation.
  • ease of maintenance;
  • little weight;
  • do not clog up with dirt.

Cantilever brakes are now used on children’s bicycles and low-cost models. This model is also very popular among cyclocross fans.

Brakes of the V-break type, or “V-breaks”. These are the most common type of rim brakes today. This front brake on a bicycle is very similar in design to a cantilever brake. The fundamental difference lies in the way the cable is supplied. This seemingly small difference leads to huge differences in performance.

  • the need for professional customization;
  • the functionality of the system must be checked before each ride.
  • structural reliability;
  • acceptable braking efficiency and modulation.

Hydraulic rim brakes. How hydraulic brakes work on a bicycle is easier to understand for motorsport fans because the same hydraulic principles apply here:

  • The braking force is generated in the master cylinder.
  • When the handle is pressed, pressure is transmitted through the tube to the brake cylinders attached to the fork.
  • Under the influence of pressure, the cylinders push out the brake pads, forcing them to compress the rim.
  • heavy weight;
  • complexity of maintenance (impossibility of repair by a non-professional);
  • poor maintainability outside the workshop;
  • mediocre modulation.

Of the advantages. very high braking efficiency.

Such a specific balance of advantages and disadvantages led to the fact that such a device for bicycle brakes is in demand only in a trial.

Bicycle handbrake device: everything is in your hands

There are several schemes for hand brakes used on bicycles. Let’s talk about each type in more detail.