How To Adjust The Brakes On A Speed ​​Bike

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How to set up and adjust disc brakes on a bicycle

New bicycles are often equipped with rim brakes, or V-brakes, and Soviet bicycles have always been fitted with the only existing caliper brakes. Currently, this is due to the desire to reduce the cost of the design: it is no secret that many cyclists dream of changing the brakes to disc brakes as soon as possible. Often, even when choosing a bike, the costs for changing the brake system are included in the amount.

Below, we’ll show you how to set up disc brakes on your dream bike.

Since the principle of operation of disc brakes is different, it is impossible to adjust them according to the same scheme. Brake disc mechanisms are:

  • mechanical. In this case, the braking energy is transmitted mechanically, using a cable;
  • hydraulic brakes, which have a specially laid hydraulic line, and the braking energy is transmitted by the pressure of the liquid column.

Advantages and disadvantages of mechanical brakes

Mechanical brakes are cheaper, cables and casings (jackets), in which they are located, are quite reliable, more accessible than hydraulic lines. It is also important that the repair of a mechanical brake in the case of a bent disc is easy to carry out on your own.

Advantages and disadvantages of hydraulic brakes?

The main advantage, of course, is easier and more comfortable braking due to the “soft” pressure of the liquid column, “feel” of the handle and control over effort. The hydraulics are more robust with long braking distances, as they are less prone to overheating. Also, these brakes can be adjusted much less often than mechanical.

A significant drawback of liquid-powered braking systems is damage (breakthrough) of the hydraulic line, when service is indispensable.

Mechanical Disc Brake Adjustment

It is necessary to adjust the mechanical brakes when the disc “shorts”, rubs against the pad, or when the braking has become weak.

adjust, brakes, speed, bike

We start with the brake lever: squeeze it to failure. If it reaches the fingers, then we begin to limit its free travel: we loosen the lock nut of the machine and turn out the regulator, then tighten the lock nut and check the handle stroke. If you need to unscrew the screw too much, then first loosen the tightening of the cable. To do this, unscrew the caliper swingarm screw, and after you pull out the cable, turn it back on.

We estimate the gap between the disc and the pads. it is better for the light and against a light background so that it is clearly visible. The illustration on the right clearly shows that the brake machine itself is crooked, and to adjust, we loosen the screws that attach the brake to the fork or adapter.

After that, loosen the screws so that the brake moves freely.

After the caliper has become movable, you need to “squeeze” the brake lever again, as at the very beginning, and fix it in this state by tying it to the grip with a strip of fabric or an elastic band. The clipper is then correctly centered on the disc. 5. Only now we tighten the screws securing the brake machine to the adapter or plug. We act strictly one by one, screwing the screws equally, at 25% of the turn. After that, release the handle.

After these measures, we get a perfectly uniform mutual position of the disc and pads, without distortions. Setup finished!

Adjusting the hydraulic disc brake

The reason for tuning, as always, is resistance to wheel movement, as well as extraneous sounds, for example, creaking and rustling. Do not forget about a simple check: a suspended and spun wheel quickly stops if the pads touch the brake disc.

  • We loosen the bolts on the caliper so that it is movable, then we squeeze the brake handle so that the pads are pressed against the rotor
  • Now it is worth checking the position of the valves on the pads so that they stand symmetrically and equally from the rotor.
  • Now you need, without releasing the handle, tighten all the screws on the caliper.
  • We release the handle, check the operation of the mechanism. In the best case, the pads from the disc should be at the thickness of the hair, but not touching it.
  • If the pads are still located at different distances, but at the same time the rotor is ideally placed in the machine, then you can do this: press the disc against the pad that protrudes more strongly, and work sharply with the brake handle about 10 times. The unevenness of the valve aligns the pads, and eliminates the malfunction. It is better to do this together: the assistant presses the disc to the block with both hands, and the other squeezes the handle.
  • At the end of the setting, we set the brake lever correctly using the adjusting hexagon. The main thing to remember here is that moving the handle closer to you simultaneously brings the pads closer to the rotor and vice versa.

Let’s say that whatever brakes you choose, you should always be confident in them. And only when all your orders the bike will execute flawlessly, you will get real pleasure.

How to adjust rim and disc brakes on a bicycle

V-brakes can work just as well, and depending on the model, even better than disc brakes, and with the right settings and good brake pads, they will. Their design allows you to adjust the pads in almost any plane, which cannot be achieved with cantilever and caliper brakes, as well as v-brakes that are rim brakes. They cost much less than disc brakes, weigh much less and adjust v-brakes is simple.


Replacement of pads is made when their surface is erased to the level of grooves for outflow of dirt (available on all v-brake pads). Those. the working surface becomes completely flat. over, if this happened only from one edge of the pads, this indicates that they were incorrectly installed. And again they need to be replaced.

Open the brake by bringing the brake levers together with your hand and removing the metal arcuate end of the shirt from the groove, from which the cable comes out (see picture)

If you are putting on simple new pads, then the main thing is to put on all the gaskets and washers that make up the pads fasteners in the required sequence (see the picture). Or better if you write down or sketch the sequence in which you had them. Sometimes the pads are left and right. This is always indicated on the pads themselves. Do not confuse!

The cartridge pads are even easier to change. They have a metal base and only the rubber pad changes. To do this, remove the locking cotter pin that secures the pad in the shoe and slide out the rubber pad. Do not lose the cotter pin, it does not always come with new pads. Insert new pads and secure with a cotter pin. Do not confuse left and right (see picture) Otherwise you will not be able to fix them.

After replacing the pads, the brakes need to be adjusted.

Setting up

The principle of operation of rim brakes is clear, I think to everyone. 2 brake pads located opposite each other parallel to the wheel, between them there is a rim. When you press the brake lever, the pads compress the rim, stopping the wheel. The mechanism is driven by a cable pull.

In order for the brakes to work without failures, you need to monitor the integrity of the cable. If its braid is loose somewhere or at least one fiber breaks, the cable should be replaced. It is important that the cable runs freely in the shirt. And make sure you don’t have eights.

The key to good brake performance is the correct pressure of the brake pads against the wheel rim. This is regulated by the pad fasteners, which consists of a set of aluminum spacers and a nut on the axle. This set allows you to fix the last at the desired angle. And to do this, you need to loosen the nut on each pad and firmly clamp the brake. Place the pads so that they are horizontal, touching the rim with their entire surface, but not touching the tire (see picture). And carefully shade the nuts without knocking out the position of the pads. This is true for cartridge pads. For ordinary pads, the rear part of the pads must first be pressed against the rim horizontally (see below). In addition, you need to watch that the brake levers converge equally. This is adjusted by the Phillips spring tension screw at the base of the lever.

If when you press the brakes one lever moves weakly, then the screw on this lever should be tightened a little, too easy. unscrew.

All articles in the section on mountain bike repair, cleaning and lubrication.

DIY repair, adjustment and adjustment of brakes on a bicycle

often than not, adjusting the brakes on a bike means placing the brake pads at the correct distance from the rim or disc and symmetrically to each other. Also, it may be necessary to tighten the cable or adjust the brake lever.


About bicycle disc brake repair

you can learn more from the article.

Setting up and installing hydraulic brakes on a bike is done in a different way, you can learn more about this here.

Disc brake creaks

? Find out how to get rid of this problem:

Steps to check and adjust the brakes

  • Determine the type of brakes. disc, rim or other option.
  • Raise the front wheel, spin it up and push the left brake lever. If the wheel has stopped, most likely the brake is working properly. But if at the same time the brake lever touches the steering wheel, then you need to pull the cable. Do the same with the rear wheel.
  • In order to tighten the cable, shaped bolts are provided on the brake lever. Try to twist them. if the cable requires a little adjustment, this should be enough.
  • If this does not help, then you need to tighten the cable. The cable in the brake lever is inserted into a special slot, at its end there is a cylinder of a larger diameter, for which it is held inside the handle. Therefore, it is tightened in the brake itself. See where the end of the cable is on your bike. The cable is obviously longer than the required length, so its end on the side of the brake is always visible. Sometimes it is even wound. We look at which bolt holds your cable, loosen it and tighten the cable with pliers. We tighten the bolt harder to clamp the cable.
  • If everything is in order with the handles, check the brake pads. (You can check the pads first and then the handles)

Setting up disc brakes on a bicycle is different from setting up rim brakes because they use different pads and rotating parts. Therefore, we will consider these systems separately.

Setting v brake rim brakes

Today, mountain bikes are widely used with v-brakes, so here’s an example of how to adjust the brakes of a bicycle in the case of a rim brake. Setting up other rim brakes is done in the same way. The only difference is that the bolts and screws that need to be tightened may be in other places. And the approach is the same (even in the case of disc brakes).

So, the basic rule is that the pads should be parallel to the rim. The clearance between the shoe and the rim should be 1mm. And both pads must be symmetrical.

V-Brake. adjusting the brakes on a bicycle video

A small instruction on how to achieve this.

  • We find the hex nut that fixes the pads, loosen it and set it as needed. To do this, we press the brake, watch how the shoe touches the rim when pressed and, if necessary, move it (after releasing the brake). The block can move both up and down, and at the desired angle, so you have the opportunity to set it in the right way. The main thing is to understand the essence.
  • We adjust the distance of the pad relative to the rim. The distance between the right shoe and the rim and between the left shoe and the rim must be the same. It should be 1-3mm, depending on your bike. In this case, braking should occur even with a minimal push of the handle. That is, it should not be so that you have pressed the handle halfway, and the wheel does not stop yet, and only when fully pressed, braking occurs!
  • And finally, you must definitely check the action of the adjusted brakes in practice. To begin with, you can do this with one wheel raised and then the other. But then be sure to check in real conditions. (Sometimes the wheel slows down in the air, but get behind the wheel, press the handle and drive on!) Therefore, drive 5 meters, press the brake and check all the conditions mentioned above. If when you press the handle 50% (before the steering wheel) the brake is applied, congratulations! You did everything right!

Successful rides for rim brake owners!

How to set up disc brakes on a bicycle, set the correct brake pads. Adjusting and adjusting disc brakes on a bicycle video

Adjusting disc brakes on a bicycle is done mainly by pulling the brake cable, but not only. Replacing pads on a bicycle is necessary when they are not yet completely erased and, as a rule, disc brake pads take longer to wear than rim ones. The hydraulic brakes are self-adjusting as the pads wear out. But in the case of a closed-type hydraulic brake, it is also necessary to adjust them (usually special valves are provided for this).

Adjusting mechanical disc brakes on a bicycle is most often accompanied by tension on the cable to provide reliable braking. The distance between the pad and the disc should be 0.2-0.4 mm. And the pads, as in the case of rim brakes, should be located at the same distance from the disc. Therefore, after you tighten the cable, check the position of the brake pads.

Special bolts are provided to adjust the position of the pads relative to the brake disc. As you twist them, you can see how your last moves. Set the desired distance from the pad to the disc. Make sure that when the wheel rotates, the pads do not catch the disc. After all, the gap of 0.3 mm is very small, and you need to be careful. And of course, make sure that the clearance you set is sufficient to brake the wheel.

Adjusting the disc brakes of a bicycle must always be accompanied by a test under real riding conditions. Drive on level ground for a few meters to determine if your brake is working reliably. Do not forget that if before that you hooked the steering wheel with the handle, now everything can change significantly. Be careful and careful! Braking too hard after tuning may come as a surprise!

Now you can also enjoy going on a long and not only trip on your bike!

It is more convenient to set up and adjust the brakes if there is a rack (holder)

for bike repair and maintenance

How to put disc brakes on a bike?

It often happens that you buy an expensive thing, and then the same thing comes out, only with a new “chip”. It’s the same with a bicycle. you bought a bike for yourself, you ride, you like everything, then you see how more and more often your friends or “random passers-by” appear big with disc brakes. And you wonder. is it possible to install disc brakes on your type of bike? And in general, is it worth it? Let’s try to answer your questions.

If you have chosen a mechanical disc brake and you already have the correct brake levers and cables installed, then you can leave them. Just make sure that the cables are not loose at the ends. If you haven’t changed the cables for several years, it is better to replace them for new brakes, because dust and dirt gets inside the shirts, which can create friction. Since changing the braking system, so thoroughly. Replace cables and shirts.

In case your choice fell on smooth hydraulics, you will need to completely remove all brakes, and install new levers and lay the hydraulic lines. Some frames have rails in which the brake lines can be positioned. Don’t rush to throw away the old brake. If you fail to adjust the hydraulics, or some kind of breakdown occurs far from the city, he can save you great.

You will also learn how to adjust the brake pads.

and their selection for v-brake brakes read in the article.

If you have not decided on the choice of brakes, then this article will help you with this.

Since we are talking about brakes, we can also, in contrast, talk about how to reach the maximum speed of your bike in the article

(2 assessments, the average: 4.50 of 5)

Aligning the hydraulic braking system

A pretext for repairing or adjusting a bicycle with disc brakes may be wheel spinning resistance and foreign sounds when you press the brake lever. How to properly adjust disc brakes on a bicycle?

  • It is necessary to loosen the screws on the caliper until they move freely, then squeeze the handle, while the pads must lean firmly against the hydraulic rotor.
  • At the same time, we check the gap of the hydraulic valves on the hubs, which should be parallel and be at the same distance from the rotor.
  • In the position of the pressed handle, tighten all the bolts on the caliper.
  • To check the operation of the device, you must release the handle and visually fix the backlash between the furry and the disk, which may not be larger than a hair.
  • In the case of an irregular installation of the caliper, you need to release and tighten the tightening of riveted cylindrical rods that have a screw thread on the surface of the caliper itself.
  • At the end of the adjustment, it is necessary to set the brake lever in the optimal position, while using the adjusting hexagon.

Adjusting the brakes on a bicycle

You suspect a malfunction of the brakes on the bike, strange sounds arose during braking and when you press the handle, the stopping mechanism does not work at all or works slowly, which means there is a need to adjust and adjust the system.

  • You need to start with the handle: when it is fully pressed, it should not reach the fingers of the hand, if on the contrary, then you need to adjust it using a lock nut.
  • After we evaluate the backlash between the disc and the pads. you can put a light sheet of paper for a more visual setting, release the screws that attach the brake to the fork or adapter.
  • Next, you need to loosen the screws for free wheeling of the brake.
  • As a result, the caliper has become a movable structure. Now you need to push the brake lever so that the pads are pressed against the rotor. While in this position, the caliper is centered.
  • Finally, attach the connecting screws to the adapter or plug. We carry out clearly alternately, screwing the screws in the same way, by 1/4 circle. Then the handle can be loosened.
  • Only if the caliper device is reliable, the handle is working properly, there is no distortion of the rotor design, as well as worn pads, all the previous recommendations for adjusting the disc brake on a bike will give a result.

V-brake adjustment

Anyone who is a little versed in the design can do the adjustment of the v-brake, because it is rather uncomplicated. The main rule is the synchronous placement of the stopper pads in relation to the wheel rim: they must both be at the same distance relative to the rim, and the gap between the bicycle wheel frame and the pads cannot exceed 1 mm. In fact, the basic principle of v-brake adjustment is demonstrated in setting the even distribution of pads and cable tension:

  • Adjusting the position of the shoes. In order to adjust the brake, you need to loosen the fixing nuts, which will return the pads to maneuverability and make it possible to move them in the required direction. The main aspect is that the pads must be installed strictly at the level of the rim, and the gap between the pads and the rim must be one-to-one on both sides.
  • The so-called “light check”. The simultaneous arrangement of the pads should be maintained both when the handle is clamped and released. The gap between the right and left pads is allowed in the range of one to three millimeters depending on your bike and should be symmetrical.
READ  How to remove reflectors from the spokes of a bicycle

It is permissible to check the tension of the cable by tightening the figured screw on the rudder handle. We screw in the rod, set the wheel in a rotational motion, while pressing the handle, the brakes should work. If this does not happen, then the length of the cable is incorrect.

Most often, it is deliberately set longer, which makes it possible to tighten or release the cable tension by loosening the fixing bolt. After finishing the adjustment, we tighten the bolt back. After all the settings, tighten the fixing screws.

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This brake is as simple as the bike itself: roughly speaking, these are two levers each with rubber pads, attached to the stays of the fork and the rear triangle, converging under the action of a cable, which in turn is selected by the handle on the handlebar.

The system is as simple as it is effective. Such a mechanism practically cannot break and can be easily adjusted. There are several types of rim brakes:

The brake cable is routed from the side to the top of the brake arm. The brake lever compresses both parts of the brake with cartridge brake pads. This system of parallel pad pressing allows for efficient braking. In addition, cartridge brake pads can be easily changed using a conventional hexagon. At the moment, this type of brake is the most common. It is used on almost all types of bicycles.

Most often used on road bikes, but there they are gradually being replaced by other types of brakes. The name of the brakes speaks volumes about its design: the brake pads are pressed against the rim by curved levers that look like pliers.

Their mechanism consists of two levers with brake pads attached to the pivots on the fork. With the help of a pair of rods, the cable moves the levers, after which braking occurs. This mechanism is simple and reliable, but it is less and less common. It is superseded by other other types of brakes with more effective stopping power.

Since V-brakes are the most common type of rim brakes, it is worth considering their advantages and disadvantages separately.

Benefits of rim brakes

  • Simple and efficient design
  • Lightweight compared to disc or drum brakes.
  • Low price.
  • Low load on spokes and hub.
  • Heat less than disc brakes.
  • Setting is very simple, affordable, can be done in the field.

Disadvantages of rim brakes

  • Deterioration of work in mud and wet weather, this leads to dangerous situations.
  • If the rim is crooked (figure eight), the brakes will cling to it.
  • Brake pads require relatively frequent replacement.
  • Cannot fit on many frames and forks.
  • Faster rim wear. This disadvantage is important for mountain bikes and other extreme bicycles, but for city bikes it is not significant.
  • erasing pads and rims, heating with prolonged braking.
  • Very wide tires cannot be used with V-brakes.

Why are these reliable disc brakes gradually replaced even in the budget bike niche? Let’s see.

A disc brake is a combination of a steel disc placed on the hub of a bicycle wheel, usually on the left side, and a device that compresses this disc with brake pads. a caliper. Disc brakes are divided into 2 types:

  • Mechanical. The braking force is transmitted by a cable in the jacket.
  • Hydraulic. The braking force is transmitted by the fluid through the hydraulic line.

Disc brakes device

The brake disc (rotor) is attached to the wheel hub, and the brake machine (caliper), inside which the brake pads are located. Disc rotors come in several sizes: 140, 160, 180, 185, 203 and 220 mm. The larger the rotor diameter, the more efficiently the brake works, as the arm of the brake force lever increases.

Mechanical brake features

  • the efforts from the handle are transmitted to the cable;
  • the cable is pulled up;
  • the brake pad moves in the caliper;
  • under the action of the return spring, it bounces off the disc when the lever is released.

Features of the hydraulic brake

  • a reservoir with brake fluid or oil;
  • hydroline;
  • leading drive cylinder;
  • brake pistons.

Brake pads can be filled with metal filings or organic material. Metal-filled pads last longer and are more resistant to wear and tear. Organic pads are softer, wear in quickly and provide smoother braking.

In many mechanical disc brakes, only one pad is movable, while the other is fixed to the frame. This allows to simplify and reduce the cost of the caliper, but leads to the need to tighten the stationary pad as wear occurs. Both pads move in hydraulic brakes.

Disc brake advantages

  • Disc brakes are less clogged when driving, as they are located closer to the center of the wheel, they work in mud, on snow.
  • Allows for smoother control of braking force than rim. In other words, they have better modulation.
  • Provides more powerful braking than V-brakes.
  • Can be used with slightly curved wheel geometry, eights do not affect brake performance.
  • Disc brakes rarely require service.
  • Do not wear out the rim.
  • Allows the use of wide tires.
  • Long pad life.
  • Bent rotor alignment is easier on them than on hydraulic disc brakes.
  • Can be used in harsh environments.

Disadvantages of disc brakes

Choice between mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes

Mechanical disc brakes are cheaper and simpler, so they are suitable for those who choose a budget bike model.

Hydraulic brakes require a specialized workshop for repairing the hydraulic line, bleeding, replacing components. It makes sense to take them when the workshop is nearby in order to turn there for help.

Hydraulics are best used in particularly tough conditions where power, accuracy and braking speed are at the forefront.

If the budget allows. take hydraulics, the sensations of high-quality braking are difficult to describe in words, very positive emotions!

The brake mechanism is located in the rear wheel hub, while the hub itself or its special part is a drum, and the brake pads inside, when braking, expand and clamp the brake drum.

They can be both manual and foot operated. Nowadays, hand drum brakes have been practically supplanted due to their large mass and whimsicality; foot drum brakes are still used in road and city bikes with one gear or planetary gearshift.

Drum brake advantages

  • Low-maintenance and unpretentious. Service is quite rare, although it requires a certain skill.
  • Unaffected by water, mud, snow, oil and weather conditions on braking.
  • No rim wear.
  • It is possible to drive with a curved wheel geometry (“eight”).

Disadvantages of drum brakes

  • Are heavy.
  • force is required to brake than other types of brakes.
  • Cannot be used on multi-speed bikes.
  • The presence of a “dead zone”. when it is impossible to brake with the vertical position of the connecting rods.
  • There is a risk. if the chain falls off the sprocket and the front brake is not installed on the bike, the bike cannot be stopped.
  • It takes time for the transition from moving forward to the beginning of braking, which in some cases can be critical.

Roller brakes (roller, cam), in fact, are drum (but not shoe) brakes, but have a slightly different principle of pressing the rollers-“shoes” to the drum.

Schematically, the mechanism is the same design as the inner (sub-shoe) cam mechanism of a drum drum brake; or the roller clutch of the freewheel clutch turned against the main direction of rotation.

Roller brakes advantages

  • Powerful.
  • Complete independence from dust, mud, water and snow.
  • No rim wear.
  • The possibility of long-term operation without adjustments and settings.
  • Can be driven with curved wheel geometry.

Disadvantages of roller brakes

  • Large mass.
  • High price.
  • Cannot fit on some shock mounts.
  • It is possible to spin the wheel back when the brake is applied.
  • Poorly distributed (including). Hence the difficulty in acquiring.

Step. determine the type of brakes

The type of brakes fitted to your bike depends primarily on your riding style. Let’s figure it out with clear examples.

  • Foot. They are installed on the simplest city models, and on almost all walking bike models, for example, cruisers. Such brakes are very simple in structure, effective and reliable. In addition, and most surprisingly, the foot brakes do not need to be adjusted at all. They have one peculiarity: the longer you use them, the more force you need to apply for effective braking. This is, by and large, the only problem that can arise with such brakes, and it is solved by replacing the internal pads. This should be done by a master, it is not recommended to disassemble the brakes himself. there is a risk of wasting time in vain and gaining a lot of nerves, after which you still have to contact the master.
  • Rim. They are put on walking bikes, city bikes, road bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes and even jumping bikes. They are very simple in design, efficient, reliable, and most importantly, they weigh little. That is, despite the insignificant obsolescence, rim brakes continue to be used throughout the world. Their only drawback is that with prolonged use, the wheel rim is depleted, which leads to its destruction. Disc brakes look like this: two handlebars on the steering wheel that receive pressure, a system of cables, and two small mechanisms with pads on each wheel. force is imparted to them, after which an effective action occurs, that is, braking.
  • Disc brakes. The most progressive of all the varieties that exist today, they surpass the rim in everything, with the exception of two parameters. they weigh more, and require the installation of a special rotor on the drum, which makes it impossible to install, for example, a trunk. In general, disc brakes are the most effective and are used by professional riders to maximize ride control. Therefore, disc brakes are installed on high-level mountain bikes, as well as on bicycles for extreme riding. it is no longer possible to come up with something more effective. Due to braking through the rotor, the wheel rim does not suffer at all, and the very condition of the wheel does not in any way affect the braking. The last disadvantage of disc brakes is that they require powerful spokes from the bike, because the braking force is transmitted from the rotor through the spokes to the wheel.

Within the framework of a specific article, we will talk about rim and disc brakes. these are the most common types, and besides, they really need regular adjustment, which cannot be said about the foot brake. But before that, we’ll figure out how to tell if the brakes on your bike really need tuning.

When you really need to adjust your brakes

  • When you have a new bike. After installing new components on the bike, they need to be run-in, the purpose of which is to determine the condition of all elements of the bike. For two or three trips, you will probably understand whether you need to release the brakes or, on the contrary, tighten them. all this is determined empirically. 98 out of 100 cases, a new bike needs proper adjustment.
  • When the bike has been hanging on the wall for more than a month. Well, or stood in the garage. in a word, was not used. The worst option is when the bike was stored at subzero temperatures. here you will need to service not only the pads and the brake mechanism, but also the transmission.
  • When driving sounds that were not there before. It can be either a nasty creak, or a very measured hum, knock, whistle, wheeze. in a word, anything that speaks of a breakdown. And in most cases, the breakdown is associated with the brakes.
  • When braking performance has decreased. This can manifest itself in different ways, for example, when you press the lever, the bike does not brake instantly, but with a delay. Or like this: after braking, the handle returns to its original position for a long time.
  • When the damage is visible to the naked eye. The cables may peel or break, the handle may break, the shoe may crack, and so on.

Now, having studied the situations in which you need to adjust the brakes, let’s get down to business.


There are three types of rim brakes:

  • V-Brake;
  • cantilever;
  • tick-borne.

In about 80 out of 100 cases, a bicycle will have vibrake rim brakes. If your bike is not yet 10 years old, then the probability is reduced to almost one hundred percent. this is a vibration. This type of rim brake is simple and provides maximum braking power. Speaking about setting up rim brakes, we will mean exactly vibrake.

Next, you must adhere strictly to the order of actions. we proceed to remove the brake.

  • Carefully take the cable jacket and remove it from the holder. This is how the brake is released for further service.
  • Unscrew the screw securing the brake levers with holders to the bike frame.
  • After unscrewing the screws and taking out the shirts, we remove the brakes themselves from the steering wheel.
  • The fourth step is performed only if you are going to work with the pads. you need to unscrew the screws that fix them. At the same time, you need to unscrew very carefully, clearly remembering the sequence of all removed washers. With their help, adjustment will be carried out, so they must stand correctly.

If you’ve released the brakes on the wheels, then most likely you are going to change or update the pads. The latter is done when the bike was in a cold room for a long time or participated in a serious race where it was necessary to slow down a lot. The essence of the update is that the outer layer of rubber is simply removed, because it becomes too hard, and therefore completely unusable.

Replacing the pads is even easier. just remove the old rubber and put a new one in its place, carefully cutting it with a clerical knife if necessary. If the block is cartridge, then it simply changes the cartridge.

Having finished replacing the pads, let’s move on to adjusting the cable tension. The cables, or rather the degree of their tension, regulate the distance from the shoe to the wheel rim. To adjust this moment, you need to turn a special screw located on the brake lever. This should be done with the brakes already assembled. If such an adjustment does not help, you will have to unscrew the cable lock and shorten it, much less often a slight lengthening is required. To unscrew the retainer, you need a hexagon. it’s easy to do, you don’t have to worry about possible difficulties.

Next, you need to adjust the position and angle of the shoe. To do this, you do not need to remove the wheels, otherwise it will not be possible to clearly place the block. When leveling, follow three simple rules.

  • In any case, the pads must be in the plane of the rim. Not a single pad should go beyond its boundaries. this will damage the brakes.
  • The correct position of the pads is parallel to the rim. This position should be maintained regardless of whether you apply force to the brake levers or not.
  • By the rotation vector. This is how the pads are supposed to act on the rims. if they are really parallel, then they will.

After making the adjustments and adjustments, you just need to put all the screws back in place, fasten the loose clips, and check the brakes. over, note that it is imperative to check the brakes both at home and in real conditions. after a test drive, you will most likely need to adjust.

Disc brake adjustment

First of all, it is worth checking if the rotor is damaged. If there are chips and burst areas on it, then no adjustment will help. the brakes will still not work correctly. In case of a damaged rotor, it will need to be replaced.

As for the types of disc brakes, they are mechanical and hydraulic. The latter are put mainly on high-end bikes, because they cost a lot. The only difference between the adjustment of disc hydraulics and mechanics is the work with brake fluid. Before winter, for example, it will need to be drained a little. This will help increase pad free play.

In disc brakes, it is most often required to adjust the angle of pressing the pads against the rotor. Do not forget that first of all they must be strictly parallel to each other.

So, the brake pads on disc brakes are located in the caliper. this is a special device that is attached to the frame and to the bicycle fork using an adapter. Follow the steps below to adjust the caliper and pads.

  • Take the wheel and secure it in the position that you will use directly for driving.
  • Next, you need to see how the caliper works, for this you need to loosen the screws fixing it very slightly.
  • Now you need to press the brake lever to see how the caliper “goes” and returns to its place. Also remember to check the clearances.
  • Then it remains to tighten the machine, and fasten the screws one by one. that’s the whole setting.

Also, when adjusting disc brakes, you may need to adjust the length of the fixing cables. This is done in the same way as with rim brakes. The mount is untwisted, then the cable is released, shortened or lengthened, the mount is screwed back.

What are the brakes

Today, there are four types of brake systems that are installed on bicycles. They all have their own advantages and disadvantages that cycling enthusiasts have to put up with. Brakes are of the following types:

  • foot (pedal);
  • rim (v-brake. “vibrate”; c. brake. “vibrate”);
  • disk mechanical;
  • disc hydraulic.

Rim brakes

This is the most popular brake type today. The principle of their operation is as follows: when a force is applied, which is transmitted through a cable to the brake levers, the brake pads on the brake levers fit tightly to the wheel rim, which ensures braking. Rim brakes are cantilever, caliper and V-brake.

Cantilever brakes

Their mechanism consists of two levers with brake pads attached to the pivots on the fork. With the help of a pair of rods, the cable moves the levers, after which braking occurs. This mechanism is simple and reliable, but it is encountered less and less. It is superseded by other other types of brakes with more effective stopping power.

Caliper brakes (C-brake)

Most often used on road bikes, but there they are gradually being replaced by other types of brakes. The name of the brakes speaks volumes about its design: the brake pads are pressed against the rim by curved levers that look like pliers.

V-brake brakes

V-brakes are applied in the same way as cantilever brakes. The brake cable is routed from the side to the top of the brake arm. The brake lever compresses both parts of the brake with cartridge brake pads. This system of parallel pad pressing allows for efficient braking. In addition, cartridge brake pads can be easily changed using a conventional hexagon. At the moment, this type of brake is the most common. It is used on almost all types of bicycles.

Despite the fact that these brakes have long been invented a better and more effective replacement, they are still installed on bicycles. Among the obvious advantages are:

  • ease of maintenance;
  • cheapness of system components;
  • ubiquitous availability of replacement elements.

Adjusting bicycle brakes does not require a lot of knowledge and skills, but you have to show restraint and patience, especially if you need to adjust cheap options. The pads that grip the rims when the wheel is stopped will wear out over time and need to be replaced.


In the case of mechanics, the reason for the weakening of its work may be due to the following reasons:

  • dirt entering the brake pads;
  • insufficient cable tension;
  • dust and dirt in the “shirt”;
  • complete wear of the cable;
  • brake pad wear.

Maintenance of disc brakes on a bicycle is a mandatory measure that must be carried out every time you have the slightest suspicion of deterioration in performance. Find out the cost of the service on the spot at the Langtu workshop or by calling.

What our service center offers

The workshop is equipped with all the necessary equipment and tools to solve the most difficult and painstaking tasks. These include repairing bicycle disc brakes, which means:

  • burning of oil-stained pads;
  • elimination of oil leakage;
  • complete replacement of the hydraulic line;
  • brake lever stroke adjustment;
  • alignment of the rotor;
  • setting the correct position of the caliper.

And also many other things that could cause incorrect operation or complete failure of your brakes! Servicing the brake pads of a bicycle or changing the fluid in the hydraulics is one of the most difficult and expensive procedures, since the provision of these services requires a lot of time.

If your bike was purchased from us, then you automatically become the owner of a one-year warranty. This means that the first maintenance of the hydraulic brake or any other is absolutely free.

Our company strongly discourages riding a bike with weak brakes, otherwise the risk of accidents increases. If you are not sure of the correctness of their work, it is better to play it safe. Come to the workshop for maintenance!

Monitor your bike regularly and it will serve you for years!

Caliper brakes

Used exclusively on road bikes. Although a more simplified design of caliper brakes can be found on children’s bicycles. They differ from vibracks in that both brake levers are attached to the frame with a single screw. All adjustment comes down to setting the gap between the pads and the rim using the tension on the cable. The most popular brands are Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo.

Disc mechanical brakes

The most popular manufacturers of such brakes are Tektro, Shimano, Avid. The braking force is transmitted in the same way, but not to the rim, but through a cable and a mechanism called a caliper, to a special brake disc (rotor). The caliper contains brake pads, usually made of metal or synthetic materials. One shoe is usually stationary (internal), the other (external), during braking is pressed against the rotor and presses the rotor against the fixed shoe. However, there are also systems with two movable pads. These brakes are usually found on mountain bikes.

Setting these brakes usually boils down to correctly (parallel) installing the caliper relative to the rotor and setting the clearance between the pads and the rotor using the adjusting mechanisms on the caliper. The simplest brakes may not have such adjusting elements. In this case, the caliper is installed so that the inner (fixed) shoe is as close as possible to the rotor (1-1.5 mm gap), and the outer one is adjusted by the tension of the cable.

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The main disadvantage of this braking system is the need for frequent adjustments as the pads wear out.

Disc hydraulic brakes

The most “advanced” and popular mountain bike brakes. They consist of a brake lever, in which there is a piston system with an expansion barrel, a hydraulic line and a caliper, in which there are also two or four pistons that push out under pressure of hydraulic fluid, brake pads.

They are produced by many companies, the most popular of which in our country are: Tektro, Hayes, Shimano, Avid.

There are two main ways to adjust these brakes:

loosen the bolts holding the caliper, by eye to set its position in which the gap between the pads and the rotor on both sides will be the same and tighten the bolts carefully, trying not to disturb the position of the caliper. If the first attempt failed, do not despair, try again.

loosen the caliper bolts so that it moves freely, clamp the brake lever and carefully tighten the bolts. The choice of method is yours.

Automatically adjust as the brake pads wear out, in other words “set and forget”.

If, after correct adjustment, the rotor still “strikes” on the block, the rotor may be slightly bent. In this case, by rotating the wheel, we find and mark the place of the rotor where contact with the block occurs. Then we turn the wheel a little so that this place comes out of the caliper and straighten it with gentle light pressure on the rotor. At the same time, hands must be clean and fat-free.

Disc brake caliper trim

Bicycle manufacturers rarely trim disc brake caliper mounts, which results in uneven brake pad wear, disc brake caliper latching curves and unpleasant disc-to-pad rustling. has the tool that will help fix these ailments. Disc brake caliper trimming is a very rare service for bicycle shops in Moscow and we have it, high quality and fast. No files!

Hydraulic brakes

And one more tip from us: when buying a bicycle, you should also take into account that hydraulic disc brakes are quite expensive to maintain and repair, and are also more capricious to weather conditions and mechanical damage than their mechanical counterparts or V-Brakes. “Hydraulics” is used most often by professionals, for precise speed control, excellent “modulation” and sharp complete locking of the wheels. Currently, there are mechanical disc brakes that are in no way inferior to “hydraulics”, but “No oil and no leak!” The choice is always yours!

The cost of repair and maintenance of disc brakes

Price, rub.)








Type of work on disc brakes
Installing or replacing front / rear adjustable disc brakes
Adjusting the position of the front / rear disc brake pads
Replacing the front / rear disc brake pads
Replacing the brake hose / brake lever or caliper with brake bleeding
Replacing the brake disc (per unit)
Brake disc dressing (per unit)
Bleeding hydraulic brakes (per unit)










Bleeding the hydraulic brake system (including oil)
Replacing the brake hose (including oil)
Hydraulic brake oil 100 ml (depending on oil type)
Replacing the caliper / handle pistons
Replacing the bleed cap
Replacing the front / rear brake cable
Replacing the front / rear brake cable jacket
Maintenance (flushing) of the front / rear brake cable jackets (per unit)
Replacing the brake levers on the steering wheel (per unit)

A modern bicycle, as a serious means of transportation, requires constant maintenance. Brake pads especially need attention. Having worn out, they will not allow you to quickly stop movement. This can lead to very dire consequences.

Although replacing brake pads does not require much skill, even a novice cyclist who has never changed them on his own can do this operation.

When replacement is required?

You can not miss the moment of changing the brake pads if you keep track of the mileage. As a rule, these parts are completely worn out, having served their owner 15 thousand km. Although now there are those that are enough for 30 thousand km. However, these numbers are just a convention. The life of the pads depends on many factors.

Riding style will play a decisive role: the more aggressive it is, the more difficult climbs and dizzying descents the cyclist overcomes, the sooner he will have to think about working with the brakes.

Walking slowly through the park in a relaxed manner will allow the entire braking system to last longer, but only if they are correctly adjusted.

How to know when it’s time to change pads?

Don’t wait until it becomes more difficult to stop the bike. Better to inspect the pads in advance. Outwardly, it will become clear that their service life is over.

Manufacturers deliberately make their surface uneven by providing it with protrusions or spikes.

The process of replacing pads for different types of brake systems is not the same. However, difficulties should not arise even for those who have never changed them on their own before.

How to change the pads on the rim brakes yourself?

If special cables extend from the brake lever on the handlebars to the wheels, then the bike has a rim brake system. It can be of several types, each of which requires its own approach to work.

  • v-brake. To get started, you need to collect all the levers. As a result, a groove is formed from which the tip of the “shirt” must be pulled out. It is simple to define it: it is from it that the cable comes out. Then remove the old pads by carefully removing the fasteners and put new ones in their place, carefully fixing them.

Sometimes pads of this type are “versatile”, that is, left and right. Manufacturers usually indicate this directly on the details. When installing them, you should be a little more careful.

  • Cartridge type. Only the rubber seals are changed here. To do this, remove the cotter pin fixing the pads, then perform a simple procedure to remove the worn out gasket and install a new one on the vacant space.

How to change the pads on the disc brakes yourself?

If braking occurs with a special disc, then we are dealing with a disc braking system. Many cyclists consider it more perfect. Apparently the manufacturers, too. How else to explain the fact that the bicycles supplied by her are more expensive.

Disc brakes are more convenient not only on the road, but also in maintenance. To change the pads, first remove the caliper. When braking, it clamps a disc that is mounted directly on the wheel and rotates with it. The necessary parts are installed in it.

  • To do a good job, the caliper must be removed.
  • Carefully deal with all fasteners: wires, retaining rings and bolts.
  • Then remove the old pads and put on new ones. All that remains is to fix them, put the caliper in place and check if the replacement is correct.

To do this, press the brake lever several times, making sure that nothing interferes with the bike’s progress.

There are several rules, observing which, you can afford to carry out the work described above as rarely as possible:

  • The brake must be carefully adjusted and it must be ensured that the pad does not permanently clamp the rotor. It is easy to feel this: such a situation will certainly affect the movement of the bicycle, making it difficult;
  • You should choose quality parts from trusted manufacturers;
  • Avoid situations where emergency braking is required.

How do I adjust the brakes on my bike? Rear brakes on a bike

If the hydraulic brakes on the bike were installed for a long time and began to work worse, then it’s time to adjust them. First, we install the disc on the wheel hub, you need all the bolts to be evenly and carefully tightened.

Center the caliper in relation to the disc

Now for the big deal: how do you adjust the brakes on your bike for the first time? We want the disc to fit exactly in the caliper. To achieve this, washers are installed between it and the frame. They come in different thicknesses, so the installation takes place by the selection method. This is a time-consuming process because tightening the bolts pushes the caliper much harder against the frame than simply pressing it by hand. Substituting the washer, you constantly need to tighten tightly and watch how the caliper is located in relation to the disc.

However, hydraulic brakes on a bike are much easier to adjust. For this, there are adapters that are located between the rear triangle of the frame and the caliper.

You must first screw the adapter, and the caliper is already there. However, the bolts should not be tightened just yet, they should just fix everything. After that, you need to clamp the brake lever and watch how the pads clamp the disc. When he presses, the caliper will go to his workplace.

For greater reliability, it is worth pulling the wheel a little so that everything is fully in place, and tightening the bolts. When everything is fixed, you need to bleed the brakes. This is done by sharply pressing the handle 15-30 times. This is done to bring the pads into the ideal braking position.

When the brakes are not pressed, the pads rub against the disc

It so happens that everything seems to be adjusted, ideally installed, and when checked, it shifts a little, after which the pads touch the disc. How do you adjust the brakes on your bike in this case? We determine which of the pads is rubbing. After that, we loosen the bolts on the adapter and shift it towards friction. We also look to make the block parallel to the rotor. And so by the selection method we achieve the perfect result.

When both the left and right pads cling to the disc, you need to adjust the hex on the brake lever. It must be twisted until the pads fit properly. It is designed for just such an adjustment. After all the settings, it is worth checking again how everything works

If the disc is bent

If the disc is bent, how do you adjust the brakes on the bike? It needs to be aligned. This can be done with a special tool, or you can use an adjustable wrench. It is necessary to determine the zone of curvature and install an adjustable wrench in its middle part, after placing a piece of cloth so as not to scratch the surface. Thereafter. bend in the required direction.

If the pistons extend the pads unevenly

If one piston does not work freely, it is most likely clogged. In this case, it is worth removing the wheel and then removing the pads from the caliper. You will need a clean metal plate with holes for the mounting pins.

Using it, move the serviceable piston and press the brake lever so that the clogged one can get out. After that, it is necessary to wipe it with a clean cloth and apply mineral oil (non-aggressive to rubber) on its surface. Then put the piston back, wiping off excess oil. often the rear brakes on the bike get dirty, probably due to the fact that there are more mechanical parts and the drive.

When the pistons cannot return to their original position?

The pistons may not return due to clogging, then you need to do the procedure described above. It could be the brake lever, or dirt can get into it. Then you will need to disassemble and clean it. A more serious problem. this is when the brake oil system has leaked. If the leak is not strong, then it is worth changing the gaskets at the joints. complex breakdowns may require replacement of the brakes.

It so happens that the brake lever fails. This can happen when air is trapped inside the hose. Bleeding the brakes will help fix this. However, this can also be due to a breakdown in the hydraulics. Depending on the location of the leak, you need to replace the gaskets, the worst option. brake line replacement.

If you need to change the brakes

Now let’s look at what to do in the event that we change the brakes for a bicycle. To put them on, the brake line must be disconnected, because it will need to be pulled through the mounts. If the brake hose is attached to the frame, you can leave it on.

We will consider a more complex option and will know exactly what to do in this case. Disconnect the brake hose and thread it through the mounts. But before you do all this, you need to disconnect the pads to keep them clean. After all, working with oil is dirty, and you can accidentally stain the pads and disc.

Disconnect the hydraulic hose and see a cam that is inserted into it and a compression fitting (it looks like a ring put on top). The cam is designed to prevent the plastic hose from contracting when the system is very hot. And the fitting holds it in place.

To stretch the hose, the end must be cut off along with the cam and fitting. The cut must be clean and even. To do this, it is better to use a special cutter, with which you can quickly and efficiently do everything. If there is no such tool, then you can use a blade or knife and cut carefully on a flat surface.

Putting the whole system together

We connect the hose, it is pushed inside the caliper, and you need to leave a gap of about a centimeter. Done, you can put the olive and compression fitting. First, put a nut on the hose, then. clamp. When it is on, we insert the fitting into the hose. To make it sit securely, you need to drive it in. For this, we clamp the hose and drive the fitting into it. Done. Now we fix it with a nut, but it is worth remembering that if you tighten it tightly, then the brakes will not work, so you should be extremely careful with this.

We have fully explored how to adjust the brakes on any type of bike. Putting this knowledge into practice makes it easy to troubleshoot any hydraulic brake problem.

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 type of brake system installed on a particular bike will determine the process of their maintenance.

How to check and adjust the brakes

There are clear instructions for checking and adjusting the brake system of a bicycle. If you adhere to it, then the whole process will take little time and will be effective.

Procedure for checking and adjusting the brake system of a bicycle:

  • Dry brake test. It is necessary to raise the front wheel and, having unwound it, press the left brake lever. If the wheel comes to a sudden stop during this test, the braking system is in order and no maintenance is required. It is worth considering one nuance. if the brake lever touches the steering wheel, then you just need to pull the cable. The operation of the rear wheel brake system is checked in the same manner. To tension the cable, you need to use curly bolts. just tighten them a little and, if only minor adjustments are required, this will correct the situation. It often happens that such a minimum adjustment does not work. in this case, we look where the end of the cable is on the bike (it is always longer than necessary in advance), unscrew the bolt that holds it. It remains only to tighten part of the cable with pliers and tighten the bolt, applying the possible force.
  • Checking the brake pads. After the brake levers have been tested, the condition of the brake pads should be carefully examined. However, the order of action can be changed. first work with the pads, and then with the handles.

The brake system setting is different for rim and disc types, since different rotating mechanisms and pads are used.

Adjusting the rim brakes

Mountain bikes use a v-brake braking system. using this as an example, we will consider the principles of tuning, since 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 in relation 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 will 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 shoe 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 noted that braking of the wheel should occur even with the minimum pressing of 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 has stopped even with a minimal pressure on the brake lever, then the system has been serviced correctly.

Setting up disc brakes

As a rule, adjustment of disc brakes consists in periodically tightening the cable. But often you have to replace the pads, however, on disc brakes they wear out longer than on rim brakes. First you need to find out which specific disc brakes are installed on the bike. brake pad adjustments for hydraulic and mechanical systems will differ.

Experts recommend taking note of the following points:

  • If there are hydraulic disc brakes on the bike, then replacing the pads may not be necessary. they are able to do it on their own. But one caveat should be taken into account. if the hydraulic system is closed, then you will have to adjust the pads in manual mode. for this, special valves are provided.
  • If you have to adjust disc mechanical brakes, then you will need to pull the cable according to the above instructions and check the location of the pads. the distance between them and the disc should be within 0.2-0.4 mm.
  • In order to adjust the pads with disc mechanical brakes, you need to use special bolts. by tightening them, you can see how the pad moves. You need to be especially careful when setting the distance between the pad and the disc. 0.3 mm is too small, it’s easy to make a mistake.

Be sure to check the operation of the brake system in action after the work is done. ride your bike for a few meters and try to brake. If the cable is too tight, or the pads are too close to the disc, then too sharp braking will occur. this is a “surprise” in which the cyclist begins to move forward, but without his vehicle. Therefore, when driving for a test, you need to be extremely careful and careful, if necessary, the disc brake system is adjusted again taking into account previous errors.

DIY bicycle brake repair. Disc brakes

A bicycle disc brake is a combination of a steel disc (rotor) located on a hub with a caliper. a device that actually clamp the disc with the brake pads. From the brake lever on the handlebar, the force is transmitted to the brake by a cable (mechanical disc brake type) or through a hydraulic line (hydraulic disc brakes).

Bicycle disc brakes have their advantages too. They:

  • less clogging when driving;
  • can work without problems while driving on snow or mud;
  • as smoothly as possible (in contrast to rims) adjust the braking force;
  • do not react to slightly curved wheel geometry (small “eights” are not a hindrance for them);
  • do not affect the wear of the rim;
  • and do not require expensive maintenance.

Many bicycle disc brakes have only one moveable brake pad. The second is fixed statically relative to the frame structure. This greatly simplifies and reduces the cost of the caliper. But, however, as the cyclist wears out, he will have to tighten the brake pad, which is stationary.

Brake discs are standard sizes. These are 140, 160, 180, 185, 203 or 220 millimeters.

Device and varieties

The device of rim brakes for a bicycle is technically simple and their design consists of brake pads, several levers, cables and a handle. Many beginner riders use them as their primary brake. They are still popular and used in several disciplines. In addition, they are quite inexpensive.

There are several types of these systems:

  • V-Brake systems;
  • Tick-borne;
  • Cantilever;
  • Hydraulic.

The most popular are V-shaped. In another way, they are called vector. They got their name due to the V-shaped mounting method. The cable coming from the handles goes from the side to one of the levers and connects them. The levers are attached to the bike frame, in a specially designated place for them. If these are not available, then removable mounts are installed, the so-called adapters. This system provides the best braking.

Tick-borne brakes are much less common. Mainly used on road bikes. Based on their design, they got a similar nickname. The levers are pincer-shaped. They are lightweight. Have less strength due to unreliable fastening.

Cantilevers were very common before the advent of V-shaped systems. This species is the predecessor of the former. But due to the heavier settings, they have become much less popular and practically not used. Although, if you turn to the master and make a professional setup of the device, then in terms of efficiency they will not be inferior to the first.

The hydraulic type of brakes differs from others in that a special fluid is used here. When you press the handles, the hydraulic line is activated, which acts on the levers. Braking begins. In principle, everything is the same as in other systems. But, as mentioned earlier, liquid or oil is used here.

Setting up V-brake systems

System setup principles

The rim brakes must be properly applied to the wheel rim. This is an important part of their job. If necessary, you can adjust the pad fastening system. The pads are secured with a few nuts, washers and rubber washers. If something needs to be corrected, the nuts are loosened first. The pads can now be moved slightly. They should be strictly parallel to the wheel rim and not touch the tires. In most cases, the distance between them should be at least 1 mm.

But there are some peculiarities here too. If you use soft pads on your bike, they are slightly deformed during operation. Therefore, they should not be located parallel to the rim, but in such a way that their front is literally 1 mm closer than the back. This can be achieved with a 1mm to 1.5mm thin shim which is placed at the back of the pads. If rigid ones are used, then they are attached parallel to the wheel rim.

After setting, you need to press the handle and tighten the nuts

In this case, you need to pay attention to the fact that the entire structure of the brakes does not budge. In addition, you can adjust the levers

When adjusted correctly, they clamp and diverge synchronously. If this does not happen, you must pay attention to the adjusting screws, which are located at the very base of the levers. In case of excessive deflection, the screw is unscrewed. If the deviation is insufficient, it twists.

Lubrication process

Everything is pretty simple here. Aerosols are a good solution as a lubricant. Certain oils are also used. Most of the grease is applied to the cables. To make everything evenly spread, it is worth pressing the brake levers several times. The ropes will move and the grease will spread more evenly.

Do everything carefully and try not to get on the wheel rim of the bicycle and on the pads of the system. If this happens, wipe it well with a degreaser. Otherwise, braking will be less effective.

Replacing rim brakes

The first thing to start with is removing the nuts and washers. After that, the old pads are separated from the main brake device. New pads are put in place of the old ones. In this case, they need to be directed to the rim. To avoid squeaks while driving, make sure that the pads are in full contact with the rim.

Adjustment Tips

Correct adjustment and adjustment of the brakes is an essential condition for the effective functioning of the system. Based on the specific features of the rim kits, there are a number of conditions, the observance of which will help to achieve an optimal result during the adjustment process:

Based on the specific features of the rim kits, there are a number of conditions, the observance of which will help to achieve an optimal result during the adjustment process:

  • the rim, if possible, should not have deformations and damage;
  • the wheel must be dry, free from dirt and sand;
  • adjustment is carried out with a set of keys, hexagons and screwdrivers, sizes and calibers suitable for this purpose;
  • adjustment is carried out in accordance with the provided algorithm, and only undamaged system elements, with permissible production rates.

For vector mechanisms, this algorithm includes the following actions:

  • Checking the vertical position of the brake pads relative to the wheel rim. The center axis of the brake surface of the pad must be centered on the brake track of the wheel rim. The pad moves up and down in the corresponding slots in the brake lever. Fixed in the desired position with elongated nuts.
  • Often, as a result of emergency braking, clogging of the inter-pad space with dirt, loosening of fixation, a slight rotation of the pad about its axis occurs. The result can be rubbing of the pads on the tire. The elimination of such problems is carried out in a similar way. The fixing nut is unscrewed, the block is set to its original position, the nut is clamped.
  • During operation, the pads wear out, the gap between the brake surfaces increases, and the braking efficiency decreases. The clearance is adjusted by changing the tension of the metal cable. To carry out this operation, it is required to loosen the cable fastening bolt located in the upper part of the brake lever, by pulling the cable, a gap is set, approximately 1 mm, the fixing bolt is clamped. An object of a certain thickness (for example, 2-3 layers of thick cardboard), placed between the brake surfaces, will help to facilitate the task. After tensioning the rope and removing the cardboard, the set gap is maintained.
  • We achieve symmetry of the clearances of the pads relative to the brake tracks. For this purpose, the ability to adjust the force of the return springs of the brake levers is used. In the places where the springs are fastened on the levers, there are adjusting screws, the rotation of which leads to a weakening or strengthening of the spring resistance. When the adjusting screw is tightened, the spring is tensioned, the lever deviates from the wheel surface, the gap increases. When the screw is unscrewed, the reverse processes occur, that is, the lever moves towards the wheel, the gap decreases. The engaged levers move synchronously with this adjustment. Moving the left lever towards the rim increases the clearance on the right side, and vice versa.

Correctly performed adjustment operations result in a perfectly functioning braking system. The following criteria are used to check the quality of adjustment:

  • the pads are located parallel to the brake tracks of the rim;
  • the distance between the working braking surfaces varies within 1-1.5 mm;
  • visually the pads are fixed symmetrically with respect to each other;
  • adhesion of the braking surfaces occurs synchronously on each side of the rim.

After completing the above measures, a mandatory performance check follows. Initially, it is carried out at idle speed. To do this, the front wheel rises above the surface and spins. The control handle clamps sharply. When set correctly, the wheel stops immediately. The rear wheel is checked in the same way. The next stage is testing in action. The bike accelerates over a short distance of 5-10 m, the brake lever is squeezed out sharply. If the bike stops halfway through the lever, the system has been serviced correctly, if not, the cause must be investigated and rectified.

Adjusting mechanical disc brakes on a bicycle.

Disc brakes are becoming popular today, and the craze for them began about 4 years ago. It’s not about reliability at all, but about the fact that their presence on the bike gives the impression of a racing motorcycle or emphasizes the coolness of the owner of such a bike.

The main features of disc brakes:

  • overcome high speeds;
  • brake without locking the wheels;
  • do not wear out the rim;
  • do not pay attention to weather conditions.

Adjust disc brakes as follows:

  • check whether the cable responsible for the operation of the disc brake is in place, because sometimes it may be out of place and this is the reason for difficult driving;
  • see if the wheel is correctly placed in the frame itself;
  • tighten all the bolts securing the brake to the rear or front fork;
  • check the tightening of the screws on the wheel hub;
  • set up movable and static pads;
  • we loosen the bolts holding the brake machine with pads;
  • we clamp the brake lever (if you don’t have someone to help, then fix the handle on the handlebars with a rope);
  • after that, the pads should fit under the disc;
  • tighten the screws.

Setting v brake rim brakes

Today, mountain bikes are widely used with v-brakes, so here’s an example of how to adjust the brakes of a bicycle in the case of a rim brake. Setting up other rim brakes is done in the same way. The only difference is that the bolts and screws that need to be tightened may be in other places. And the approach is the same (even in the case of disc brakes).

So, the basic rule is that the pads should be parallel to the rim. The clearance between the shoe and the rim should be 1mm. And both pads must be symmetrical.

Scheme of work

The principle of operation of the system is based on the use of the friction force arising in the process of interaction of brake pads and wheel rim.

Structurally, any rim system includes:

  • paired levers for the front and rear wheels;
  • brake pads made of dense rubber;
  • control handles;
  • cables connecting all components;
  • brake cable covers.

The set operation scheme is quite simple. When physically acting on the control handle, the force is transmitted through the cables to the levers with pads fixed to them. The wheel rim is clamped between the surfaces of the shoes. As a result, the bike slows down or stops. The more the application force, the more the rim is clamped, the faster the object slows down.

Compared to other types of rim braking mechanisms, they have many advantages: they are not expensive, easy to maintain and repair, have a high degree of modulation, and practically do not have a harmful effect on the hubs and spokes of the wheel.

At the same time, this design has a number of significant disadvantages, which are recommended to be taken into account when choosing and purchasing a bike.

Setting and adjusting rim brakes v brake on a bicycle.

In the overwhelming majority of cases, v brake is installed on budget bicycles, walking and children’s bicycles. These are rim brakes with acceptable power and modulation. no wheel locking occurs. Before starting work, you must provide yourself with the following tools: a 5 mm and 3 mm hexagon, a screwdriver, and pliers.

Features of setting v brake:

  • unfasten the brakes themselves;
  • the main requirement is to put the wheel in a level position;
  • return everything to its original position;
  • tighten the cable with a hexagon and pliers;
  • if the handle stroke is large, then it is required to tighten the cable even more and strengthen the brakes themselves;
  • we check the wheel speed. the course must be free. It happens when thorns are heard, then in this case it is worth adjusting the spokes themselves;
  • if one brake surface v brake is closer to the rim than the other, take a screwdriver and release or tighten the forcing shoe screws.

Above, brief instructions were presented for those who like to consolidate their knowledge not only with the help of videos, but also in text format. Bicycle brakes, types, settings. are present in this article. Each brake system is accompanied by an introductory instruction, especially its complex types. the hydraulic version. For them, there are restrictions in the selection of fluid and if you do not follow the advice, then neglect and pouring anything in will lead to injury and nervous stress. If you do not want to visit a traumatologist, follow the rules. Any type of brake will wear out over time and must be replaced. Practice shows that disk modifications are less vulnerable and can last for a long time. If they are incorrectly adjusted, the clamping index between the front and rear brakes will be different. Some will say that the reason is in the length of the cable, since the front part is half the length of the back. If the cable is not completely closed, then try to lubricate it. The fact is that inside the rubber hoses there is a steel tube, which is responsible for the smooth and free sliding of the cable. Over time, it rusts, and this leads to ruptures and unweaving, and in order to avoid such a nuance, it is advisable to apply a few drops of machine oil or grease to it.

Advantages and disadvantages

As with any system, rim brakes have both pros and cons. Because most athletes using rim brakes use the V-Brake system, then it is worth talking about the advantages and disadvantages of this particular design.

Among the most important advantages are the following points:

If we talk about the reverse side of the V. shaped brakes, then we can note several nuances, namely:

  • When the wheel geometry is changed, for example, in the case of an eight. As a result, during movement, the pads can touch the wheel and gradual braking will occur;
  • If in sunny and dry weather they perform their function well enough, then in rainy seasons, when there is a lot of dirt everywhere, this cannot be said. If dirt or water gets on the brake pads of the bicycle, the braking sensitivity will be reduced. This can lead to dangerous situations;
  • They quickly deteriorate during active or extreme driving;
  • Compared to discs, they require more effort when pressing the brake lever;
  • Due to the design of most modern bicycles, the ability to install V-brakes on them is simply not available.


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:

  • Having secured the wheel, the caliper should be centered in relation to the rotor by picking up and installing washers of various thicknesses between the mountings on the frame and the caliper, which is 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 process, the robot should 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.


  • 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, friction of the rotor against the block may appear when riding.
  • 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 we tighten the caliper mounting bolts alternately. The actions given above are carried out with the jacket and cable disconnected. Make sure that the plane of the pad does not shift 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 shirt in the desired position in the lever, the outer block must be pressed. Tighten the corresponding bolt slightly.
  • Gently push 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 the pads for friction. 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.

Adjusting rim brakes

Adjustment of rim brakes (almost all modern ones are of the V-Brake type) is very simple and does not require any special conditions. over, due to the “openness” of the mechanism, maintenance usually consists not in working with the structure, but in replacing the pads.

Mount types

Before adjusting, the first thing to do is to make sure that the rim brakes are indeed V-brakes. Actually, there are three types of rim mounts:

  • V-Brake. separate V-shaped levers, connected by a cable that is held by a leash (jacket);
  • cantilever. with an additional central mount, from which the cable goes separately to each side. In fact, these are the predecessors of the V-Brake, characterized by a more complex mechanism, but a large clearance, which is beneficial for “dirty” riding;
  • caliper brakes. U-shaped mount, in which two levers are connected and “bite” the rim. These models are the hardest to weaken.

Cantilever brakes

Each type is understood in different ways, but the vast majority will only have to deal with the first type.

Removing the brakes

We go through the following steps:

  • We open the brakes by pulling the cable jacket out of the holder under force.
  • Unscrew the screw fastening to the frame.
  • Removing the brakes.
  • We unscrew the pads fixing screw, if work with pads is required.

It is very important in the last step not to lose the correct sequence of washers. They come in pairs. convex and concave

Further adjustment depends on their installation.

Renewal and replacement of pads

The most common service is replacing or renewing a bicycle brake pad.

Updates are usually sufficient after long-term storage. The surface of the rim and pads is degreased, and, depending on the remaining thickness of the rubber, its top layer is removed, as it “dubs” from frost during storage, as well as from heating during active braking.

Replacement cartridges for cartridge brake pads

Less common is the replacement of the pads. After unscrewing the screw, the old shoe is pushed off and removed, and a new one is installed in its place. Here, accuracy is required when choosing, since there is no single standard, and the groove for the screw may not fit, and the shoe itself on the platform may not lie. Fortunately, any sizing problem is solved with a sharp knife. In the case of a cartridge shoe, undercutting will most likely not help, but such cases are quite rare.

If the adjustment of the screw is not sufficient, you will need to shorten or lengthen the cable. This is done on the brakes themselves. Opposite the shirt, on the opposite element, the cable is clamped with a lock, which is unscrewed with a hexagon. To do this, unscrew the retainer bolt, tighten or loosen the cable, screw the retainer back. The excess length of the cable can be cut off, although many leave it twisted in case of breakage, although practice shows that such “reserves” do not help anyone.

After loosening or completely unscrewing the pad fixing screws, they can be shifted in any direction.

Unscrewed pads fixing screw

This adjustment should be done without removing the wheels in order to clearly position the shoe. So, how should the block stand:

  • The shoe should be at the level of the rim, not a millimeter beyond it.
  • When checking for clearance from either side, the block must be in both the braking position and in the open position parallel to the rim.
  • When scrolling the wheel, the block must be pressed exactly along the rotation vector. deviation from it will damage the brakes.

After installing the pads in accordance with these conditions, the screws are tightened, the brakes are checked.

Intermediate: Setting up mechanical (cable) disc brakes on a bicycle

Before adjusting any disc brakes, check:

  • the accuracy of the wheel axle setting in the dropouts (seats) and the clamping force of the hub in the frame / fork;
  • uniform tightening of the brake disc (rotor) and the brake unit housing;
  • deviation of the rotor shape from the vertical plane (if necessary, align the rotor with an adjustable wrench).

The technology, including how to adjust disc brakes on a bicycle, is as follows:

disconnect the drive cable from the brake machine (caliper); loosen the two screws securing the caliper to the brake unit housing; extend the fixed block (located closer to the wheel spokes) using a bolt located on the inside of the caliper; press the caliper so that the static pad is in contact with the rotor; tighten the screws securing the caliper to the brake unit body (attention. the plane of the shoe should not move from the plane of the rotor); by rotating the corresponding screw, achieve a minimum clearance between the fixed shoe and the rotor; rotating the lever to which the cable is attached, make sure that in the clamped position the rotor does not twist, but bends evenly towards the static block (in case of non-observance, the caliper setting should be repeated); install and fix the cable.

After the adjustment of the working unit of the disc brakes, the setting torque should be adjusted by rotating the adjusting drums near the brake lever and caliper.