How to fix disc brakes on a bicycle

Adjusting the brakes on a bicycle

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

Things to do before adjusting the brakes?

The brake system is adjusted periodically. Due to this, a long service life as well as high efficiency can be ensured.

The main recommendations are the following:

  • To begin with, the state of the main elements of the system is checked. This recommendation is due to the fact that even minor damage results in poor performance.
  • All damaged items must be replaced. An example is a frayed cable or a damaged hydraulic line. Do not forget that over time, some elements may wear out.

If the brake system does not have serious defects, then you can start adjusting it.

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.

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 nuance should be taken into account. if the hydraulic system is closed, then you will have to adjust the pads manually. for this, special valves are provided.
  • If you have to adjust disc mechanical brakes, 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 is easy to make a mistake.

After carrying out the work, be sure to check the operation of the brake system in action. ride your bike for a few meters and try to brake. If the cable was overtightened, 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.

SILENCE! How to fix contaminated disc brakes

Bicycle disc brake design

In many ways, it is the design of the disc brakes that determines how tuning is done.

All devices fall into two categories:

  • The mechanical device has a cable, due to which energy is transferred from the handle to the executive unit. In this case, a high force can be transmitted.
  • Hydraulics are represented by the line through which the fluid transfers energy to the brake pads.

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.

Mechanical disc brakes

Mechanical brakes are recommended to be adjusted in case the disc rubs against the pad. In addition, adjustment is required in the event of a weakening of the braking force.

Instructions for setting up mechanical disc brakes are as follows:

  • The brake lever is squeezed out to the stop.
  • The lock nut of the machine is unscrewed, after which the regulator is turned inside out. If you need to unscrew it strongly, then you have to loosen the cable.
  • Determined what the gap between the disc and the pad. If the braking device is crooked, loosen the screws to adjust the position. They attach the device to an adapter or plug.
  • The screws that secure the brake are unscrewed.
  • Having made the caliper movable, the handle should be squeezed out to the end, after which it should be fixed in this position. Next, the correct centering of the machine relative to the disc is carried out.
  • Tightening is carried out with a screw for fastening the brake machine. Twisting should be carried out periodically, since only in this case it is possible to exclude the possibility of shear.

After that, the handle is released. Compliance with the recommendations specified in the instructions ensures the ideal position of the disc and pad.

Mechanical

This type of system is simple enough:

  • brake handle;
  • control system equipped with a lock nut;
  • a system that allows you to adjust the brake lever;
  • cable and his shirt;
  • retainer;
  • caliper. tensioner;
  • mechanical brake shoe;
  • disk.

The brake lever should be installed on the steering wheel: the right one, traditionally, serves to brake the rear wheel, and the left one. for the front wheel (unlike motorcycles, in which it is the other way around).

The handle is installed using special clamps, it is she who is the transmitter of effort from the fingers of the hand to the brake disc. The adjusters help to change the tension of the cable, the lock nut is the main adjustment tool. The more it is twisted, the tighter the cable is and the more sensitive, accordingly, the entire brake system.

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In simple terms, the mechanical system is designed in such a way that by pressing the handle, you simply tighten the cable, which twists the caliper and, thereby, presses the pad against the disc, which transfers braking to the rim disc of the wheel.

In fact, there are two ways of adjustment. the brake lever adjuster to the grip and the lock nut itself, which is able to tighten and loosen the cable.

Setting and adjusting hydraulic

With hydraulic systems, not surprisingly, things are somewhat simpler. They are self-adjusting, since instead of a cable, the tension of which can change, there is a hydraulic line, where the liquid is, most often, at constant pressure.

Despite this, friction of the pads on the rotor, “squeak” during braking also occurs. The setup procedure is as follows:

  • Unscrew (not completely, only 1 turn) all the bolts that secure the caliper.
  • Fix the brake handle with a rope or tight bundle (you can use electrical tape, but after it there are traces).
  • We observe that the rotor is in the center of the caliper clearance. In this case, the brake pads must protrude equally on both sides. If this cannot be done, then you can help yourself by pushing on the rotor from the other side. Pressing leads to an even distribution of the brake fluid between all pistons.
  • We fix the bolts and remove the retainer from the brake handle.

After adjustment, you need to turn the wheel and make sure that there is no friction between the pads and the rotor. If there is friction, but it is interrupted, then the rotor is not parallel to the wheel rim, which means that it is deformed.

Adjusting the braking system at home is easy enough. The main thing is to understand the structure of the system, to carry out all procedures calmly and slowly.

The bicycle is a very useful and interesting form of transport. However, it must serve properly, otherwise injury cannot be avoided. Brakes are one of the most important parts of a bicycle. They may be different, but absolutely everything should work flawlessly. Your health depends on it, and sometimes your life. Setting up disc brakes on a bicycle is not a complicated process. But everything needs to be done as accurately as possible.

It should be noted that the disc system is mechanical and hydraulic. The principle of adjusting these two types of brakes is similar, but there are small nuances. So, the setting is done using keys. The following parts of the system are involved in the process: pads that stop the wheel, the caliper, and the disc itself.

Setting up disc brakes on a bicycle is done as follows. First, you need to inspect the system and find out why it is not working efficiently. If necessary, you need to purchase new parts or completely replace the brakes. If the wheel was removed, then you need to install it back, while tightening the axle. The caliper is mounted on a special adapter. Do not overtighten the bolts. The point is that the caliper needs to be adjusted relative to the rotor. It should stand level so that the pads lay on the disc with their entire area, and not at an angle.

Further, setting up disc brakes on a bicycle is simple. The wheel is aligned so that it is strictly perpendicular in the fork. Otherwise, while riding, you will hear his friction on the pads. During the intermediate setting, the caliper should “float” as it were. Now pay attention to the inner block. It should stand as accurately as possible, that is, so that its cavity coincides with the rotor.

Setting up disc brakes on a bicycle now involves checking the position of the discs in relation to the rotor. To do this, you need to fix the pads and turn the wheel. The clearance between these parts should be the same. At this stage, the exact position of the pad is adjusted.

Now the disc brakes on the bike are adjusted using a cable and a handle. That is, you need to try to press the lever mounted on the steering wheel. In this case, the rotor will move slightly to the inner block, and the pressure piece should clamp the disc. If there are difficulties, then the caliper needs to be adjusted using the clamping bolts. If everything is in order, then the brake cable can be attached to the handle.

How to Replace Bicycle Disc Brake Pads

Now try cycling. If the pads rub unnecessarily, then you need to slightly tighten the adjustment on the handle. Adjusting the disc brakes of a bicycle in this way can damage the threads, though. It is better to twist the cable in the caliper itself. If the rotor rubs even after tuning in all possible ways, then see if it is crooked. In this case, you will have to remove it and level it. In principle, it is not so difficult to carry out the indicated procedure, but if you have never done this, then ask someone from your acquaintances who already knows how to adjust the brakes to show you the whole procedure from start to finish.

How to set up disc brakes on a bicycle

Is it so difficult to set up disc brakes on your own, or is it worth using a specialist? Our article will help you adjust the brakes yourself, no worse than a professional bicycle mechanic. The setting is made according to the following points:

Preparation for setting 2. Center the caliper 3. Set the gap to the fixed shoe 4. Set the gap to the movable shoe 5. Tighten the cable fixing bolt 6. Adjust the handle position 7. Fine-tune the fixed brake shoe 8. Check the brakes.

A little theory to start The mount of the disc brake caliper to the frame or fork comes in two standards, PM or IS. The photo shows the fundamental differences: Often, all modern brake calipers come with the PM mounting standard. It is much easier to configure with respect to the location of the disk. If your frame or fork has an IS mount, it’s not a problem, because there are adapters that will help you fix the situation:

  • Preparing to set up

To ensure that your adjustments do not get lost, make sure that the adapter is well screwed to the frame / fork, the rotor is even and well screwed to the hub, and the wheel is securely fastened to the frame / fork.

  • Centering the caliper

After you have made sure that all connections are secure, the first step is to align the caliper exactly centered in relation to the disc. To do this, loosen the bolts securing the caliper to the adapter and center the rotor relative to the sides of the caliper. The rotor should be exactly in the middle, then the pads will wear evenly. Lock the caliper. Important! If your caliper is centered, you do not need to repeat this procedure.!

  • We expose the gap to the fixed block

In order to set the clearance to the fixed brake shoe using the red adjustment or Torx wrench, bring the fixed shoe as close to the surface of the rotor as possible, but not so that it bends under the load of the shoe, but only slightly touches it. By turning the adjustment clockwise, you move the shoe closer to the rotor, and counterclockwise you move the shoe away.

  • We expose the gap to the movable block
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First, loosen the bolt securing the cable in the caliper (highlighted in green) so that you can move the pad approach lever with your hands and the cable does not interfere with you. Now rotate clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the red gooseneck adjustment so that the proximity lever grips the rotor between the pads somewhere in the middle of its travel. Important! Not all mechanical brakes have a sliding shoe adjustment. If it is not there, just set the approach lever so that the rotor is clamped somewhere in the middle of the brake lever travel.

  • We tighten the cable fixing bolt

Using pliers, tighten the cable and tighten the cable fixing bolt.

  • Adjusting the handle position
disc, brakes, bicycle

Use the black twist on the brake lever to set a comfortable distance from the grip to the handlebars at which your brake will be applied. By unscrewing the twist, you move the brake lever away from the grip when the brake engages. If you are unable to get a comfortable position with this twist, you should readjust the brake using step 5!

  • Fine adjustment of a fixed brake shoe

Return to step 3 and unscrew the adjustment of the position of the fixed block by half a turn so that the rotor does not catch it when rotating.

  • Checking the brakes

Check if everything suits you in braking. To do this, do not fly to the nearest Trail, you can simply ride right next to the brake setting. If everything suits you, congratulations, you did it! Was it that hard?

Original publication. on the website bb30.ru

Hydraulic

For those who are afraid of hydraulics, assuming that its design is very complex and borrowed from cars and motorcycles, we immediately inform you that hydraulics are practically no different from disc mechanics, it is simply a slightly more advanced design. Between the handle and the rim is now not a cable, but a hose with a special brake fluid (either DOT4, or mineral fluids).

  • brake lever;
  • brake fluid reservoir, cylinder, piston;
  • hydraulic line;
  • pads;
  • disk.

The master cylinder is the main component that distinguishes the product from the mechanics. It is arranged quite simply. a reservoir with a tight lid, inside which there is a liquid, a piston that creates pressure and sends the liquid through the hydraulic line and a spring that returns the liquid and the handle back.

Description

Most novice cyclists, seeing a hydraulic or mechanical disc brake in front of them, do not know what to do with it. The whole reason is that many people mistakenly think that the disc type brake is much more complex than the traditional V-brake. However, this is not the case. their design is not only similar, but also based on the same principles: the frictional force that stops the rotation of the wheel.

Adjustment tips

Always start with the rotor, i.e. the disc. It must be unscrewed from the main bushing and carefully checked for damage, bends and deformations. During braking, this component is often subjected to torsional loads, which can cause it to deform over time. Place the rotor on a flat surface (preferably a mirror or glass) and carefully check that it is fully seated. If areas are observed in which the rotor moves away from the plane, it should be carefully corrected.

The brake pads should also be checked. Here it is important to make sure that there are no impressive chips and cracks. If the wear level of the pad is significant, it should be replaced. This unit is consumable, there is almost always no point in repairing it.

The cables and cable jackets are the most important part of the braking system. Firstly, if you see that some of the strands of the cable are torn, then it is time to change the entire cable, since the place of local damage will become a weak link and, soon, the cable will burst in this place. Bursting the rope with a strong force, i.e. at the moment of fast and complete braking, most often. extreme. Therefore, a damaged cable, more often than not, bursts exactly when it is most needed. Holes in the shirts of the cable are a bad sign, most likely. the cable in this place will, sooner or later, be torn.

If the brakes are hydraulic, the hydraulic cutter line must be carefully inspected to ensure there are no leaks and, if necessary, the brake fluid must be replaced.

A bit of theory

There are two types of disc brake systems. PM or IS. Actually, the difference between them lies in the distance between the fastening bolts and the direction of their screwing. In the first case, it is directed along the bike frame, and in the second, it is perpendicular to it.

Most modern bikes use PM systems, which is good because they are easier to adjust to the disc position.

It is also worth considering another equally important point. when the brake is pressed, only one pad moves in the caliper, and the second is always in a static position. In this regard, uneven brake wear is observed, and the system itself requires more frequent adjustment.

Now you can proceed to consider directly the process of adjusting the brakes.

What tool might you need?

To adjust the disc brakes of a bicycle, a minimum set of tools is enough. this is a hexagon or a Torx screwdriver. Modern bicycles are maximally adapted for simple and fast maintenance, so you don’t have to bother finding the right accessories and tools.

disc, brakes, bicycle

So that when adjusting the brakes, the adjustment does not go astray, check that all other components of the system are in their places without problems. the wheel is securely fixed in the frame / fork, the rotor is even, the adapter is well bolted to the frame. Otherwise, when tightening the brakes, these elements can move, upsetting the balance.

The main task at this stage is to ensure that the disc is located exactly in the middle between the brake pads. This will ensure that they wear evenly. How can this be achieved? Usually, the brakes have a special twist with the in / out designation, which makes it easy to adjust this distance.

If there is none, then there is definitely a hex bolt that performs the same function. To tighten it, you can use the Bike Hand YC-267 Allen Kit.

Adjust the clearance to the fixed block

The clearance to the fixed block is adjusted using a similar twist, which can be tightened manually or with a Torx bolt. The shoe should be brought as close to the surface of the rotor itself as possible. At the same time, they should touch slightly.

When rotating clockwise, the block approaches the rotor, and against it, it moves away.

Adjust the clearance to the movable shoe

The first step is to loosen the bolt that fixes the tension cable in the caliper until you can move the pad approach lever with your hands.

Next, using the red knob, turning it clockwise and counterclockwise, set the position of the lever so that it grips the rotor approximately in the middle of its stroke.

Stretch the brake cable with pliers and fix its position by tightening the bolt.

Using a special black twist, which is located on the brake lever, set a comfortable distance from the grip to the handlebars at which the brake will be applied. When unscrewing the twist, you will move the brake lever away from the grip when the brake engages.

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If you cannot find a comfortable position, you should return to step 5 and re-tighten the cable.

This completes the adjustment of the brakes on the bike. you just have to check their performance. Just sit down and ride your bike. you should feel for yourself if the brakes are right for you, because every experienced rider gets used to a different specific braking pattern. The main thing is that the mechanism works clearly and gives the expected response.

Both front and rear brakes are configured in the same way, so there is simply no point in repeating the procedure description.

How to adjust disc brakes on a bicycle?

Adjusting disc brakes on a bicycle is a real problem for many. After all, this mechanism has a much more complex design than conventional rim brakes, where everything works through the tension of the cable. But is this procedure so complicated? Not really. If you follow the instructions on how to adjust disc brakes on your bike, you should be able to handle it easily.

Adjusting the brakes correctly can solve many problems, but it is not a panacea, so in order for your bike to serve you a long and reliable service, you must regularly check the brake system for the following damage:

  • severe wear of the pads;
  • violation of the geometry of the brake disc;
  • uneven wear of the pads;
  • lack of lubrication;
  • heavy pollution of the brake system, etc.

Therefore, if you have any brake problems on your bike, you need to look for the cause and fix it. Simple tuning may not always give the expected result.

About Mountain Biking. How To Set Up Mechanical Disc Brakes

Is it so difficult to set up disc brakes on your own, or is it worth using a specialist? Our article will help you adjust the brakes yourself, no worse than a professional bicycle mechanic. The setting is made according to the following points:

Preparation for setting 2. Center the caliper 3. Set the gap to the fixed shoe 4. Set the gap to the movable shoe 5. Tighten the cable fixing bolt 6. Adjust the handle position 7. Fine-tune the fixed brake shoe 8. Check the brakes.

A little theory to start The mount of the disc brake caliper to the frame or fork comes in two standards, PM or IS. The photo shows the fundamental differences: Often, all modern brake calipers come with the PM mounting standard. It is much easier to configure with respect to the location of the disk. If the IS mount on your frame or fork is not a problem, because there are adapters that will help correct the situation: As you can see, there are IS / PM and PM / PM adapters, and if everything is clear with the former, then the latter are needed in order for your frame / forks with PM mount for 160mm rotor, set brakes with 180mm rotor. Important! Read the instructions and check the maximum rotor size allowed by the frame / fork manufacturer. There are also adapters with the designations front or rear. These adapters are designed for the front or rear wheel respectively. Unlabeled adapters are universal. The arrow on the adapter indicates which end of the adapter should be directed upwards, take this into account when installing! With the adapters sorted out, let’s move on to the brakes. A distinctive feature of disc mechanics is that when the brake is pressed, only one pad in the caliper approaches the rotor, and the second is stationary. In this regard, disc mechanics requires more precise tuning and periodic adjustment of the position of the pads. After a while, the block, which is always in a static position, will be erased and its distance from the disc will increase: When braking, the disc will bend more towards the stationary block, which noticeably affects the quality of braking. You do not need to readjust the brakes to remedy this disadvantage. The red in / out wheel will help you adjust the position of the static pad. If there is no such a twist on the brakes, then there must be an adjusting bolt for a hexagon or Torx (as is the case with the BB7). But back to our setup

Preparing for Tuning To ensure your adjustments do not go astray, make sure the adapter is screwed to the frame / fork well, the rotor is straight and well screwed to the hub, and the wheel is securely fastened to the frame / fork. 2. Centering the Caliper After you have made sure that all connections are secure, the first step is to align the caliper exactly in the center of the disc. To do this, loosen the bolts securing the caliper to the adapter and center the rotor relative to the sides of the caliper. The rotor should be exactly in the middle, then the pads will wear evenly. Lock the caliper. Important! If your caliper is centered, you do not need to repeat this procedure! 3. Adjusting the clearance to the fixed shoe In order to set the clearance to the fixed brake shoe using the red adjustment or the Torx wrench, bring the fixed shoe as close to the rotor surface as possible, but not so that it bends under the load of the shoe, but only slightly touches it. By turning the adjustment clockwise, you move the shoe closer to the rotor, and counterclockwise you move the shoe away. 4. We set the gap to the movable block First, loosen the bolt securing the cable in the caliper (highlighted in green) so that you can move the shoe approach lever with your hands and the cable does not interfere with you. Now rotate clockwise or counterclockwise to adjust the red gooseneck adjustment so that the proximity lever grips the rotor between the pads somewhere in the middle of its travel. Important! Not all mechanical brakes have a sliding shoe adjustment. If it is not there, just set the approach lever so that the rotor is clamped somewhere in the middle of the brake lever travel. 5. Tighten the cable fixing bolt Using pliers, pull the cable and tighten the cable fixing bolt. 6. Adjusting the Lever Position Using the black twist on the brake lever, set a comfortable distance from the grip to the handlebar at which your brake will be applied. By unscrewing the twist, you move the brake lever away from the grip when the brake engages. If you are unable to get a comfortable position with this twist, it is worth re-adjusting the brake using step 5! 7. Fine adjustment of the fixed brake pad Return to step 3 and unscrew the adjustment of the fixed pad position by half a turn so that the rotor does not catch it when rotating. 8. Checking the brakes Check if everything suits you in braking. To do this, do not fly to the nearest Trail, you can simply ride right next to the brake setting. If everything suits you, congratulations, you did it! Was it that hard?