How to adjust rim and disc brakes on a bicycle
Brakes, especially disc brakes, need to be adjusted very rarely. For rim types, this is once a season, for other options up to once every few years. Nevertheless, after a long downtime or repair, as well as when symptoms of incorrect operation of the brake system appear, adjustment is simply necessary.
Symptoms of problems
How do you know if your bike needs a brake adjustment? There are several signs:
- You bought a bike. new mechanisms require running-in and constant, in several approaches after a short run, adjustment.
- You have not used your bike for more than a month. especially if it was cold storage, maintenance of the pads and the brake mechanism is imperative.
- New sounds are heard from the mechanism: buzzing at speed, periodic knocking, whistling, squeaks. problems with mechanical parts or a block.
- The brakes began to react poorly to effort, that is, they only work after a certain stroke, do not immediately release, etc a clear sign of problems with the cables or hydraulics.
- Visual damage to the cables or elements of the brake mechanism. they can continue to work, but it is simply necessary to adjust after, for example, an impact.
The distance from the shoe to the rim is adjusted via the cable tension. There is a screw for this, which is located on the brake lever. When it rotates, the pads, respectively, approach (counterclockwise) and move away (clockwise) from each other and from the rim.
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, although many leave it in a twist in case of breaks, although practice shows that such reserves do not help anyone.
Removing the brakes
- 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 screw fixing the pads, if you need to work with the pads.
It is very important not to lose the correct sequence of washers in the last step. They come in pairs. convex and concave. Further adjustment depends on their installation.
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, which 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, featuring a more complex mechanism, but more clearance, which is beneficial for dirty riding;
- caliper brakes. U-shaped mount in which two levers are connected and bite into the rim. These models are the hardest to weaken.
How to Adjust Bike Brakes | Bike Maintenance
Each type is understood differently, but the overwhelming majority will only have to deal with the first type.
Linear Brakes. Basic Adjustment. by Northrock Bikes
In addition to adjustment, disc brakes sometimes require rotor straightening. If the rotor is severely damaged, it must of course be replaced. But minor damage can be easily repaired by tightening an adjustable wrench in place of the curvature.
Also, disc brakes (especially the rotor) are very sensitive to the presence of oil, therefore, when cleaning and adjusting the system, you should be very careful even with your hands. Finger grease can get into the system, so you should use degreasing chemicals or, for example, gasoline. For the rear brake, it is worth partially disassembling the bike or covering the chain and carriage so as not to accidentally stain the mechanism with grease.
Adjusting the 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.
Disc brake terms
Before we start, let’s define some terms.
If you hear squeals, squeals, or whistles while driving at regular intervals, it is usually a caliper alignment problem or a bent rotor causing the brake pads to rub as you ride. Verify this is a problem by lifting the wheel off the ground and spinning it If the wheel does not spin freely and stops, you have a brake problem!
Like the above, this measurement is somewhat dependent on feel and preference, but there are other aspects to consider: Make sure the reach is adjusted close enough so that you don’t have to loosen your grip on the steering wheel for your index finger to touch the lever. You also don’t want the lever to be so close that it touches the handlebars or your middle finger before fully applying the brake. The ideal place for most people is to place the lever just behind the last knuckle of the fingers (closest to the nail) when it is off.
Here is an example of a lever reach that is too large for my hand size. With this adjustment, I cannot properly hold the barbell and keep my finger on the lever at the same time.
How to Replace Brake Pads on a Bike. Rim Brakes
How to install, troubleshoot and adjust bicycle disc brakes. detailed manual
Correctly adjusted and tuned disc brakes will allow you to go faster. You can tackle corners and inconspicuous terrain at a higher speed if you are confident that your brakes will slow down and stop the bike quickly. If you need something convincing, watch one of these videos on proper braking.
require much less effort and maintenance than their cable-driven cousins, allowing you to grind more than a wrench. However, even the best water seals sometimes need replacing pads, bleeding air, eliminating squeaks, adjusting a piston, or improving power. Below we describe the elements of proper lever placement, share some of the common problems people face with their braking systems, as well as their possible solutions, and suggest ways to increase braking power.
Reliable cable brakes are great for some applications and have a separate full list of problems. Below we will focus on hydraulic brakes.
Adjust the position of the brake lever and the tension of the cable
To bring the brake lever closer to the steering wheel (for example, so that you do not have to stretch your fingers too much), tighten the bolt on the brake lever.
In this case, keep in mind that you should not bring the handle too close to the steering wheel. It should not touch the grip when fully clamped.
When the position of the brake lever is set, it remains to adjust the cable tension. A task. bring the pads as close to the rim as possible, leaving a distance of 2-3 millimeters between the pad and the rim.
To do this, you can tighten the cable in two ways:
For a rough adjustment, if the cable is very weakly tensioned, and the pads are far from the rim: loosen the bolt fixing the cable in the brake lever, tighten the cable, tighten the bolt.
When loosening the bolt, hold the lever and cable so that the cable does not run away and you do not have to re-thread it into the seat.
for fine tuning, we use the adjusting screw at the point where the shirt comes out with a cable from the brake lever.
To make the screw spin freely, loosen the lock nut by unscrewing it counterclockwise. Turning the screw clockwise, we loosen the cable tension (the pads move away from the rim), unscrewing it counterclockwise, we increase the tension (the pads are closer to the rim). When the pads are in the desired position, tighten the lock nut.
That’s all! Checking how everything works. If necessary, readjust the springs of the levers (item 3).
How To Fix Bicycle Brakes | Squeaking brakes
This measurement is based on preference and riding style, but generally you want your levers to be in a comfortable position so that your hand and forearm are on a straight cut line when you sit in your most common riding position. You may have to ride with a wrench to set this angle where you like.
Yeah, this lever is adjusted very low.
Some gravity riders prefer their levers to be more horizontal as they need the brakes most when they are behind the saddle and their forearms are much lower than in pedaling position. In contrast, XC riders who spend a lot of time out of the saddle pedaling often prefer to have their levers close to a 45 ° downhill angle. It is important to find a comfortable position that allows easy access to the stoppers when you need them.
At this angle, you can align the levers and make sure they are in the same place before you hit the road.
You can feel or use a level to make sure both levers are on the same slope. Another trick that works well. this is to sit on the bike until you see the brake levers looking over the handlebars, and then select the brake lever element to match the handlebars. I usually use the brake hose as other items may be bent or covered by the drip arms You can use the same arm piece on both sides to align with the steering wheel and determine if the brakes are in the same place.
If you frequently crash and break multiple levers, it may help to tighten the brake lever clamp just enough so that it does not move when you press the lever. If the lever is loosened enough to move rather than break on impact, you will save a little money and probably save the rest of your trip.