How to fix the front brakes on a speed bike


Disc hydraulic bicycle brakes have the same benefits as mechanical ones, plus a few of their own:

  • The most powerful braking force of all types.
  • Excellent control of braking force.
  • Work in all weather conditions.
  • Easy movement of the brake lever.
  • Hydraulic line repair is quite problematic.
  • If the rotor is bent, it is difficult to align it.
  • Highest price relative to other species.

In addition, hydraulic disc brakes have the same disadvantages as mechanical ones.

front, brakes, speed, bike

Drum brakes

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

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

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

Cantilever brakes

The mechanism consists of two levers, each of which has brake pads. The levers are attached to the pivots on the fork. With the help of two rods, the cable moves the levers that press the pads. The device is reliable and simple, but it is less and less common on modern bicycles. Other types, with a more efficient mechanism, are gradually replacing it.

Disc Bicycle Brakes

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

V-brake brakes

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

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

Rim Bicycle Brakes

The drum brake bushing is gradually becoming obsolete. And the leading positions in the market are occupied by rim and disc brakes. Rims are most popular today, as they are more practical than drum and cheaper than disc. The principle of operation of this mechanism is quite simple: when the cyclist presses the handle located on the handlebar, a cable is pulled, which transfers the force to the brake levers, and they, in turn, press the pads against the wheel rim. Here, again, frictional force is at work. Now let’s talk in more detail about each type of rim brake.

Hydraulic rim brakes

Unlike the previous two types, the design of such brakes does not include rotating levers to which the pads are attached, and cables that drive these levers. The principle of operation is slightly different here. The brake lever located on the steering wheel contains a fluid cylinder. When pressed, it transmits pressure through special tubes to two cylinders mounted on the fork. These cylinders push the pads perpendicular to the rim, causing friction and braking. Bicycle brakes of this type are very effective, so they are used in trials. Due to the high weight, difficulty in maintenance, poor modulation (the ability to dose the braking force with the handle) and repairability in difficult weather conditions, rim hydraulic brakes have not taken root in other types of cycling.


  • Provides much more powerful braking than rim.
  • Allows you to control the braking force.
  • They work in any weather. Dust, dirt and moisture have virtually no effect on braking performance.
  • Do not wear out the rim.
  • Does not interfere with the use of wide tires.
  • Works effectively on a curved rim.
  • Long serve.
  • Do not need special maintenance.
  • Rotor aligns much easier than hydraulic brakes.
  • Ropes do not need special operation, unlike hydraulic lines.
  • Cannot be repaired in the field without special tools.
  • Due to the variety of models and modifications, the search for spare parts is a little difficult.
  • During transportation of a disassembled bicycle, there is a high probability of curvature of the rotor under any mechanical stress.
  • Sometimes they interfere with the attachment of the bike rack.
  • Are heavy on rim brakes.
  • expensive than rim models.

Drum brakes

The drum brake (otherwise called “foot brake”) is located in the rear hub of the bicycle and has brake pads inside. The braking process is initiated when the carriage rotates against the movement. As a result, the brake pads are pulled apart and pressed against the drum. Friction arises between the pads and the drum, due to which braking occurs. Drum brakes are commonly found on children’s bicycles and inexpensive city bikes for adults.

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 less and less common. It is superseded by other other types of brakes with more effective stopping power.

Bicycle brakes

Brakes for a bicycle, like for any other vehicle, are an indispensable element necessary to control the bicycle and ensure safety. The following types are distinguished:

Drum brakes.
2. Rim brakes.
3. Disc brakes.

Which type of brakes should you choose? To answer this question, it is worth understanding the features of each type of brakes.

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, the cartridge brake pads can be easily changed using a conventional hex wrench. At the moment, this type of brake is the most common. It is used on almost all types of bicycles. For instance:

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

Disc brakes device

A disc brake consists of a brake disc (rotor) attached to the wheel hub, and a 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.

The caliper (brake machine) is mounted on the fork or on the frame. Inside the caliper there are two brake pads that are pressed against the rotor by one or more pistons.

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

Disc brakes

Disc brakes with minor changes, modifications and adaptations came to the cycling world from the world of motorcycles and cars. Depending on the type of drive, disc brakes are divided into mechanical and hydraulic. In a mechanical disc brake, the force from the brake lever to the brake pads is transmitted by a cable, while in a hydraulic disc brake, through a hydraulic system filled with brake fluid. When you press the brake lever at the mechanical brake, a cable is pulled, this force is transmitted to the brake pads, which, pressing against the brake disc, lead to braking. In the case of a hydraulic brake, the required force is transmitted through the hydraulic line from the brake lever directly to the pads. Forward bicycles with disc brakes are very easy to identify: there is the word “disc” at the end of the model name (for example Forward Next 3.0 disc).

Caliper brakes

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. Caliper brakes installed on Forward Impulse bikes (2020).

Check the condition of the cables and shirts

This item is intended solely for mechanics. Before adjusting the mechanical disc brakes on your bike, you should carefully check the condition of the cables and shirts. If the cable is damaged, namely, if it is fluffed, broken individual fibers are observed, then it should be replaced without fail. It does not matter whether the cable changes or not, it must be lubricated before adjusting the brake. We also inspect the cable jacket. If cracks or tears are visible on it, then it is better to replace it.

How to set up and adjust disc brakes on a bicycle

Many riders, first encountering hydraulic or mechanical disc brakes on a bicycle, do not know how to properly set up, adjust or replace consumables. Many consider their design to be much more complex than V-brakes. but it is not so. Technologically, good bicycle disc brakes, especially if they are hydraulic, are more advanced than v-breaks and perform significantly better at their tasks, but remember that this is not the case for cheap mechanics. Next, we will look at how to properly install and adjust disc brakes yourself at home. But we will start with the design features and differences between disc mechanics and hydraulics. And then we will touch on all of the above points.

Disc Hydraulic Bicycle Brakes

Disc hydraulics are very similar to their mechanical counterparts. The main difference is that the force applied to the brake lever is transferred to the pads not with a cable, but thanks to DOT4 brake fluid (on Avid, Hayes, Helix brakes) or mineral oil (on Shimano brakes). Next, consider the design of hydraulic disc brakes.

How to set up mechanical disc brakes on a bicycle

Adjustment of the disc mechanics is required to be done: after installing new pads, cable, rotor or other brake components; in the case when the rotor rubs against the pads; when it is required to eliminate a large brake lever travel, etc.

  • We check the tightness of the bolted joints at the points of attachment of the adapter to the frame and the rotor to the bushing.
  • Loosen the lock nut and tighten the cable tension adjustment on the handlebar until it stops minus 1-1.5 turns. Then tighten the lock nut. We do the same on the adjustment, which is located on the caliper. Next, unscrew the cable retainer, and, pulling the cable by hand, tighten the retainer bolt back. (If you have already done these operations when installing a new brake, then you do not need to repeat these steps).
  • We loosen the bolts that attach the machine to the adapter (for an easier setup, you can remove it completely).
  • We adjust the position of the fixed (static) and movable shoe. The purpose of this procedure is to achieve an equidistant position of the pads from the center of the caliper slot so that the rotor can fit between them with minimal clearances. To adjust the fixed shoe, loosen the locknut (if any), and rotate the bolt that adjusts its position. To adjust the movable one. rotate the cable tension adjustment on the caliper. After the distance is set, we tighten the clamp of the static block. If for this procedure you removed the machine, then you should install it in place, but do not tighten the mounting bolts.
  • We set the correct position of the caliper relative to the brake disc. To do this, the bolts that attach it to the adapter must be loosened so that it can walk relatively easily left and right. We press the brake lever all the way and fix it with electrical tape, wire, rope or other improvised means. Next, slightly wiggling the caliper with your hand, screw it to the adapter, alternately tightening the bolts.
  • After performing the above operations, in 80% of cases the rotor will shuffle against the deck (s). We determine which of them it clings, and adjust the distance by adjusting the cable tension on the caliper (in the case of friction against the movable block) or by rotating the bolt (if rubbing against the static one). The clearance on both sides should be minimal, at which the rotor does not touch the pads.
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You can watch a detailed process of setting up disc mechanical brakes in this video.

There are times that after setting up the mechanical disc brakes of a bicycle, the rotor “strikes” against the pads in one (or several) places. This suggests that you have it slightly deformed. In this case, you need to align it. This can be done directly on the bike without removing the rotor. Determine the place where it touches the pads by slowly rotating the wheel. Pay attention to which side the rotor is deformed. Then, we turn this section so that access appears to it, and we bend it in the opposite direction from the place of friction. Be careful not to make it worse. Do not apply too much pressure to the rotor. It is better to repeat this operation several times, gradually adding pressure.

How to adjust hydraulic disc brakes

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

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

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

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

Check the pads

We remove the brake pads. To do this, we find the extension on the caliper and turn each block in turn by the tongue. If everything is done correctly, then it will not be difficult to dismantle them. Next, we make a visual inspection of the surface for chips. In case of severe damage or wear, the pad should be replaced.

Check the correct installation of the wheel

Determine if the wheel is installed correctly. It should be clearly perpendicular to the ground, without tilting to the side. To do this, we put the bike on wheels, loosen the eccentric and, pressing the saddle with your hand (keeping the bike level), tighten the eccentric.

Check rotor

First of all, we unscrew the brake rotor from the hub and check it for deformation. This can be done by placing it on a flat surface (glass, mirror, etc.) and inspecting it. If the rotor is loose, it should be aligned before adjusting the disc brakes. If the deformation is insignificant, then this operation can be performed when adjusting the brakes.

The main symptoms of bicycle brake malfunctions

If you have studied the information on how to adjust the brakes on a bicycle, you should also additionally understand the signs indicating a breakdown of its brake system.

Adjustment of the brake systems of bicycles is carried out in the event that you have purchased a new bike, as well as after the expiry of its running-in period.

  • The appearance of unusual sounds during movement, namely knocks, whistles, squeaks. This indicates that the car has problems with the pads or with the brake itself.
  • Poor response of bicycle brakes to the force applied by the cyclist to the brake lever. In this case, you can diagnose a malfunction of the hydraulic system or the bicycle brake cable.
  • The presence of visually detectable mechanical damage, namely traces of impact after a fall. In this case, the brakes will work, but they will have to be additionally adjusted.

Attention! Adjustment of the brake systems of bicycles is carried out in the event that you have purchased a new bike, as well as after the expiry of its running-in period.

This procedure will need to be carried out even when you have not used the car for more than a month, especially in the cold season.

During the adjustment of the brakes, preventive maintenance of other systems and mechanisms of the bike is carried out

In order to understand how to adjust the brakes on a bicycle, you need to know the basic operations that are performed while doing this. Usually, the adjustment of all types of brakes requires the following operations:

  • Selecting the best way to position the pads in relation to the wheel rim, or adjusting the disc or drum in the same way.
  • Debugging their work planes.
  • Selection of the optimal force on the working bodies located on the steering wheel. Usually this is a brake handle, with the help of which force is transmitted to the working bodies of the brake system. This force can be transmitted to the rear brake via the bicycle pedals.

When adjusting the brakes, preventive maintenance of other systems and mechanisms of the bike is carried out, for example, it will be imperative to check the correct geometry of the wheel rim. If you identify the presence of an eight on it, it will need to be corrected so that the last does not erase the rim.

When setting up your brakes, always remember that knowing how to adjust the rear brakes on a bicycle is far from the same as knowing how to adjust the front brakes on a bicycle. Usually, the braking systems located in front and behind the bike are quite different from each other, so you need to have a different approach to them.

How to adjust the brakes on your bike yourself?

The question of how to adjust the brakes on a bicycle is very rarely posed to the owners of modern bicycle bikes, since the quality of modern braking systems is so high that the settings installed at the factory during the production process do not go astray for years. However, in any case, the cyclist needs to know the intricacies of their settings and carry out preventive maintenance at least once a season. This will allow you to extend the life of your bike and protect you from possible accidents that may happen to you on the road.

Road Brake Adjustment

Adjusting the rim brakes

You can learn how to set up rim brakes on a bicycle by carefully studying the instructions for their design. In addition, information on this topic can be found in abundance on cycling websites. Usually, the process of adjusting the rim brakes does not cause absolutely no problems even for a novice bike rider. The fact is that the main operation for servicing the brakes of such a system is to replace the brake pads, so all the subtleties here will consist in the correct operation of the mechanisms holding them.

It is worth noting that, in general, most modern bicycles use a V-Brake type of brake pad mount. It is characterized by the presence of separate levers in their design, made in the form of the letter V. They are connected by a cable held by a jacket. It is about the maintenance of this type of brake system that we will tell.

In order to carry out maintenance of the rim brake, you must:

  • Open the brake, and using force remove the cable jacket from the mount.
  • Unscrew the screw securing it to the frame.
  • Remove the brake mechanism.
  • To work with pads, unscrew the pads fixing screw.

At the same time, be careful not to forget the correct sequence for installing the washers. The fact is that they are mounted in pairs. concave and convex. The correctness of the adjustment of the entire brake system depends on how correctly they are installed.

Finished brake cartridges must match the brakes of the bike exactly

Since the most common operation is brake pad replacement, let’s take a look at it. To do this, you will need to perform all the operations listed above and pry on the old block to remove it. A new one is installed in the vacant place. When performing this work, you must be careful, since you will have to adjust the brake shoe in place.

Attention! In the event that you install ready-made brake cartridges, you will have to carefully ensure that such cartridges exactly fit these brakes.

In addition to replacing the brake pads, they are adjusted on the spot, and the level of the cable tension is also controlled. For this, the screw located on the brake lever is tightened to the desired state. As a result of this clockwise rotation, the brake pads move away from each other.

In addition, the tilt of the brake shoe is also adjusted by loosening the fixing screw. If you have recently purchased a bicycle and it is difficult for you to follow the procedures described on your own, then in order to learn how to adjust the brakes on a bicycle, you should watch a video on this topic.

If new pads are installed on the bike, then the main thing is to put on the spacers and washers in the correct sequence.

Types of bicycle brakes

In order to know how to properly set up the brakes on a bicycle, you need to be able to understand their design. Today, modern bicycles are equipped with the following types of brakes: rim, drum and disc. over, each type of brake system is subdivided into subspecies.

  • tick-borne;
  • cantilever;
  • hydraulic;
  • V-brake type.

Drum brakes do not have subspecies, but disc brakes have the following varieties:

  • hydraulic;
  • mechanical;
  • hybrid.

Rim brakes are those braking systems in which the wheels of a bicycle are braked by clamping the wheel rim. As a result, the rotation speed is reduced until the vehicle comes to a complete stop. Rim braking systems are among the most common due to their simplicity and low cost. They are used on almost all types of bikes.

Bicycle Hydraulic Brake Device

Drum brakes, or roller brakes, are very similar in principle to those used on cars. Here, the braking elements of the structure are placed inside the wheels, and they stop their movement by pressing against the rotating part of the wheel. Since brakes of this type have a large mass and are rarely repairable in field conditions, do not have sufficient strength, they are usually used on walking bikes.

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As for the disc brakes, they are the most common today and they are installed both on cars for beginners and on professional bikes. Their device consists of a disc securely attached to the wheel hub, as well as to the frame or caliper fork, hydraulic tube or cable. The task of the latter is to transfer the force created by the cyclist’s brush when braking to the caliper. This braking system does not need constant tuning, is not afraid of precipitation and cold weather, and has a long period of operation.

Bicycle disc brake device

To know how to set the brakes on a bicycle correctly, you will need to carefully study the design of all types of braking systems. At the same time, some types of bicycles are equipped with rather complex braking systems, and therefore the bicycle owner, in order to have an idea, for example, how to adjust the hydraulic brakes on a bicycle, will need to carefully study the instructions for it. It is worth reading the materials on this topic located on specialized sites dedicated to cycling.

Adjusting disc brakes

Since disc brakes are rarely used on modern bicycles, you will only need to adjust them when you need to learn how to adjust the brakes on a mountain bike, that is, when you start cycling at least semi-professionally. At the same time, there are many types of brake disc systems, but we will consider maintenance work with rotary brakes.

Before proceeding directly with the process of adjusting the brake system of a bicycle, you will need, if you do not have experience in carrying out such work, study the materials on how to set up disc brakes on a bicycle and watch about this video. In addition, before adjusting disc brakes, you must:

  • Check the position of the brake lever.
  • Inspect the disc or rotor for mechanical damage. If it has chips and dents, it will need to be replaced.
  • Check the condition of the brake cable and pads located in the brake shoe.

Adjusting bicycle disc brakes

Attention! Since the quality of the brake system directly depends on the correct setting of the angle of pressing the pads, it is necessary in the process of adjusting it to correctly set the angle of its pressing.

To do this, it will have to be installed strictly parallel to the disc or rotor. If you install a block crookedly, this will greatly shorten its service life.

The disc brakes themselves are directly adjusted on the caliper according to the following scheme:

  • We fix the wheel exactly in the position in which it will be while driving. This is very important for determining the location of the rotor and hub.
  • We slightly loosen the fastening of the caliper so that it does not fall, but at the same time it can move.
  • Clamp the brake lever to install the caliper in place.
  • Moving the brake machine or tightening the bolts.
  • Working with the bolts one by one, we finally put the car in place.

In addition to performing the adjustment procedure, disc brakes require periodic rotor dressing. A simple adjustable wrench is usually used to repair minor damage to this assembly. In the event that it is badly damaged, it makes sense to replace it.

If you are adjusting disc brakes, try not to touch them with your hands, as they are very bad for getting fat into the system, even from your hands. Therefore, before starting work, it is necessary to carry out the procedure for degreasing them with gasoline.

After learning the process of how to set up disc brakes on a bicycle, you can then make repairs in any conditions, for example, when you are on a hike or on a country road.

Use the following instruction:

Before starting braking with the front brake, reduce the speed with the rear one by pressing the handle for half a second.

Those. braking should be phased or stepped. we apply a force greater to the rear brake lever than to the front.

Further, when inertia is not felt so critical, we increase the force of pressing the front brake lever. We use the tactics both on slides and on a flat surface. The only exceptions are high slopes. there you need to carefully brake with the front end together with the rear brake, starting from the very beginning of the path.

Harsh clicks are excluded. Complete wheel blocking is excluded.

Think of the ABS system in a car. The same rules apply for a bicycle. The front brakes must not be locked under any conditions.

Play with your own weight by moving the point of the bike’s mass. When descending or hard braking, relieve the front wheel and load the rear.

Sometimes you need to hang out on the pedals behind the saddle. This alignment will ensure stability.

If you overdo it with the front handle clamped, then you can release it.

It’s funny, but it’s not so easy to do it! When the bike has already begun to roll over, you numb and fall with it. It is important to tightly control these moments of “freezing” and at the slightest hint of a coup, release the brake lever.

Front brakes on the bike. Practice of use

Often, communication with a cyclist’s front brakes begins with a fall over the handlebars. After that, the user forgets about their existence, using only the rear brakes constantly.

There is a strong prejudice about the front brake knob and it becomes scary to touch.

This option with a creak is suitable for measured riding on flat paths or in the city. But in this case, too, a mistake is made. At the very least, the rear brake wears out much faster.

For a professional and even an advanced amateur level, this option is not suitable. It is no coincidence that serious mountain bikes are equipped with full-fledged braking systems both forward and backward.

This article describes how to properly use the front brakes on a bike.

Can the front brakes be used on inclines

If the cyclist has developed a fear of the front brakes, then using them on slopes and slides becomes unbearably difficult.

A person feels horror when they experience a displacement of the center of mass to the front axle.

This leads to the emergence of the most severe taboo on the use of the front brakes on slopes.

Meanwhile, here the ability to use these brakes correctly determines the comfort and safety of the process.

The rear wheel on slides has the specificity of holding the ground even worse than on a flat surface. This is where front brakes come in handy.

They should be actively used on the slopes. The harder the descent is, the more you need to use the front brake. It is no coincidence that at the dawn of the development of extreme mountain biking in Russia, bikers installed giant front rotors and a powerful hydra on their horses precisely on the front contour.

Why use the front brakes

If we draw the braking of the bicycle in stages in vectors, we can see that the load when the brake lever is pressed falls mainly on the front wheel. The rider’s weight is partially redistributed and shifted forward.

This leads to the fact that the rear wheel of the bicycle is lifted off the ground by microns, and sometimes even by millimeters.

The unloaded state of the wheel leads to a decrease in the friction force in the wheel-surface pair. There are unpleasant effects such as skidding, sliding, loss of braking efficiency. This is made worse by standing on the pedals.

Adding to this unfavorable weather conditions, for example, wet asphalt or thin ice, we get an uncontrollable mechanism.

Remember how children (and maybe you yourself once) drove through the puddles on a large HVZ after the rain, and when driving through a puddle, they sharply stopped the foot brake, shifting the weight to the steering wheel. This led to long skid braking. It’s only good when the game happens.

Accordingly, the use of the front brake is necessary. This is necessary for intensive skiing or in difficult weather conditions. After all, it is pointless to brake with a wheel that has lost grip.

In addition, even if we discard the practical effect, the economic effect is also important. When using two brakes at the same time, both brakes wear evenly.

How to properly use the front brakes on a bike

Professional cyclists often use the front brakes and correct technique means braking with both wheels.

How to make sure that you do not roll over the steering wheel when you press the front brake lever?

First, understand that if you fell over the steering wheel due to the front brake, it was the result of improper use.

When the front wheel locks instantly at good speed, a fall is inevitable.

Learning to brake with the front brake should be done carefully and gradually.

First you need to slightly slow down the front end and feel the play of weight.

Only then can we proceed to more decisive actions.

Instead of a conclusion

Learning how to use the front brakes correctly on a bike is an important skill that is vital for those looking to get ahead in riding and hang up their technique. In some disciplines, this skill is imperative.

In defiance of popular belief, it is important to note that the correct use of the front brake not only increases the braking efficiency, but also keeps the bike stable while driving. At first, it may seem that any stone caught under the wheel will turn you over the steering wheel. But this is just a wrong impression. The bike will ride as confidently as a sand barge.

By the way, a mountain bike is able to move freely down almost vertical slopes. But this can only be done with the correct use of both the front and rear brakes.

Which brake to use front or rear

Most beginners find the front brake useless and even dangerous. Having heard from their acquaintances about bad experiences with the front brake and free flights through the steering wheel, many novice cyclists weaken the front end or turn it off altogether. This is a very dangerous mistake that can lead to irreparable consequences. Front brake, during emergency braking, three times more effective than the rear.

Improper use of the front brake

Bicycle wheels have a very small contact area with the road, so the load on the wheel plays a big role here. During emergency braking, the weight is transferred to the front wheel of the bike, so if you use the rear brake, the wheel will simply go into skid and the braking distance will be huge. The rear brake should be used for maneuvering and as an auxiliary brake. In addition, the rear brakes will be useful when slowly sliding down the mountain.

Of course, you will have to practice to effectively use the front end, but it’s worth it. The only people who should release the front brakes are children and the elderly.

Location of the brakes

By default, bicycle manufacturers use the front brake lever on the left handlebar and the rear brake lever on the right. In countries with left-hand traffic, the opposite is true. What the manufacturers are guided by is not clear.

If you think about it, it will be more convenient if the front brake handle is under the right hand (for a right-handed person). Right hand motor is much better, and the front brake requires more precise effort. But if you are already riding and are used to braking with your left hand, then you should not even think about this topic.

How to brake effectively

First of all, you need to learn how to feel your brakes. To stop quickly at high speed, you can only use the front brake. It is necessary to press the handle as sharply and strongly, one might say pointwise. Effective braking is achieved on the verge of wheel blocking, but this blocking must not be allowed, otherwise the flight is guaranteed to you. Braking to the point of locking is used in ABC systems in automobiles and motorcycles. This method contributes not only to a sharp deceleration, but also the ability to make a maneuver at the same time.

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If you are going to enter a turn and need to slow down, then it is worth doing this in advance. Using the brake while cornering will lead to a fall in most cases, especially on wet or slippery roads.

Direction of view

Almost all beginners look at the handlebars when braking, changing direction and shifting gears. In no case should this be done. You need to look ahead and control the environment. It is worth practicing and learning how to use the handles and steering wheel on a subconscious level. Imagine what would happen on the road if all car drivers were looking at the gear lever instead of the road.

Braking your bike correctly

When a novice cyclist buys his first bike, he sometimes does not think about the quality of the braking system, and even more so about how to properly use the brakes of the bike. In this article, we will try to reveal the basic principles of the correct use of brakes and analyze difficult situations associated with braking.

I would like to note that, unlike a car, a bicycle does not have various security systems (airbags, belts, etc.), except for the brake system. It is the ability to brake correctly that can reduce the risk of injury and even save lives in an emergency.

If you have experience in driving a car or motorcycle, it will be much easier to understand how the brake system of a bicycle works. Bicycle brakes work in the same way as all other types of wheeled vehicles. One difference is that the load distribution on the front and rear brakes in a car is automatic, but on a bicycle we will have to learn to do it manually.

We will consider braking on high-speed bicycles with front and rear brakes, since these are the brakes that cause problems for novice cyclists.

Weight distribution

Braking performance is strongly influenced by the bike’s grip and weight management. The poorer your grip, the more likely you are to fly over the handlebars, so you need to be able to influence weight distribution. It is clear that with hard braking, most of the weight is on the front wheel of the bicycle and the effectiveness of the rear brake drops dramatically, and in addition, the chances of somersaults increase. Therefore, in case of poor grip, you should transfer part of your body weight to the rear of the bike, rest against the saddle and pedals, your hands should be relaxed and only control the steering wheel. Just put a little pressure on the steering wheel and the weight distribution will immediately change.

The same principle should be applied when braking on a slippery road, only use the Accent on the rear brake. The rear wheel is much easier to skid than the front wheel. If the front wheel is blocked on a slippery road, it immediately breaks off and a fall is guaranteed.

If you are descending a very steep mountain and still want to do it quickly and efficiently, you should use the same braking tactics. Only in this case, it is necessary to transfer the weight as much as possible, the rear should be above the wheel, and the saddle almost on the chest.

Displacement of the body behind the saddle when braking on a steep descent

First thoughts while riding a single speed fixed gear, Safety First!

It should also be borne in mind that when driving on uneven rough terrain, you should be especially careful to use the front brake. Driving on small hills implies a loss of traction, even if the wheel is visually touching the ground. It is also necessary to release the front brake in a jump, landing with the brake applied is guaranteed to lead to a fall.

Long descent from the mountain

It happens, when you have to overcome long descents, then the question arises of how to work the brakes correctly in this case. The whole problem is that when the brakes work for a long time, they get very hot and can even get red-hot. This is especially dangerous for V-brake, because heating can damage the wheel rim.

There was a lot of controversy on this topic. Someone thinks that the entire distance can be covered by smoothly braking, someone says that you need to brake only from time to time, but at the same time it will slow down sharply. And some argue that the brakes heat up the same in both cases.

We believe that it is worthwhile to be guided by the experience of motorists, and brake intermittently by sharply slowing down the bike, and then start it up along the coast, letting the brakes cool down.

That, in general, is all that we wanted to tell. If you have an opinion or experience that you would like to share, please tell us about it in the comments block below.

Repair, adjustment and adjustment of brakes on a bicycle with your own hands

Timely brake adjustments can help keep you out of trouble

There are two types of brakes on modern bicycles. rim and disc. Which braking system is used on your bike will determine how you adjust the brakes on your bike. As a rule, the brake does not require frequent adjustment, but there are times when adjustment is simply necessary. After all, a reliable brake is the key to your safety.

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.

Actions to check and adjust the brakes

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 the v-brake system, so we will use this example to show you 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 will be that the bolts and screws that need to be twisted 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.

How to set up disc brakes on a bicycle, set the brake pads correctly

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 pads. 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 a 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.

To adjust the position of the pads relative to the brake disc, special bolts are provided. By twisting 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 on the disc. After all, the gap of 0.3 mm is very small, and you need to be careful. And of course, check that the clearance you set is enough to brake the wheel.

Adjusting the disc brakes of a bicycle must always be accompanied by a check in 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 go on a long and not only trip on your bike with pleasure.!

  • It is more convenient to set up and adjust the brakes if you have a rack (holder) for repair and maintenance of the bike

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, 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 pads 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, it is imperative to 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 it is imperative 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 activated, congratulations! You did everything right!

Successful rides for rim brake owners!

  • You can find out which brakes are the most popular in this article.
  • How to adjust and disassemble the roller brake
  • Disc brakes or rim brakes are better


  • You can learn more about repairing disc brakes on a bicycle from the article.
  • Setting up and installing hydraulic brakes on a bicycle is done in a different way, you can learn more about this here.
  • Learn all about vibrays, their configuration and installation.