How to maintain disc brakes on a bicycle

Disc hydraulic brakes

In this case, the reason for the adjustment is the strong resistance of the wheel at the moment of movement, as well as when an extraneous sound or squeak appears.

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The adjustment instructions in this case are as follows:

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  • On the caliper, the bolts are unscrewed, after which the handle is squeezed out to press the pads against the wheel.
  • The next step is to check the position of the valves. They must be equally spaced from the rotor.
  • Next, all screws are tightened.
  • After locking the caliper, the handle is released. In this position, the block should not be pressed against the rim, be at a distance of about a millimeter.
  • Quite often there is a situation where the pads are located at different distances from the rim. The problem can be solved by pressing one of the pads, after which the handle is worked through 10 times. Due to such actions, unevenness is eliminated.

The final stage involves setting the correct position of the handle, which controls the system. For this, a special adjusting hexagon is installed.

Mechanical type

The adjustment is carried out if there is friction between the disc and the pad. A procedure will also be required in case of deterioration in the work of the part.

The brake lever is squeezed to the limit. Unscrew the locknut of the machine, then turn the regulator out. It may be necessary to loosen the cable. In cases where the brakes are installed crookedly, it is necessary to loosen the adjusting screws. Unscrew the screws securing the braking device. When the caliper becomes movable, squeeze the handle to the limit and lock in the specified position. Center the machine on the disc. Then you need to tighten the screws securing the machine. Repeat the procedure periodically to avoid movement of parts.

After completing the process, lower the handle. To avoid permanent shifts, follow the recommendations given in the operating instructions.

How to fix brake levers?

Clean and lubricate the levers: If the bike does not brake well, it may be worth cleaning or repairing the levers. Try applying a little oil to the levers where the levers flex. If you have mechanical disc brakes, it is a good idea to lubricate the cables with oil at least every two months (or when signs of rust appear on the surface). Lubricate by applying a small amount of oil to the cable that is next to the main and guide cables, be careful not to get oil on the brake pads and discs.

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Blow out the brakes: If your hydraulic brakes and levers fail when you squeeze them, air may be trapped in the hydraulics. To remove it, you need to “blow” the brakes. Blowing is a procedure that clears air bubbles from hydraulic hoses.

Rearrange the brake pads: If you have mechanical disc brakes, then the brake pads may not be close enough to the wheels. Before rearranging them, you need to make sure that the pads are not too worn out.

If the pads are in order, you need to turn the dials located on the calipers to bring the pads closer to the wheels. The correct disc-to-pad distance depends on the style of your brakes, so it is best to consult your brake manufacturer for this information.

Note: Hydraulic disc brakes have self-adjusting brake pads that provide consistent lever traction, so they do not have adjusting dials on hydraulic calipers.

Hydraulic disc

Adjustment of disc brakes will be required when unpleasant sounds, squeaks, grinding, or when there is strong wheel resistance when driving.

Remove the caliper bolts. After that, squeeze the handle as much as possible to press the pads against the wheel. Consider the position of the valves. Parts must be at the same distance from the rotor. If the gaps are uneven, press down 1 element, then work with the handle 10 times. In this case, the unevenness should disappear. Tighten all screws. When the caliper is locked, lower the handle. In this case, the block should not press against the rim. The clearance to the stationary part is normally about 1 mm.

The adjustment is completed by setting the handle to the required position. To fix the part, a special hexagon is used.

Pistons do not come back

If both pistons do not return, then you may have to do the previous operation with both of them. The brake lever may also be clogged with dirt, then it will have to be disassembled and cleaned. Another reason may be leaks in the hydraulic line or master cylinder, if you find leaks then you will have to change the hydraulic lines or rubber bands-pistons of the master cylinder.

If the brake lever begins to fail, then the cause may be air bubbles in the brake line or leaks. In case of leaks, the fishing line will have to be replaced, and get rid of the air by pumping.

Hydraulic disc brakes

The main advantage of hydraulics is the extremely soft and comfortable braking of the bicycle (due to the smooth pressure of the liquid column). Hydraulics are less prone to overheating than mechanics. In addition, this system needs to be adjusted much less frequently than mechanical ones. However, it is very difficult to adjust and repair hydraulics. In particular, there is no way to fix the damage to the hydraulic line on your own.

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.

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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.

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

Device and principle of operation

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

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

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

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Figure: Bicycle brakes

Figure: appearance of the brake lever with main elements

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.

Disc hydraulic brakes

In such a case, the reason for the adjustment is the strong resistance of the wheel at the moment of movement, as well as when an extraneous sound or squeak appears.

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The adjustment instructions in this case are as follows:

  • On the caliper, the bolts are unscrewed, after which the handle is squeezed out to press the pads against the wheel.
  • The next step is to check the position of the valves. They must be equally spaced from the rotor.
  • Next, all screws are tightened.
  • After locking the caliper, the handle is released. In this position, the block should not be pressed against the rim, be at a distance of about a millimeter.
  • Quite often there is a situation where the pads are located at different distances from the rim. The problem can be solved by pressing one of the pads, after which the handle is worked through 10 times. Due to such actions, unevenness is eliminated.

The final stage involves setting the correct position of the handle, which controls the system. For this, a special adjusting hexagon is installed.

Even high-quality braking systems require maintenance. Due to the actions taken, you can significantly increase the efficiency of the device, increase the operational life.

First steps in repair and adjustment business

As always, start simple first. In this case, from the repair of the simplest brake system. rim. V-breaks are not famous for their ingenuity. A device as simple as two or two. What is the structure of this mechanical brake system? There are levers that are mounted on the steering wheel. There are tubes (it is correct to call them “shirts”), inside which an iron cable fidgets. Two clips and pads. Everything is nothing more. That is why there are only three positions on which it is worth adjusting the V-break.

The first is to control the distance between the pads and the wheel. The second is to control the direction of the pads. The third is the degree of tension of the clamps. For beginners, this can seem daunting, especially in practice. But experienced amateurs can assemble a disassembled brake in just seven minutes.

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Self-adjusting the brakes on the bike:

Cycling is an incomparable pleasure. A constant wind in your hair, a feeling of complete freedom and independence, besides, cycling can replace constant trips to the gym, it’s no secret that riding a “two-wheeled” affects absolutely all muscle groups. First of all, the legs, back, arms, abs. all this is maintained in an active tone thanks to the cycling load. The benefits of a bicycle cannot be understated. But in order to enjoy walks day after day, you need to take care of your “horse”. Preventive maintenance includes adjusting the brakes.