How to remove the rear brake on a bike

Varieties of rim brakes

Rim brakes are divided into several types:

  • tick-borne;
  • cantilevers;
  • V-brake (vector mechanical);
  • hydraulically driven.

Caliper brakes. previously popular modifications, are now rare on the market. They are a classic model of rim brakes with attachment to the fork or stays of the bicycle frame. Design features and operating principle:

  • Consist of a handle, a drive cable, two movable bows and brake pads.
  • The handle is attached to the handlebars of the bicycle, a cable is pulled from it and fixed on the clamping side of the arches. The body itself is attached strictly above the wheel, pads are screwed to the lower mounts of the arcs.
  • Through the cable, the force is directly transmitted to the clamping part of the arcs, due to which they are compressed, and the pads are in contact with the rim.
  • Responsible for unclamping is an elastic metal insert or spring built between the levers.

The levers have a single axis of rotation and move towards each other like pliers pincers. Hence the name. tick-borne. Advantages. ease of installation, simple setup. Cons. weak braking force, low modulation, high abrasion of the pads, require frequent debugging. Fits on road racing bikes and optionally as a front rim brake on road models.

Cantilevers belong to the second type of disappearing brakes. The principle of their work is to extend the levers under the action of a taut leash. The principle of operation of the cantilever brake:

  • Through the main cable, the force is transmitted to the jumper.
  • The cable pulls the jumper up, the leash attached to it is pulled.
  • The leash connects both levers, which are rigidly attached to the frame.
  • Due to the convergence of the levers, the pads approach the rim.

The cantilevers are dirt resistant, will not bump the tire and are easy to install. Significant disadvantages include:

  • decrease in braking force as the leash is pulled;
  • you need to create a high effort to stop the bike completely;
  • difficulty of adjustment.

In justification of the latter, it should be noted that the position of the pads can be adjusted within wide limits.

V-brake is a common type of rim brake on high-speed bicycles. Compared to cantilevers, it has a higher precision and longer shoe longevity. They are also easy to remove and repair yourself.

The vectors are partially similar in design to cantilevers: the front brake levers are bolted to the fork, the rear brake levers are attached to the upper stays. The legs are connected to each other by a pulling cable. The drive cable is brought to one side, but due to the straight shape of the “tie” forces are equally transmitted to both levers.

Hydraulic bicycle rim brakes are a more advanced mechanical design. The drive system consists of a control cylinder, a hydraulic line and power cylinders. The forces from the handle are transmitted to the master cylinder, which, through the oil, acts on the power cylinders. Those, in turn, move the pads towards each other.

Advantages. high compression force and efficiency, excellent modulation. Disadvantages. deterioration of work with a blockage of the hydraulic line, complex repairs. Used a similar type of brakes for freeride and trial.

Rim-type brakes have low brake pad travel, which means they wear less during operation. A significant disadvantage of this approach is the inability to be used on wheels, even with minor rim curvatures. Sensitive brakes will rub against the wheel on the fly, causing reduced speed and increased pad wear.

How to set up rim brakes on a bike

The braking system is one of the most important technical components of a bicycle. The safety of both the cyclist and other road users directly depends on its condition. Good brakes are essential in any situation, from riding in parks to tough cycling.

In the modern classical sense, a bicycle brake is a pressure mechanism that acts on the wheel rim. In fact, there are several types of brakes, however v-brake (rim) is the most common option on bicycles of various classes.

Braking system characteristics

The following terms are used to qualitatively describe the operation of rim brakes:

  • impact force;
  • efficiency;
  • wear resistance;
  • modulation;
  • service requirements;
  • comparative features.

The force of impact, or braking, is a parameter that shows how much the brake can clamp the rim so that the bike cannot be moved. Maximum effort is required only to completely stop and lock in place. On the road, the effort is not fully used to adjust the speed. The range of action on the wheel rim by pressing the knob is called modulation, or accuracy, of the brakes.

An active cyclist uses his vehicle not only in dry and cloudless weather. Rain, mud, sand. everyone who rolls out their bike on long trips will have to face this. The effectiveness of brakes allows you to describe their behavior in a wide variety of conditions.

Durability is a measure of durability, taking into account the prescriptions for the use of the bicycle as a whole. Timely maintenance can increase the service life of the braking system. Service Requirements provide guidance on how to properly install and adjust the machine, how often to do this, and guidance on how to replace parts.

How to install and adjust the V-brake yourself

  • Attach the levers to the bike frame.
  • Insert the drive cable into the brake lever.
  • Install the handle on the steering wheel, insert the cable into the grooves on the frame (if any).
  • Connect the cable with the levers and put the spring.

After installation, you will definitely need to adjust the brakes.

The accuracy of the mechanism depends largely on its settings. So, even an expensive system will not work well without proper adjustment, and conversely, a mid-range V-brake can outperform a disc brake in terms of efficiency. What needs to be done to adjust the brakes?

Adjust the cable tension. After adjusting, the brake should instantly respond to the squeeze of the handle and rebound when it is released. If the pads do not move away from the rims, this indicates insufficient tension. On the overtightened cable, the handle will be hard to press, and the sheath may burst.

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The tension is adjusted with a bolt on the side of the levers. The setup looks like this:

  • Reset Springs.
  • Loosen the cable fixing bolt.
  • Adjust the tension so that in the fully clamped position, the distance from the handle to the handlebar corresponds to the thickness of the finger.

If damage is noticed on the cable sheath, it is recommended to immediately install a new set.

Clearance adjustment. The optimal distance is 2. 3 mm from the edge of the pad to the rim. Determination of brake pad wear: cannot be used when the diverter grooves are completely erased (the whole surface is flat).

How do I fit new pads? The location relative to the rim affects the size of the contact area of ​​the pads with it, the braking force and the life of the material. For brake pads with soft rubber surfaces, install them with the leading edge closer to the rim. Brake pads made of rigid material are placed strictly parallel to the surface of rotation of the wheel.

If your bike has cartridge pads, you only need to change the pads. Their position is set with a cotter pin; before removing the old surface, it is removed from the body. Similarly, in the reverse order, insert a new pad and fix it with a cotter pin.

Adjustment of the position and displacement of the shoe housings are carried out by means of a bolt and washers. For accurate fixation, you need to squeeze the brake and set the position of the pads strictly on the surface of the rim.

The last step will be to test the operation of the system in practice, that is, in real driving conditions. As a rule, the V-brake setting is obtained immediately. However, if braking is delayed or the handle does not fully return to its original position, the brakes must be readjusted.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Disc Brakes

Like every design, disc brakes have their own pros and cons. Among the advantages, it is worth noting the following:

  • Disc brakes with large rotors are strong.
  • Low leverage with superior disc brakes.
  • Disc brakes must not flex over the tire, so no design compromises are required for wide tires.
  • They are little affected by wet conditions.
  • They are not clogged with dirt and snow.
  • Not susceptible to rim damage.
  • Brake pads won’t damage the tire or dive under the rim without locking the wheel.
  • External to the hub, they do not impose any special lubrication requirements, which prevents the hub from overheating on long steep descents.
  • Dissipates heat without overheating the tire, which is especially important when used as a downhill brake or cargo bike.
  • They have no rims, which is important when driving in sand and mud, or with carbon fiber composite wheels. They do not leave black dust (particle wear) on the aluminum alloy rims, making replacement parts a clean job.
  • Allows modifications that do not work with rim brakes such as reflective tape on the sides of the rim, tire chains wrapped around the rim and tires.
  • Allows you to switch wheels with different rim sizes to the same frame, so you can switch from skinny road tires to rough off-road tires while maintaining the same bottom bracket height.
  • Hydraulic disc brakes eliminate cable friction “stickiness”.
  • Some hydraulic disc brakes self-adjust to compensate for rotor wear.
  • The rotor can be easily replaced when worn or damaged. Adapters allow replacement of most calipers, even those types that are no longer produced.
  • Some bike frames must use rim brakes as there are no presets for mounting rim brakes.


Bicycle brakes

It is the bicycle brakes that are responsible for regulating the speed of driving on a two-wheeled vehicle and, in particular, for slowing down the speed of movement, as well as stopping. They can be of several types:

  • rim;
  • pedal (or drum);
  • disk;
  • steep;
  • and roller.

The most common ones used in most modern bike models are disc brakes and rim brakes.

Replacing disc brake pads

The ability to periodically repair and maintain brake discs can significantly save.

Due to this, you can also:

  • Eliminate the possibility of damage to the system.
  • Reduces the risks of active skiing.

Disc brakes

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

Bicycle disc brakes also have their advantages. They:

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

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

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

Replacing pads on vibration racks and bicycle disc brakes: how to remove, install and adjust the mechanism

Squeaking is a reason to change the pads?

It is worth equalizing the actual wear only if the braking system does not show signs of malfunctioning. What are these symptoms? This is primarily the absence of squeaks and changes in the braking force. However, it is impossible to focus only on the creak. this sign is deceptive.

remove, rear, brake, bike

Vibration is the main cause of squeaking. The latter can arise from intermittent adhesion of the pad to the disc / rim or its loose fit. With these facts in mind, there are several operational reasons for the whistle of bicycle brakes:

  • Poor quality friction material. Poor quality pads leave dust when washed. It, settling on the working surface of the pads and disc, contributes to the formation of a hard layer that slides with a squeak. With the purchase of worthy pads, it is better not to tighten, but as a temporary solution, you can consider cleaning the contacting surfaces with low-grain sandpaper (“zero”).
  • Misaligned pads. often occurs on hydraulic disc brakes from clogging of the caliper: the pistons that move the brake linings can wedge. In these cases, the bulkhead of the machine helps out with the concomitant replacement of the cuffs.
  • Low system rigidity. Surely many have met a situation where the front brake works clearly and quietly, and the rear one squeaks and annoys with insecure behavior. As a rule, this is typical for budget lines that are not free from structural mistakes. Replacing the pads here does not always give a result. a complete change of the system to alternative components of a higher class is required.
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It is worth noting that the whistle when braking in wet weather is inherent in even decent braking systems. Of course, advanced components have a lower sound amplitude, but this should not be the only reason to switch to them, especially when the operation of the brake system dry is not satisfactory.

Replacing rim brake pads on a bicycle

Over time, rim pads (like any other bike part) fail. And any self-respecting bike enthusiast, not to mention professionals, should be able to replace them. over, this is easy to do with v-brakes. The main thing is to do everything slowly, clearly observing the technological stages in the required sequence:

  • Open the brake. bring its levers together and remove the iron tip of the “shirt” from the groove formed (the cable comes out of it).
  • Remove old pads, remembering in which sequence the fasteners were used.
  • Install new pads, sequentially collecting all mounting shims and washers.

It’s even easier when it comes to cartridge pads! It is only necessary to replace the rubber gaskets. remove the locking pin, remove the old one and put a new gasket, and then secure it with the same (or new) split pin.

Care must be taken when changing v-brake pads as they can be left or right (the markings are directly on the pads). Then in no case can they be confused.

In addition, it is not enough just to change the pads, you also need to adjust them. And before that, check the brake cable for wear or breakage. He must be absolutely intact and easily move around in a “shirt”. It is also necessary to check the shape of the wheels so that there are no “eights”.

The brake pads must be properly pressed against the wheel rim. And the pressure can be adjusted (configured) using the shoe fasteners. It is not difficult to get the desired angle if you hold down the brake and loosen the nut on each of the pads.

The v-brake cartridge pads should be located strictly horizontally, touching their entire surface to the rim, but not touching the tire. And when the required position is reached, you should fix it with a shoe nut. Regarding conventional brake pads, the rear of the pads must first come into contact with the rim horizontally.

During the tuning process, it is also necessary to ensure that the brake levers come together equally. Position adjustment is possible with a Phillips spring tension screw. If the lever barely moves, then the screw should be tightened, and when the lever moves too easily, unscrew.

Disc brake creaks

Why do bike disc brakes squeak? To find out the reason, you should examine the working element in detail and know what material the pads are made of. Brake elements made of durable stainless material, inherent squeak when spilled on them. This can happen while driving in wet weather, through puddles, morning dew, etc.

Soft organic brake pads do their job beautifully and quietly. However, they have a significant drawback. overheating and rapid wear. Sometimes (namely, with strong and sharp braking) smoke can go from the friction process.

The main recommendation when a squeak appears is to clean the disc and pads from waste material and dirt: using sandpaper and detergents. Also, do not allow rough wear of the pads and carry out their regular replacement.

Squeaky brakes. clean disc and pads from waste material and dirt

Rules for correct speed reduction

Bikes use two brakes: front and main rear. Many riders use the rear brake with the implication that this is correct and safe. This is true, but only when driving at low speeds. Experienced people use the front braking mechanism in most cases. Why is that?

By momentarily blocking the rotation of the rear wheel, the cyclist’s center of gravity shifts forward, as a result of which the load on the rear wheel is reduced. The last one starts to come off the slide, from the road surface.

  • Bottom line: as such, braking may not occur. Or the rear wheel “skids”, the bike becomes uncontrollable, and the “rider” can be thrown into a ditch, into the oncoming lane.

When the front brake is applied, the cyclist’s mass pushes against the front wheel, pressing it to the ground and increasing the friction with the road. That is why it is recommended to use combined or front braking in emergency situations.

Get in the habit of braking with all the available tools, combining them in turn. Start stopping using the rear deceleration tool, then start braking with the front one. This method avoids wheel slippage.

In emergency situations, use combination or front braking

Brakes creak. Prophylaxis

  • Important: to prevent wear of the bicycle tire, this procedure should be performed on unpaved surfaces (so as not to rub the rubber on the asphalt).

Pay attention to chemical treatment of your bike. It is recommended to lubricate the bicycle chain with liquid oil, not spray (the latter can get on the rear brake disc or rim). When using polishes, carefully remove their residues and surpluses (with a clean cloth).

  • Cleaning the rim or brake disc after each ride will help remove dirt and thus unpleasant noises when decelerating sharply.

To avoid squeaking, clean the rim / brake discs after every ride

How to properly clean disc brakes

To clean disc brakes, you will need special technical wipes, protective rubber gloves, fine sandpaper, a set of tools.

Consider the stages of disassembly and cleaning of brake elements.

  • Using a screwdriver and an auxiliary tool, pull out the blocking element and remove the brake pads from the body.
  • Dismantle the wheel and unscrew the required brake disc. Wipe the bolts with a clean cloth and place in a dry place.
  • Put on protective gloves and start flushing the rotor with a special fluid.
  • Sand the brake disc thoroughly, removing all abrasive material from its surface.
  • Clean the surface with a clean cloth. This procedure should be done carefully as the edges of the disc can be quite sharp.
  • Treat the brake disc with cleaning fluid, then wipe the entire surface with a technical towel.
  • Sand the pads to completely remove any abrasive material from the surface. This process should be carried out carefully so as not to overdo it and at the same time remove the extra layer from the brake element.
  • Apply no brake spray pads.
  • Wipe everything thoroughly.
  • Place the rotor back in place.
  • Return the brake pads to their original position.
  • Check that all major components are correctly installed.
  • Start grinding the pads by accelerating the bike to maximum speed and braking sharply. Repeat this procedure several times.

An illustrative example of how to do all of the above is in the following video:

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Squeak when braking in a v-brake mechanism

Why can bicycle rim brakes squeak? In order to understand this, you should pay attention to the following factors:

  • the material from which the brake pads are made;
  • condition of the rim;
  • serviceability of the pad supply mechanism.

Today, you can find various options for pads on v-brakes. All kinds of rubber are used in their production. Be aware that the softer the pad material, the quieter and smoother the deceleration process. But this type of brakes has a significant drawback. quick wear.

Also carefully examine the condition of the wheel rim. Worn and dirty, it can also “make an unpleasant noises” when braking. Regular cleaning and degreasing of the rims will help maintain adequate braking performance. To do this, you can use improvised liquids, namely:

  • detergents;
  • petrol;
  • White Spirit.

All of the above will help clean the rim from rubber residues that rub into the metal when the brake elements come into contact. If it is heavily soiled, try to apply mechanical action: sand with fine-grained emery paper.

Change pads in time: worn out, they can damage the wheel rim

How to Replace Brake Pads on a Bike. Rim Brakes

Unpleasant Sounds: How to Eliminate Squeaky Bicycle Brakes

Some people think that the squeaking of the bike’s brakes is normal, the result of wear and tear. If this is normal, then why do children cry and wither flowers from him??

The BikeMe editorial team understands why the brakes on the bike squeak and what needs to be done to eliminate or prevent such phenomena.


By knowing and fixing the causes of squeaks in the brakes, you will achieve a more comfortable ride on your favorite bike. At the same time, regularly carry out maintenance: this can fundamentally eliminate all the unpleasant sounds that the bike can make.

And if the brake pads have reached their maximum wear, they should be replaced immediately. to prevent wear of the working disc.

Only by taking care of the cleanliness and serviceability of the braking system, you will achieve complete control and safety while cycling.

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Step-by-step instruction

When the rear disc brake squeaks on your bike, do the following:

  • Dismantle the brake pads by unscrewing the locking pin.
  • Remove the brake rotor from the wheel.
  • Clean the disc using a special liquid, then wipe with technical napkins.
  • Gently sand the clean disc with fine-grained emery paper, evenly removing the top layer in a circular motion. As a result, the contacting surfaces of the disc brake system should become as flat as possible.
  • After achieving the desired result, wipe the disc thoroughly with a clean piece of damp material or use the same napkins.

The brake pads are processed in the same way. All elements of the brake system are wiped dry and placed in a clean place. The rotor is then mounted back onto the wheel. It is recommended to carry out the operation with gloves.

After installing the brake pads, the locking pin returns to its original place, and the system is again ready for use. In conclusion, in order for the brakes to return to normal, it is necessary to ride the bike several times, accelerating at a speed of about 20 km / h, and then stop abruptly.

How to eliminate squeaky brakes? Tools and materials

  • Technical napkins.
  • Bicycle brake cleaner.
  • Fine grit sandpaper.
  • Protective gloves and goggles.
  • Set of wrenches and screwdrivers.


It is not uncommon for disc brakes to squeak on a bicycle after replacing an old system with a new one. To eliminate the effect, it is enough to accelerate at medium speed, then brake several times.

Inexperienced cyclists after buying a new “iron horse” try to use it in a sparing mode at first, carefully passing the slopes and only slightly applying the brakes when cornering. Often, such actions lead to the formation of an uneven, textured pattern on the disks.

If disc brakes squeak on a bicycle, you need to pay attention to lubricating them. For these purposes, it is recommended to use a special oiler. When using a chemical spray, annoying sounds will have to endure for a long time until the system returns to normal. In addition, other functional elements and surfaces are likely to be contaminated during the application of an aerosol lubricant, which will later form a persistent dust layer.

In terms of prevention, it is also worth paying attention to a number of recommendations:

  • Keep your bike clean by wiping the brakes after every ride in wet weather. To do this, it is enough to use a solvent, white spirit or gasoline. The meaning of such actions is to increase the contact area and increase the friction force.
  • Pads should be cleaned regularly. This can be done mechanically, carefully scraping off dirt with a knife or all the same sandpaper.

Why do disc brakes squeak on a bicycle, what to do?

Probably every cyclist has come across moments when disc brakes on a bicycle squeak annoyingly. What to do in such cases? Let’s try to understand this issue together.

Why do disc brakes squeak on a bicycle?

The cause of the noise, which causes discomfort when braking, is usually hidden in improper lapping of the surfaces. In addition, the problem can be supplemented by contamination of surfaces in wet weather.

Disc brakes squeak on a bicycle when braking and in cases where the textured surface, which is required for effective braking, is not formed correctly during running. At the same time, the block is not able to reliably grip the rotor, bouncing and creating gaps.

Bicycle disc brakes squeak when pits and uneven tracks form on their surface. Thus, the system, which is responsible for the timely stopping of two-wheeled vehicles, turns into a kind of gramophone record tuned to an annoying squeal.

How to brake correctly?

As for the rear brake, it is recommended to use it on sharp turns, since it is quite difficult to turn the steering wheel and get into the saddle, relying on the front system.

Do not apply the rear and front brakes at the same time. First, you need to try to learn how to stop at a low speed, gradually increasing it. This is the only way to determine the optimal pressure on the handle depending on the situation.

You can learn to brake safely with jerks by alternately using the rear and front systems. Having felt the slip of one wheel, it is necessary to stop the second until it comes to a complete stop. Never jump off a bike or put your feet forward trying to increase traction.