How to tighten the brake cable on a bicycle

Step 8

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At this stage, the cable will be tightened. For this purpose, it is necessary to loosen the screw that holds the cable. Then you will need to move the levers. Then it is enough just to slightly tighten the cable, and tighten the fixing screw.

Step 4

When performing work, you need to unscrew the trimming screw on the brake lever. In this case, you do not need to use any tools at all, since you can unscrew the screw by hand.

Step 2

For replacement, you will need to purchase the cable that best suits your bike model. When buying a new cable, you should pay attention to the fact that its tip has a shape that is completely similar to the old one. It should be borne in mind that there are many differences in cables, which are designed for straight and curved handlebars.

10 basic steps to replace the brake cable on your bike

Due to intensive use, dirt and water begin to collect in the cables. Because of this, they begin to gradually become unusable. If you ride often enough, it will need annual repair or replacement. Thanks to this, the braking process will not only be as efficient as possible, but will also be smooth.

How To Replace A Bicycle Brake Cable

Step 9

At the next stage, you should check the reliability and quality of the work done. This will require a couple of times to apply the brake with effort. The new cable will then stretch. If necessary, just tighten the cable a little.

It is important to make sure that the shirt fits perfectly into the metal boot. Thanks to the fact that you press the brake several times, all the parts can fall into place. In the event that you find that the handle travel is too much, the cable should be slightly tightened. If you are satisfied with the result, you should tighten the bolt that holds the brake cable.

Step 6

Next comes the replacement of shirts. In new shirts, you will need to pre-cut the length so that they have the same dimensions with the previous ones. For the smoothest cut, it is best to use wire cutters. It is important that the ends that have been cut have straight holes for installing the cable. Next, you have to put metal tips on the shirt itself.

Step 1

Initially, a thorough inspection of the brake jacket should be performed. If this element has become unusable, or if there is a difficult movement of the cable, there may be damage to the cable or jacket. In the event that there are sufficiently sharp bends on the shirt, there is a possibility of premature rubbing of the cable.

Step 3

At this stage, it is necessary to unscrew the screw, due to which the cable is fixed. You will need to find where the cable is attached to the brake lever. Unscrew the screw using a hex key. Anthers must be saved, as they will be needed in the future.

Tension adjustment

The distance from the shoe to the rim is adjusted through the tension of the cable. 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 twisted in case of breaks, although practice shows that such “reserves” do not help anyone.

Renewal and replacement of pads

The most common service is replacing or renewing a bicycle brake pad.

Updates are usually sufficient after long-term storage. The surface of the rim and pads is degreased, and, depending on the remaining thickness of the rubber, its top layer is removed, as it “dubs” and from frost during storage, as well as from heating during active braking.

Less often, replacing the shoe is done. After unscrewing the screw, the old shoe is pry off and removed, and a new one is installed in its place. Here, accuracy is required when choosing, since there is no single standard, and the groove for the screw may not fit, and the shoe itself on the site may not lie. Fortunately, any sizing problem is dealt with with a sharp knife. In the case of a cartridge shoe, undercutting probably won’t help, but such cases are quite rare.

Mount types

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 a large clearance, which is beneficial for “dirty” riding;
  • caliper brakes. U-shaped mount in which two levers are connected and “bite” the rim. These models are the hardest to weaken.
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Each type is understood differently, but the overwhelming majority will only have to deal with the first type.

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.

How to tighten the brake cable on a bicycle

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 reach for it with your fingers), 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 tension of the cable. The task is to 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.

While loosening the bolt, hold the lever and the 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 right position, tighten the lock nut.

That’s all! Checking how everything works. If necessary, readjust the springs of the levers (item 3).

Basic nodes to check

Things to check before adjusting disc brakes?

  • Handle position. Its customization for hydraulic mechanisms is also available.
  • Rotor if damaged or damaged. If there are chips, then no adjustment will help.
  • Transmission status (cable or channel)
  • Pads in a brake machine (caliper).

The hydraulic drive is a rare guest in budget models. It is still used mainly by professionals. Adjusting the brakes on a hydraulically actuated bike is not very different from mechanics and can be tackled. Unlike mechanics, hydraulics require work with brake fluid. Especially in winter, when it is necessary to bleed it to increase the stroke of the pad.

There are other problems in mechanics. There it may be necessary to adjust the pad pressing angle. As with the rim versions, it must be strictly parallel to the rotor. This increases the life of the brake system.

Disc brakes have to be adjusted at the caliper. Adjustment steps:

  • We fix the wheel exactly in the same position as we will drive. This is important for the position of the hub and rotor.
  • We loosen the bolts that fix the caliper literally by a millimeter so that it can move, but not fall.
  • Squeeze the brake lever. The caliper falls into place.
  • Checking the clearances after releasing the brake lever.
  • We tighten the bolts or move the brake machine.
  • If the machine no longer moves freely, we work with the bolts one by one, displacing it by tension of one or the other bolt.

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.

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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!

Security issue

Safety comes first! Yes, this rule is worth remembering every time you want to ride a bike. After all, many “ordinary” walks end in injuries. “And the cyclists themselves are most often to blame for the accident. It is their inattention that leads to dire consequences. Inattention. what can we mean by this? First, a disdainful attitude towards the object of the ride itself, namely the bike itself. Its malfunction is often the reason for unwanted injuries.

How to tighten the brakes on a bike

Setting up the brakes means paying attention to every detail, from the brake levers to the brake pads.

First step. Adjusting the brake levers

Brake levers should be located so that they can be reached quickly and comfortably. In order to adjust the position of the brake lever, loosen the fastening screw, place the handle as it is convenient for you and fix it. Usually there is a screw on the brake lever, with which you can adjust the distance of the brake lever to the grip. adjust the position of the lever with it.

Second step. Position of the brake pads

It is easier to adjust the position of the brake pads as follows: press one of the pads with your hands close to the rim, adjust its position. Make sure that the block is not too low (the edge of the block is below the rim), but also not too high. the block touches the tire.

I would like to draw special attention to the next moment, since there is little clear written about it. Until the nut of which the shoe is fixed is not tightened, the shoe has three degrees of freedom: the washers form something like a ball joint. (Pay attention to how many washers are there? That’s what they are for!). It is believed that the leading edge of the pads should touch the rim slightly earlier than the rear. Therefore, we do this: put a small gasket under the rear end (see fig).

This number of washers is needed to get something like a ball joint

Now you can tighten the nut that fixes the shoe.

Step three. Centering the positions of the levers

At this step, you need to fix the brake cable: so that the brake pads touch the rims at least a little if you press the brake lever. At the bottom of the levers there are special bolts that adjust the tension of the springs that press the pads against the rim.

We set it up as follows: press the brake and see which of the pads touches earlier. For the one that touched earlier, we increase the spring tension (or vice versa, weaken it on the other side). It is necessary to ensure that the pads touch the rim at the same time.

Fourth step. Adjusting the distance from the pads to the rim

I believe that this distance should be as small as possible. (1-2 mm. If the rim is even). But then the brakes will work very sharply. the slightest pressure leads to sharp braking. Therefore, the distance can be made a little more.

The distance is adjusted in two steps: first, due to the screw with which the cable is attached to the brakes. Then fine tuning on the brake lever.

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The large washer acts as a lock: when it is tightened, the cable tension adjustment screw cannot be turned.

Mechanical disc brakes

Everything is on the rise. And as you might guess, disc brakes are second in the list of systems of this type. What kind of changes can you see here? All the same levers, the same metal cables. Only the brake itself has been changed. The disc is now bolted to the bicycle wheel. Nearby are two clamps with pads. Yes, the disc wheel is in direct contact with the clamps.

This innovation increases grip. Now, if you hold down the lever, the wheel will not spin. This is why disc brakes are used on sport bikes. With it, the braking distance is halved. And this is what needs to be achieved. Adjusting disc brakes on a bicycle is different from the technique of adjusting rim brakes. So it can be tricky to drive V-breaks all your life and then switch to disc brakes. After all, you will have to learn to configure this system again.

Adjusting the rear brakes on a bicycle

In theoretical terms, everything seems to be clear. Three parameters, three actions, and only one result. well-tuned brakes. Once again. this is in theory. In fact, it is difficult for beginners to do everything perfectly. Adjusting the rim brakes on a bicycle is a delicate thing. So you need to be patient first.

So the first step is to adjust the pads. They should be parallel to the rim on both the rear wheel and the front.

Especially do not tolerate the striking of this element on the tire. A couple of kilometers. and the rubber will be frayed to holes. It is undesirable for the block to also go beyond the boundaries of the wheel. From this, it is quickly erased, but the desired effect (good braking) is not.

Adjusting and adjusting the brake

Adjusting the brakes involves more than one tensioned brake cable. An important part in setting up the brake system is replacing and adjusting the brake pads.

The brake pads are replaced when the surface is worn out. Disc brakes wear much slower system than rim brakes.

For guaranteed reliability in braking, adjustment of mechanical disc brakes begins after tensioning the cable. When tensioning the cable, take into account:

To do this, after tensioning the cable, check the distance between the shoe and the disc.

The pads are adjustable with bolts, to move them to the desired range, tighten and loosen the bolt.

After checking, the gap between the pads and the disc is set so that they do not touch when the wheel rotates.

And most importantly, make sure that the pads provide normal and timely braking of the bike.

How to Tighten Bike Brake Cables

We also recommend watching a video on adjusting the brakes:

Disc brakes

Adjusting disc brakes on a bicycle is done with just two screws. The first is responsible for the distance between the disc and the pad. The second is responsible for its location in the vertical plane. Therefore, if the rubber clamps are constantly touching the brake or, conversely, the disc has left the “contact zone” of the pads, you just have to work hard with a screwdriver. Through trial and error, you can understand what is responsible for what, and then it’s a matter of technology. By tightening the screw, you can immediately adjust the position.

Spring tension

The springs that are part of the mechanical rim brake system are also responsible for the distance between the wheel and the block. But, unlike a nut with a cable, they allow you to adjust the distance down to a millimeter. That is, more precisely. The spring tension can be changed with a single bolt that is screwed on and off every now and then. This bolt is located on both sides of the brake. Therefore, when a situation arises that one side touches the rim, and the other is separated, you just have to turn the bolt. and everything will fall into place. When this element is twisted, the spring becomes “harder”. Consequently, the distance will increase. If you unscrew the bolt, the spring will weaken. From this the distance will decrease. So, by adjusting each element, you can achieve perfect accuracy.