How to tighten the brakes on a shimano bike

Saddle adjustment.

It is impossible to tune a speed bike without adjusting the saddle position. Only by correctly positioning it, you can feel comfortable while riding, it will be easier for you to start moving, get on and get off the bike. The following parameters are regulated:

  • Saddle height. To determine the desired position, you need to sit on the bike, put your foot on the pedal and move it to the lowest point. The leg should be free to reach the pedal, but be fully extended.
  • Tilt angle. The saddle is parallel to the ground or not more than 3 degrees to one side or the other.

Disc hydraulic brakes

The most advanced and popular mountain bike brakes. They consist of a brake lever, in which there is a piston system with an expansion barrel, a hydraulic line and a caliper, in which there are also two or four pistons pushing out under pressure of hydraulic fluid, brake pads.

They are produced by many companies, the most popular of which in our country are: Tektro, Hayes, Shimano, Avid.

There are two main ways to adjust these brakes:

loosen the bolts holding the caliper, by eye to establish its position in which the gap between the pads and the rotor on both sides will be the same and carefully tighten the bolts, trying not to disturb the position of the caliper. If the first attempt failed, do not despair, try again.

loosen the caliper bolts so that it moves freely, clamp the brake lever and carefully tighten the bolts. The choice of the method is yours.

Automatically adjust as the brake pads wear out, in other words “set and forget”.

If, after correct adjustment, the rotor still “strikes” on the block, the rotor may be slightly bent. In this case, by rotating the wheel, we find and mark the place of the rotor where contact with the block occurs. Then we turn the wheel a little so that this place comes out of the caliper and, with gentle light pressure on the rotor, we straighten it. At the same time, hands must be clean and free of grease.

How to set up and adjust disc brakes on a bicycle

New bicycles are often equipped with rim brakes, or V-brakes, and Soviet bicycles were always equipped with the only existing caliper brakes.

Currently, this is due to the desire to reduce the cost of the design: after all, it is no secret that many cyclists dream of changing the brakes to disc brakes as soon as possible.

Often, even when choosing a bike, the costs for changing the brake system are included in the amount.


Below we will show you how to set up disc brakes on your dream bike.

Since the principle of operation of disc brakes is different, it is impossible to adjust them according to the same scheme. Brake disc mechanisms are:

  • mechanical. In this case, the braking energy is transmitted mechanically, using a cable;
  • hydraulic brakes, which have a specially laid hydraulic line, and the braking energy is transmitted by the pressure of the liquid column.

Advantages and disadvantages of mechanical brakes

Mechanical brakes are cheaper, cables and casings (jackets), in which they are located, are quite reliable, more accessible than hydraulic lines. It is also important that the repair of a mechanical brake in the case of a bent disc is easy to carry out on your own.

The main advantage, of course, is easier and more comfortable braking due to the “soft” pressure of the liquid column, the “feel” of the handle and control over effort. The hydraulics are more durable with long braking distances, as they are less prone to overheating. Also, these brakes can be adjusted much less often than mechanical.

A significant drawback of liquid-based braking systems is damage (breakthrough) of the hydraulic line, when service is indispensable.

Mechanical disc brake adjustment

It is necessary to adjust the mechanical brakes when the disc “shuffles”, rubs against the pad, or when the braking has become weak.

We start with the brake lever: squeeze it to failure.

If it reaches the fingers, then we begin to limit its free travel: we loosen the lock nut of the machine and turn out the regulator, then tighten the lock nut and check the handle stroke.

If you need to unscrew the screw too much, then first loosen the tightening of the cable. To do this, unscrew the caliper swingarm screw, and after you pull out the cable, turn it back on.

We estimate the gap between the disc and the pads. it is better for the light and against a light background so that it is clearly visible. The illustration on the right clearly shows that the brake machine itself is crooked, and to adjust, we loosen the screws that attach the brake to the fork or adapter.

After that, loosen the screws so that the brake moves freely.

After the caliper has become movable, it is necessary again, as at the very beginning, to “squeeze” the brake lever and fix it in this state by tying it to the grip with a strip of fabric or an elastic band.

The clipper is then correctly centered on the disc. 5. Only now we tighten the screws securing the brake machine to the adapter, or plug.

We act strictly one at a time, screwing in the screws equally, at 25% of the turn. After that, release the handle.

After these measures, we get a perfectly uniform mutual position of the disc and pads, without distortions. Setup finished!

The reason for tuning, as always, is resistance to wheel movement, as well as extraneous sounds, for example, creaking and rustling. Do not forget about a simple check: a suspended and spun wheel quickly stops if the pads touch the brake disc.

  • We loosen the bolts on the caliper so that it is movable, then squeeze the brake handle so that the pads are pressed against the rotor
  • Now it is worth checking the position of the valves on the pads so that they stand symmetrically and equally from the rotor.
  • Now you need, without releasing the handle, tighten all the screws on the caliper.
  • We release the handle, check the operation of the mechanism. In the best case, the pads from the disc should be at the thickness of the hair, but not touching it.
  • If the pads are still located at different distances, but at the same time the rotor is ideally placed in the machine, then you can do this: press the disc against the pad that protrudes more strongly, and work sharply with the brake handle about 10 times. The unevenness of the valve aligns the pads, and the malfunction is corrected. It is better to do this together: the assistant presses the disc to the block with both hands, and the other squeezes the handle.
  • At the end of the setting, we set the brake lever correctly using the adjusting hexagon. The main thing to remember here is that moving the handle closer to you simultaneously brings the pads closer to the rotor and vice versa.

Let’s say that whatever brakes you choose, you should always be confident in them. And only when all your orders the bike will execute flawlessly, you will get real pleasure.

Vibrators do not lose popularity. Ease of maintenance, cheap consumables and unpretentious operation. an excellent option for those who use the bike primarily for moving, without extreme and overloading.

The principle of operation is simple. when pressed, the brake lever pulls the cable (G), which moves the brake levers (I), pressing the pads (J) attached to them against the wheel rim. When the handle is released, the levers return to their original position, installed on them by springs. In this article, we will analyze how to set up and adjust rim brakes:

First of all, we “unfasten” the brake, as shown in the photo.

Check how the cable (G) moves in the shirt (A) by pressing and releasing the brake lever and pulling the cable back with your finger. the movement should be free, without delay.

If the cable pulls hard, it may be damaged, the shirt or cable guide (C), or dirt has accumulated inside the jacket or cable guide.

They must be removed and cleaned or replaced.

Check the condition of the pads (J). They should show dirt drainage grooves (the block should not be smooth). Worn pads without grooves must be replaced. Check that the pads are complete with washers and that they are correctly installed.

Observe the order of the washers when installing new pads.

The brake levers (I) must swing freely in their seats and spring apart after being compressed. If the movement is difficult, the brake during operation may get stuck in the closed position and rub the pad on the rim. In this case, you can remove the levers from the seats, clean and lubricate the contact points and reinstall.

When installing, make sure that the protruding pin on the arm fits into the hole in the frame, and that the hole on the left and right arm is the same.

“Fasten” the brake by squeezing the levers and placing the cable guide (C) in the stop (D). Loosen the block fixing bolt (K) with a hexagon. We press the lever with the block to the rim and set the block so that it:

  • adhered to the rim with the entire surface
  • did not touch the tire
  • located parallel to the rim
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In this position, the block must be fixed by tightening the bolt. When tightening the bolt, the block may move and must be corrected. It will be easier if you find an assistant who will grip and hold the brake lever while you tighten the bolt.

If your brakes squeal, try the following.

Before tightening the bolt, place a folded sheet of paper under the rear (in the direction of travel) of the shoe, then tighten the bolt. So the pads will be smoother to press against the rim when braking (first by the front, then by the rear) and will not “creak”.

We do similar operations with the second block.

In order for the left and right pads to wear evenly, they must be at the same distance from the rim. Adjustable by spring tension on the brake levers. To equalize the force that returns the left and right brake levers to their original position, use the adjusting bolts located at the base of the levers.

By twisting the bolt clockwise, we tighten the spring, unscrewing it. we loosen it. By pressing and releasing the brake, we check the uniformity of the removal of the pads from the rim. Tighten the bolts on the left and right sides until the pads move the same distance when the brake lever is released.

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 loosely 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 handle. 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).

Steering wheel adjustment.

The steering wheel control depends on the correct position of the handlebars. The handlebars are considered to be correctly adjusted if the hands, elbows, back and neck of the cyclist do not tense or stiffen when riding in a comfortable position. To achieve this, you need to adjust the height of the handlebar and its tilt, adhering to the following rules:

  • On a road bike, the handlebar should be at an angle of about 90 degrees. To do this, it must be installed directly above the front hub (center piece of the front wheel).
  • On a mountain bike, the handlebar tilt is 45 degrees, in which case it is set an inch (2.54 cm) in front of the hub.
  • Road bar height adjusts 3 inches above saddle level and mountain bike adjusts 4 inches lower.

Caliper brakes

Used exclusively on road bikes. Although a more simplified design of caliper brakes can be found on children’s bicycles. They differ from vibracks in that both brake levers are attached to the frame with a single screw. All adjustment comes down to setting the gap between the pads and the rim using the tension on the cable. The most popular brands are Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo.

Adjusting the foot brake | Brake system

When servicing vehicles, there are two types of brake adjustment:

The current adjustment is to maintain the effectiveness of the brakes by restoring the normal clearance between the friction pads and the brake drum and by adjusting the pedal free play.

In the presence of adjusting eccentrics (GAZ and UAZ cars), the front wheel of the car is pre-hung and rotated by hand forward, and the adjusting eccentric 1 of the front pad is gradually turned with a key until the brake pad is pressed against the drum. Then turn the eccentric in the opposite direction until the wheel begins to rotate freely. In the same sequence, adjust the gap between the rear shoe and the drum, while rotating the wheel backward. In passenger cars, when adjusting the rear block of the front wheel, it is rotated forward.

In cars with pneumatic brakes, the clearance is adjusted by changing the position of the expander 1, rotating the worm 2 of the adjusting lever. The need to adjust the clearance is determined by the length of the stroke of the brake chambers; the stroke of the rod should not exceed 35. 40 mm. (ZIL-130 — for front 25 mm and rear 30 mm). The smallest stroke of the rods after partial or complete adjustment of the gap should be 15 for the front and 20 mm for the rear cameras. A full adjustment is made after repairing the brakes (for example, after changing linings). In this case, the required gap is set not only in the upper part of the shoe, but also in the lower (support) one. This gap is adjusted by turning the support adjusting pins 2.

Adjusting the free travel of the brake pedal with a hydraulic drive with the adjusted gaps between the pads and the brake drum is to establish the required clearance between the piston pusher 4 (rod) and the piston 5 of the main brake cylinder itself. This gap, which protects against spontaneous braking of the brake pads, is determined by the amount of pedal free travel and, depending on the drive design, ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 mm, and the pedal free travel. from 6 to 17 mm.

The gap is adjusted by changing the length of the pusher by screwing its hex nut 3 onto the connecting rod 1 with a loose lock nut 2, or by turning the eccentric pin connecting the pusher with the pedal.

The amount of free travel of the pedal can be checked using a special ruler.

Adjusting the free travel of the pneumatic brake pedal consists in setting the required length of the rod connecting the pedal with the brake valve lever.

Free travel of the upper end of the brake pedal should be 15. 25 mm (with the combined crane of the ZIL-130 vehicle. 40. 60 mm). With full braking and operating pressure in the system, the pedal should not reach the floor by 10-30 mm.

The adjustment of the manual central brake consists in setting the gap (0.5. 0.8 mm) between the pads and the disc or drum. The clearance is adjusted by changing the position of the brake pads with adjusting bolts or nuts, as well as the length of the rod connecting the pad drive lever with the hand brake lever.

tighten, brakes, shimano, bike

Disc mechanical brakes

The most popular manufacturers of such brakes are: Tektro, Shimano, Avid. The braking force is transmitted in the same way, but not to the rim, but through a cable and a mechanism called a caliper, to a special brake disc (rotor). The caliper contains brake pads, usually made of metal or synthetic materials. One shoe is usually stationary (internal), the other (external), during braking is pressed against the rotor and presses the rotor against the stationary shoe. However, there are also systems with two movable pads. These brakes are usually found on mountain bikes.

Setting these brakes usually boils down to the correct (parallel) installation of the caliper relative to the rotor and setting the clearance between the pads and the rotor using the adjusting mechanisms on the caliper. The simplest brakes may not have such adjusting elements. In this case, the caliper is installed so that the inner (fixed) shoe is as close as possible to the rotor (1-1.5 mm gap), and the outer one is adjusted by the tension of the cable.

The main disadvantage of this braking system is the need for frequent adjustments as the pads wear out.

Setting the speed switches.

The question of how to set the speed switch on a bicycle arises from the vast majority of two-wheeled vehicle enthusiasts. Modern bike models are equipped with two derailleurs. front and rear. To configure them, you must:

  • install the chain on the smallest sprocket in the front and the largest at the back;
  • rotate the screw, setting the frame in such a position that the chain will be located as close as possible to the inner plate, without touching the frame when pedaling;
  • transfer the chain to the smallest rear sprocket and the largest front sprocket;
  • rotate the other screw, setting the frame in such a position that the chain will be located as close as possible to the outer plate, without touching the frame when pedaling.

To finally set up the front derailleur, its tab must be installed 2-3 mm above the chain and adjust the cable tension. Rear derailleur adjustment begins with setting the chain to the largest sprocket. It should move down one click at a time. If this does not happen, it is necessary to slightly loosen the cable by turning the drum clockwise. You will know that you are able to fine-tune your bike’s gear shifting when the chain moves softly and quickly up and down the sprockets, both front and rear.

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As a rule, this is the end of the bike adjustment. It remains only to pump up the wheels, and you can go for a walk or a trip out of town. If you have additional questions. how to adjust the speedometer or bike fork, how to properly care for the bike or any others. you can always contact the specialists for additional advice.

How to set up rim brakes on a bike


Replacement of pads is made when their surface is erased to the level of grooves for outflow of dirt (available on all v-brake pads). Those. the working surface becomes completely flat. over, if this happened only from one edge of the pads, this indicates that they were incorrectly installed. And again they need to be replaced.

Open the brake by bringing the brake levers together with your hand and removing the metal arcuate end of the shirt from the groove, from which the cable comes out (see picture)

If you put on simple new pads, then the main thing is to put on in the required sequence all the gaskets and washers that make up the pads fasteners (see the picture) And it is better if you write down or sketch the sequence in which you had them. Sometimes the pads are left and right. This is always indicated on the pads themselves. Do not confuse!

The cartridge pads are even easier to change. They have a metal base and only the rubber pad changes. To do this, remove the locking cotter pin that secures the pad in the shoe and slide out the rubber pad. Do not lose the cotter pin, it does not always come with new pads. Insert new pads and secure with a cotter pin. Do not confuse left and right (see picture) Otherwise you will not be able to fix them.

After replacing pads, the brakes need to be adjusted.

Rim brakes

This is the most popular type of brake today. Their principle of operation is as follows: when a force is applied, which is transmitted through a cable to the brake levers, the brake pads on the brake levers fit tightly to the wheel rim, which ensures braking. Rim brakes are available in cantilever, caliper and V-brakes.

Caliper brakes

Used exclusively on road bikes. Although a more simplified design of caliper brakes can be found on children’s bicycles. They differ from vibracks in that both brake levers are attached to the frame with a single screw. All adjustment comes down to setting the gap between the pads and the rim using the tension on the cable. The most popular brands are Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo.

Adjusting the brakes on a bicycle

You suspect a malfunction of the brakes on the bike, strange sounds arose during braking and when you press the handle, the stopping mechanism does not work at all or works slowly, which means there is a need to adjust and adjust the system.

  • You need to start with the handle: when it is fully pressed, it should not reach the fingers of the hand, if, on the contrary, then you need to adjust it with a lock nut.
  • After we assess the backlash between the disc and the pads. you can put a light sheet of paper for a more visual adjustment, release the screws that attach the brake to the fork or adapter.
  • Next, loosen the screws for free wheeling of the brake.
  • As a result, the caliper has become a movable structure. Now you need to push the brake lever so that the pads are pressed against the rotor. In this position, the caliper is centered.
  • Finally, attach the connecting screws to the adapter or plug. We carry out clearly alternately, screwing the screws in the same way, by 1/4 circle. Then the handle can be loosened.
  • Only if the caliper device is reliable, the handle is working properly, there is no distortion of the rotor design, as well as worn-out pads, all the previous recommendations for adjusting the disc brake on a bike will give a result.

What are the brakes

Today there are four types of brake systems that are installed on bicycles. They all have their own advantages and disadvantages that cycling enthusiasts have to put up with. Brakes are of the following types:

  • foot (pedal);
  • rim (v-brake. “vibrate”; c. brake. “vibrate”);
  • disk mechanical;
  • disc hydraulic.

When you really need to adjust your brakes

  • When you have a new bike. After installing new components on the bike, they need to be run-in, the purpose of which is to determine the condition of all elements of the bike. For two or three trips, you will probably understand whether you need to release the brakes or, on the contrary, tighten them. all this is determined empirically. In 98 out of 100 cases, a new bike needs proper adjustment.
  • When the bike has been hanging on the wall for more than a month. Well, or stood in the garage. in a word, was not used. The worst option is when the bike was stored at subzero temperatures. here you will need to service not only the pads and the brake mechanism, but also the transmission.
  • When while driving there were sounds that were not there before. It can be either a nasty creak, or a very measured hum, knock, whistle, wheeze. in a word, anything that speaks of a breakdown. And in most cases, the breakdown is associated with the brakes.
  • When braking performance has decreased. This can manifest itself in different ways, for example, when you press the lever, the bike does not brake instantly, but with a delay. Or like this: after braking, the handle returns to its original position for a long time.
  • When damage is visible to the naked eye. The cables may peel or break, the handle may break, the shoe may crack, and so on.

5 Minute Rim Brake Tune-Up | Cable Tension, Ferrules & Toeing In Brake Pads

Now, having studied the situations in which you need to adjust the brakes, let’s get down to business.

How to put disc brakes on a bike?

It often happens that you buy an expensive thing, and then the same thing comes out, only with a new “trick”. It’s the same with a bike. you bought a bike for yourself, you ride, you like everything, then you see how more and more often your friends or “random passers-by” appear with disc brakes. And you wonder. is it possible to install disc brakes on a bike of your type? And in general, is it worth it? Let’s try to answer your questions.

If you have chosen a mechanical disc brake and you already have the correct brake levers and cables installed, you can leave them. Just make sure that the cables are not loose at the ends. If you have not changed the cables for several years, it is better to replace them for new brakes, because dust and dirt gets inside the shirts, which can create friction. Since changing the braking system, so thoroughly. Replace cables and shirts.

In case your choice fell on smooth hydraulics, you will need to completely remove all brakes, and install new levers and lay the hydraulic lines. Some frames have rails in which the brake lines can be positioned. Don’t rush to throw away the old brake. If you fail to adjust the hydraulics, or some kind of breakdown occurs far from the city, it can save you a lot.

You will also learn how to adjust the brake pads.

and their selection for v-brake brakes read the article.

If you have not decided on the choice of brakes, then this article will help you with this.

Since we are talking about brakes, we can also, in contrast, talk about how to reach the maximum speed of your bike in the article


Usually, brake adjustment on a bicycle consists in positioning the brake pads at the required distance in relation to the rim or disc, while maintaining their strict symmetry relative to the plane of the same disc. In addition, there will be a need to tighten the cable or adjust the brake lever.

So what exactly do you need to do to check and adjust the brakes? Let’s try to figure it out:

  • First, you need to determine the type of brake system. disc, rim or other type.
  • Now you need to place the bike so that it does not touch the ground with the front wheel, spin it and press the front brake lever. If there is a momentary wheel stop, then the brakes work normally. However, if, during pressing, the brake lever has come close to the steering handle or even touched it, then you need to tighten the cable. The same operations must be carried out for the rear wheel.
  • To tighten the cable, the brake lever is equipped with special shaped bolts. Tighten these bolts slightly. If the cable needs a little adjustment, then this procedure should be sufficient.
  • If you have not achieved the desired result with this, then you will need to tighten the cable. The cable in the brake handle is in a special slot, and the end of the cable has a cylinder, the diameter of which is larger than the slot in the handle, which allows the cable to cling to the handle. For this reason, it is tensioned in the brake. Find where the end of the cable is on your bike. The cable is always longer than required, for this reason its end is visible where the brake is. It happens that it is even reeled up. We find that bolt, whose task is to fix the cable, and release it, after which we tighten the cable using pliers. After that, we tighten the bolt harder, for a high-quality clamping of the cable.
  • If the brake levers behave well, the brake pads should be checked.
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That’s all, the general setting of the brake system is completed here. This is followed by a deeper setting, which differs depending on which brakes are installed on your bike. This is because disc and rim brakes are equipped with different types of pads and different rotating parts.


Adjusting the brakes on a bike will primarily depend on which braking system is used on your bike. As a rule, the brake does not require frequent adjustment, but there are times when adjustment is simply necessary. Consider how to independently adjust disc brakes on a bicycle.


Adjusting disc brakes on a bicycle is about more than just tightening the brake cable. A very important point in setting up the brake system is replacing or adjusting the brake pads, we’ll talk about this.

Replace the brake pads on the bike when their condition becomes close to worn out. Most often disc brake pad wear occurs more slowly than rim brakes.

If your bike has a hydraulic brake system, the pads will adjust themselves during the wiping process. However, if you have a closed hydraulic brake system, then you will have to make adjustments for it too (most often this is done using special valves).

Adjust the mechanical disc brakes after tensioning the cable to ensure reliable braking. The distance from the brake pad to the disc must be between 0.2 and 0.4 mm.

And the location of the brake pads must be strictly symmetrical relative to the plane of the disc. For this reason, after tightening the cable, you need to check at what distance from the disc the brake pads are located.

To adjust the brake pads at the desired equal distance in relation to the brake disc, use special bolts. By tightening or loosening these bolts, you will see how the brake pads move.

Now you should start setting the required distance between the pad and the disc. Make sure that when you spin the wheel, there is no contact between the pads and the disc, as the distance of 0.3 mm is quite small and requires special care.

Well, of course, you need to make sure that the gap set by you provides complete and timely braking.

It is imperative to check the adjustment of the disc-type brake system during a real trip. Drive a short distance on a smooth road to ensure that your brakes are working reliably.

Do not forget that if earlier the brake lever could reach the handlebar, now everything can be completely different. The check must be done carefully and carefully! The bike can brake much harder than you expected, which could result in a fall and injury.!

That’s it, you can enjoy riding your favorite bike again!

How to tell if the brakes are not adjusted

After you have made sure that the braking system is in good condition and have ruled out other breakdowns, you can come to the conclusion that the brakes need tuning and adjustment. However, there are a number of other situations when this manipulation is necessary. You need to adjust the brakes in the following cases: after you bought a bike and made the first rides under load, you need to inspect all the systems, the brake system is no exception; your bike has been dropped or injured; you have not driven your two-wheeled vehicle for a long time, and kept it in an unheated room; while driving, you hear unusual sounds. creaking, tapping or whistling; the braking system began to react differently to pressing the brake lever on the bicycle. Brake performance is especially important for mountain bike owners.

Adjusting the brakes on a bicycle

Brakes are one of the important components of a bicycle, because they play a special role in dangerous situations on the road, and their reliability is responsible for the safety of the cyclist and passenger. Their serviceability is especially important if you are an inexperienced cyclist and do not yet react quickly enough to changes in the traffic situation. And vice versa. if you have been driving a two-wheeled vehicle for a long time and are used to the fact that the brakes react to your pressing instantly. Brakes can be divided into 2 categories, depending on the type of action. Rim brakes are most commonly installed on bicycles. They stop the bike by mechanical action on the rim, which reduces the speed of rotation of the wheels and stops the bike. Less commonly, you can find disc brakes on a bicycle, which in turn are also divided into 2 types, depending on how the impact on the brake lever is transmitted directly to the mechanism. Disc brakes can be hydraulic or mechanical. Find out which system you have before attempting to adjust the brakes on your bike. Below we will look at how to adjust the mechanical brakes.

Checking the brake system

If you suspect that there is something wrong with the brakes on your two-wheeled vehicle, start by diagnosing the bike yourself. The procedure consists of three steps. You need to raise the front wheel so that it does not come into contact with the floor and begin to rotate it. During rotation, the brake pads on a bicycle should not touch the rim, respectively, you should not hear any extraneous sounds, except for the sound of a spinning wheel. If you hear sounds, then the centering of the wheel is disturbed, that is, it is deformed. This deformation is called a “figure eight”. part of the rim deviates from the correct plane of rotation of the wheel. This problem needs to be corrected to proceed to the next stage of verification. In the next step, while still spinning the wheel, check the front brake of the bike. To do this, press the brake lever. the pads should instantly respond to the press by stopping the wheel. If braking is delayed or the wheel is slipping, it means that the system needs to be adjusted. Now do all the same manipulations while checking the rear brakes of the bike. In addition to the steps listed, keep in mind that the braking system is in constant contact with the environment. Therefore, check if there is dirt or a dense layer of dust on its elements and remove them. Pay special attention to the cables. if at least one strand is torn or damaged, they must be replaced.


Moving on to the most important question in this article. how to tighten the brakes on your bike. First of all, arm yourself with all the tools necessary for adjustment, place the vehicle in an upright position and secure it in supports to avoid falling. To adjust, we need: a Phillips screwdriver and a flat-head screwdriver; wrenches or a bicycle wrench; hex wrench; if you have soft brake pads without a metal base, you need a wedge spacer; clean dry cloth. First you need to adjust the brake lever and its position on the handlebars. All further adjustment will depend on this. Loosen the fastening screw a few turns and stop in a comfortable position. the lever should be pressed with the second phalanges of the fingers. Use the adjustment screw to determine the distance of the handle for your comfort. Now let’s move on to the brake pads on the bike. During tuning it is important to achieve a good fit of the pads to the rim. To do this, you need to correctly determine the distance between the rim and the pads when inoperative. This distance should be about one millimeter. Note, however, that if your bike has padded pads, the distance between the front and the rim and the rear and rim should differ by one to one and a half millimeters. Use a shim wedge to calculate the correct clearance. We pass to the main part of the setting, for this you need to release the fastening nut so that it turns. At this stage, we place the pads with a metal base parallel to the rim, and with the soft type pads we use a wedge spacer, which we place between the pad and the rim. We begin to rotate so that the pads are parallel to the top of the tire, while not going beyond the rim and not touching the tire. We take the washers, fix the achieved position and tighten the nut. Now you need to center the levers located on both sides of the wheel. To do this, press the brakes on the steering wheel and check that there is a simultaneous contact with the pads of the rim. If one of the pads is pressing faster, check and correct the cable tension. Each lever has a tension adjusting screw. If the pad touches the rim earlier, increase the tension on its spring, or loosen the tension on the opposite one. Having achieved a simultaneous touch, you can proceed to setting the brake stiffness. Here, our main goal is to achieve comfortable and correct brake application after pressing the brake on the steering wheel. We adjusted the position of the handle at the very beginning, now we will deal with the tension and length of the cables. Press on the bike brake. Even with minimal pressure, the pads should be pressed against the rim. If necessary, adjust the lever travel distance using the tension nut on it. The move should not be large, otherwise it will be inconvenient. Now it remains to check if the brake system is working. You can even get started without removing the bike from the supports. Spin the wheel and press the brake lever. rotation should stop immediately. Then remove the bike and ride it, braking sharply. The system should work even if the brake lever is pressed lightly. We wish you a safe and comfortable ride!