How to tighten the brakes on a stern bike

V-brake adjustment

Anyone who is a little versed in the design is able to do the adjustment of the v-brake, because it is rather uncomplicated. The main rule is the synchronous placement of the stopper pads in relation to the wheel rim: they must both be at the same distance relative to the rim, and the gap between the bicycle wheel frame and the pads cannot exceed 1 mm. In fact, the basic principle of v-brake adjustment is demonstrated in setting even distribution of pads and cable tension:

  • Adjusting the position of the shoes. In order to adjust the brake, you need to loosen the fixing nuts, which will return the pads to maneuverability and make it possible to move them in the required direction. The main aspect is that the pads must be installed strictly at the level of the rim, and the gap between the pads and the rim must be one-to-one on both sides.
  • The so-called “light check”. The simultaneous arrangement of the pads should be maintained both when the handle is clamped and released. The gap between the right and left pads is allowed in the range of one to three millimeters depending on your bike and should be symmetrical.

It is permissible to check the tension of the cable by tightening the figured screw on the rudder handle. We screw in the rod, set the wheel in a rotational motion, while pressing the handle, the brakes should work. If this does not happen, then the length of the cable is incorrect.

Most often, it is deliberately set longer, which makes it possible to tighten or release the cable tension by loosening the fixing bolt. After finishing the adjustment, we tighten the bolt back. After all the settings, tighten the fixing screws.

This brake is as simple as the bike itself: roughly speaking, these are two levers each with rubber pads, attached to the stays of the fork and the rear triangle, converging under the action of a cable, which in turn is selected by a handle on the handlebar.

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The system is as simple as it is effective. Such a mechanism practically cannot break and can be easily adjusted. There are several types of rim brakes:

How To Set Up And Adjust Your Brakes | Mountain Bike Maintenance

The brake cable is routed from the side to the top of the brake arm. The brake lever compresses both parts of the brake with cartridge brake pads. This system of parallel pad pressing allows for efficient braking. In addition, the cartridge brake pads can be easily changed using a conventional hex wrench. At the moment, this type of brake is the most common. It is used on almost all types of bicycles.

Most often used on road bikes, but there they are gradually being replaced by other types of brakes. The name of the brakes speaks volumes about its design: the brake pads are pressed against the rim by curved levers that resemble pliers.

Their mechanism consists of two levers with brake pads attached to the pivots on the fork. With the help of a pair of rods, the cable moves the levers, after which braking occurs. This mechanism is simple and reliable, but it is less and less common. It is superseded by other other types of brakes with more effective stopping power.

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

  • Simple and efficient design
  • Lightweight compared to disc or drum brakes.
  • Low price.
  • Low load on spokes and hub.
  • Heat less than disc brakes.
  • Setting is very simple, affordable, can be done in the field.
  • Deterioration of work in mud and wet weather, this leads to dangerous situations.
  • If the rim is crooked (figure eight), the brakes will cling to it.
  • Brake pads require relatively frequent replacement.
  • Cannot fit on many frames and forks.
  • Faster rim wear. This disadvantage is important for mountain and other extreme bicycles, for city bikes it is insignificant.
  • erasure of pads and rims, heating with prolonged braking.
  • Very wide tires cannot be used with V-brakes.

Why are these reliable brakes being gradually replaced by disc brakes, even in the budget bike niche? Let’s see.

A disc brake is a combination of a steel disc located on the hub of a bicycle wheel, usually on the left side, and a device that compresses this disc with brake pads. a caliper. Disc brakes are divided into 2 types:

  • Mechanical. The braking force is transmitted by a cable in the jacket.
  • Hydraulic. The braking force is transmitted by the fluid through the hydraulic line.

The brake disc (rotor) is attached to the wheel hub, and the brake machine (caliper), inside which the brake pads are located. Disc rotors come in several sizes: 140, 160, 180, 185, 203 and 220 mm. The larger the rotor diameter, the more efficiently the brake works, as the arm of the brake force lever increases.

  • the efforts from the handle are transmitted to the cable;
  • the cable is pulled up;
  • the brake pad moves in the caliper;
  • under the action of the return spring, it bounces off the disc when the lever is loosened.
  • a reservoir with brake fluid or oil;
  • hydroline;
  • leading drive cylinder;
  • brake pistons.

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

In many mechanical disc brakes, only one shoe moves, while the other is fixed to the frame. This allows to simplify and reduce the cost of the caliper, but leads to the need to tighten the stationary pad as wear occurs. Both pads move in hydraulic brakes.

  • Disc brakes are less clogged when driving, as they are located closer to the center of the wheel, they work in mud, on snow.
  • Allows you to more smoothly regulate the braking force than rim. In other words, they have better modulation.
  • Provides more powerful braking than V-brakes.
  • Can be used with slightly curved wheel geometry, eights do not affect brake performance.
  • Disc brakes rarely require service.
  • Do not wear out the rim.
  • Allows the use of wide tires.
  • Long pad life.
  • Bent rotor alignment is easier on them than on hydraulic disc brakes.
  • Can be used in harsh environments.

Choice between mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes

Mechanical disc brakes are cheaper and simpler, so they are suitable for those who choose a budget bike model.

Hydraulic brakes require a specialized workshop for the repair of the hydraulic line, bleeding, replacement of components. It makes sense to take them when the workshop is nearby in order to turn there for help.

Hydraulics are best used in particularly harsh conditions where power, accuracy and braking speed are at the forefront.

If the budget allows. take hydraulics, the sensations of high-quality braking are difficult to describe in words, very positive emotions!

The brake mechanism is located in the rear wheel hub, while the hub itself or its special part is a drum, and the brake pads inside, when braking, expand and clamp the brake drum.

They can be both manual and foot operated. Nowadays, hand drum brakes are practically supplanted due to their large mass and whimsicality; foot drum brakes are still used in road and city bikes with one gear or planetary gearshift.

  • Low-maintenance and unpretentious. Service is quite rare, although it requires a certain skill.
  • Braking resistant to water, mud, snow, oil and weather conditions.
  • No rim wear.
  • It is possible to drive with a curved wheel geometry (“figure eight”).
  • Are heavy.
  • force is required to brake than with other types of brakes.
  • Cannot be used on multi-speed bikes.
  • The presence of a “dead zone”. when it is impossible to brake with the vertical position of the connecting rods.
  • There is a risk. if the chain falls off the sprocket and the front brake is not installed on the bike, the bike cannot be stopped.
  • It takes time for the transition from moving forward to the beginning of braking, which in some cases can be critical.
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Roller brakes (roller, cam), in fact, are drum (but not shoe) brakes, but have a slightly different principle of pressing the rollers-“shoes” to the drum.

How To Adjust Disc Brakes. Braking Pads Rubbing Against The Rotor. Bike Maintenance

Schematically, the mechanism is the same design as the inner (sub-shoe) cam mechanism of a drum drum brake; or the roller clutch of the freewheel clutch turned against the main direction of rotation.

  • Powerful.
  • Complete independence from dust, mud, water and snow.
  • No rim wear.
  • Possibility of long-term operation without adjustments and settings.
  • Can be driven with curved wheel geometry.
  • Large mass.
  • High price.
  • Cannot fit on some shock mounts.
  • It is possible to spin the wheel backward when the brake is applied.
  • Poorly distributed (including in Russia). Hence the difficulty in acquiring.

Caliper brakes (C-brake)

Most often used on road bikes, but there they are gradually being replaced by other types of brakes. The name of the brakes speaks volumes about its design: the brake pads are pressed against the rim by curved levers that resemble pliers.

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.


The principle of operation of rim brakes is clear, I think to everyone. 2 brake pads located opposite each other parallel to the wheel, between them there is a rim. When you press the brake lever, the pads compress the rim, stopping the wheel. The mechanism is driven by a cable pull.

In order for the brakes to work without failures, you need to monitor the integrity of the cable. If its braid is loose somewhere or at least one fiber breaks, the cable should be replaced. It is important that the cable runs freely in the shirt. And make sure you don’t have eights.

The basis for good brake performance is the correct pressure of the brake pads against the wheel rim. It is regulated by the pad fasteners, which consists of a set of aluminum spacers and a nut on the axle. This kit allows you to fix the last at the desired angle. And to do this, you need to loosen the nut on each pad and firmly clamp the brake. Position the pads so that they are horizontal, touching the rim with their entire surface, but not touching the tire (see picture). And carefully shade the nuts without knocking out the position of the pads. This is true for cartridge pads. For ordinary pads, the rear part of the pads must first be pressed against the rim horizontally (see below). In addition, you need to watch that the brake levers converge in the same way. This is adjusted by the Phillips spring tension screw at the base of the lever.

If when you press the brakes one lever moves weakly, then the screw on this lever should be tightened a little, too easy. unscrew.

All articles in the section on mountain bike repair, cleaning and lubrication.

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

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

often than not, adjusting the brakes on a bike means placing the brake pads at the correct distance from the rim or disc and symmetrically to each other. Also, it may be necessary to tighten the cable or adjust the brake lever.


There are three types of rim brakes:

  • V-Brake;
  • cantilever;
  • tick-borne.

In about 80 out of 100 cases, the bike will have vibrake rim brakes. If your bike is not yet 10 years old, then the probability is reduced to almost one hundred percent. this is a vibrake. This type of rim brake is simple and provides maximum braking power. Speaking about setting up rim brakes, we will mean exactly vibrating racks.

Next, you must adhere strictly to the order of actions. we proceed to remove the brake.

  • Carefully take the cable jacket and remove it from the holder. This is how the brake is released for further maintenance.
  • Unscrew the screw securing the brake levers with holders to the bike frame.
  • After unscrewing the screws and taking out the shirts, we remove the brakes themselves from the steering wheel.
  • The fourth step is performed only if you are going to work with the pads. you need to unscrew the screws that fix them. In this case, you need to unscrew it very carefully, clearly remembering the sequence of all removed washers. With their help, adjustment will be carried out, so they must stand correctly.

If you have released the brakes on your wheels, then most likely you are going to change or update the pads. The latter is done when the bike was in a cold room for a long time or participated in a serious race where it was necessary to slow down a lot. The essence of the update lies in the fact that the outer layer of rubber is simply removed, because it becomes too hard, and therefore completely unusable.

Replacing the pads is even easier. just remove the old rubber, and put a new one in its place, if necessary, carefully trimming it with a clerical knife. If the block is cartridge, then it simply changes the cartridge.

Having finished with replacing the pads, let’s move on to adjusting the tension of the cables. The cables, or rather the degree of their tension, regulate the distance from the shoe to the wheel rim. To adjust this moment, you need to turn a special screw located on the brake lever. This should be done with the brakes already assembled. If such an adjustment does not help, you will have to unscrew the cable retainer and shorten it, much less often a slight lengthening is required. To unscrew the retainer, you will need a hexagon. it’s easy to do, you don’t have to worry about possible difficulties.

Next, you need to adjust the position and angle of the shoe. To do this, you do not need to remove the wheels, otherwise it will not be possible to clearly place the block. When aligning, follow three simple rules.

  • In any case, the pads must be in the plane of the rim. Not a single pad should go beyond its boundaries. this will damage the brakes.
  • The correct position of the pads is parallel to the rim. This position should be maintained regardless of whether you apply force to the brake levers or not.
  • By the rotation vector. This is how the pads are supposed to act on the rims. if they are really parallel, then they will.

After making the adjustments and adjustments, you just need to put all the screws back in place, fix the loose clips, and check the brakes. over, note that it is imperative to check the brakes both at home and in real conditions. after a test drive, you will most likely need an adjustment.

Alignment of the hydraulic braking system

A pretext for repairing or adjusting a bicycle with disc brakes may be wheel spinning resistance and foreign noises when the brake lever is pressed. How to properly adjust disc brakes on a bicycle?

  • It is necessary to loosen the screws on the caliper until they move freely, then squeeze the handle, while the pads must lean firmly against the hydraulic rotor.
  • At the same time, we check the gap of the hydraulic valves on the hubs, which should be parallel and be at the same distance from the rotor.
  • In the position of the pressed handle, tighten all the bolts on the caliper.
  • To check the operation of the device, you must release the handle and visually fix the backlash between the furry and the disk, which may not be larger than a hair.
  • In the case of irregular installation of the caliper, it is necessary to release and tighten the tightening of riveted cylindrical rods that have a screw thread on the surface of the caliper itself.
  • At the end of the adjustment, it is necessary to set the brake lever in the optimal position, while using the adjusting hexagon.
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How to make the adjustment yourself?

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 up 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, then you will need to tighten the cable. The cable in the brake handle is located in a special slot, and the end of the cable has a cylinder whose diameter exceeds the size of 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.

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 disc brakes on a bicycle

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.

The main features of disc brakes:

Adjust disc brakes as follows:

  • check whether the cable responsible for the operation of the disc brake is in place, because sometimes it may be out of place and this is the reason for a difficult ride;
  • see if the wheel is correctly placed in the frame itself;
  • tighten all the bolts securing the brake to the rear or front fork;
  • check the tightening of the screws on the wheel hub;
  • set up movable and static pads;
  • we loosen the bolts holding the brake machine with pads;
  • squeeze the brake handle (if you don’t have someone to help, then fix the handle on the handlebars with a rope);
  • after that, the pads should fit under the disc;
  • tighten the screws.

Adjusting mechanical disc brakes on a bicycle.

Disc brakes are becoming popular today, and the craze for them began about 4 years ago. The point is not at all about reliability, but about the fact that their presence on the bike gives the impression of a racing motorcycle or emphasizes the coolness of the owner of such a bike.

Adjusting and adjusting rim brakes v brake on a bicycle.

In the overwhelming majority of cases, v brake is installed on budget bicycles, walking and children’s bicycles. These are rim brakes with acceptable power and modulation. no wheel locks occur. Before starting work, you must provide yourself with the following tools: a 5 mm and 3 mm hexagon, a screwdriver, and pliers.

  • unfasten the brakes themselves;
  • the main requirement is to put the wheel in a level position;
  • return everything to its original position;
  • tighten the cable with a hexagon and pliers;
  • if the handle stroke is large, then it is required to tighten the cable even more and strengthen the brakes themselves;
  • check the speed of the wheel. the course must be free. It happens when thorns are heard, then in this case it is worth adjusting the spokes themselves;
  • if one brake surface v brake is closer to the rim than the other, take a screwdriver and loosen or tighten the forcing shoe screws.

Above, brief instructions were presented for those who like to consolidate their knowledge not only with the help of video, but also in text format. Bicycle brakes, types, settings. are present in this article. Each brake system is accompanied by an introductory instruction, especially complex types. the hydraulic version. For them, there are restrictions in the selection of fluid and if you do not follow the advice, then neglect and pouring anything in will lead to injury and nervous stress. If you do not want to visit a traumatologist, follow the rules. Any type of brake will wear out over time and must be replaced. Practice shows that disk modifications are less vulnerable, which can last a long time. If they are incorrectly adjusted, the clamping index between the front and rear brakes will be different. Some will say that the reason is in the length of the cable, since the front part is half the length of the back. If the cable is not completely closed, then try to lubricate it. The fact is that inside the rubber hose there is a steel tube, which is responsible for the smooth and free sliding of the cable. Over time, it rusts, and this leads to ruptures and unweaving, and in order to avoid such a nuance, it is advisable to apply a few drops of machine oil or grease to it.

We make adjustments and adjustments

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 will 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.

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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 rotate the wheel, there is no contact between the pads and the disc, as the distance of 0.3 mm is small enough 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 carried out 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!

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, on the contrary, 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.

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 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 there is no desired effect (good inhibition). Therefore, it is so important to correctly adjust the position of the brake pads. Adjusting a mechanical brake on a bicycle begins with the selection of tools. You will need: a hexagon, a screwdriver and a 12 key. For rubber clamps, you should take only a hexagon. It is worth starting by holding the brake lever. This will push the pads against the rim. After examining the situation, you can immediately see where something is wrong. Use this tool to loosen the washer. Then, while also holding the brake lever, align the rubber clamp in the desired direction. The same is worth repeating on the other side. This is just the first step towards a perfectly tuned brake.

Defective brakes

Bad brakes are every cyclist’s problem. I don’t really want to carry out checks before each trip. It is tedious and time consuming. But here’s the problem. it’s necessary. A routine brake check can save lives and health. Adjusting the brakes on a bicycle is a painstaking task. Therefore, it is so important to be able to do it right.

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 cable tension. 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 desired position, tighten the lock nut.

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

Hydraulic disc brake

Adjusting the brakes on a hydraulically equipped bicycle is difficult. To do this, you need to have special tools and special skills. But you can do everything to prevent breakdowns. Prevention will help the hydraulics not break down and serve the owner for a long time.

Disc hydraulic brake

So, the winner of the rating. It is hydraulics that rules the world of brakes. How does this system work? There are handles, there is a disc and there are braking elements. They are connected together by rubber tubes, inside of which there is oil, or, as it should be correctly said, brake fluid. What are its pros and cons? The hydraulics are responsive to every pressure. It can be said that it instantly transmits pressure. That is why many athletes and extreme sportsmen use hydraulic disc brakes on their bikes. After all, the accurate transmission of sensations helps to win important seconds. The hydraulic brake firmly compresses the metal disc so that when pressed firmly, the rider can fly out of the saddle in the truest sense of the word. But, like everyone else, hydraulics have their negative sides.

First, the high cost. This, of course, is a dubious minus, because this system is bought not by ordinary amateurs, but by professionals. Second, the fix issue. Yes, the hydraulics simply cannot be repaired by yourself. The slightest upset. and a trip to the workshop is assured. And again, repairs will cost a pretty penny. Parts of the system, such as tubes, are not very reliable. If this part bursts, the brake fluid will leak out. Therefore, you can only brake with your feet. Adjusting hydraulic brakes on a bicycle is tricky. If possible, it is better to entrust this to the master.