Is It Possible To Change The Brakes On The Bike

Weather conditions and stability

There is one fatal problem with vibrating racks: the quality of braking depends on the weather conditions. Dirt flying on the braking surfaces of icing in frost. significantly reduces the stopping effect.

But the worse the conditions and the higher the speed, the more important is stable and efficient braking. Vibrators, unfortunately, do NOT provide 100% of this requirement. However, experienced retrogrades argue that a competent selection of brake pads can achieve acceptable results.

However, even the selection of pads will not help achieve the magic modulation (dosing of force) that distinguishes hydraulic disc brakes from rim brakes. Vibrakes, even the most expensive ones, will always play to discs by this parameter in difficult conditions.

Bicycle rotor size

The rotor must be suitable for the intended use of the bike. For example, in the cross-country class (forest, paths, ordinary slopes), a size of 160mm is adopted, 185mm rotors are installed on trail bikes (paths and slopes in mountainous terrain), braking force is NOT superfluous in downhill (descent from the mountains), so they put largest sizes.

So, what size of discs (correctly says “rotors”) to choose. Here the relationship is very simple: the larger the diameter, the higher the stopping effect. At the same time, a nuance: the larger the rotor, and, accordingly, the stopping force, the more difficult it is to finely dose the force (adaptation is needed).

Many bikes in the most budget-friendly category are equipped with large diameter rotors, for the same reason THESE bikes have the widest rubber with the largest tread. It’s just dust in the eyes of a non-versed kettle. Like, looks more aggressive. it means the bike is cool, you need to take.

Dirt and rim brakes

The second major negative factor of V-brakes is dirt sticking to the levers when driving on wet terrain. And the more sticky the earth (especially with an admixture of clay), the more creepy the effect we get. For example, this photo shows a typical example of an autumn bike ride through the forest, cycling from a vibra-cam.

Is It Possible To Change The Brakes On The Bike

Most often, such adhesion of dirt leads to a complete inoperability of the brake (and often to blocking of the wheels), as well as to the need to wash the bike. not to drag such beauty into the apartment. This is not to say that the Average Catalan constantly finds himself in such situations, but still this is a V-brake problem, and this must be admitted.

Do you need disc brakes for a bike

Hopefully my readers have now cleared up the question of choosing between disc and rim V-brakes. If you really buy MTB and are going to use it for its intended purpose. you only need discs, and hydraulics are desirable.

We live in the 21st century and there is simply not enough sense to use outdated V-brakes with all their shortcomings. Discs are both power, and precision in dosing force, and ease of use.

If your habitat will be between asphalt and good dirt roads, besides you are, alas, a dream on a long journey, then you will most likely prefer vibrakes. There is practical sense in discs when using the bike in this way, ordinary brakes will be enough in abundance.

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Rims and touring bike

Often, cyclists, fired up by the idea of ​​travel, are disappointed to notice that a normal trunk cannot be installed on their bike with disc brakes. Almost all modern models do not have holes for fastening it, but even if there were, the trunk cannot be simply put because of the brake caliper.

Therefore, it is necessary to manage with a cantilever luggage carrier, which is attached to the seat post, which limits the traveler in the weight of the cargo. So consider buying a bike with discs three times if you are going to bike long and long distances.

And finally, about the prices. I strongly DO NOT advise buying a bicycle equipped with discs in the budget segment itself (say, below 250). there may be some wild China, and how it will slow down is unknown. Better in this case, the old proven vibrakes.

Also, if you see two bicycles for the same price, but one of them with a vibration frame, and the other with discs, then you should know that, other things being equal, the disc version is the worst complete set, because the cost of the discs must be compensated for by something.

How to change rim (vibration) brakes to disc brakes

Another subtle point: it happens that a person immediately regrets the money for a bicycle with disc brakes, and buys a model with rim brakes, keeping to himself the thought of upgrading later. Unfortunately, the upgrade will not be limited to a simple purchase of disks, since you will also have to change the wheels, due to the fact that special bushings are needed to install the rotors (you can change the bushings, but for this you will have to reposition the wheel and buy the second size spokes).

But sometimes the manufacturer, even on a model with conventional brakes, installs wheels with hubs for the rotors, although this is quite a rare occurrence. Therefore, if you plan to upgrade. take a closer look at such models, or even better. immediately take the led on disks.

Rim V-brake

The V-shaped brake is as simple as the bicycle itself: roughly speaking, these are two levers with rubber pads, attached to the stays of the fork and rear triangle, converging under the action of a cable, which in turn is selected by a handle on the handlebars.

The system is not only simple, but also effective. Such a mechanism practically cannot be broken and can be easily adjusted. Why did these reliable disc brakes give way, even in the budget mountain bike niche??

Uneven rims

Another problem with vibration racks, which is completely absent in discs, is the dependence on the presence of rim eights. Since the rim is a braking surface, ideally it should be completely flat. If this is not the case, then the rim begins to wipe the pads, which is why you have to spread the levers, and this leads to an increase in free play on the handle.

Since on entry-level bicycles, eights on wheels are more the rule than the exception, almost all beginners have the brakes relaxed to the limit, hence the weak power and lack of modulation. Disk owners are NOT worried about this issue.

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Good V-brakes come from Shimano and Avid. I would recommend Shimano Deore V brake or Avid Single Digit 5 ​​for budget bikes, and Shimano XT or Avid Single Digit 7 for mid to higher end bikes.

Reliability of bicycle hydraulic brakes

I’m sure that every novice cyclist has read a lot of horror stories on the Internet about leaking and failing hydraulics at the most inopportune moment. My experience, the experience of our forums and the experience of my many online bike friends completely refutes this negative.

Theoretically, any product can contain defective items, not an exception and brakes. Rarely, but there are cases of brake fluid leakage. But this defect can be immediately noticed and repaired under warranty. The stock of liquid in the expansion tank will allow you to drive long enough on the current brake.

Again, theoretically, the hydraulic line may break or burst (for example, when falling) and you will be completely left with one brake, but the cable may break even in the vibrake. Of course, the vibrake is suitable for repair in the field, while repairing hydraulics requires a tool and fluid.

But still, such cases are extremely rare, and it is not worth giving up the modern mechanism because of a false fear. Major manufacturers such as Shimano or SRAM / Avid produce very reliable brakes that are used by millions of cyclists.

Note, however, that in DH, Freeride and Enduro, only hydraulic brakes are used, and hard falls are quite common there. At the same time, I have never heard of someone failing a brake or breaking a hydraulic line when falling.

Which brakes to choose?

Which brakes should you choose? Rim or disc? Or maybe the foot brake is enough? Every cyclist asked himself such a question, first when choosing a bike, then when replacing or improving it. In principle, this question can be answered rather briefly.

The foot brake is great for leisurely city rides and parks where simplicity is most important and power is NOT required at such low speeds. This type of brake is also fitted to most children’s bicycles. After all, children have more leg strength than little fingers.

Rim brakes are chosen when ease of setup, low weight and, most often, low price are important. Disadvantages are not the most effective braking and great dependence on weather conditions.

Disc brakes are installed on sports bikes where braking performance is most important. However, maintenance of such brakes is a little more difficult and they cost more.

In fact, there are even more types of brakes, but these three types are most often found on the road in St. Petersburg and other cities of Russia. Below is a more detailed description of each of THESE three types of brakes and recommendations for their use.

Foot brakes are most commonly found on city bikes and cruisers. Many people remember their bikes from childhood, when they braked by pedaling in the opposite direction. This type of brake is the simplest and most reliable, but very heavy and ineffective. However, if you choose a bike only for leisurely rides, and it is important for you that the bike does not require special care and slows down in any weather at any time of the year, feel free to choose a bike with this type of brake.

Rim brakes have come a long way in design redesign. It all started with cantilever brakes, but as the width of the tires increased, the shape of the rim brakes had to be changed. For a while, U-brakes were installed, but in the end they came to V-brakes. Now these brakes are installed mainly on budget mountain bikes and hybrids. “Vibrating” the easiest way to set up and maintain, because the whole mechanism is quite simple. Here is the brake handle, a steel cable is held to two levers, on which the brake pads are attached, which in turn clamp the wheel rim together. But if it’s that simple, where does the price difference come from? Firstly, the most budgetary models are made of plastic and have a small resource, and secondly, much depends on the pads and the type of rim. Please note that not all rims are designed for use with rim brakes. They can be distinguished externally, because in rims compatible with rim brakes, the side walls are flat and have a wear indicator.

V-brakes also have their drawbacks. First of all, they need smooth wheels without “eights”, dents and other violations of the geometry of the rim. Also, such brakes are much less effective in rain or, moreover, in mud. In bad weather, the rims get wet instantly, and the pads start making terrible sounds when braking.

However, road bikes, including most professional road bikes, still have rim brakes. These high-level brakes have low weight and good performance on narrow wheels, although disc brakes have recently been installed on road bikes.

Disc brakes have long been used in automobiles and motorcycles, but bicycles were not introduced until the late 90s of the last century. At the same time, initially they were only hydraulic and were installed on the most expensive professional bicycles. It was immediately clear that disc brakes are the most effective and require the least applied force from the cyclist. This is especially noticeable in bad weather conditions. The main disadvantage of this type of brake has always been weight. Indeed, in addition to the handle and the brake mechanism, a brake disc is also required. Rotor. Some manufacturers, such as Shimano, make Centerlock rotors, but the majority of the rotors are six bolted to the hub.

It is worth noting the difference between disc mechanics and hydraulics. The mechanical system is powered by a steel cable with its own pros and cons. Tourists prefer mechanical brakes just because of their reliability, especially on a long trip it is much easier to replace the cable than to bleed the hydraulic system. However, mechanical brakes require more force to brake well, which is why hydraulics are commonly used in racing. Hydraulic brakes allow for less braking force and clearly modulate braking in difficult terrain.

In many cyclists who bought a bicycle, for example, with rim brakes, the question often arises: is it possible to change the brakes to disc brakes on an existing bicycle? You need to understand that not all bicycle parts are interchangeable, therefore, before upgrading a bicycle, you always need to first clearly understand whether this improvement is needed at all, and secondly, check the physical possibility of installing one or another part. To install the foot brake, you only need a suitable single speed hub or with a planetary transmission. Some frames are equipped with an eyelet on the bottom of the strut for attaching the brake lever, but if not, you can install a clamp, which is usually supplied with a hub. The foot brake can be installed on any bike that the selected rear hub fits the size of the axle.

In the case of rim brakes, the frame must be “break bosses”. These are the mountings for the brake mechanism on the frame and fork. It is impossible to install a rim brake without such mountings. Pay attention to this if you decide to replace the front shock absorber. Many modern forks do not have rim brake mounts.

In the case of disc brakes, the mountings must be on both the frame and the wheel hubs. There are two types of fasteners on the frame:
IS (51mm International Standard) looks like two through holes, to which a brake or caliper is attached through an adapter.

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PM (74mm Post Mount). Allows you to install a brake without an adapter if the size of the brake disc allows.

The rotor to the hub can be fastened with either six bolts or according to the Center Lock standard, the diagram of which is shown above. If the frame does not have a disc brake mount, but there are rack mounts, there is an adapter option from THESE IS mounts.

But it should be borne in mind that such a frame was NOT designed taking into account the load from the disc brake. With such an adapter in the frame, the geometry can be violated, up to complete breakdown and unusability. Therefore, if you are planning to switch from rim brakes to disc brakes, make sure there are seats or prepare even more money.

V-brake squeak

Rim brakes may squeak for the following reasons described below.

Pay attention to the material from which the pads themselves are made. The key is the hardness of the rubber

If it is soft, then squeaking is unlikely, but such products have a short service life. They wear out rather. If the pads are made from hard rubber, they are more durable, but squeak more. Wheel rim. It squeaks for two reasons: there has been a strong contamination of the surface against which the shoe is pressed, or it is very worn out. Sometimes a rim that has served for many years and is made of low-quality steel can simply fall apart because of this. The position of the rim pads. They must be strictly parallel, without visible skew. The adhesion of the pad material to the rim should be over the entire area. This helps to remove squeaks and extend service life. The pads themselves are damp. As a rule, in warm, dry weather, their creak is much more rare than in rainy weather. Mechanics by which the bicycle braking process takes place. Everything is much simpler here: the brake squeaks even when the wheel is removed. Therefore, you need to thoroughly clean and lubricate the mechanism, as well as lubricate the brake cables with WD-40 fluid.

When replacement is required?

You can not miss the moment of changing the brake pads if you keep track of the mileage. As a rule, these parts wear out completely, they served their owner 15 thousand km. Although now there are those that are enough for 30 thousand km. However, these figures are just a convention. The life of the pads depends on many factors.

Riding style will play a decisive role: the more aggressive it is, the more difficult climbs and dizzying descents the cyclist overcomes, the sooner he will have to think about working with the brakes.

Walking slowly through the park in a relaxed manner will allow the entire braking system to last longer, but only if they are correctly adjusted.

Decreased brake fluid level

Due to the fact that when the pads are worn out, the width of the pad decreases. the caliper pistons have to move further during braking, which reduces the level of brake fluid in the reservoir.

Dark deposits or dust on the rims

Dark coal dust is a sign of abrasion of the friction material

Metal dust is a sign that the brake disc is being worn away by the base of a worn brake pad. If this occurs, pay attention to the brake pads and their condition. Indeed, with their critical wear and tear, more serious problems may arise in the form of jamming of brake pads and destruction of hub assemblies

In addition, modern cars are equipped with special electronic sensors that show the condition of the pads and the level of their wear. After the overlay is erased to a critical level, the light on the panel will light up. In mechanical sensors, in such conditions, a metallic creak and rattle will be heard, which is produced by a plate attached to the base of the pads, which, when the lining is erased to the minimum value, begins to come into contact with the brake disc. This is a clear sign that it is time to change the pads.

Another way to determine the level of pad wear is to visually inspect them. If the friction layer is worn out and its width is less than 5 mm, then such a block must be replaced. The critical thickness of the lining is considered to be 1.5. 2 mm. The presence of oily liquid on the pad and it is uneven, Noticeable to the eye, wear is also the basis for replacement.

Thus, the answer to the question “how long to change the brake pads?” simple. At the first occurrence of the above symptoms. In general, it is NOT desirable to prove the wear of the pad pads to a level of less than 5. 6 mm, as this can lead to wear of the brake discs, or brake cylinders and the complete absence of the car brake.

Replacing brake pads on disc brakes

Installing and replacing rear brake pads is significantly different from replacing drum brakes. Here you need not only standard screwdrivers and keys, but also special pullers, which are designed for the car system.

  • First you need to loosen the hand (parking) brake cable;
  • The hand brake lever is released;
  • The adjustable pins must be knocked out and the retaining spring removed;
  • Brake pads and pads are removed;
  • The surfaces of the caliper must be cleaned as the surface of the caliper is in contact with the brake pads;
  • It is necessary at the same time to check the condition of the dust cover for mechanical damage. If there is such damage, then it will be necessary to completely sort out the caliper;
  • Next, the friction surfaces of the brake discs are checked for mechanical damage, the thickness of the brake discs is measured. In the manual, the minimum permissible thickness of the brake discs is preliminarily specified, so that after a few days you DO NOT have to change the brake discs;
  • Then you need to push the pistons of the brake cylinder into the cylinder;
  • Then the brake pads are installed. Lubricate both sides of the gasket with a thin layer of silicone grease. The gasket is installed on the back plate of the shoe. Then the brake pads are installed

It is important that if, during disassembly, the brake pad was removed from the caliper, then the brake fluid will need to be added to the reservoir, as well as the brakes must be pumped. Make sure the brake fluid does NOT leak

Then you will need to adjust the brakes.

Bicycle pads. How often do the brake pads change?

As mentioned above, brake pads are consumable items that require constant monitoring and regular replacement during periodic maintenance. The service life of the pads is highly individual and depends on many factors.

What is a brake pad and why is it needed

The brake pad is a steel plate to which a special lining is attached, consisting of friction materials with a high coefficient of friction. Such materials are designed to function under conditions of sliding, friction, etc. The quality of the frictional material largely depends on the quality of the pads itself. Every shoe manufacturer has its own composition of friction materials. The production uses rubber, mineral fibers, resins, etc.

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Brake pads are constantly exposed to various aggressive media. For example, when braking, the pads are heated to a high temperature. If braking occurs on wet asphalt and water gets on them, then the pads are exposed to a large temperature difference. There is no need to explain once again that this factor has a destructive effect on any material. Cracks gradually form on the pads, they wear out and cease to function normally.

Reducing the stiffness of the brake pedal and increasing its gait

Another sign of a malfunctioning brake system, including brake pad wear. In addition, if you pressed the brake pedal, but it did not turn to the opposite position, then this indicates that the pads have completely worn out, and it itself has burnt to the disc due to the high temperature.

The situation will be corrected only by repair with replacement of the disc and pads.

Must have tools that should always be with you

At home, you need to have a pump, a multitool (a set of hexagons and screwdrivers), tire assemblies, open-end keys for 8-10 and 9-11, a couple of cameras of a suitable size, two pairs of brake pads. For owners of city bicycles, as well as fixes and singlespeeds, additional open-end wrenches for 15 and 17 (well, or one adjustable) are needed. Also, the owner of city bikes will NOT interfere with keys 12 and 14. to adjust the saddle.

It is worth carrying with it: a multitool, tire fitters, a pump and one chamber of a suitable size. The owner of city bikes, as well as fixes and singles, should put the same keys for 15 and 17 in a bag or backpack (they will be needed to remove the wheel in case of a puncture).

1. keys, 2. multitool, 3. brake pads, 4. chambers, 5. pump, 6. assemblies

The camera was replaced, and it immediately burst again. Why?

If the camera burst or blew right after replacement, then it was most likely laid incorrectly, damaged during installation, did not reveal a defect in the rim, tires, which damaged the camera for the first time. Well, or banal bad luck. again a puncture.

How to understand when it is time to adjust the brakes?

Adjusting the brakes is simple. If you feel that the brakes are too smooth, ineffective, then it is worth tightening them. By the way, in most cases this can be done, and not getting off the bike: simply by unscrewing the adjusting bolt / wing on the brake lever.

How much to pump? Which pump is better to have?

It is more convenient to carry a compact pump. The best option is a pump that pumps in both directions. A pressure gauge is desirable. There are also inflator pumps on the market, which, with the help of charged cartridges, will quickly inflate the wheel.

The owner of singles (23-35 tires), fixes, road bikes, as well as hybrids should think about buying a floor pump for the house. The recommended tire pressures for THESE bikes are high, so a regular pump won’t help in this situation.

What minor repairs you can do yourself?

If your bike has V-brakes (rim) or mechanical disc brakes, you can adjust them yourself. This requires a hex (number 5) and a little patience. The essence of the operation is reduced to the tension of the cable, which reduces the distance from the shoe to the rim / brake rotor. The shorter the distance, the more effective the brakes. How exactly this is done is shown in the. Watch from 3:07.

On singlespeed and fixed, you can pull the chain yourself. For this operation you will need a key for 17 (sometimes 15). Using a wrench, you need to loosen the nuts on the rear wheel axle, then move this wheel back in the dropouts (while making sure that the wheel is level between the frame stays) and tighten the nuts.

For all THESE operations it is worth having at home and carrying gloves with you. There are thin, fabric, but dense. This should save the manicure, and the hands will remain clean.

DIY bike repair: 14 tips for beginners

Elementary tips that will help you carry out emergency repairs with bicycles with your own hands everywhere: in the field, in the forest, in your own apartment.

Communicating with a Velomaster with a high level of knowledge is difficult and scary. First, there is a lot that is not clear. Secondly, there is a chance that they will laugh. And practice shows: you can ride a bike around the city for years, and not even having a normal pump does not speak about the skills of replacing the camera and adjusting the brakes.

But we all understand: sooner or later “the music will finish playing”: you will have to “patch”, or wash the chain, or simply raise the saddle height / adjust the steering wheel / tighten the brake cables. What is needed for this? And in general, how to maintain a bike at the Elementary level?

All about this. further: in the form of a question-answer.

How often should the wheels be inflated??

It is worth pumping up the wheels once a week. If the wheel deflates in a shorter period of time, then you should think about replacing the camera.

Is it difficult to change the camera? How Dirty It Is?

You can change the camera. The operation is not very difficult, you just need to figure out how the wheel is attached. On mountain bikes and highways, as a rule, eccentrics are used, on other bicycles. nuts: either for open-end wrenches or for hexagons.

The front wheel can be removed simply: the mount and brakes (where available) are loosened. We take out the wheel from the fork or dropouts, arm ourselves with gloves and the Fitter, try to release the tire cord (this is its solid frame) from one side. Completely tires Do not remove, just one side is enough. Strength and perseverance, of course, will have to be applied, but physically it is not very difficult.

When one side of the tire is removed, you need to inspect the tire itself, the rim, the Flipper (rubber band that protects the tube from the spokes) and the tube itself. If everything is in order with the rim, tire and Flipper, and there is a puncture, breakdown in the chambers, or it has torn at the junction with the nipple, then you can safely put a new one. The new tube should be pumped up a little (it is easier to refuel it) and inserted into the tires. The camera should be flat and NOT distorted. Do not forget about the nipple, which needs to be inserted into a special hole in the rim.

Further. all the same actions, but in reverse order. We put on the tires with the help of assemblies (carefully, DO NOT pinch the camera!), Inflate the wheel and put it in place.

The rear wheel is the same, but it is more difficult to remove it due to the chain (and on bicycles with a foot brake, you also need to release the brake shackle, which is bolted to the frame).

Here’s a good one on this topic (on the merits. from 1:44).