Stealth Bike Brake Adjustment

How to adjust rim and disc brakes on a bicycle

Brakes, especially disc brakes, need to be adjusted very rarely. For rim types, this is once a season, for other options up to once every few years. Nevertheless, after a long downtime or repair, as well as when symptoms of incorrect operation of the brake system appear, adjustment is simply necessary.

Symptoms of problems

How do you know if your bike needs brake adjustment? There are several signs:

  • You bought a bike. new mechanisms require running-in and constant, in several approaches after a short run, adjustment.
  • You have not used your bike for more than a month. especially if it was cold storage, the maintenance of the pads and the brake mechanism is imperative.
  • “New” sounds are heard from the mechanism: buzzing at speed, periodic knocking, whistling, squeaks. problems with mechanical parts or block.
  • The brakes began to react poorly to effort, that is, they only work after a certain stroke, do not immediately “release”, etc. a clear sign of cable or hydraulic problems.
  • Visual damage to the cables or elements of the brake mechanism. they can continue to work, but it is simply necessary to adjust after, for example, an impact.

Adjusting rim brakes

Adjustment of rim brakes (almost all modern ones are of the V-Brake type) is very simple and does not require any special conditions. over, due to the “openness” of the mechanism, maintenance usually consists not in working with the structure, but in replacing the pads.

Mount types

Before adjusting, the first thing to do is to make sure that the rim brakes are indeed V-brakes. Actually, there are three types of rim mounts:

  • V-Brake. separate V-shaped levers, connected by a cable that is held by a leash (jacket);
  • cantilever. with an additional central mount, from which the cable goes separately to each side. In fact, these are the predecessors of the V-Brake, characterized by a more complex mechanism, but a large clearance, which is beneficial for “dirty” riding;
  • caliper brakes. U-shaped mount, in which two levers are connected and “bite” the rim. These models are the hardest to weaken.

Each type is understood in different ways, but the vast majority will only have to deal with the first type.

Removing the brakes

We go through the following steps:

  • We open the brakes by pulling the cable jacket out of the holder under force.
  • Unscrew the screw fastening to the frame.
  • Removing the brakes.
  • We unscrew the pads fixing screw, if work with pads is required.

It is very important in the last step not to lose the correct sequence of washers. They come in pairs. convex and concave. Further adjustment depends on their installation.

Renewal and replacement of pads

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

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

Less common is the replacement of the pads. After unscrewing the screw, the old shoe is pushed off and removed, and a new one is installed in its place. Here, accuracy is required when choosing, since there is no single standard, and the groove for the screw may not fit, and the shoe itself on the platform may not lie. Fortunately, any sizing problem is solved with a sharp knife. In the case of a cartridge shoe, undercutting will most likely not help, but such cases are quite rare.


V-Brake adjustment consists in changing the geometry of the pads attachment and the tension of the cable.

Tension adjustment

If the adjustment of the screw is not sufficient, you will need to shorten or lengthen the cable. This is done on the brakes themselves. Opposite the shirt, on the opposite element, the cable is clamped with a lock, which is unscrewed with a hexagon. To do this, unscrew the retainer bolt, tighten or loosen the cable, screw the retainer back. The excess length of the cable can be cut off, although many leave it twisted in case of breakage, although practice shows that such “reserves” do not help anyone.

Adjusting the position and inclination of the shoe

After loosening or completely unscrewing the pad fixing screws, they can be shifted in any direction.

This adjustment should be done without removing the wheels in order to clearly position the shoe. So, how should the block stand:

  • The shoe should be at the level of the rim, not a millimeter beyond it.
  • When checking for clearance from either side, the block must be in both the braking position and in the open position parallel to the rim.
  • When scrolling the wheel, the block must be pressed exactly along the rotation vector. deviation from it will damage the brakes.

After installing the pads in accordance with these conditions, the screws are tightened, the brakes are checked.

Disc brake adjustment

Disc brakes are rare items for adjustment or maintenance. Nevertheless, they sometimes have to be dealt with. Let’s consider how to set up the brakes on a bicycle with a rotor and caliper with a typewriter.

Basic nodes to check

Things to check before adjusting disc brakes?

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Information

In addition to adjustment, disc brakes sometimes require rotor straightening. If the rotor is severely damaged, it must of course be replaced. But minor damage can be easily repaired by tightening an adjustable wrench in place of the curvature.

Also disc brakes (especially the rotor) are very sensitive to the presence of oil, therefore, when cleaning and adjusting the system, you should be very careful even with your hands. Finger grease can enter the system, therefore degreasing chemicals or, for example, gasoline should be used. For the rear brake, you should partially disassemble the bike or cover the chain and carriage, so as not to accidentally stain the mechanism with grease.

Adjusting the brakes is not often required, but you can save a lot on it by doing everything yourself. In addition, it is not difficult even for sporty disc types with hydraulics. The main thing is to be careful and observe the golden rule. you should not save on your health, which is very easy to lose using faulty or poorly adjusted brakes.

How to adjust the brakes on a stealth bike

Remedies for squeak

If the brakes squeak, start by cleaning the wheel rim with denatured alcohol to remove any plaque from the brake pad rubber. If that doesn’t work, check the pads and carefully remove the dirt with a sharp tool. Also check the condition of the pads and replace if they are worn out.

No squeak Brakes squeak if the pads are not flattened and do not touch the wheel rim with the entire surface, but with the leading edges. Many brake designs have an adjustable camber, but if your bike is different, use a little force. Using an adjustable wrench, grab the brake pads just above the shoes and give them a slight “pinch”. Make a 2mm clearance at the trailing edge of the pad when the brake arm is compressed so that the leading edges touch the rim.

When wet The braking distance is very long in wet weather and can be four times the braking distance on dry roads. One way to improve brake performance is often to brake slightly while driving to wipe off water from the wheel rim and dry out the brake pads.

Tension potential Before installing a new brake cable, tighten the adjusting sleeve on the brake unit until it stops. This will give the most freedom of adjustment to tighten the brakes as the pads wear out. Do not forget to install the cable caps on the brake lever and brakes, otherwise the sheath will fray and the inner cable will wear out.

Both tabs in fret If fine adjustment does not result in equal pressure of each brake foot, disconnect the cable and rotate the looser tab around the stand until you feel resistance. Turn the brake a quarter turn or more if the tension needs to be tighter. When installing the legs on the frame, make sure that their tensioning spring-loaded lugs fit into the corresponding holes in the lugs.

Centering the mechanism Lateral padded brakes often only press one against the rim if the mechanism is not centered. Loosen the nut or socket head screw securing the brake to the frame and turn it until you have the same clearance between the brake shoe and rim on each side of the wheel. Then press the pads against the rim and tighten the mount. Another way: use a thin wrench to turn the nut between the frame and the back side.

Third hand The third hand tool is useful when working with brakes. By pressing the pads against the wheel rim, it frees up your hands for delicate work when installing a new cable or adjusting the brakes.

Braking tuning requires attention to every detail, from the brake levers to the brake pads.

First step. Adjusting the brake levers

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

Step two. Position of the brake pads

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

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

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

Now you can tighten the nut that fixes the shoe.

Step three. Centering the positions of the levers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adjusting rim brakes using the example of V-brake

When set up correctly, v-brakes will perform just as well, and some models even better than disc brakes! The design features of the v-brakes allow adjusting the pads in almost any plane, but this is not possible with caliper rim brakes. The price of rim brakes is much less than that of disc brakes, they weigh less and are easier to adjust than disc brakes.

Installing v-brakes

Change the pads to new ones when their braking surface is erased to the level of the grooves for the drain of dirt, that is, when the working surface becomes absolutely flat. And if the pads are worn off only on one side, this means that they were installed incorrectly, and they will also need to be replaced.

First, loosen the screw holding the cable.

The main thing when installing a conventional brake shoe is to put on in the correct sequence all the washers and gaskets that make up their fasteners. Also note that some models of pads can be divided into left and right, this is indicated on the pads themselves, take this into account when installing.

Replacing cartridge pads is even easier. They have a metal base and only the rubber pad needs to be replaced. There is a locking cotter pin on such pads (do not lose it), you need to pull it out and slide out the rubber pad. Then insert new pads and secure with a cotter pin. When installing the trims, pay attention to the indicators for the right and left side.

After replacing the pads, screw the adjusting drum on the brake lever fully and unscrew it one turn. Squeeze the brake levers with your fingers, reinstall the cable and secure with the screw. The distance from the wheel rim to the shoes should be 2 mm.

Security issue

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

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.

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Varieties and models of bicycle brakes

Brake adjustments on a bicycle can vary. In each situation, it is worth looking at the type of braking system. Most often, cheap bicycles are equipped with mechanical rim brakes, or, as they are also called, V-brakes.

“They are easy to use, cheap and easy to replace. But, unfortunately, everything cheap has its drawbacks. The rim brake is not a priority in its class. This is due to its design. The pads often do not grip the moving part as it should, so the braking distance becomes quite large. But expensive mechanical brakes can be quite competitive. In general, adjusting V-brakes on a bicycle does not require much effort, special techniques, so this class is suitable for beginners and amateurs.

Disc mechanical 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 ride V-breaks all your life and then switch to disc brakes. After all, you will have to learn to configure this system again.

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 to instantly transmit 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 hard, the rider can literally fly out of the saddle. 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 fixed by yourself. The slightest upset. and a trip to the workshop is guaranteed. And again, repairs will cost a pretty penny. Parts of the system, such as tubes, are not very reliable. If this part bursts, brake fluid will escape. Therefore, you can only brake with your feet. Adjusting hydraulic brakes on a bicycle is tricky. This, if possible, it is better to entrust the master.

First steps in repair and adjustment business

As always, start simple first. In this case, from the repair of the simplest brake system. rim. V-breaks are not famous for their ingenuity. A simple device as two and two. What does this mechanical brake system consist of? There are levers that are mounted on the steering wheel. There are tubes (it is correct to call them “shirts”), inside of which an iron cable fidgets. Two clips and pads. Everything is nothing more. That is why there are only three positions on which to regulate the V-break.

“The first is to control the distance between the pads and the wheel. The second is to control the direction of the pads. The third is the degree of tension of the clamps. For beginners, this can seem daunting, especially in practice. But experienced amateurs can assemble a disassembled brake in just seven minutes.

Adjusting the rear brakes on a bicycle

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

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

Especially do not tolerate the striking of this element on the tire. A couple of kilometers. and the rubber will be frayed to holes. It is undesirable for the block to also go beyond the boundaries of the wheel. From this, it is quickly erased, but the desired effect (good inhibition) is not. 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. Having examined the situation, you can immediately see where something is wrong. Use this tool to loosen the washer. Then, while still 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.

Adjusting the front brake on a bicycle

The hardest part lies ahead. Do not be afraid, you just need to concentrate. So, you need to adjust the distance between the pads and the wheel. It is important. Again, action monitoring is similar for the front and rear brakes. It is worth remembering that if the distance is too large, the clamps will not fit well. Therefore, there will be no inhibitory effect. If, on the contrary, you leave little room for the brakes, they will strike the rim. This will quickly wear off the pads, and the wheel will constantly brake. In general, you can adjust the distance between the pads and the rim using one nut, which is located on the levers, on top, where the metal cable is attached.

It should be unscrewed, thereby loosening the grip. From this action, the levers will part, do not be afraid. With the force of your hand, you need to lean against the rim. Then squeeze the brake lever so that it does not reach the steering wheel for a couple of centimeters. Keeping the levers in the same position, screw the nut back. Adjusting the brakes on a bike doesn’t stop there.

Spring tension

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

Disc brakes

Bicycle disc brakes can be adjusted 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.

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.

The question of how to set up disc brakes on a bicycle is extremely rare for owners of respective vehicles. Unlike rim pads, which require preventive maintenance at least once a season, disc adjustments are performed much less frequently, usually no more than once every 2-3 years. Except in cases of prolonged downtime and obvious signs of incorrect operation. Here, surgical intervention with subsequent adjustment measures is simply necessary.

Main reasons

Experienced cyclists are familiar with the list of causes of a faulty braking system or situations where additional adjustment is indispensable.

The main reason for incorrect operation is worn pads. Buying a new vehicle is always accompanied by its individual adjustment. If you become the owners of a brand new two-wheeled “friend”, then its mechanisms need to be run in and also adjusted in several approaches. Cold storage, in other words, “great”, which has been in an unheated room for a long time, needs additional examination of the pads and the brake system.

Another reason to think about the health of your vehicle and its mechanisms is the appearance of extraneous sounds. Any knocking, creaking or whistling indicates only one thing. not all bicycle systems work properly. As a rule, problems are related to the block or other mechanisms.

Brakes that do not respond well to the force you apply also indicate hydraulic or cable problems. Mechanical damage found during a visual inspection or after a collision must be repaired promptly. Even if the brake system continues to function, one should not neglect its adjustment or replacement of individual components.

Rim pads

The open mechanism of the rim brakes greatly simplifies the procedure for their maintenance. Cyclists know how to set up rim brakes on a bicycle, but first you need to decide on the type of brake connection. Pads with V-Brake mount do not need special maintenance, mainly manipulation with them comes down to replacing worn-out elements.

A slightly outdated type is cantilever. Unlike the V-Brake, the mechanism of this attachment has a more complex device. There is an additional cable here, it is called central and is responsible for connecting both sides. Another characteristic difference is the large clearance. Bikes with this system are ideal for “dirty” riding.

The caliper brakes feature a U-shaped locking mechanism. A pair of levers are connected to effectively bite down on the rim. This is the most difficult type of attachment and requires special skill to adjust it. Most two-wheeled vehicle owners are only familiar with the V-Brake type, as it is the most common.

When dismantling the brake system, observe the following sequence:

  • release the brakes and, using force, remove the cable jacket from the holder;
  • unscrew the mount, which is responsible for fixing to the frame;
  • directly remove the brake mechanism;
  • if it is necessary to replace the pads, unscrew the screw responsible for fixing them.

The last step is to remember the sequence of washers well. Usually they come in two, subsequent adjustment depends on their correct installation.

The rim brake pads are renewed or replaced depending on the degree of wear. To renew it, it is enough to degrease the surface of the contacting elements and remove a small layer of rubber that has become unusable. For replacement, it is necessary to remove the fixing screw and pry off the old shoe and then replace it with a new one. Even if the new thing did not fit in size, do not rush to despair, the parameters are easily “adjusted” with a knife, provided that you are not holding a cartridge column.

After a successful replacement, you can start adjusting. The rim brakes are adjusted by adjusting the pad mounting geometry and cable tension. For this, a special screw is used, which is located on the brake lever. The excess cable length can simply be cut. After replacement, new pads can move in any plane. The shoe should be flush with the rim, this is the correct position. In the process of checking, special attention is paid to the position of the pad; when braking, it should fit snugly against the rim over the entire area, while driving, it should be parallel to the rim. If all points are observed, the screws are set to their original position and a control check of the brake system is performed.

Other mechanisms

It is more difficult to set up hydraulic brakes on a bike. They are practically not found in modifications of the budget segment, rather it is a companion of a professional vehicle. The main feature of the hydraulic system is the use of brake fluid, otherwise the work with it will not cause any particular difficulties. When starting to adjust the hydraulics, it is necessary to ensure that the wheel is evenly fixed in the position in which you move on it. This step is important for the hub and rotor. The brake adjustment is based on the caliper. First you need to loosen the bolts, the caliper should be movable, but not fall. Then squeeze the brake lever. the caliper will be in the desired position. At the final stage, check the clearances, tighten the bolts.

In addition to adjustment, the disc brake rotor needs to be replaced or straightened. If the defect is not strong, then replacement can be avoided by tightening the curved place with an adjustable wrench. The disc mechanism is characterized by a high sensitivity to oily agents, therefore, cleaning and adjusting the system must be carried out extremely carefully. A small amount of oil left on the fingers can get inside. Use a degreasing product to adjust the rear brake of your bike. After partial disassembly, the “large” chain and the carriage should be covered, preventing the ingress of oily liquid into the mechanism.

Braking system characteristics

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

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

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

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

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

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Varieties of rim brakes

Rim brakes are divided into several types:

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

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

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

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

Cantilevers belong to the second type of disappearing brakes. The principle of their operation is to extend the levers under the action of a stretched leash. Cantilever brake working principle:

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

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

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

To justify the latter, it is worth noting that the position of the pads can be adjusted within wide limits.

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

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

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

Advantages. high compression force and efficiency, excellent modulation. Disadvantages. deterioration of performance when the hydraulic line is clogged, difficult repairs. Used a similar type of brakes for freeride and trial.

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

How to install and configure V-brake yourself

Installing the brake from scratch:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bicycle disc brakes

Disc brakes are designed to brake a bicycle by converting kinetic energy into thermal energy by rubbing the pads against the brake disc. As mentioned earlier, bicycle disc brakes are mechanical and hydraulic. Their principle of operation is the same, but there are slight differences in design.

Disc Mechanical Bicycle Brakes

Disc mechanics is of the following design.

  • Brake handle. Mounted on the handlebars (fastened with a clamp) of a bicycle and is designed to transfer the force of pressing the hand to the brake pads.
  • Cable adjuster with lock nut. The cable adjuster is designed to change the tension force of the cable of mechanical disc brakes. Locknut. for fixing the regulator.
  • Brake lever adjuster. Allows you to adjust the distance from the brake lever to the handlebars, thereby making it possible to set a comfortable position directly under the length of the cyclist’s fingers.
  • Cable shirt. Serves to protect the cable from damage and dirt.
  • Cable. Required to transfer the movement of the brake lever to the brake caliper.
  • Cable holder. The place where the cable is attached and clamped with a fixing bolt.
  • Caliper. A mechanism that activates the brake pads when the cable is pulled.
  • Brake pads. They are metal platforms with an organic or metallized substance applied to them. Insert into the caliper.
  • Adapter. Serves as a kind of layer between the caliper and the bike frame.
  • Rotor (brake disc). Mounted on the wheel hub.

Disc Hydraulic Bicycle Brakes

Disc hydraulics are very similar to their mechanical counterparts. The main difference is that the force applied to the brake lever is not transmitted to the pads by a cable, but thanks to DOT4 brake fluid (on Avid, Hayes, Helix brakes) or mineral oil (on Shimano brakes). Next, consider the design of hydraulic disc brakes.

  • Brake handle. Actuates a piston that presses on the brake fluid.
  • Brake lever adjuster. As with the disc mechanics, it is designed to adjust the position of the handle relative to the steering wheel.
  • Master cylinder. It consists of several parts. An expansion tank with a lid serves as a brake fluid storage. The cap is used when filling and bleeding the brakes. Inside there is also a piston with a cuff and a return spring.
  • Hydroline. It is a robust hose that connects the master cylinder and caliper.
  • Caliper. A mechanism that, when pressure appears in the hydraulic line, activates the pistons that push the brake pads.
  • Brake pads. Used to convert frictional force into thermal energy, thereby stopping the bike.
  • Adapter. The part that attaches the brake caliper to the fork or bike frame.
  • Rotor. It is a perforated metal disc, on which, when the handle is pressed, the pads rub.

What to do before adjusting the brakes

If you need to adjust disc brakes that have already been in operation for some time, then before making the adjustment, it is advisable to perform the following preparatory work:

Check rotor

First of all, we unscrew the brake rotor from the hub and check it for deformation. This can be done by placing it on a flat surface (glass, mirror, etc.) and inspecting it. If the rotor is loose, it must be aligned before adjusting the disc brakes. If the deformation is insignificant, then this operation can be performed when adjusting the brakes.

Check pads

We remove the brake pads. To do this, find the extension on the caliper and turn each block in turn by the tongue. If everything is done correctly, it will not be difficult to dismantle them. Next, we make a visual inspection of the surface for chips. In case of severe damage or wear, the pad should be replaced.

Check the condition of the cables and shirts

This item is intended solely for mechanics. Before adjusting the mechanical disc brakes on your bike, you should carefully check the condition of the cables and shirts. If the cable is damaged, namely, if it is fluffed, broken individual fibers are observed, then it should be replaced without fail. It doesn’t matter if the cable changes or not, it must be lubricated before adjusting the brake. We also inspect the cable jacket. If cracks or tears are visible on it, then it is better to replace it.

Check the condition of the brake line for leaks

This item is exclusively for hydraulics. Before adjusting the hydraulic disc brakes of a bicycle, inspect the brake hose for damage (it is advisable to replace it, even if the damage is minor), and also check that there are no oil / brake fluid leaks at the joints of the hydraulic line with the caliper and the master cylinder. Another place where the brake fluid can poison is the rod going from the brake lever to the piston (if the cuffs are leaky). Well, after removing the brake pads, check the absence of leaks on the caliper.

Remove dirt and oil from brake pads and rotor

During cycling, over time, dirt and oil accumulate on the rotor and brake pads, which impair the braking performance of disc mechanics or hydraulics. Therefore, before adjusting the disc brakes, remove it from these surfaces. To do this, you can use fine sandpaper. Remove the rotor from the wheel and clean the surface on both sides in a circular motion. We perform the same operation with pads (naturally on the one hand). Do not be too zealous, just remove a thin layer. After you have completed this procedure, try not to touch the pads and rotor with your hands or oily objects.

Check the correct installation of the wheel

Determine if the wheel is installed correctly. It should be clearly perpendicular to the ground, without tilting to the side. To do this, we put the bike on wheels, loosen the eccentric and, by pressing on the saddle with your hand (keeping the bike level), tighten the eccentric.

How to install a new mechanical disc brake

  • We attach the brake lever to the handlebars so that it lies in the same plane as your forearm. If necessary, adjust the distance from the handle to the grip, at which, grasping the steering wheel with your whole hand, you could normally reach it with your index finger.
  • Install the adapter on the frame and tighten the bolts until fully tightened, alternately tightening each bolt.
  • We pass the cable with a shirt so that it coincides with the places of its fixation to the frame.
  • We insert the cable into a special slot on the brake lever and fill in the shirt. Please note that when installing a new cable, the tension adjustment on the brake lever must be tightened completely minus 1-1.5 turns.
  • The position of adjusting the tension of the cable on the caliper is set similarly to the brake lever. We pass the cable through the hole on the caliper, put it in the groove of the cable retainer and, tightening, clamp the fixing bolt.
  • After that, we put the end cap on the end of the cable and squeeze it. This is necessary so that the cable does not fluff.
  • Next, we proceed to the adjustment, which is described below.

How to set up mechanical disc brakes on a bicycle

Adjustment of the disc mechanics is required to be done: after installing new pads, cable, rotor or other brake components; in the case when the rotor rubs against the pads; when it is required to eliminate the long travel of the brake lever, etc.

  • We check the tightness of the bolted joints at the points of attachment of the adapter to the frame and the rotor to the bushing.
  • Loosen the lock nut and tighten the cable tension adjustment on the handlebars until it stops minus 1-1.5 turns. Then tighten the lock nut. We do the same on the adjustment located on the caliper. Next, unscrew the cable lock, and, pulling the cable by hand, tighten the lock bolt back. (If you have already done these operations when installing a new brake, then you do not need to repeat these steps).
  • We loosen the bolts that attach the machine to the adapter (for easier adjustment, you can remove it completely).
  • We adjust the position of the fixed (static) and movable shoe. The purpose of this procedure is to achieve an equidistant position of the pads from the center of the caliper slot so that the rotor can fit between them with minimal clearances. To adjust the fixed shoe, loosen the locknut (if any), and rotate the bolt that adjusts its position. To adjust the movable one. rotate the cable tension adjustment on the caliper. After the distance is set, we tighten the static block retainer. If for this procedure you removed the machine, then you should install it in place, but do not tighten the mounting bolts.
  • We set the correct position of the caliper relative to the brake disc. To do this, the bolts that attach it to the adapter must be loosened so that it can walk relatively easily left and right. We push the brake lever all the way and fix it with electrical tape, wire, rope or other available means. Next, slightly wiggling the caliper with your hand, screw it to the adapter, alternately tightening the bolts.
  • After performing the above operations, in 80% of cases the rotor will shuffle against the deck (s). We determine which of them it clings, and adjust the distance by adjusting the cable tension on the caliper (in the case of friction against the movable block) or by rotating the bolt (if rubbing against the static one). The clearance on both sides should be minimal, at which the rotor does not touch the pads.
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You can watch a detailed process of setting up disc mechanical brakes in this video.

There are cases that after adjusting the mechanical disc brakes of a bicycle, the rotor “strikes” against the pads in one (or several) places. This suggests that you have it slightly deformed. In this case, you need to align it. This can be done directly on the bike without removing the rotor. Determine the place where it touches the pads by slowly rotating the wheel. Pay attention to which side the rotor is deformed. Then, we turn this section so that access appears to it, and we bend it in the opposite direction from the place of friction. Be careful not to make things worse. Do not push the rotor too hard. It is better to repeat this operation several times, smoothly adding pressure.

How to adjust hydraulic disc brakes

Although hydraulic brakes are called self-adjusting brakes, it is sometimes possible to notice a rustle or squeak that they emit during braking. In this case, adjust the disc hydraulics of the bike. Also, a similar procedure is necessary on a new bike if the brakes were set incorrectly from the factory.

  • Slightly unscrew the bolts that fix the caliper to the adapter.
  • We clamp the brake lever and fix it with electrical tape, rope or other available material.
  • We make sure that the rotor is clearly in the middle of the caliper slot, and the brake pads are extended equally on both sides. If this is not the case, then you can set its position by slightly pressing on the rotor from the desired side. Due to pressure, the brake fluid will be evenly redistributed between the pistons.
  • After that, tighten the mounting bolts and remove the electrical tape from the brake lever.

After you have adjusted the hydraulic disc brakes, turn the wheel and check for friction. If you observe intermittent shuffling, then this is a signal that your rotor is slightly bent. To eliminate this malfunction, it is necessary to determine the place of friction, and on which side of the pads the rotor clings. Then turn the rubbing area 180 degrees from the caliper and gently push in the opposite direction. This should be done very carefully in several passes, with each of which add force until the friction disappears completely.

The hydraulic disc brake setup is shown in the video below.

To repair STELS bicycles, we:

We carry out diagnostics to identify the cause of the malfunction We replace and restore parts (forks, steering wheel and steering columns, wheels, chains, pedals, bushings, etc.) We restore and adjust the brake system and gearshift system That is why the repair of stels bicycles includes a detailed and careful inspection. After eliminating all breakdowns and strengthening potential weak points, our specialists lubricate the bike.Before ordering the repair of stels bicycles, we recommend that you familiarize yourself in detail with the information on the company’s website There you will learn about the full list of our services, or you can familiarize yourself with a wide range of cycling transport. Our workshop is easy to find, as it is less than 40 minutes from Kuzminki metro station. On-site experts will be able to provide a rough estimate of the recovery time. We will look forward to your calls at 8 (926) 970-77-11.

How to properly adjust the brakes on your bike.

In the disc brake system, parallel to the disc, there is a part such as a caliper. The specified element influences the wheel movement to a small extent. If it is necessary to adjust the bike with such a brake system, we advise you to turn the hexagon so that friction arises and is felt in the area of ​​the wheel, disc or pad. In this case, the required distance between the brake lever and the grip must be observed.

You cannot fully tune your bike without adjusting the wheel spokes. And if it turns out that they are unstable, a special type of key (spoke key) will be required. This procedure requires experience and the appropriate tools), so we do not advise you to do this type of tuning yourself. You can harm your vehicle. Repair and maintenance of bicycles. the competence of specialists in this field.

Queue for tires. determine the degree of their fullness and wear, which should be within reasonable limits. The handlebars have details such as shifters that are positioned to extend the cyclist’s hand. And if you see that this condition is not met, you will need to loosen the mounting bolts. If you try to do it yourself, you risk ruining the mechanism. Therefore, bicycle repairs will be performed accurately and with high quality by the masters of the VeloTemp company.

How to properly adjust the steering wheel, steering block and stem.

If you have problems with a bicycle handlebar, steering block or stem, it is better to entrust the bike repair to the trusted specialists of the VeloTemp bike workshop, who guarantee the quality of the work performed and a conscientious attitude. They will also check how the steering system is set up, test the degree of tension of these elements. To adjust the functioning of parts, specialists cannot do without a hexagon. You should also exclude the presence of backlash, and if it is detected, you need to urgently take measures to eliminate the problem that has arisen. Do not forget that the steering wheel should also be adjusted from time to time. This process involves clamping the steering wheel with special keys. Make sure the handlebar is tight enough so that only experienced technicians will fully and accurately repair your bike without damaging its mechanisms. Modern bicycles are expensive enough to take the risk of doing repairs yourself.

How to set up the gearshift system.

When it is required to adjust the rear derailleur, specialists, first of all, will release its cable by dropping the shifter by about 1. Set the roller by rotating the bolt and return the settings to their place, remembering to recheck the shifter after completing the actions. If you overtighten the bolt, you can easily damage the cable or thread.With regard to tuning the forward gear, then releasing the tension on the cable, we will achieve the correct setting of the crossover, ensuring it is in a state when it is parallel to the largest sprocket. It is imperative to release the upper and lower link crossovers. In this case, the position of the clamp of this part of your bike can be either upper or opposite to it. lower. In any case, you should not risk it, because repairs and maintenance of bicycles must be carried out only by professionals. If the clamp is in the upper position, and the adjusting bolt is closer, this is correct. Accordingly, you should initially adjust the position of the remote part of the bicycle frame, so that later it becomes closer to the chain. In this case, the parts should not touch. Please note that the chain must be spinning on a small star. Use one hand to tighten the cable and secure the bolt. At this moment, there is a risk of damage to the thread, therefore competent people must carry out the repair process, in order to avoid damage to the mechanism.

Types of brakes and the need to adjust them

Brakes are the main accessories for a bicycle and they are divided into two types depending on their effect. The first and most common type is rim, the principle of their operation is mechanical action on the wheel rim to reduce speed and rotation and stop. The second, not the most common type, is disk. Depending on the type of force transmission from the brake lever to the brake mechanism, the brakes are divided into mechanical and hydraulic. The following are guidelines for adjusting mechanical brakes.

The need for adjustment and adjustment

The brake is the main means of preventing accidents while driving, their reliability and correct adjustment ensure the safety of the vehicle and the passenger.

Brake Problem Symptoms and Adjustment Frequency

First of all, you need to check the performance of the brake system.

  • Raise the front wheel so that it does not touch the surface. Give it rotation and check if the brake pads touch the rim for a short time and if there are no extraneous sounds. If this happens, then the centering of the wheel is disturbed. it has a “eight”. Before proceeding with further verification, it is necessary to eliminate this malfunction.
  • During rotation, press the brake lever. the brake pads should work instantly and the wheel should stop. If there is a delay in braking or wheel slip, then a brake adjustment is required.
  • Raise the rear wheel off the ground and repeat the above procedure.

Since the elements of the brake system are in close contact with the environment, check the appearance and condition of the brake pads and control cables. It is necessary to clean them of dirt and pay special attention to the condition of the cables. damage and breakage of even one strand can cause trouble, so they must be replaced.

So, the performance of the brake system has been checked.

When do you need to adjust and adjust the brakes?

In the following cases:

  • After purchase and a small run-in under load, inspection and adjustment of all systems is required. including the brake.
  • After mechanical impact on the bike. impacts and falls.
  • After long-term storage. Especially in unheated rooms.
  • During the movement, extraneous sounds appeared. knocking and creaking, or a periodic whistle.
  • The response of the braking system to control has changed. delayed response or, conversely, release.

The performance of the braking system is especially important if you have a mountain bike.

Consider the adjustment procedure for the most common bicycle brakes. mechanical rim.

Adjustment procedure

First of all, you need to prepare the tools, place the bike vertically and fix it in special supports-racks.

Required tools and accessories

Prepare the recommended tools and arrange them so that they are at hand. What is required?

  • The best option is a set of tools for a bicycle, it has everything you need.
  • Screwdrivers. flat and Phillips.
  • Set of wrenches or special bicycle wrench.
  • Allen key.
  • Wedge spacer for adjusting the gap (required if you have soft type brake pads without a metal base).
  • Cleaning cloth, cloth to protect against environmental dirt.

Everything is ready? Are the tools arranged in a convenient order? Is there a cloth under the bike? Is the bike in a comfortable position? Then let’s start!

First stage. Adjusting the position of the brake levers on the steering wheel

Oddly enough, the first thing that needs to be adjusted is the position of the brake lever on the steering wheel. Further adjustment of the entire brake system will depend on its position. To do this, loosen the handle securing screw for a few turns and set it to a comfortable position. the brake lever should be pressed by the second phalanges of the fingers. Adjust the main position (distance to the handle) of the brake lever to a position convenient for you using the adjustment screw.

Second phase. Adjusting the brake pads

What needs to be ensured when adjusting the brake pads? High-quality fit to the rim. This requires the correct setting of their position relative to the rim and setting the clearance in the inoperative position. The distance between the shoe and the rim should be 1mm. But! If you have soft type pads installed, the distance between the front and rear of the pads relative to the rim should differ by 1-1.5 mm. A wedge spacer must then be used to set the correct clearance.

So let’s get down to the process,

  • First, we release the pad fastening nut so that it becomes movable.
  • We install a wedge-spacer between the shoe and the rim if you have soft-type pads, if the pads are with a metal base, then we place them parallel to the rim.
  • Rotate the pads so that they are parallel to the top of the tire. They must not go beyond the rim or touch the tire.
  • Using washers we fix the position and clamp the fastening nut.

This stage is completed. go to the next.

Stage three. Installing the brake levers

The pads are installed on both sides of the rim, and their correct operation requires centering the levers located on both sides of the wheel.

  • Press the brake lever on the steering wheel and control the simultaneous contact of the pads with the rim.
  • Press the brake lever on the steering wheel and control the simultaneous contact of the pads with the rim.
  • If there is an advance in pressing one of the pads, adjust the tension of the cable.
  • Each lever has a special tension adjustment screw. If the block touched the rim earlier, then it is necessary to increase the tension of its spring, or reduce the tension of the opposite.

Does the touch occur simultaneously? Then we proceed to the final stage of setting.

Fourth stage. Setting the brake stiffness (adjusting the brake cable)

At this stage, it is necessary to establish a comfortable and reliable operation of the brake system, depending on the pressure on the brake lever located on the steering wheel. The position of the brake lever was established during the first stage of the system adjustment. Now you need to adjust the tension, and if necessary, the length of the cables.

To do this, simply press the brake lever. The pads should press against the rim with minimal lever action. If necessary, adjust the length of the lever stroke, as it is convenient for you, using the tension nut, which is located on the lever itself. Do not set the stroke too large, this is not recommended by all specialists.

All necessary work has been completed. It remains to check the performance of the brake system, which is necessary.

Checking the brake system after adjustment

The check can be done in several steps. First. without removing the bike from the stand where the adjustment was carried out, turn the wheel into rotation and press the brake lever. the wheel should stop instantly. The second. make a test drive with hard braking, the brakes should be applied with minimal impact on the lever.

If all the procedures are performed correctly, then the safety and pleasure of the trip are guaranteed to you.!