How to adjust bicycle brakes: On a bike, having brakes is mandatory. Besides having good brakes, they must also function correctly. We show you how to adjust your brakes. Always allow you to slow down and stop safely.

How to adjust bicycle brakes: checkpoints
How to adjust bicycle brakes: checkpoints

Most bikes now use V-brakes. This is the system where two calipers equipped with two shoes come close to the rim at the moment when the brake lever is actuated. It is the friction that occurs between the skates and the side which makes it possible to make slow or stop the bike. This friction of the brake pads on the rim ends however by using the skates. If your bike does not brake appropriately, it is a sign that it is time to make new adjustments or even change the skates.

The wear of the pads and the adjustment of the brakes must be checked regularly. As said before, the skates are worthless with time and use. The skid/rim distance may therefore increase. The brake cables can also be extended, not to mention that the ducts can also be packed. To check the wear of your skates, check that they are not completely smooth. In general, on skates, you should always see small drawings, mostly traits. These features become less and less visible as wear and tear develop. If you do not find them on your skates again, it is time to replace them.

How do you know if your brakes are poorly adjusted?

To know if your brakes need a setting, nothing more simple. After checking that your pads are not too worn, only check their position about the rim. In the normal position, the brake pads must not touch the rim but remain relatively close to the edge. When you operate the brake lever, both brake pads must stick entirely to the side at the same time. They must not be too low or too high (to the point of being in a vacuum or touching the tire). When pulling the lever, the pads must be perfectly aligned with the rim. If this is not the case, you should consider making adjustments.

How to adjust bicycle brakes: Points to check on your brakes

First, the two brake pads must be at the same distance from the rim. They must be parallel to the latter. Your objective is, therefore, to ensure that the skates, at rest, are in the correct position. They must be at a distance of 1 or 2 mm from the rims. Too close, they risk always rubbing on the latter. Too far, this would imply a longer stroke of the lever during braking.

The brake pads must be positioned in such a way as to brake as best as possible. They must be able to tighten the wheel. To place them correctly, use an Allen wrench. Unscrew the screw that holds your skates. You will be able to center them, rotate them, or make them go up or down to the perfect position. Your skates must stick entirely to the rim when you operate the brake lever.

In the area of your brake lever, you can also make a few small adjustments. To do this, fully tighten the cable to your lever. Note that depending on the systems and the bicycles, this adjustment can be carried out at different levels. Thus, on the racing bikes, it is done at the degree of the stirrups. On most modern bicycles, including ATVs, there is usually standard levers.

In any case, the setting principle remains the same. An adjustable stop must be unscrewed, which tends to stretch the cable. A nut will then block your setting. Do not forget that the brake pads must not be too far from the rim. This will ensure maximum braking power. You can play along the length of the brake cable to adjust the distance between the pads. The shorter the wire, the closer the brake pads are to the rim.

To reduce or increase the distance of the wire, you can also loosen with an Allen wrench the screw that retains the cable at the caliper. Tighten the cable more or less so that your brake pads are more or less close to the rim.

Finally, carry out a small test. You will see if the braking is correct or if you need to change the settings again. Alternatively, you can completely renovate your brake system. To simplify the task, rely on the dual head cable compatible with a road bike and ATV and the white brake sheath, to give a personalized look to the bike.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here