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How to Adjust Bike Brakes- Best City Bikes

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Do you know, adjusting your bike brakes by maintaining a routine will improve your bike’s performance and help you ride safely? Want to know how to adjust bike brakes?

In this article, we will let you how you can adjust your bike brakes easily for better performance!

To adjust your bike brake, you will need to know about two things, brake pads, and brake cables.

  1. Too low or high worn down pads on the rim can cause safety threat.
  2. If the brake cables are too loose they will be harder to brake.

So, it is important to learn to fix these issues before they get too dangerous to handle!

Related: Top 10 bike helmets reviewed.

Materials needed:

  • Wrench (Allen Wrench)

Before making any adjustments, always check the brake pads and brake cables wear line of your bike carefully for any wear out. If you find any, it needs replacement.

1. Adjusting the brake pads:

Pads that clamp down on the front tire of the bike when the brake lever is pulled is the brake pads.

Both the brake pads of your bike should be touching the center of the rim with an equal amount of space above and below the pad. But if they are too high or low, then they need adjustments as they might come in contact with the rubber part of the tire or with the spokes on the bike.

Check your bike for loose or undone in the quick-release mechanism to make sure the brakes are squeezed tightly on the wheel.

Using a wrench, loosen the bolts that are holding brake pads in place, but don’t lose it entirely as it will make the pad come out of the holder.

Now after loosening the bolts, move the brake pads up or down to make sure the pads are centered perfectly.  Then retighten the bolts again and you are done!

2. Adjusting or tightening the brake cables:

Test the brake lever cable’s tightness by pulling them and see if they have at least 1 ½ inches gap away from the handlebar’s grip.

If the levers hit the handlebars that means brake cables are too loose. To fix this problem loosen the barrel adjuster. The barrel adjuster is located where the brake cables meet the brake levers. Loosening the barrel adjuster will tighten the brake cable. After loosening, pull the brake lever to see if it fixed the problem.

You have to adjust the brake cable on the caliper if it is still too loose and also don’t tighten the barrel adjuster yet.

The mainframe of the brake that the brake pads are attached to is the caliper. Unscrew the bolts that are holding the brake cables on the caliper until they are slightly loose. Now pull the cable. This will tighten the brake pads. After that retighten the bolts that you loosened before.

And also don’t forget to tighten the barrel adjusters on the handlebars. And test the brake cables again. If there is a gap of 1 ½ inch when you pull the levers, then you are good to go!

3. Adjusting back brakes:

Each side of the calipers has an internal recoil spring and there is also a small screw on the side near the pivot mount that increases or decreases the tension.

Turn the screw clockwise to pull that side away from the rim and turn anticlockwise to pull the closer pad away from the rim on the opposite side.

Adjust each in half increments at the same and test the brake pull after each adjustment.

It may seem like, adjusting the bike brake is very hard but trust us once you become proficient in it, you will enjoy this new skill and even may start adjusting your friend’s bike brakes as well!

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Daniel D. Harris

I am Daniel D. Harris, an enthusiastic biker who loves to ride bicycles. I keep on sharing my experience of cycling through this blog. I do keep writing to assist you in finding the city bikes, bike lights, bike pedals, and many more things related to bicycles. You may find my blog useful once you read some posts. Find me on twitter. Have a good day bikers!