How to Adjust Bike Brakes | Bike Maintenance

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Learn how to adjust bike brakes and keep your brakes working smoothly and safely from expert Jesse McDonough in this Howcast video.

Hi my name is Jesse McDonough and I’m here at Spokesman Cycles in New York City right by Union Square. I’m a bicycle tour guide in New York and formerly a bike messenger and I’m here to tell you a bit about the bike. Let’s talk about brake adjustments. There’s a number of different reasons why your brakes can need to be adjusted. The brakes themselves can be rubbing on the rim; they might not be tight enough. But we’ll start with just tightening the brakes themselves. So first you see this brake, it’s in pretty good shape. You really want two finger lengths between the handlebar and the break where you squeeze, so here you got plenty of room, but on this side the break itself goes almost all the way to the handlebar, way more then two finger-lengths. So here clearly is not tight enough. We’re going to try to start with a minor tightening with the barrel adjusters. So here the barrel adjusters just twist and as you pull them out of the break handle itself this will tighten the break. In this case it’s probably tightening it a bit more but not necessarily enough, you still have less then two finger-lengths. So now that opening the barrel adjuster did not tighten your brakes enough what we’re going to have to do is open up the break so that you can tighten your brake cable here. So you’re going to take an Allen wrench and all you got to do is unscrew this just a bit so you pull the break cable tight here so that the break pads are resting along the rims, so you can hear them rubbing along the rims here and at that point you want to tighten the cable to exactly where is should be and if you notice I left the barrel adjuster opened so that way now the rim is just barely rubbing along the brake pads but as you tighten the barrel adjuster as the brake cable is already tight again it should open up just perfectly so that your brakes are the exact tension you want them but at the same time aren’t going to be rubbing on the wheel, so we tighten the barrel adjuster here and see how that worked. Perfect. Got two finger-lengths and a nice tight brake.


Category: General

44 Responses to “How to Adjust Bike Brakes | Bike Maintenance”

  1. plzz tell the name of the key used in the video i want to buy it

  2. Nice, Helped me a lot , btw i nevrer knew how to do this ever without this vid

  3. that was the best tutorial ever

  4. very helpful thanks!

  5. شنو هذا😂😂

  6. My mountain bikes back brake won't work becasue the metal thing is disconnect from the wire

  7. i have a verry old bike and i have ben ajusting the breaks almost everyday after use because they just are not working anny more could it need break pads

  8. its fake you can see it from pixels

  9. good informationn broooo,,,,nice videoooooo

  10. I need help my bmx bike Kas problems on the brakes. One side Brakes but the other side doesn't so what should I do

  11. Two finger WIDTHS rather

  12. thank you SO much! this was exactly what I needed!

  13. This was a helpful guide. My brakes were so loose they literally wouldn't stop the bike, I had to put my foot down while riding to make it work. Now, after this video, my brakes work perfectly.

  14. Always wondered how the barrel adjusters were used. Thanks for the video.

  15. Super helpful, thank you!

  16. super helpful! thanks!

  17. Thanks dude

  18. instructions unclear got raped by illegal aliens darn mexicans. Good thing i had a giant gun

  19. Thank you so much man this is blessed

  20. don't forget to oil the brake lines once in awhile to avoid rusting and snapping them!

  21. Does this work with disc brakes

  22. Thank you so much!!!!

  23. Thanks — just what I was looking for!

  24. OMG ty so much

  25. gooooooooooooood

  26. But what about the brakes in the back that r the problem

  27. Thank you. saved me from spending money on replacing my brakes. I bike nearly 100- 130 week. almost hit a car the other day.

  28. Bike brakes not holding help brakes dru

  29. I almost crashed into a car because my back brake wasn't tight enough. After doing everything in this video, it still isn't tight.

  30. This helped a lot thanks

  31. wow this video was perfect. my back brakes weren't tight enough. this totally helped. thanks a lot

  32. Yeah right it isn't as easy as he makes it seem. This technique may work once the brakes have been properly assembled/adjusted.

  33. What about a road bike?

  34. best video ever thanks a lot

  35. Hope it works for me

  36. Thsts not 2 fingers u lie

  37. thanks u so much, my back brakes were so loose and it was driving me crazy and i was close to having a crash yesterday so thx so much

  38. Thanks our bike works now

  39. Wow, my brakes are much more responsive after adjusting this and the spacing between the brake pad and wheel.

  40. any reason my brakes squeak on the rim when activated?

  41. I plan on opening a bicycle shop. Anyone know if I need to take classes to start

  42. Didn't help

  43. Thanks for the video. Came in handy for making my own adjustments

  44. this was so much easier than another vid I watched. I will try this procedure. Very easy to understand. Bookmarked this one.