How To Adjust Cantilever Brakes by Performance Bicycle

Learn how and why to adjust cantilever brakes on your bike

Learn More:

Shop Cantilever Brakes:

As always, you can shop Performance Bicycle at
Follow Performance Bicycle on Twitter at
Like Us on Facebook at
Read Our Blog at


Click here for the best online deals on bike accessories, electric bikes, kids bikes, mountain bikes, bicycle frames, and much more.

Category: General

21 Responses to “How To Adjust Cantilever Brakes by Performance Bicycle”

  1. This is helpful for left and right brake pad alignment but how can I make my cantilever brakes tighter? They work but I have to pull the brake levers further than I would like before the pads touch the wheel. (I don't have any inline adjusters)

  2. Thanks 4 the tips ! Well done !

  3. really helpfull thank you

  4. thanks… my wheel is now fully in the dropouts. face palm

  5. Are traditional rims without cavity compatible with these brakes?

  6. good tips! thank you

  7. thank you for all the good advice. i sat down and took notes. thank you again. u r a very good teacher

  8. I find when the pads are too close to the rim but are not rubbing while in the stand they might rub when riding the bike because the rim flexes when riding.

  9. My bike only has the little screw that adjusts the spring tension on one side of the brakes and it's driving me insane because I can't seem to get both sides to move equally grrr ><

  10. Thanks… this was very useful! Sorted out my brakes!

  11. @2:19 you instruct to push the pad up against rim and tighten – that's a little misleading b/c the pads have to be a few mm away from the rim. So how do you measure & adjust for the distance the pads need to be from the rim and be consistent on both sides? Do you just eyeball it ?

  12. 1) how come you only zip tied one of the brake shoes, and not both?
    2) also, does the longer side of the shoe point to the front of the bike or towards the back of the bike?

  13. great vid thanks

  14. He reminds me of Tim Heidecker.

  15. Good video – clearly explained by someone who knows what they're doing. I've used the idea of a spacer to create the toe-in – so simple! Previously I'd dreaded adjusting canti's – not any more :o)

  16. A rubber band tied around the rear of brake block serves same purpose.
    Handy if you're all out of zip ties.

  17. easy to understand, excellent video.

  18. One thing I can suggest is to ensure that the tires are properly filled up before you perform any brake adjusting. Far too many times I come across bikes where the brakes were adjusted on a LOW tire and then once you fill up the tire to proper PSI, the brakes now are rubbing because the rim has changed more ridged.

  19. Is there ever a time when a person has all of the tools they need? lol I don't think I have a 3mm Allen wrench.

  20. I have a problem with my cantilever feeling mushy.  I feel like I need to really squeeze the lever to get them to brake even though the pads are very close to the rim.  Any tips for something like that?

  21. This is one of the better video's i've seen. The zip tie is the first I've seen and very smart.