How To Fix Bike Brakes

from the website

This step by step guide will tell you how to test, service and if necessary replace your bike brakes.

First, identify the type of brakes on your bike – the V brakes found on mountain bikes, cantilever types, disc brakes or the side pull breaks. Whichever one you have, they must be set up properly. In terms of tools you will need is an allen key or a small spanner. Some bikes come with a spanner supplied. Follow this simple four stage method. First grab your brake levers. They should feel tight and have a smooth action. If the lever goes straight down to the handlebar, adjust your brakes immediately. This involves increasing the tension in the brake cables. If you have V or cantilever brakes, you will need to adjust the screw attachments on the brake levers. Screw out the tensioning bolt until the brakes are active, then tighten the locking nut back against the brake lever.

Next check that your brake pads are not worn down, and that they are wearing evenly. If part of the pad is missing the wheel rim, the pad will either need to be cut down or replaced. If there are signs of major wear on either the brake and or wheel rim, one or both may require replacement.

The first step in replacing the pads is to operate the brake quick release mechanism, found at the top of the brake arms. Undo the nuts securing the brake pads, take out the old ones and pop in the new. Ensure the pads are in the right position and the right way up before tightening the nuts slightly. Squeeze the brake lever to check that the pad meets the rim about a quarter of an inch beneath the top of the wheel rim. Tighten the nuts by degrees, making sure the pads remain aligned with the wheels.

If you wish to upgrade your brakes, make sure you have a full set of manufacturers instructions and if possible a photo of the brakes in full working order to refer to. This is quite a complicated procedure for a beginner, and if you have any doubts at all contact a specialist cycle supplier. When fitting new brake cables, you should have some grease to apply to the pivots, and ideally a cable puller, in addition to your allen key and spanner. If fitting V and cantilever brakes, there is a specified ideal distance between the brake arms. It is usually indicated by a line on the cable carrier that links the pieces of cable attached to the brake arms.

If you align this guide to the cable, you’ll have the correct setting. Test your brakes weekly, and service them monthly if you are a regular bike user.


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Category: General

41 Responses to “How To Fix Bike Brakes”

  1. havent checked on mine for like three years and i try to change em out and i bust the cable. do they sell bike brake cables seperate i wonder?

  2. My front tire brake suddenly became really loose and the back brake became extremely stiff. I tried to adjust the back brake but the bolt literally snapped in half…and it really hurt. Not sure what to do now besides rotate the tire into a fixed gear or get a new bike. once a bike goes bad…I'm never able to fix it, or trust that It's stable when I think I've fixed it. I'm still afraid my tire isn't on properly. 

  3. I was riding my bike home after work at night and I fell. Thankfully there weren't any cars near me. Now my brakes is screwed up. At first it was too tight. after tinkering, now it won't tighten

  4. Thanks for posting this video. I needed to adjust my brake tension, but I couldn't find any helpful information anywhere. After watching this video, it took me about two minutes to fix the problem with your easy instructions. :)

  5. lol 'MURICA

  6. i have the same problem, when i squeeze them they work but one side doesnt release…

  7. where the heck were the 4 easy steps????

  8. somewhere, there's some guy ready to reply to this message offering to help you with your brakes with suspicious fervor, even if it was 3 years ago. 

  9. U MAD BRO ??

  10. did you fix your bike

  11. This SUCKS! My bike doesn't have any of this.

  12. Most Americans are such jerks. Brainwashed to be jingoists from childhood.

  13. thanks

  14. simply oiling. do this 2 times brake like hell afterwards and your done. if this doesn't work your spring system is broken

  15. im just here for the coment likes

  16. That's because you're an ignorant, monumental imbecile…It's English..The language you supposedly speak properly, and it comes from England ,the country of origin for the English language…

  17. adjust them up abit to where there on the rim when u press in

  18. he dosent know

  19. just go get a car

  20. i love British people…

  21. can anyone help when i brake it noise

  22. @Gracetdog this might cost due to the dirt, i have the same thing, so thinking to wash the brakes with soapy water and a tooth brush. Try that one too.

  23. @cacaoist well sometimes people find some parts of the manul hard so they look on u tube so u dont need to be so harsh

  24. If I had the manual, I wouldn't need a video. Great job, dumbass.

  25. can someone help me? my problem is i need to get the rear brakes to not rub against my rear rim, my bike is a CHAOS BMX bike if anyone can help please do

  26. Too basic for my liking I need the most help keeping the dam things centered, Tia the trickiest part don't you know!

  27. my Brakes are grabby when I go Down hill, Help??

  28. @Gracetdog you might need to buy a new cable or brake system 

  29. @QUeensNYCUSA
    Well you should understand this type of "archaic European language".
    It's English. The language we gave you.

  30. Is there an American version of this? I cannot understand ANYTHING these aliens are saying. It seems to be some type of archaic European language.

  31. well, i have a rake pads familiar to these you are using, and i need to adjust them, and i have no clue how to do that :/

  32. thanks for the guide helped alot!

  33. That's a crappy bike.

  34. @Gracetdog grease them well

  35. is that front tire on backwards, or is it just me?

  36. i love u thanks for uploading this

  37. @happywombatproducts well.. i think it might be the housing of the cable…
    the housing might be very dirty and doesnt let the cable release (;

  38. lol nike air max + 3/4 length cargos + leather jacket + dogey socks + cassual bowl = Calassic Chav!!
    LMAO Chav wearing a bicyle helmet

  39. @justdoingmything9 these are v brake type brakes.. The easiest ones to install and maintain.

  40. @dilauroj94 A Bone Wrench