Most bicycle brakes are activated by a set of cables connected to the brake levers, and most points together with your brakes might be solved by adjusting the strain of these cables. They will even want periodic changes to maintain them working correctly.
To check the strain of your brake cables, give your brake levers a squeeze. If they contact the handlebar grips or get shut sufficient to crush a finger slipped beneath, you have to improve your cable rigidity. On the flip facet, if solely the slightest stress on the levers causes your brakes to clamp down—or in case your brake pads rub once you spin the bike’s wheel with out squeezing the brake lever in any respect—then you have to lower your cable rigidity. Usually, cable rigidity might be modified by twisting the barrel adjuster discovered on the level the place the cable meets the hand lever. There are tons of easy-to-follow YouTube videos that present you tips on how to adjust brake cables.
There are a number of forms of brakes, however you are most probably to have rim brakes or disc brakes. The commonest rim brakes—V-brakes or caliper brakes—pinch either side of the wheel rims from the highest of the wheel. Disc brakes do not contact the rim in any respect and as a substitute use small calipers to pinch CD-sized discs mounted within the heart of every wheel. Disc brakes provide superior stopping efficiency, however they are often fussy to keep up.
Fancier disc brakes use hydraulic mechanisms to pinch the discs. While hydraulic brakes will not be inconceivable to keep up at house, they seem to be a bit greater than most individuals wish to sort out. Remember to periodically get the traces checked and refilled with contemporary fluid at a neighborhood bike store. And if the brake fluid reservoir in your handlebars seems low, take it to a motorbike store quickly.
Less frequent are coaster brakes, which do not use levers and are as a substitute activated by pedaling backward. These are troublesome to regulate your self and are harmful when not correctly adjusted, so take your coaster brake to knowledgeable.
Brake pads put on out regularly as you utilize your bike and are simply changed. You simply have to know what dimension or kind of brake pad to buy. The writing on the worn pads ought to offer you a touch about what to purchase. Brake pads are largely common, although their mounting techniques range. The starting of this video explains the variations.
Swapping out worn V-brake pads for brand new ones takes no various minutes, and all you normally want is the best dimension hex key. We advocate Park Tool’s hex wrench ($14) with the three commonest key sizes on it. It will take you a bit longer to switch disc brake pads as a result of the brakes are smaller and extra intricate; this video reveals a number of methods to method pad substitute. In each instances, it is best to readjust your cable rigidity after placing new pads on.
You’re going to want to scrub these brake pads periodically too. Use an previous toothbrush or a shop towel ($3) to get into the hole between the brake and both the rim or the disc, and use some brake cleaner ($10) to take away any buildup.