How To Adjust Bike Brakes

Bicycle riding is a great way to stay fit and enjoy nature. However, it also comes with some risks, such as being involved in accidents. When you ride a bicycle, you need to be aware of the dangers that come with cycling. One of these dangers is having your brakes fail.

Brakes are important because they prevent you from falling over when you hit something. They are also essential for stopping safely. In order to ensure that your brakes work well, you need to take care of them.

In this article, we will be discussing how you can adjust your bike’s brakes so that they are working perfectly. 

How To Adjust Bike Brakes

Bicycle Brake Systems

On most modern bicycles, there can be one of the three main braking systems. These are disc brake, caliper and V-brake.

Disc brakes are similar to bakes you will find in motorcycles and cars. This braking system consists of a rotor and a caliper which squeezes a metal disc to slow or stop your bike.

Typically, this braking system is seen on touring, hybrid and off-roading bicycles.  Caliper brakes use a cable to activate the braking system. Often seen on road bicycles. 

V-brakes use a similar system to caliper brakes, as they use a cable to activate the braking system. You will commonly find this braking system used on mountain bicycles, and any bikes with suspension systems. 

Checking Your Brakes Is Important

It’s important to keep track of when you last adjusted your brakes. If you haven’t checked your brakes in a long time, then you should definitely do so now. In fact, you should check your brakes every week.

This allows you to see if there are any problems with your brakes before they cause you to crash. If you notice that your brakes are worn out, then you should replace them immediately.

Always Use Proper Maintenance Techniques

While checking your brakes regularly is important, you also need to be careful not to damage them. For example, you shouldn’t remove your brake pads unless you know what you’re doing. This could lead to serious injury.

Also, you should never use an abrasive pad on your brakes. Doing so could cause them to wear down faster than normal. Instead, you should use a non-abrasive pad or even a new set of pads.

If you have old pads, you should throw them away and get new ones. You should also clean your brake cables and make sure that they aren’t frayed. Frayed cables can break easily and cause you to lose control of your bike.

Signs You Need To Adjust Your Brakes

You may want to adjust your brakes for a couple of reasons. The main reason why people do adjust their brakes is the following:

  • To stop, their brakes squeaking,
  • Replace brake rotors or pads,
  • Tightening or Loosening the brakes themselves,
  • To prevent the brakes from rubbing or pulling.

Also, by adjusting the brakes, you are helping to maintain your bike to keep it in good working condition.

Make Sure That Your Brakes Are Adjusted Correctly

The first step towards getting good brakes is making sure that your brakes are adjusted correctly. This means that your front wheel needs to be centered under your body. Also, you should make sure that both your rear wheels are aligned properly.

To do this, stand next to your bike and look at where the center of gravity is located. Then, move one foot forward until you feel comfortable. Once you’ve done this, move your other foot back until you feel comfortable again.

Once you’ve found the correct position, you should repeat this process for each side of your bike. If you’re unsure about how to align your bike, then you should consult someone who knows how to do this.

Make Sure That Your Brakes Are Adjusted Correctly

Adjusting Your Brakes

Once you’ve made sure that your brakes are in the right place, you can start adjusting them. First, you should loosen the screws that hold the caliper onto the frame. After loosening these screws, you should pull the caliper slightly backwards.

Next, you should tighten the screws that were previously loose. Finally, you should push the caliper all the way into its original position. When tightening the screws, you should use only as much force as necessary. Otherwise, you risk damaging your brakes.

You should always test your brakes after you’ve tightened the screws. If everything looks fine, then you should leave them alone. However, if you notice any problems, you should adjust them again.

Adjusting Brake Pads

You may have noticed that your brake discs are rubbing, you can adjust these for a better braking experience. The easiest way to do this is by using a brake leverA bicycle with a disc brake system will still have calipers that are found on the fork of the bike.

You should loosen the disc brake caliper by turning the bolt to the left. However, you don’t need to remove the bolt, as you are just making some adjustments.

You should press onto your brake lever while moving the disc brake caliper. Try to maintain a firm grip on the level, as you reposition your pad and then re-tighten the bolt.

Then spin the bike’s wheel to make sure there is no contact being made with the wheel and the disc brake. Now you have adjusted the pads, so they aren’t constantly rubbing on the wheel.

Repairing Your Brakes

If you notice that your brakes aren’t working well, then you should take them apart and inspect them carefully. If you notice anything wrong, then you should repair them immediately.

First, you should loosen the bolts that hold the brake pads together. Next, you should remove the pads from the rotors. Then, you should clean the rotors with some brake cleaner.

After cleaning the rotors, you should put the pads back on. Make sure that they are placed evenly. Finally, you should reassemble your brakes.


Braking systems are an important part of cycling. They help us slow down when we ride our bikes. Without brakes, we would be unable to stop quickly and safely. Therefore, it’s very important that we know how to properly adjust our brakes.

Hopefully now you know how to adjust your brakes, to keep your bike in perfect working condition.

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