Most bicycle brakes are activated by a set of cables connected to the brake levers, and most points along 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. In the event that they contact the handlebar grips or get shut sufficient to crush a finger slipped beneath, it is advisable to enhance your cable pressure. On the flip aspect, if solely the slightest strain on the levers causes your brakes to clamp down—or in case your brake pads rub while you spin the bike’s wheel with out squeezing the brake lever in any respect—then it is advisable to lower your cable pressure. Normally, cable pressure 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 movies that present you find out how to alter brake cables.
There are just a few varieties of brakes, however you are almost certainly to have rim brakes or disc brakes. The commonest rim brakes—V-brakes or caliper brakes—pinch each 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 middle of every wheel. Disc brakes supply superior stopping efficiency, however they are often fussy to keep up.
Fancier disc brakes use hydraulic mechanisms to pinch the discs. Whereas hydraulic brakes usually are not unimaginable to keep up at residence, they seem to be a bit greater than most individuals wish to deal with. Bear in mind to periodically get the traces checked and refilled with recent fluid at a neighborhood bike store. And if the brake fluid reservoir in your handlebars appears to be like low, take it to a motorcycle store quickly.
Much less widespread are coaster brakes, which do not use levers and are as a substitute activated by pedaling backward. These are tough to regulate your self and are harmful when not correctly adjusted, so take your coaster brake to knowledgeable.
Brake pads put on out progressively as you utilize your bike and are simply changed. You simply have to know what measurement or sort 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 methods range. The start of this video explains the variations.
Swapping out worn V-brake pads for brand spanking new ones takes no various minutes, and all you often want is the precise measurement hex key. We advocate Park Software’s hex wrench ($14) with the three most typical key sizes on it. It’ll take you a bit longer to exchange disc brake pads as a result of the brakes are smaller and extra intricate; this video reveals just a few methods to method pad substitute. In each instances, it’s best to readjust your cable pressure after placing new pads on.
You are going to want to wash these brake pads periodically too. Use an previous toothbrush or a store 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.