Updated on March 14, 2023
Are you searching for how to adjust bike brakes? There are two types of bike brakes, linear and disc brakes. Linear brake is an old technology but disc brakes have revolutionized the bike brakes market. Well, it does not mean disc brakes are perfect and linear brakes are not good enough, some people use linear brakes because they are easy to replace and adjust. Both of these brakes are different from one another. Let’s discuss the brake adjustment of both of these brakes one by one.
How To Adjust Bike Brakes?
First, confirm whether the brakes are adjustable or if you need to replace the brakes. If the brakes are adjustable or there is some fault in the brakes you can fix it. But if the brakes are non-adjustable you cannot fulfill your task. Adjusting bike brakes is not hard but a little mistake can ruin all your efforts.
Furthermore, adjusting bike brakes is not a hard job, adjusted brakes provide quick response and work efficiently. Moreover, these adjusted brakes ensure your safety. Well, if your bike brakes are not adjusted correctly you can complete this task within minutes. For this, I have gathered all the information about brake adjustment and broken it down into easy-to-follow steps. However, here I am going through the process of adjusting linear and disc brakes. Let’s start with linear brakes.
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Linear Bike Brakes Adjustment
Linear brakes provide brake pads which are closely placed near the rim. Whenever you squeeze the lever of the bike, pads touch the rim. It produces high friction which slows down the bike. The first thing to check is that the brake pad is lined up with the rim of the bike wheel. If you find the pad above or below the rim. You are required to fix this problem.
If you find the brake pads are above or below the rim of the wheel you can easily place them. Now start loosening the mountain nut. The mountain nut is visible on the curvature of the rim. Well, start loosening the nut and squeeze the brake lever. After squeezing the lever, adjust the pads properly. Once the pads are adjusted, grasp them firmly and tighten the mountain nut.
You have successfully adjusted the pads but the adjustment process is incomplete until you check the tension of the cable. If the brake lever is moving more than halfway, you are required to fix the problem. To add more tension, remove the boot and place the noodle on the edge of the housing.
The noodle is visible on the edge of its housing, now firmly holding the end of the cable and start loosening the bolt. Then move the brake arms that the brake pads are touching to the rim of the wheel. Do not leave the cable until you tighten the anchor bolt properly.
Make sure that the anchor bolt has been properly tightened. Once the process has been completed, place the boot on the housing and release the noodle. Your bike is ready to go but before using the bike. Check the cable tension and if you find it unsatisfying repeat the above step.
The last task you need to adjust your bike brakes correctly is to check the space between the rim and the brake pads. If the brake pads are too close or touching the rim, it may cause some disturbance. Well, you can simply follow a hack. All you need is to add tension in the brake arms by setting a screw. For more space move the screw clockwise and for less space move the screw anticlockwise.
How To Adjust Disk Brake Pads?
First, you need to check the rotor. Sometimes the damaged rotor does not work properly. Basically, the damaged rotor bends with the wheel. And if the rotor has bent, it rotates with the wheel. As a result, your bike brakes do not function. Checking the rotor is not hard, it is visible on the tire.
When a brake pad is closer to the brake as compared to the other pads, you need to align the caliper of the brake. It happens because of the misalignment of the caliper. Well, it is the easiest task in the whole process. Just start loosening the nuts and bolts at the bottom of the caliper.
Now spin the tire with your hand and squeeze the brake abruptly. Pull the brake lever with maximum force and the caliper will grasp as opposed to the rotor. In this way, you can bring both of these pads in proper alignment. Do not leave the brake lever until you have tightened the bolts.
Your brakes are adjusted but check them by pulling the lever. Check the brakes multiple times before you go outside. Because a damaged rotor can fail brakes anytime. Test the brakes by spinning the wheel and pulling the lever abruptly. If the brakes are not adjusted correctly, repeat all these 4 steps.
How Do I Make My Bike Disc Brakes More Responsive?
- Fill the brake fluid on a regular basis.
- Install bigger rotors because they work longer and provide desired results.
- Clean the pads and the rotors regularly.
Why are my bike brakes not gripping?
The major reason for not gripping is slack in the cable of the brake. If you have hydraulic brakes, then you should remove the air bubbles with bleeding brake chemicals.
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Are linear pull brakes good?
Yes, the linear pull brakes are good because they are one of the most powerful brakes. These brakes are easy to replace and maintain. Linear brakes are inexpensive compared to other brakes.
Which brake is safest to use in a bike?
The front brake is safest to use on the bike. Because these brakes have the most stopping power. On the other hand, the rear brakes are for regulating speed and maintaining stability.
Why is my bike brake weak?
There could be multiple reasons such as a dirty rotor, air bubbles and worn-out brake pads.
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Linear brakes are easy to adjust. The reason is their placement and function. Disc brakes are, no doubt, the most powerful brakes but these brakes need chemical bleeding daily. Well, both of these brakes are still used. Some people prefer disc brakes because of their power. And others go for linear pulling lever brakes for their simple structure and ease to use. However, here are the easy-to-follow steps you can follow to adjust your linear or disc bike brakes.
Austin Jacobs is a passionate cycling enthusiast who has over five years of experience in bike repair and maintenance. He is an avid mountain biker and loves tinkering with bikes for hours on end to make sure they are running at their optimum performance level. Leland’s blog, which focuses on bike repairs and tips to keep them in good running order, was created out of a desire to share his knowledge and help fellow cyclists stay safe while enjoying the outdoors. He covers topics such as preventive maintenance, troubleshooting common issues, basic tools and supplies needed for repairs, and more.