How To Tighten Bike Brake? (90% of Cyclists Did Wrong)
As the most critical part on any bike, brake needs a lot of care. It’s not as simple as choosing a high-quality brand or getting perfect installation.
How long you could ride with the brake depends on how the brake maintenance.
To keep brake’s function in good condition, regular bike brake tightening is necessary.
With current types of brake on the market, it’s hard to say that every biker knows how to tighten bike brake properly.
Do you want to know how?
Just Not Sports will share in details, but firstly, we would like all bikers to comprehend all categories of bike brakes.
How many types of brake?
At the moment, Just Not Sports can find out easily three most popular categories. They are disc brakes, rim brakes and cantilever brakes.
Each of them includes specific features that distinguish themselves from others. Thus, tightening different genres is similarly different.
Why don’t we go for features of each?
Disc brakes are mostly found in mountain bikes – See more: https://justnotsports.com/best-mountain-bikes-under-300/. This type provides instant stop and quick cut. It’s powerful enough to protect you from over-speeding and harsh terrains.
However, in return, we need certain skills to handle disc brake maintenance.
So, how’s it?
Brake lever in disc type can connect to either cable or hydraulic container. The functional theory is almost the same in two forms.
When biker squeezes the brake, the cable gets tightened up at the same time. It causes the pads to stop the disc, then finishes the wheels. In the case of fluid, pressure increases in container leading to the same result.
Cable is a universe. However, Hydraulic comes with the bike. Unless you know exactly what kind of fluid is there, you should leave the maintenance job for a professional.
Rim brakes are more common. They are also the most straightforward category to do home maintenance.
So how do rim brakes work?
A typical kit of rim brake contains two rubber pads, bolts and cables. When biker tightens the brake, the wire gets more secured and makes pads touch the rim.
The two rubber pads must be set correctly to make contact with metal rim at the same time. Neither lower pads nor higher pads can perform the best. Traction between rubber and rubber can even cause degradation to the bike.
Two main parts of rim brakes are cables and pads. They are also the locations we have to maintain.
Cantilever brakes are also using the work of pad on the rim, however, by pulling the lever. It’s the most traditional way to set up a brake but also the hardest type to solve.
So, how’s cantilever brake?
Basically, it works based on the wires when you pressure on the lever. Cantilever type is a brake with two parallel pads so setting up needs high accuracy. So that, pads can touch the rim at once.
It’s a simple installation but a real problem to cope with when you start the maintenance.
It’s time to see in details on how to tighten bike brake.
Each of them come in different procedures. However, the standard rule is maintaining the pressure.
How to tighten bike brake?
The common problem related to disc brake is the disc. When the discs get loosen from the frame, its function decreases in effectiveness.
You can start with checking the position of the discs. Re-center them after loosening the bolt. Typically, doing so can solve the problem most of the time.
The next common problem about disc brake is a warped rotor. You can diagnose the situation by hearing the rotor noise. You can also use a specific tool to straighten the rotor. It’s simple, in general.
However, if you cannot allocate the rotor’s problem, bring the bike to mechanicians so that they can examine in detail.
The rule in disc brake maintenance is keeping the frame. All of this organization works on pressure and lever. Therefore, keeping them all in shape is necessary to maximize its function.
This one, as mentioned above, is a simple brake to work with.
There are only two common problems related to brake functioning: loose pads and loose cable.
First, speaking of pads.
When the rubber pads of rim brakes are out of its typical position- the rim, they got damaged. The most normal situation is pad erosion. You can check if the pad needs changing by seeing the ware line on the rubber.
If the brake pads are still right in use but no longer centered in the rim, let’s loose the bolt and get it adjusted. It’s done merely with Allen key.
As cantilever brakes, the pads must touch the rim at the same time when you squeeze on the lever. The contact point must be the center.
Second, speaking of the cable.
Sometimes the pads look fine but when you squeeze to brake, they no longer touch the rim. The problem now is on the cable.
If the cable is too loose, pressure on brake pads is not enough to stop the wheel.
To fix it, you only need to tighten the cable at the bolt when the wire ends. You can perform the job well without too much experience.
This is the most complicated organization to cope with in three types. However, the rule is simple.
Focus on the cable.
All of the cantilever functioning lays on the cable. Maintaining cantilever brake means tightening the wires.
You know what to do yet?
A single cable controls each pad of this type, left to left and right to right. However, the organization needs them to work instantly at the same time.
Therefore, you have to check both sides. Firstly, make sure the cable at two sides is as long as each other.
Next, examine the pad’s location and define if it’s in the center. The distance between the pad to the rim must be equal.
Tightening up is the job you have to do with rim brake pads and wires. However, it takes you a long time to make a test.
What do we miss?
When the wires go tense, it’s not good anymore.
Everything is alright!
With the increasing demand for using bicycles, more designs are coming up, accompanied by upgradation on brakes.
The brake is one of the most crucial parts that save you from sudden danger, offer you a better experience of biking. Hence, knowing how to tighten the bike brake is necessary.
Just Not Sports hope that the instructions above can help with your bike brake. All of the procedure can be done at home. However, sometimes, it’s necessary to check with a professional to achieve the best result.