How to Fix a Mongoose Bike Back Brakes

How to Fix a Mongoose Bike Back Brakes
It's not uncommon to experience braking problems. Your Mongoose bike brakes do a good deal of work each time you ride, and, like any bike brakes, they will need to be adjusted or even have parts replaced from time to time. Identify which type of braking system is featured on your Mongoose bike. Most likely this will either be a traditional direct-pull cantilever brake or a hydraulic disc brake. The disc brake is identified by a large metal disc attached to the rear and front wheel.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Direct-Pull Cantilever

Things You’ll Need:
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Sandpaper
Step 1
Check if one of the brake pads drag on the rim and center the brake. There will be a small Phillips screw at the base of the brake arm to center the brake. Turning the screw clockwise will result in the brake arm on the side of the screw moving the pad away from the rim. Determine which direction the brake arms need to go.
Step 2
Tighten the cable adjustment on the brake if braking feels mushy. Turn the barrel on the lever or caliper counterclockwise. Also, check your brake pads. Are they worn past the grooved wear-indicators? If so, replace the pads.
Step 3
Loosen the cable adjustment on the brake if the brake feels too tight and squeezing the brake lever barely moves the brake. Turn the barrel on the lever or caliper clockwise.
Step 4
Check that the brake pads are aligned correctly against the rim if the brakes squeak. The front tips of the brake pads should contact the rim first. Angle them correctly.

Hydraulic Disc

Step 1
Remove the brake pads if your Mongoose brakes "honk" when you brake. Lightly graze them with a piece of sandpaper. This will create greater gripping power from the brake, reducing noise caused by pads not gripping effectively.
Step 2
Check your brake pads if the brakes feel mushy. If they're worn down to less than a half-millimeter thick, it is time to replace them. Also, check your brake reservoir and top off with fluid if needed. Remove the cap and fill the fluid reservoir approximately halfway. Give the brakes a few slow pumps to push out air and draw fluid into the system. When all air is removed, replace the cap.
Step 3
Check that the disc isn't bent if your brake is rubbing. A bent disc will cause intermittent rubbing, resulting in a clicking noise. Disks can be removed and straightened with an adjustable wrench, but it's prudent to go ahead and replace the disc. Bending a disc back into place can weaken the disc, potentially resulting in brake failure.

Tips & Warnings

 
Check your brakes each time before your ride. It's better to fix a brake problem at home than to find yourself with a situation out on the road.

Article Written By Matthew Ferguson

Matthew Ferguson is a writer living in Savannah, Ga. He has been writing for over 10 years and his work has appeared on various online publications. A collection of his short stories was published in spring 2010. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.

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