How to Repair Bike Brakes

How to Repair Bike Brakes
Time and wear take their toll on bike brakes. Loose cables, misaligned brake pads and crooked brake arms are all common results, which make for ineffective braking when out riding on trails or roads. Learn how to repair your bike's bakes to ensure optimal performance and safety while riding.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 5mm Allen key
  • Needle-nose pliers
Step 1
Loosen the brake cable anchor bolt. The bolt is located on the brake and anchors the cable to the brake.
Step 2
Back out the brake cable adjuster barrel three to four turns. The small barrel will either be located where the brake cable enters the brake or at the other end, where the brake cable enters the brake lever.
Step 3
Squeeze the brake closed so that the pads are flush against the rim. Meanwhile, pull the brake-end of the cable taught with a pair of pliers and tighten the anchor bolt over the cable.
Step 4
Align the brake pads so that they strike the rim evenly. There will be an Allen bolt at the back of each pad. Loosen the bolt, straighten the pad, and re-tighten the bolt.
Step 5
Customize brake pad clearance by turning the barrel adjuster back in. Continue to turn until there is between 3 and 4mm of clearance between the each pad and the rim.
Step 6
Center the brake. This is only necessary if the brake pads are not equidistant from the rim. There is a small Allen screw located on the top of the body of the brake. Turn this screw until the brake is centered.

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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