How To Adjust Bike Brakes

How To Adjust Bike Brakes

This VideoJug film shows you how to adjust the brakes on your bike with basic tools. Adjust the tension and stop squeaking noises with these great, easy-to-follow tips.

Hello, my name is John from On Your Bike in London. I have been a bike mechanic for twelve years. I am going to show you a few things about bikes, things like saddle heights and setting it up, the correct size and a few maintenance tips as well.

How to adjust brakes? On a bike like this, it's got what is known as "V" brakes which is a rubber block. If I squeeze them, you can see it adjusts. This squeezes the wheel and that's what stops you.

If I put it on the stand, I will show you the basic way of how to set it up. With these ones, it has a cable which runs down and runs through here. If you squeeze the brake, that's what pulls it.

If you need to adjust it, then undo that and make it slacker or make it tighter or how I want the brakes to feel. If I try it right there, how I want it to be is when I squeeze the brake lever, it should be on when it's about halfway. That way, it gives you some modulation so it's not too powerful and you've got enough just to slow down gently if you want to.

So about halfway should be about right. Other than that, we have got this adjuster here which is a fine adjuster. So if I adjust it here, screwing it out makes it tighter and more powerful.

By screwing it in, it makes it slacker so it's binding or something like that. The other adjustment we've got is that screw there which adjusts the spring inside the brake. When you look at the brake, they should work together in parallel, they should work together.

If they don't, then if you screw that in, it will tighten the spring and make that one work harder. By adjusting both, then you can get the balance working together. If I unscrew this one, then you will see what I mean.

It will stop working if I undo that. Now you can see that one is working really hard and that one isn't because the spring has been de-tensioned. Screw that in and the spring comes back to life and they'll work together.

One other thing is just spinning the wheel to make sure it runs freely like that. It doesn't drag. And another thing is if you've got squeaky breaks, if you undo the bad that holds the bolt on, you can move the pad around and you want the front of the pad to touch the wheel first and that will stop it squealing.

If you find it's making a squeaking or squealing noise, it's because the pad is hitting the rim directly face on. You just need to tilt it ever so slightly. .