How to Adjust Bike Brake Pads?

Are you wondering How to adjust brake pads? Here is the complete guide.

Bike pads combined with the brake cable form the entire braking system of your bicycle. With normal usage, you’ll likely have to change them or adjust them for maintaining optimal working. 

If you hear the screeching sounds or if your brakes aren’t working fully, this is the time when you should analyze these brake pads and find if they are in the proper position for complete functioning.

Steps to adjust your bike brake pads:

Following are the main steps you should follow for adjusting the bike brake pads:

Check your brake pads:

You can check your brake pads and analyze their proper function with great ease. Have a look at the side profile of the brake pads. You can do so by having a look at the top or back of the brakes. Upon seeing, if you’ll find the bike pads in the following conditions, your brakes aren’t functioning:

  • You can’t see the brake pads at all
  • If the brake spring is too close to the rotor
  • If the piston is stuck out

In all the above conditions, your brake pads have worn out, and you should replace them for proper functioning or adjust them to ensure proper working. Start with the adjustment of the brake pads if you aren’t completely sure that your brake pads need changing.

Also Read: How to Change Bike Brake Pads?

Align them:

The brakes should be centered on the braking surface. To do so, loosen the bolt, realign the pads to meet at the center and then tighten them again. Once you have made these adjustments, your braking pads should be good to go.

Besides, ensure that the braking pads should not touch the sidewall of the tires. Tires touching these pads will create a hole in them as soon as you gain some good speed on your bike. Besides, even they shouldn’t be lower than the braking surface as it can put the brake pad against the rim, leading to problems in proper working of your brakes.

For adjustment, you can hold the brake caliper in one hand, loosen the bolt at back, adjust the cable according to your needs and then tighten the bolt.

Check them:

Once everything has been adjusted, spin the wheel around and keep an eye on the braking pads. If they stay in their place, you can consider them properly in place. 

Another thing you can do is to squeeze the brakes; the brake pads should meet the rim at the same time. If they do, you have made the adjustments rightly but if they don’t, you’ll have to repeat the entire procedure or find another solution for the efficient brake function.


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