Surely it has happened to you that you leave your house well on the bike, you start pedaling, you greet the neighbor, you feel the fresh wind on your face, a dog barks at you in a friendly way, everything is cool. Until you have to brake … you pray to heaven that your brakes work because the last time you almost stamped yourself with the bread, and of course, since you bought it (years?) That you don’t even wash it, don’t do it.
To start with all this brake stuff, today, we are going to show you how to identify if your bike needs an adjustment. Later we will tell you how to adjust them, but we go in parts. First thing’s first. Also, you can go for the best fat bikes under $500.
As you may already know, there are different types of brakes; those that brake on the rim (V-Brake, Caliper or crab, Cantilever, etc.) and those that do so on the hub (drum, disc, coaster). If you don’t know the types of brakes or you don’t know which ones are on your bike, read this article about the 11 most common types of brakes first.
Today, we will be talking mainly about those who brake on the rim. Although, the main points also apply to those of mace.
The main components that we will talk about will be:
Now, let’s go to the technical part.
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You can check this by rolling or by simply holding the handlebars or seat of your bike up, and lifting it off the ground to turn, respectively, the front and rear tire. You will notice that the tire does not rotate freely and you can hear something rubbing, or if you are rolling, it is more difficult for you, as something is stopping you. This means that one or both shoes are sticking too tightly to the rim – that is, they are not properly calibrated and do not allow the tire to rotate as it should.
But, here, we also have to check another little thing, the hoop. It may be that your shoes are not properly adjusted and/or also that your rim is crooked. You will easily notice it by looking at your tire from the front or from above while you turn it, you will see that the rim does not look uniform or straight, but that it makes a kind of undulation when turning or that it gives one or more “little jumps” when turning. That is your problem? Better, throw your bike, do not believe it, you will only have to give the hoop an alignment as well, but do it before it is too late and you have to replace your hoop with a new one.
This problem is also very common, and it refers to the fact that when you operate the brake levers, they touch the grips of your handlebars, and on top of that, you don’t even brake well. This may be because your brake arms are wide open and the shoes are too far from the rim.
Yes, it is terrible and it even hurts when you have to brake, because you will be the target of everyone’s gaze. The cause of that annoying sound is that your shoes are in the wrong position with respect to the rim, and when braking, that strange sound is produced, similar to the one that occurs when it has rained and your rims are wet.
If your shoes are too worn or smooth, they no longer have the necessary grip (they may also make a noise when braking).
It may even be that they are so consumed that the metal that supports them is noticeable. This can be very damaging to your hoop, as you will be “braking” on it and could end up needing a new one.
Wear can be seen with the naked eye, and they may look completely smooth, the rubbers may look too thin, or one may look wider than the other.
When your brakes are poorly calibrated or the springs that support them have lost strength due to use or because they are very old, you will notice that, after activating the brake levers, one of the legs (those that hold the shoes) or both, do not return. To its original position, which would be vertical to the rim and centered.
When operating the brake levers, pay attention to the arms. They both have to close at the same time. If one of the arms closes before the other, it is a sign that an adjustment is needed.
If the brake pads are incorrectly positioned, too high, or too low, two things happen: they can hit the rim or not touch the rim well when braking.
When the pads are rubbing against the rim, they will damage the rim and could break it. Also, the shoes will wear from the top.
If the shoes are too low, the contact surface with the rim will be less. Also, it could be that they are right at the edge of the hoop and it will cause a groove to start forming in them.
Suppose your brakes meet one or more of the above specifications, congratulations! They are ready for a good fit.