How to Fix and Adjust Bicycle Brakes

How to Fix and Adjust Bicycle Brakes

Smooth, responsive bike brakes are the heartbeat of a safe and enjoyable ride. Yet, we’ve all faced those nerve-wracking moments when they just don’t quite cooperate. Fear not! In this guide, we’ll unravel the intricacies of brake maintenance together. Whether it’s a pesky squeak, sluggish response, or uneven braking, we’ve got your back.

Arm yourself with a wrench and a can-do attitude as we dive into fixing and adjusting brakes. Your Bobbin bike deserves the best, and we’re here to ensure every stop is as crisp as the morning breeze. Let’s roll into a safer, smoother ride!

Common Brake Issues

Close up shot of a bike brake

(Image Credit: Wired)

Navigating the road on two wheels is a joy, but when your brakes hit a snag, it can be a cyclist’s nightmare. Let’s explore some prevalent brake hiccups you might face.

Squeaky brakes, a common woe, often stem from dirt or misalignment. If your brakes aren’t as responsive as they should be, it could be a sign of worn-out brake pads or cable issues. Uneven braking, where one side engages more than the other, may indicate a need for calliper change.

Recognising these issues is the first step to a smoother ride. So, buckle up as we delve into solutions to these everyday brake predicaments.

Fixing and Adjusting the Brakes

Close up shot of a bike brake

(Image Credit: Wired)

Let’s roll up our sleeves and get into the nitty-gritty of brake restoration. Follow these clear steps, and you’ll have your brakes purring like a contented kitten:

  1. Assessment: Begin by inspecting your brakes for wear and tear. Identify any visible issues like frayed cables or worn-out pads.
  2. Tools ready: Gather your tools — an adjustable wrench, screwdrivers, and brake cleaner. Having everything at your fingertips streamlines the process.
  3. Brake cable adjustment: Loosen the pinch bolt. Adjust the tension using the barrel adjuster. Finally, ensure a snug fit without excess slack.
  4. Brake pad inspection: Remove the wheel, say, of your kids bike or your city bike. Check the brake pads for wear. If worn, replace them with new ones.
  5. Calliper alignment: Loosen the calliper bolts. Centre the calliper over the rotor. Then, tighten the bolts securely.
  6. Wheel reinstallation: Carefully place the wheel back. Ensure it sits securely in the dropouts. Tighten the quick-release or axle nuts. Top tip: Our guide to removing rear wheel bike may come in handy.
  7. Test and fine-tune: Squeeze the brake lever gently to check responsiveness. Fine-tune as needed using the barrel adjuster.
  8. Final safety check: Confirm both brakes engage simultaneously. Inspect for any unusual sounds or misalignment.

For visual learners, refer to the accompanying images or diagrams. These visuals serve as a handy reference during your hands-on brake fix. A systematic approach, coupled with attention to detail, ensures your brakes perform optimally.

Troubleshooting Tips

In the journey to perfect brakes, bumps might appear on the road. If your brakes still misbehave, fret not! For persistent squeaks, try cleaning the brake surfaces. If adjustments result in an overly tight feel, revisit cable tension. Uneven braking? Reassess calliper alignment.

Remember, patience is your ally. If issues persist, double-check your steps, ensuring each adjustment is meticulous. Sometimes, it’s the small details that make the difference. Don’t hesitate to reach out if challenges persist. Bobbin’s here to ensure your brake-fix journey is as smooth as your ride!

Safety Precautions

Prioritise your well-being as you embark on this brake-fix adventure. Before diving in, don your protective gear. Gloves and safety glasses, for one, shield you from potential hazards. Work in a well-lit area, and never compromise on caution. Ensure the bike is stable during the repair to prevent accidents. Safe riding begins with secure repairs!


In wrapping up this brake-fix journey, remember: a well-maintained bike is a safe bike. Understanding and addressing common brake issues puts you in the driver’s seat of your cycling experience. As you hit the road, confident in your smoothly operating brakes, revel in the joy of a secure and enjoyable ride.

Keep pedalling and stay vigilant. May your future journeys be filled with the thrill of the open road and the reliability of well-adjusted brakes.

For your next biking adventure, explore our diverse selection! Discover kids and adult bikes in a variety of styles, wheel sizes, and colours. Plus, we provide Bobbin helmets and bike accessories to enhance your cycling experience. Look no further for the perfect bike companion!

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