Your bike’s brakes are a crucial component to keeping you safe while riding. If they’re not adjusted correctly, worn-out pads or cables can cause hazards on the road that will send your commute off track. Fortunately for us DIYers out there we only need some tools to fix these problems once and forever so our bikes work perfectly each time we take them out of storage after using them indoors during winter months.

What’s your bike brake voice? Is it smooth and easy to ride with, or do they feel like an old raggedy man as he struggles up the hills on his rough terrain journey? You may not know what I’m talking about if you don’t have experience riding fixed-gear bikes but trust me when we say that these machines were made for both efficiency and performance.

This means there isn’t anything too complicated going around inside those mechanisms; however, even though all moving parts might look intimidating at first sight believe us here folks. They’re nothing compared to caribe coasting downhill either way after reading through our article today.

Method 1:

Step 1;

Make sure you check your brake pads before making any adjustments. The front tire of the bike has two sets, or pads, for balancing and stopping.

These are what make pulling hard on an emergency stop feel progressive rather than grabbing onto something suddenly with no warning whatsoever which could cause abrasion damage. 

If they’re worn past their recommended wear line which will be denoted by brown stripes along this region in between red lines- then it’s time to replace them so as not to put unnecessary strain onto either component. 

Make sure the wear lines on your brake pads are labeled. If they’re not, then use grooves on their sides to mark them instead and order new ones online or go pick up some at a local bike shop.

Make sure you have correctly lined up wheels in dropouts before using them as otherwise there will be no contact between brakes and wheels which could result in an accident.

You can also check: How to Paint Bike Rims

Step 2;

The brake pads should be making contact with the rim of both front tires at once. They must hit the center and have equal space above or below so that no part comes into contact with metal parts on wheels such as rims which could cause corrosion spokes or rubber compounds used for tire manufacture’s bonding material.

Check that your bike’s brakes are working properly by squishing them with one hand while looking through the viewfinder of a camera. If you don’t have this feature, check for any loose wires or adjustings before taking off again.

Step 3;

The brake pads are attached to the vehicle with bolts. It is important to loosen these according to your torque wrench, being careful not to lose them, or else you may end up with no brakes at all.

Step 4 ;

If you move the brake pads up or down in their holders, they should easily adjust once those bolts are loosened. 

Make sure that your rims have been correctly centered before taking this step by lowering them until both sides of each pad contact with the rim equally; then tighten everything back up again.

Step 5;

Make sure the brake pads are centered and tighten their bolts. The Allen wrench should be turned clockwise until it is fully tightened, then check for any adjustments needed before applying power again with your foot on the gas pedal.

Also See: How to Paint a BMX Bike

Method 2:Tightening Your Brake Cables

Step 1;

Make sure your brake cables are tight by pulling each lever until they’re about 1-⅜" (3 cm) from the grip on the handlebars. If you can barely get them started before hitting against their limit, then it’s too loose.

Step 2;

Brake cables can become loose over time. If you have minor adjustments, such as with your brakes just slightly too far apart or something like that then loosening the barrel adjuster attached to them might fix it for good.

The location of these barrels is where they meet up at their respective levers on either side so be sure not only do both sides match but also any other components associated together.

Because once we tighten this down even further there won’t be much leeway when adjusting again if everything fits perfectly fine now which means our safety margin has been cut away.

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Step 3;

The goal is to get the Allen wrench into the handle so it can be screwed all of the ways. The faster you turn, or apply force with this tool will help loosen up any seize in your bolts/studs and make sure they work as well when needed most.

Step 4:

When you pull the brake cable, it should tighten on its own. Hold in place with your fingers once pulled tautly and give a little more force if necessary until all resistance is felt when turning tires. If you do not know how to replace bike pedals then explore this website you will get your answer.

When tightening up these cables be sure that there isn’t any excess tension which could cause problems for driving later down the road. Tighten the bolt holding your brake cable in place using an Allen wrench. 

Turn it clockwise 2-3 times and then tighten up again until there’s no play at all when you apply pressure with both hands against either end of this assembly on the top or bottom side. 

Step 5:

Make sure the barrel adjusters on your handlebars are tight. Turn them clockwise several times until they’re fully tightened, then tighten each brake pad one at a time with pliers or vice versa so that you have less chance of forgetting which end goes where when setting up again later.

Try pulling on your brake cables again to see if they’re tight. The lever should be about 3 inches from the grip when you do this, and there’s 1 ¼" (3-4 cm) between each end of these wires.

Changing your bike brakes can save you in the long run, but if something does go wrong, you and/or other traffic should be aware of what to do.

You could also consider getting cycling insurance so there’s no financial burden should anything occur while out on a ride.


In conclusion, adjusting bike brakes is an essential skill for any cyclist. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your brakes are properly aligned and responsive, enhancing your safety and overall riding experience. Remember to regularly check and adjust your brakes to maintain optimal performance and enjoy smooth and secure rides.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I adjust my bike brakes?

There are a few different ways to adjust your bike brakes, depending on the type of brake you have. If you have cantilever or caliper brakes, you’ll need to adjust the pads so they sit close to the rim but don’t rub. To do this, loosen the pad adjustment screws and position the pads so they just barely touch the rim. Then, tighten the screws back up.

Why are my bike brakes squeaking?

Bike brakes can start to squeak for a few different reasons. One reason might be that the pads need to be replaced. If the pads are worn down, they won’t make good contact with the rim or rotor, which can cause squeaking.

What is bike brake shudder?

A brake shudder is when the brakes vibrate when they’re applied. This can be caused by a few different things, but one of the most common causes is an uneven surface on the brake pads. If the pads are worn down or glazed, they might not make good contact with the rim or rotor, which can cause vibration.

How do I fix bike brake rub?

Brake rub is when the brakes make contact with the rim or rotor even when they’re not being applied. This can be caused by a few different things, but one of the most common causes is an incorrect pad adjustment.

Jason Ballie
I'm Jason Ballie and I love BMX biking. I got into BMX biking when I was about 10 years old and haven't looked back since. I love the thrill of flying through the air on my bike and performing tricks that amaze people. I've been riding competitively for about 5 years now, and have won a few competitions here and there. I'm always trying to learn new tricks and improve my skills so that I can one day become a world-champion BMX rider.