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How to Adjust Too-Tight Bicycle Brakes

Learn how to adjust too-tight brakes from Silk Road Cycles' Brendon Nicholas in this Howcast bicycle repair and maintenance video, part two of two.


If I spin the wheel slowly, it stops. So the reason for that is that it could be either too tight, or it could be misadjusted. So on these brakes, like if you have a caliber brake, which is like a road brake, you can actually shift it back and forth with your hands. This brake has a spring on this side, and a spring on this side, which is pulling it each way. So these are adjustment screws that are either Phillips Head, this is a Phillips Head, or they're a very small Allen or Hex key. So what you're going to do is if you loosen this bolt right here, it's going to loosen the tension on the spring. If you tighten it, it's going to tighten the tension. So it's going to pull it to one side or the other.

So kind of want to look at your wheel, and see, it's hitting on this side. It's not hitting on this side. There's space on the side. So you can loosen this side, I'm sorry, tighten this side, a little bit, to bring it this way. Or you can loosen this side, also to bring it that way. So kind of hit the brake lever again, check it, and look, and make sure that they're both going to hit at exactly the same spot when you pull the brake. Looks like this side has a little bit more room than this side, so just adjust slightly. It's very small increments. You don't have to do, you don't have to turn a lot. Just turn a little bit, check it, and see how it looks. And then a lot of times you can just tuck this in, so it's not hitting you in the leg, or anything like that, or just doesn't look good.

And there you go. So now the wheel runs smoothly. And the brakes are adjusted and doesn't squeak. So now you can take it out on the street, and just go slowly. Try it out. Make sure that it's hitting properly, and then you can just come to a complete stop. And that's how you adjust a V Brake.

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