Winter Bicycle Health Maintenance: A Comprehensive Guide to Brake Maintenance

The braking system not only plays a key role in protecting people's safety in the use of bicycles, but also affects our speed control and skill execution.

"Be able to brake" is far from being able to meet the high requirements of the majority of riders on the performance and use of the car. Not to mention those who have high requirements for performance and brake feel. Just to ensure the most basic safety, it also gives you enough reasons to get started and check and protect the brakes.

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There are many types of bicycle brakes. From the perspective of braking methods, they can be roughly divided into lap brakes and hub brakes. The rim brakes also have V brakes, C clamps, etc. The most common hub brakes are disc brakes, which are divided into wire pull and oil pressure. Each brake has its own unique characteristics and is suitable for different riding environments.

In this article, we mainly introduce rim brakes with simple principles and strong operability.


Rim Brake

As the name suggests, the force acts on the brakes on the wheels. By pulling the brake cable, the brake shoes (also known as brake pads and brake rubber) clamp the rim, thereby generating frictional braking devices that decelerate or stop the rim. At present, V brakes and road vehicles use C folder.

Since the brake is caused by the contact between the brake shoe and the rim, we start with the largest wear part in the brake system-the brake shoe. It should be noted that before the brake maintenance and commissioning, you need to ensure that the wheels are in the correct centered position and installed in place. You can turn the wheels for observation after installation.


  1. Cleaning

In order to make the braking system work optimally, we should clean the brakes regularly, especially after riding on rain or dirt roads. Wipe off the dust and dirt on the surface with a damp cloth and cleaning agent. You can use a small brush and cotton swab to clean the gap. If you are riding in a bad environment, you can put a little oil on the joints.

清洗1

Remember to scrub the rim too. The brake pads must be carefully wiped clean. You can remove them to see if there are any small rocks or other things stuck in the gap between the brake pads.

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When cleaning other parts of the bicycle, avoid getting lubricant or dirt on the brake shoes, which may cause abnormal noise and damage the rim.


2. Inspection and replacement of brake shoes After understanding the working principle of the brake shoe for braking, we should understand that the brake shoe should work in the correct position and state first. The friction plane of the brake shoe should be parallel to the rim plane and placed in the middle to avoid rubbing on the tire and other parts. Because when the position of the brake shoe is adjusted incorrectly, the brake shoe will wear unevenly, and the part contacting the rim will be severely worn, while the part not contacting the rim will form a small flute. This may cause the brake on one side to get stuck and fail to rebound. [Inspection and adjustment] You can loosen the nut behind the brake shoe to adjust it, but remember not to loosen too much. Pinch the brake lever to press the brake shoe tightly onto the rim. After adjusting the position, tighten the nut.


3. Symmetry adjustment of clamp arm Release the brake lever and check whether the caliper is centered, that is, whether the two caliper arms are symmetrical with respect to the rim plane, and can simultaneously contact the rim when pinching the brake. It can be adjusted by pinching the brakes a few times and observing the reaction of the wheels. If the wheels will swing to one side when the brake shoes contact the rim, the arms of the clamp will be asymmetric.

The adjustment method varies according to the clamp. C clamp is fixed on the intermediate shaft center, so by adjusting the fixed shaft, the clamp angle can be adjusted directly by rotating. Because the brake arm is connected to the front fork and fixed, the V brake must first be adjusted by the screws at the fixing point, and finally adjusted by the limit nuts on both sides.


4. Inspection and adjustment of brake stroke (brake feel) There is no fixed reference standard for the adjustment of the brake lever. It depends on the braking habits and palm size of each person. The two fine adjustment knobs on the brake lever can be used to adjust the distance from the brake lever to the handlebar and the brake stroke to achieve the most comfortable and comfortable state.


Pay special attention to the brake cable. If you remove the cap, readjust it and see the condition of the end of the thread. The brake wire is made up of many thin iron wires. If the end of the wire is loose, be careful to tie your hands or tires, especially if you want to cut the line, you must use a trash can. Otherwise, it will be difficult to clean up when scattered on the ground.


 Disc brake 

Disc brakes do not require complex cleaning and maintenance after installation and commissioning (you also need good hands-on ability to maintain them yourself). Do not wash the disc frequently. Remember that the disc brake is very susceptible to oil pollution. Even a little grease on your fingers will affect the braking performance. Therefore, it is best not to touch the disc, and prevent oily things from splashing on the disc. The rest of the more complicated and professional steps are left to the car shop 

Now, you can start to do a big cleaning for the caliper, and then adjust the brake feel to the most comfortable state you feel.