Monday, 11 February 2008
Adjusting bicycle cable-fed disc brakes...
One of the first things that needs doing with a new bike - especially one that's not very expensive - is to set up the gears and brakes. I'd played with derailleurs before, so that wasn't too tough (although the cable for the front gear was a little slack, so it simply refused to go into top gear when I first had a go!)
Since this bicycle has disc brakes - both sets of which were rubbing rather noisily on my first run round the block (with a merry "Zing! Zing! Zing!") - I had to turn to the good ol' internet to find out how to adjust them. There are quite a few comprehensive guides to bicycle maintenance, but I thought I'd add a quick entry to the melée, not least to remind me.
Now I know how it works, it's quite simple to adjust IS mounted disc brakes:
Essentially, the two hex-socket bolts are where the braking system is mounted to the frame. These should be tight, and don't adjust.
The upper (green) adjuster, when twisted, changes the angle of the brake system to the central disc. To set this, move to a position where you can see the path of the disc past the brakes, and turn the adjuster one way or the other until the fixed brake-pad is parallel (and hopefully clear!) of the disc.
The lower (red) adjuster, when twisted, (seems to) change/s the distance of the moving part of the brake from the disc. It's almost like a 'centring' adjuster. Fine tune the adjustment of this, while spinning the wheel, until you can hear minimal - or hopefully no - contact between the brake and the disc.
It seemed to work for me, anyway.. it's much quieter, and - of course - this means I'm using less energy. For some reason, I'm still arriving home exhausted, even after a two mile thrash, but I can't blame the brakes any more!
Posted by james at February 11, 2008 10:12 PM
Blimey disc brakes on a push bike. I'm afraid I still covet an electrically assisted bike for those annoying inclines. I keep cycling but I can't say I'm any fitter just always a terrifying white van man away from the next world.
Posted by: Emalyse at February 15, 2008 12:38 PM
Thanks james, that advice was useful as I took some time trawling the net to find what i was looking for.
Posted by: billy at May 2, 2008 1:42 AM
thanks james, i couldn't find any useful info on adjusting disc brakes till i saw your article.
Posted by: Anonymous at May 11, 2008 1:44 AM
me too i was surfing on the net desperately to find more on these disc brakes..
now i 've found what i was looking for.
Posted by: evan at July 27, 2008 4:59 PM
Thanks James, was really having trouble & cursing Halfords - the brakes were sticking. It turned out they were OK, just very badly adjusted.
Posted by: Kevin at July 30, 2008 12:15 AM
Exactly what i was looking for!
Posted by: Panagiotis at December 1, 2008 2:04 PM
exactly what i was looking for
Posted by: harry at January 15, 2009 4:12 PM
what I was lookin for, thanks
I'll try it before cycling home, and maybe I'll stop cursing halfords....
Posted by: GIan at March 9, 2010 1:43 PM
Just what I was looking for, got my first bike with disc brakes this weekend and couldn't work out how to ajust the brakes !
Posted by: Scott at March 22, 2011 11:45 AM