34. How to Adjust V-Brakes
Learn how to adjust the brake pads, cable tension and centering on v-brakes (linear pull).
Today we’ll learn how to adjust v-brakes, which are otherwise known as linear pull brakes. For this job you’ll need a 5mm allen key, a phillips(+) screwdriver, a strip of sandpaper, and an optional cable puller.
The first step is to set up your brake levers. Start by loosening the clamp, and then align them so that they match the angle of your arms when you’re riding. Once the angle is set, tighten the clamp. If you have smaller hands and your levers are hard to reach, you can set them closer by tightening the reach adjustment screw on most levers.
Start by giving the cable some slack. Tighten the lever’s barrel adjuster in all the way. Then pull the protective rubber back and disconnect the brake cable’s quick release mechanism.
Then remove the pads. V-brake pads have two sets of positioning washers on each side of the brake arm. Be careful to watch how the washers are positioned so that you can re-install them correctly.
Inspect your pads. If they are worn past the indicator line, or have metal poking through the surface, you’ll need to replace them. If they look ok, use your sandpaper to re-surface both pads.
Now check your brake arm tension. The brake arms should have good spring tension, which makes them release when you let go of the brake lever. If there isn’t much tension, you may have to increase it on both sides. Undo both bolts one at a time, but don’t remove them completely.
You’ll notice a small piece of metal poking out the backside of the brake. This is the spring, and it slides into one of three holes on your frame or fork. Most brakes work fine in the middle hole. To increase your brake tension, move the spring into the top hole. To decrease the brake tension, move the spring into the bottom hole. Then tighten the mounting bolt.
Now re-install the brake pads, with the washers in the same order as they were before. Align the brake pads so the pad face is flat against the rim. V-brake pads are different from traditional pads in that they don’t require any toe-in. Both the front and rear of the pad should contact the rim at the same time. Because of this, v-brakes will sometimes squeak when applied. If you’ve re-surfaced the pads and they are still noisy, you may have to try a higher quality set of pads.
Take a look from the side to make sure the pad is in line with the rim’s brake surface, and not touching the tire or hanging off the bottom of the rim.
With the pads installed, check the brake arm position. Both arms should be facing straight up and down when the pads are contacting the rim. If they are too wide apart, or two close together, you may have to re-arrange the pad washers.
One set of washers is usually thicker than the other. To correct brakes arms that are too far apart, make sure the smallest set of washers are closest to the pads. To correct brakes arms that are too close together, make sure the largest set of washers are closest to the pads.
Now re-connect the cable and adjust the cable tension on the brake arm by pulling the cable through the pinch bolt and tightening. You’ll have to play with this adjustment until your brakes feel good. I like to have mine set so that the pads hit the rim when my lever is pulled about 1/4 of the way.
Make sure both pads now have equal clearance, and are not rubbing against the rim. Both pads should contact the rim at the same time. If not, you can adjust the centering by tightening or loosening the side adjustment screw with your screwdriver.
I noticed I was missing a screw on one brake arm of my front v brakes, so I took off the screw on the arm that had one to find the dimensions of the screw. Then, after getting another screw, I can no longer screw either screw.
They just don't screw..
Maybe I'm missing something else?
I looked at the part where the spring adjustment screw screws into, and there's a little cavity that it runs along. Maybe a nut goes there or something?... Read more >>
i just bought a mid 90's Giant Yukon and its missing the 'yoke' i believe its called on both front and rear and i believe [based on looking at another giant bike i have] that it also needs some type of roller pulley piece for the rear brake to function properly. as it is now the brakes consist of just the calipers and worn out pads. the front has the cable connected to the lever on handlebar but it ends right where it would connect to the yoke and cable that connects to each side.
so it seems my front brakes could be fixed easily by getting a yoke and cable, but my question ... Read more >>
I have to change my plastic brake levers in this bike.[attachment=4514]
They are not good, brake cable keeps popping out randomly which is dangerous. I would like to get an alloy ones but don’t know what size/ type/model I need and what keyword to use to find them .They are many on ebay and I don’t know what are suitable for this dutch bike. I have low budget for these.Please help me.[attachment=4515][attachment=4516]... Read more >>
I have this bike.
It says the breaks are, Shimano Alivio M-System brakes
I'm trying to figure out which break pads to buy. This is just a road commuting bike.
I looked on Amazon, I have the free amazon prime month, but there are hundreds of different break pads of different sizes.
Measuring the current pads with a ruler, they are 70mm long. And the breaks are caliper in design.... Read more >>
I was trying to put in a new brake wire on a mountain bike Next Px 4.0 24".
Unfortunately I disassembled the brake lever (though it was not required to obviously).
Anyways now that I try to reassemble it, the brake lever spring mechanism is not working. The brake lever is of 'Sun run' brand (Chinese company).
Since I dont have a lot of time on my hand, I am thinking about getting a new brake lever. How do I know if it would fit on the bike's metal handle ?
I am looking to buy a cheap brake lever ? Any suggestions ?
<... Read more >>
I have a 1996 Roadmaster USA Men's MT Zone 15 Speed bike that uses Vanguard center cantilever brakes and I cannot figure out how to adjust the brake pads. When I ride it there is a point where the wheel rubs on the right pad. I also have a stem problem. There seems to be play in the front. I have noticed a gradual resistance building when I try to turn while riding. But that may be for a different forum.... Read more >>
Hello to you all, I'm new here Found my bike with a flat front tyre so turned it upside down, released the wheel and sorted it. Put the wheel back afterwards, turned bike right way up and hopped on it to test all was ok. Straight away noticed squeaking from front disc area - (it has a Shimano hydraulic brake) and when I pulled the brake lever, it went all the way to the handlebar, with the brake itself barely operating. I had a look and the pads and they app... Read more >>
Hi. I have a downhill front suspension bike (Norko Manic 2006), and I just dusted it off after some time in storage; now it might have had this problem before and I was just used to it, but I have been riding a commuter bike for 3 years now and so forget how brakes for downhill are supposed to be.
In the following question, I will mention "easing into the brake", again I am no longer used to hydraulic disk brakes so maybe this is just me not being used to it; but I know on my mech disk brakes i can partially apply the brakes; can I do this on hydraulics?
Currently the... Read more >>
Mountain bike with disk brakes.
When riding, there is a LOT of noise coming from the rear disk brake WITHOUT using the brake. the noise happens during the ride, using the brake, or partially using it, helps for a bit, but the noise gradually becomes worse.
The squeaking isn't produced when i'm not on the bike, and is sometimes lessened when accelerating or going over bumps.
I have no clue as i am very new to the entire disk brake concept however here are some things that i find strange:
-the rotor(?) seems to touch the brake pads(?)
-when bra... Read more >>
Some of you have already read me whining about my old road bike that I now use for light trails and stuff. I have the following problem:
- old Mafac Competition brakes
- soldered on studs for the brakes (so: no new brakes possible)
- new levers seem to have a different mechanical advantage than the old ones (new: pulls 14mm of cable, old: about (20 +/-2) mm of cable, hard to measure when not installed)
The old brakes just do not seem to work with the new levers (and if I measured correctly, they cannot). Any ideas? I just received a pair of adapters (to use V-brakes wit... Read more >>
The right side of my mtb brake handle doesn't return when pressed, does anyone know what could be the problem?... Read more >>
Hi, some quick background info;
I have 2007 giant with the basic mechanical disc brakes installed, and recently discovered that the skirt protecting the spring inside the brake mechanism had become dislodged, allowing dirt to coat the spring and making the brake unusable. After taking the whole thing apart and cleaning it thoroughly, I was unable to reassemble the mechanism. It seems fairly strait forward, the only parts are the spring, the rubber skirt, the mount and a bolt. My only problem is that after 3 hours of the messing around, I am still unable to assemble the mechanism. Is the... Read more >>
I recently bought a Giant Seek with avid elixir 1 brakes.
I love the bike, but in the last few days the rear brake seizes.
The problem seems to be heat related. When left in the sun, (85°±) the brake won't turn. Overnight in the garage and everything's fine.
Anybody have a clue?
Stuart... Read more >>
I recently purchased a 1986 Univega road bike. I'll preface this by saying I'm new to biking and don't know much. I took the front wheel off of the bike to load it into my car and when I put the wheel back on I noticed there seems to no longer be any tension in the brakes when I pull them. I'm sure this is a pretty easy fix and I'm overlooking something simple but I'd appreciate any help solving this problem. Thanks!... Read more >>
[attachment=4286][attachment=4286]First off, 2009 Specialized Tri-cross sport. I did buy used and not sure if the brakes on the front or rear were replaced since they look different.
Here is the situation: I was commuting to work and when taking off after a stop light, I noticed it was hard to pedal and heard a noise and realized my rear brake was really rubbing. I took a long look and finally realized the spring that returns the brake broke.
I stopped at the bike coop yesterday and found a few springs that look like they could do the trick to fix it.