44. How to Adjust your Child’s 1st Hand Brake
Adjust the brake lever reach and spring tension to work for small hands.
In this tutorial we'll learn how to set up your child's first hand brake. Often the excitement of getting a new bike with a hand brake quickly turns to disappointment when your child tries to use it, only to find the lever is too far from the handlebar and hard to pull. On most children's bikes this is easy to fix.
For this job you'll most often need a 10mm wrench to adjust the brake cable bolt, and a small metric allen key or phillips (+) screwdriver for the lever's reach adjustment. When adjusting cables it also makes things a lot easier if you have a 4th hand cable puller. We'll assume your brake pivot and pads are already adjusted as explained in the sidepull caliper tutorial. Search the site for "How to Adjust Sidepull Caliper Brakes" to learn more about this style of brakes.
First you'll need to loosen off your brake cable bolt. You don't need to remove it completely. This will allow you to adjust the brake lever’s reach. On the lever you should see a screw or bolt on the inside close to the handlebar. This is the reach adjustment screw. As you turn this screw you'll notice the lever move closer to the handlebar grip. Turn it just enough so you child can easily reach the lever, but not too far, as it still needs to be able to move enough to pull the brake.
Now re-adjust and tighten your brake cable. This is where the 4th hand tool comes in handy, as it will grip and pull the cable for you while you tighten the bolt.
Once the reach is set up and the brakes are working, your child may find the lever is close enough but hard to pull. This is caused by high spring tension on the back of the brake caliper. To relieve some of this tension, you can push the spring in toward the wheel on both sides. I use an old screwdriver that I've ground down to a have a concave end just for this purpose, so it doesn’t slip and gouge my knuckles. Push just enough so it gives a tiny bit. You don't want to push the springs too much as they still need some tension to pull the brakes back outward.
For a while my rear brake has been ineffective. I originally thought it was contaminated either the pads or the discs.
Basically the lever has the be pulled all the way back to the bars to make anything work. But at the start of a ride they squeal a lot. Usually by the end of a long downhill if I have had the brake on all the way down it will start working effectively but then when I start my next ride its back to being ineffective and squeals.
I have replaced pads, rotors and bled the system twice. I have even cleaned both the pads and discs with brake cleaner and sa... Read more >>
When I pedal, there's no noise, when I brake there's no noise, but when I stop pedaling, there's this noise:
I opened up the back hub and sprayed it with WD-40 and it already had a bunch of grease on it too.... Read more >>
Is there a simple way to fix this, or will I have to get new parts?
... Read more >>
when I was biking today, I stopped for a break, when I started up again, I didn't realize that my lock was caught on my back break cable. The brake is now really loose and won't engage. The cable still appeared to be attached in the same place, but is really loose. I tried tightening it by pulling more of the cable through, but this pulls through a few inches of cable and, when I turn the wheel, the rest of the brake cable becomes too taught and causes the brakes to engage. Any ideas?... Read more >>
I need advice on a maintenance issue.
Ok, I am not a novice rider, but not a hard core rider either. Normally I have had someone nearby that could or would help with minor maintenance over the years, so I know nothing.
The bike is essentially new. Due to military obligations it was ridden a couple of times after purchase and then packed, stored, shipped, stored again and then packed and shipped again (purchased in '11). I am now in Saudi Arabia and want to ride it around the compound to and from work/store.
I had the tubes replaced since the ones... Read more >>
Just bought a 2nd hand bike and was told it needed new brake pads but am unsure what ones I need
... Read more >>
I am attempting to replace the brakes on my bicycle, and I have a set of side-pull caliper brakes. When I took them apart, they worked just fine. But putting them back together, I cannot get them to function properly...the arms are both pulling up, and pulling the entire brake assembly to one side, instead of squeezing together as they should. What in the world is going on? I put it back together exactly the same way as I took it apart...it doesn't make sense!... Read more >>
OK.. I been trying to fix up a bike we got but we have to replace the brakes, and shifters and front and back derailers.
Question is.. The front brake is disc back is v-brake. Can I use basic brake levers for both? Its will be a mechanical disc brake on front.
... Read more >>
My daughter has trouble activating hand brakes on her bike. She has small hands and she can hardly reach the handles, and the handles are too hard to pull. I saw the post on the adjustment but I was wondering if instead it would be possible to replace these terrible brakes with something better? I went to a store today and they told me that nothing better would fit the bike because it is a "price point bike". Well, I know it is a cheap bike but I have hard time believing that nothing can be done.
Th... Read more >>
I am having trouble adjusting some cross top / interrupter brakes on my cross bike. The brakes are Avid BB 7's. The trouble I am having is when the cross top lever is tensioned how I like it the main lever is soft. When I tighten the main lever to how I like it the cross top is way to tight. Is this due to different pull ratios of the lever styles or am I missing something? Ideally I would have both levers at even tension. Any suggestions appreciated!
Thanks... Read more >>
so I ordered a set of m615 brakes, I think, and i'm gonna go 180m on the front. I think I need an adapter but don't know which. anybody help out there? pictures are nice. thanks.... Read more >>
Today I replaced a shimano hangar and straddle wire brake assembly cable and sheath and was successful. What I would like to see now is a video on adjusting these type of brakes, my favorite brakes btw, to see if I missed any short cuts. I googled for a video but couldn't find one. Anyone have URL for a video on this repair?... Read more >>
H i wonder if someone could help me find out what this noise from my back brake is
a bubble type water liquid sound only under hard breaking its quite annoying front brake is fine
here is the same sound on youtube from someone else but no answer to the problem my brakes are
Tektro Gemi i no they are entry level should not make this sound any help thanks
youtube brake noise clip link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F8Ugg-i4-s... Read more >>
I am converting a MTB with 26" wheels to 700c. I live in the UK and do not go off road, but would like a bike to ride on canal tow paths (some of which can be a "little rough". All is OK, have swooped out the front forks to a rigid type (with the correct bosses for mounting a V brake onto a 700c wheel) - but....i would prefer too fit V brakes on the rear, and the bosses are in the wrong place. I know that Mavic used to do a converter, but cannot find one anywhere. Has anyone else done this? and what did you do?
Many thanks in advance.
Kevan... Read more >>
I'm trying to get an old Cannondale M500 mtb back rolling again. I'm missing the post that screws into the fork on each side and the back seat stay post too, so I can install some v-brakes. I'm not sure what the true name for these post are or where to find them. Anybody know... ??
Thanks... Read more >>