44. How to Adjust your Child’s 1st Hand Brake

Adjust the brake lever reach and spring tension to work for small hands.

IMPORTANT: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.
How to Adjust your Child’s 1st Hand Brake
DVD Vol. 2 DVD Volume 2
This video is available on DVD

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.

Tools

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.

Lever Adjustment

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.

Reach Adjustment

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.

Tags

Discuss this topic in the Brake Forums

09/09 Front Brake Line Coming out of its Mount

Hey,

Having a problem with my front break line, whenever the I steer the handlebars right too much, the brake line comes out of the mount at the front of the frame. The tension of the wire is not tight enough and i've tried pulling it through more at the brake end to no avail. I don't feel i'm experienced enough with bikes to know what to do and so thought I would ask for some advice on here. If I'm not being specific enough or you need more info. to help me please let me know.

Thanks.... Read more >>

09/03 Newb needs brake help

[attachment=5336][attachment=5335]

I do lots of home and car repair but never done anything on bikes besides basic cleaning. Found a couple of stolen and abandoned bikes no one has claimed and would like to fix them up to give to kids in need.

This bike had super worn and uneven pads so I replaced them. The rear brake feels loose/little resistance when you pull the handle, although it closes. It doesn't open evenly. As you look at in the pic, the L side stays closed and the R opens a little. Of course the pads I replaced were way super worn on the L a... Read more >>

08/28 Disc brake pads catching disc after fork change

Hello all.
I replaced the forks on my Trek 4300 for some First Air forks just a couple of days ago. I did the same with my trek 4500 a couple of months ago with no issues.
This time I cannot seem adjust the wheel or the actual disc brake unit correctly. No matter how many times I have tried, the pads still rub ( only lightly but annoying) on the disc. When I am free wheeling there is no noise but when I move the steering erratically, it is much worse. any ideas why this may be? Are the wheel bearing on their way out?
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Matt... Read more >>

08/27 In the grand scheme of things

Hi,

So today I bought all the necessary equipment to do a 700c conversion on my Falcon Majorca. Unfortunately the Shimano 105 brake calipers that are on the bike aren't long enough so they are to be replaced with a set of Tektro long reach calipers. I really like the 105's. They are responsive and stop the bike well and I'll be sorry to seenthem go......but do they have to?

I have another bike, a 2013 Carrera Vanquish that currently sports Tektro short reach calipers. I guess my question is this; in the grand scheme of things is it worthwhile swapping the 105's onto t... Read more >>

08/23 How not to clean brake pads

I decided to clean my front disk brake pads by heating them. Instead of sticking them in the oven, I took the medieval approach and threw them into a pile of glowing charcoal. Apparently not a good idea, it took just a few minutes to completely turnoff the pads leaving the bare metal plates.

LOL.. off to my LBS to get replacements.... Read more >>

08/18 Help With Brakes Please

I have loosened 2 screws on the front brake calliper and since then the front brake no longer works, could someone help me please.... Read more >>

08/17 Suggestions on fixing / changing this rear brake [pics included]

Hi,

I was given this MTB which has the right support for the rear brakes broken on the frame.

Here is the bike seen from the left side
[attachment=5300]

And here is the details on the "pins" coming out of the frame in the rear, where the rear brakes were mounted (I didn't disassemble them myself, was already like this).

[attachment=5298]

[attachment=5299]

I'm not sure what I can / should do here. I guess to put the same brakes back on, the loose/broken part would need to be re-soldered onto the f... Read more >>

07/29 Bmx back brakes not springing/working

So i have pad brakes and on the back 1 works and one doesn't, the one that doesn't work, when places in position it is automatically pulled towards the wheel causing the pad to rub the wheel as soon as i tighten it, I've tried taking it off an repositioning it, doing my cables looser and tighter an changing it round for one of my old front brake holders but it just does not stay off the wheel.
Please help... Read more >>

07/14 Schwinn Breeze with Bendix brake question

I bought a Schwinn Deluxe Breeze and tried it out, back pedaled and bike braked quickly (maybe a 1/4 rotation) and firmly. Took it for a ride later and about 3 times I pedaled back 3-4 complete rotations and a time or 2 it never did brake.

When walking up a steep hill I noticed the pedals turning with the chain. A bit later pedals remained stationery when walking it.

This is what I've found when researching: 1960-65. There is a serial #
It has a Bendix automatic red band brake - no kickback
I read the arm has to be in proper place with the cone to work ... Read more >>

06/16 Beware length of brake center bolt

Been discussing this on a different post, but with what has happened I thought I would just make anyone interested aware of a problem. I bought a new carbon fiber road frame and a new 105 groupo. I now find that, due to the chunky nature of the new carbon frames, the standard front brake centerbolt is about 1 1/4" short of making it through the bridge and the rear is about 3/4" short for the rear bridge. With the frame construction, finding longer nuts is not an option.
Does anyone know where I can find a 3 3/8" long (total length)bolt for a shimano brake? I will be calling Shimano t... Read more >>

06/14 Brake Noise Standing Still Magura Julie BAT

Hi all,

I have a bit of a noise coming from the rear brake, it makes no noise whatsoever when moving it's only at a stand still when you hold the rear brake on tight and put some tension on to the pedal or if you try to push the bike forwards.

I have had everything apart and cleaned it all, the rotor has been off the wheel and cleaned and refitted everything, made sure there are no loose items.

I do not remember this happening on old alu kona frame, I have a carbon cube frame now.

My next move was going to fit some washers between the callipe... Read more >>

06/12 Hydraulic brakes leak

Hello,
I would like to ask for some help from you.

Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic. Used for 1000 km.
Problem: It started to leak. It seems that it is leaking from the "Pushroad to Brake padal/lever" (view image: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Hydraulic_disc_brake_diagram.gif). I do not know the terms but the metal "cable" that connects the reservoir and the lever and the lever itself is oily.
Brakes lost the power.
Read more >>

06/10 105 sti

Building up my new bike and in preparation (waiting on frame) I have installed my 105 5700 STI levers onto the bars. However, they look funky, looking from the front, the change levers stick outwards a lot, do they 'pull in' when the cables ar hooked up, or is their normal 'rest' position ? The body of the changer is not too far up the bar and the body sticks straight out.... Read more >>

04/25 Coaster Brake Ceases Up on New Bike

I bought a brand new Specialized Hotrock 12 Coaster bike yesterday only to discover that the coaster brake ceases up after being applied when I got home. The crankshaft freezes up and will randomly unlock when fiddled with. I hope that makes sense.

Since the bike shop is so far away, I was wondering if anyone could give me a quick fix for this kind of issue before I pay a local bike shop to fix my brand new bike. I would really appreciate it.

Thanks!... Read more >>

04/20 How to fix old dual lever brakes- plastic spacer broken

Hi there!
I have an old 1980s peugeot road bike with dual lever "suicide brakes".

The little plastic piece that is a spacer between the screw and the suicide lever is cracked, but I can't figure out what it is called to find a new one.

It looks like a washer, but it actually is not, it is a cylinder that slides in with a washer thing on top... think of like a top hat but with a hollow center column.

Do you know what these are called and where I could find a replacement one?

I like my suicide brakes and would like to keep them but i need... Read more >>

New Thread
How to Adjust your Child’s 1st Hand Brake
Repair Guide / Help Forums

Free Email Updates: