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
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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.

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Discuss this topic in the Brake Forums

04/16 Disk brake

I have just became the owner of a 29" Genesis 2 Twenty N9NE Men's Mountain Bike that had some problems. I have repaired everything but the front disk brake that drags against the outside of the caliper housing and when I pull the hand leaver the arm on the caliper does not return, I have to push it back down. Help... Read more >>

03/19 I disassembled my dual pivot side-pull and can't put it back together!

Any help much appreciated! I disassembled my Shimano Sora BR-3400 dual pivot side pull rear caliper.

For some reason, the bolt that runs through the whole caliper in the centre gets thicker and will only allow the middle bit of the caliper to go onto it. See pictures.

[attachment=4957]

[attachment=4958]

[attachment=4959]

Any suggestions?... Read more >>

03/16 Fixing coaster brakes

Hi All - Trying to fix the coaster brakes on the bike my daughter outgrew so we can give it to the younger daughter of a family friend. However, the coaster brake is no longer working and I obviously don't want to give away something that is useless or unsafe. I'm not handy but decided to give it a try. The problem is that the brakes just would not engage at least not without turning the pedals backwards maybe 1-2 full revolutions. It really occurred after I took the wheel off to put on a new tube/tire. It's been useless ever since that event.

I started with these sites:
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02/19 Brake pads rubbing

I'm not sure why but the pads on my front v-brake continuously rub against the rim, I've replaced the pads, re-installed a new brake cable, screwed the adjuster screws as far in as they can go, cleaned the calipers and re-greased them. I've even installed new v-brake levers but when I press the brake one of the pads does not retract fully and stays up-tight against the wheel while the other pad retracts a little better.

My wheel wobbles a little bit when I turn the bike upside and spin it freely but it isn't buckled, perhaps it needs truing but I'm not entirely sure. Not sure if ... Read more >>

01/21 Question about brakes

hello, some of you may remember me, i posted a while back about my gears on the forum relevant to that. ive had some problems with my brakes, though, and finally decided to do something about it.

for those who dont remember, ive got an old fuji road bike refitted with hybrid tires.

for a long time, ive felt that my brakes are not all that effective. i mentioned this once when having a repair done, and he told me that theyre not really 'brakes' theyre just to slow you down. (as opposed to stopping you.)

so the first question is, what exactly did he m... Read more >>

01/06 V Brake tension problem

Hi,
I've just joined the forum and am hoping someone can give me some advice and save the remaining hair I have from being pulled out.
I have an old Raleigh mountain bike that I have given to my son, but before I did I attempted to upgrade it a little.
I have fitted new brake levers, cables and V brakes (All Clarks brand), yet I cannot get any tension in the rear brake. I have fitted the v brake and used the location hole (choice of 3) that gives the most springiness, but no joy.
I set it all up and pull the lever, but the lever will not return to its original position ... Read more >>

12/09 Artek brake levers

Trying to find any info how to put backtogether my artek brake lever. it was on my schwinn beach cruiser and had to fix my front brake, took apart the lever off of the brake and now cant find any info how to get it back together?? should be simple but this guy here cant seem to figure it all the wasy out. there is a metal like wire spring looking thing and have no idea where it was inside, someone please help... Read more >>

12/06 Hello guys,new here.need help

Hello guys,my nickname is sky,I'm from malaysia and I need your help.

I recently touched my rear bicycle brakes which lead to the cable come out from the rear brakes.dont really know a lot of bicycle so hope you guys could help me Smile.thanks.i got give you the pictures in the link below.

http://imageshack.us/f/577/jpjr.jpg/

Read more >>

12/02 V-brake spring adjustment issue

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 >>

11/04 Cantilever Brakes - Missing Parts

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 >>

10/03 What brake levers to buy for dutch bike to replace plastic ones

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 >>

09/26 What Brake Pad Should I Buy?

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 >>

09/24 Brake lever spring

Hello,

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 >>

09/13 Adjusting brakes and pads

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 >>

09/11 Yikes! What have I done to my front hydraulic brake?

Hello to you all, I'm new here Smile 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 >>

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