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

01/28 26" to 700C conversion.

Hi,

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 >>

01/27 V-Brake posts?

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... ??
See pics...
Thanks... Read more >>

01/27 Difference between disc brake pads?

Hi guys

I understand there are 2 types of disc brake pads either sintered (metallic) or resin (organic). I just bought some disc brake pads. How do I tell which type it is when im looking at it?

Thank you... Read more >>

01/21 Replacing Tektros recessed nut with nutted

Anyone know the link that's out there for replacing the recessed nut studs on tektros top end sidepull brakes (I did it on the quartz) using tektros lower end sidepull nutted studs. Believe it was a YouTube vid.
Have a friend who wants to do something similar and the link to the video would be far easier than trying to word by word the conversion.... Read more >>

01/20 How to tighten brakes?

My 90's road bike is working but the brake to the right is loose a little bit (from the brake sleeve or what ever that's called) it's still braking but the cable is trying to come out. How do I fix that?... Read more >>

01/01 Another question from the uneducated.

Hey guys.
Simple one for you. I have an Azzurri Tigre which has the gear changers intergrated into the brake levers.

What is this system referred as?

Thanks in advance for the education.
Daniel BACH... Read more >>

12/30 Converting from vbrakes to disc brakes on a 2005 21 speed vertical pk7

hey im having a difficult trying to figure two thing out one is my mountain bike able to have disc brakes and two is it a good idea to switch to disc brakes from vbrakes any help please and im trying to get my two mountain bikes ready for the summer time in georgia so please any words of advise or great tips or suggestions will be glady taken because im at a major confusion im bout to go crazy trying to figure this out... Read more >>

12/20 At Brake Lever on Handlebars... Adjuster

On Wife's ~1970 Gitane Grand Sport Mixte, with Mafac Racer Brakes, at the handlebar brake lever (Safety Brake levers, by the way).....

At the point where the brake cable enters the brake lever, is a cream colored plastic nipple that mates the cable shield to the brake lever assembly.. Not adjustable, just an interface from cable shield to brake assembly.....
The brake assembly does not contain plastic covers, just aluminum metal.

One cracked earlier this year, and I bought two loose pieces that look like this type:

Read more >>

11/27 Tacx brake shoe alignment tool ??

Did a search and didn't see any info on it... have any of you guys ever tried this tool ?
I like the tool... it even sets the proper toe in and adjustment. The only thing I find troubling about it, is the lip on the top of the tool keeps the pads from going high enough on the outside edge of the rim. The pads run closer to the inside edge near the spokes(see pic)(Is this the proper position for the shoes or should it be higher ?) Other than that, it seems to be a great tool.
What do you guys think about it ??... Read more >>

11/21 Crooked Piston in Shimano R-R505 Disc Brakes

My original set of rear pads prematurely expired due to crooked wear on the outside pad. Upon closer inspection I see the piston extends at an angle, or crooked. This is not how the front brake extends (same model). Anyone know if opening the caliper to address this is possible? Thanks... Read more >>

11/16 Mafac Racer Brake Date Codes?

Gitane Mixte circa 1970 or so.. Trying to find date-codes..

Did they have any?... Read more >>

11/16 No name disc brakes(knockoff's)

Hey guys,
Picked up some strong mtb(36h,dw) disc and rim brake compatible wheels for a great price. Was looking to convert my mtb from v-brake to disc(frame and fork have the mounts for disc brakes).
Been looking at some mechanical knockoff Avid BB5, BB7 disc brake kits that come with what is in the pic.
Anyone know anything about these? Will they work?
From what I can tell, they are just like the brand name stuff, just don't have the brand name branded on them.
Have not had any experience with disc brakes and I'm looking to try some out. If there is a better br... Read more >>

11/11 Different brake pads for different rims?

Hey Guys,
Bought some new wheels(36h, DW) for the MTB to replace the old beat up original wheels(32h) that my MTB came with. The original wheels had the machined V-brake rim surface for the brake shoes to rub on. The new set has a painted brake rim surface and the brake pads are leaving black marks on the rims. They also are making a lot of noise when braking(shoes have been toe'd in too).
Should I be using a different type brake shoe with the painted rims??
Thanks... Read more >>

11/09 New guy needs a hand

Hello, I bought a bike the other day simply for getting from a to b. It was second hand with a back flat, no biggie. However the back breaks, when I pulled them they don't seem to spring back out for the wheel to turn, so I was fiddling about with it and made it a little better but then I noticed the break cable by the handle bars have come out of its mount, the wire is still in the lever but there is no tension.
Could someone help me with this? Tried looking on the Internet but can't see any clear videos or information about fixing it. thank you!... Read more >>

11/04 Newbie rider needs front caliper

where can I get the best price and decent equipment for an XR200 front disc brake???All that is there is an old stretched cable and the disc. I am a golf course rider....... Read more >>

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

Free Email Updates: