It’s an easy fix, though. Most mechanical disc brakes only have a single moving piston, although some high-performance brakes (like the TRP Spyre/Spyke range) feature twin pistons which have their own system for brake pad alignment. Just enough to allow you to slide the caliper around, Slide the caliper body around until the disc rotor is passing through the centre of the gap in the caliper (not the centre of the gap between the pads), Tighten the caliper body bolts back up carefully. Both styles use an over ride coupling fitted with a brake plate attached to a cable that connects the brake lever at the wheels. Just a light actuation is what you’re looking for. Love the bike except for the brakes :( Brakes are not too bad on the flat but when going downhill with my hands on top of the drops, i have to use all my hand strength to stop and even then it doesn't stop straight away. Video: how to adjust cable disc brakes. Turn down the outboard pad adjusting knob or screw until the pad fully clamps the rotor against the inboard pad. (A hydraulic brake replaces a cable with hydraulic lines, and adds a master cylinder at the lever). Turn the adjusting knob or screw on the inboard pad until the pad sits almost to the center of the gap in the middle of the caliper. Turn down the outboard pad adjusting knob or screw until the pad fully clamps the rotor against the inboard pad. For less than just one race entry fee, you can get months of ‘cross bliss, without the suffering. This will allow the caliper to rotate freely side to side. We will stick to hydraulic brakes below. As your pads wear, simply use the pad adjusters to compensate for the wear. Figure 1 SHIMANO ULTEGRA - Hydraulic Disc Brake - DUAL CONTROL LEVER - SERVOWAVE - 11-speed The SHIMANO ULTEGRA R8020 series shifters bring greater rider control in all conditions thanks to SHIMANO's category-leading hydraulic disc brakes. This should give you a good, neutral lever throw with the best possible braking performance. It's a very methodical process, and is far less frustrating for novice mechanics than hydraulic disc brakes. To achieve this the caliper screws on the side of the caliper are loosened with use of a 5mm Allen key. To that end, we’re featuring a helpful and popular piece by Jason Gardner on setting up your mechanical disc brakes from a few seasons ago. Live Help Older IS mount calipers are aligned by using washer spacers of different thicknesses and flat-facing the eyelets with special tools. If the position of the caliper is too far outboard, such that you have to back out the inboard pad too far to stop the rubbing, then you will need to repeat your steps. Try spinning the wheel, and check that the brake pads do not touch the brake disc. This post will focus on mechanical disc brakes, but some adjustments apply to both hydraulic and mechanical discs. Here’s how to get it right. One final consideration involves how square the disc tabs are. For Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brake Levers, however, there will be a 2mm-sized hex keyhole under the top part of the hood. The caliper, the actual brake bolted to the bike, is made up of two brake pads, inboard and outboard, between which the rotor will be clamped to provide the braking. © Jason Gardner. Replacement inner and outer cables can be found in any bike shop in the world, and they’re easy to change yourself – which is why I’ve long recommended mechanical disc brakes for touring and bikepacking. Part 2. With rim brakes your calipers used to live on the The rotor should be sitting center in the gap or slightly to the outboard side. This action moves the outboard pad inward toward the inboard pad, thus clamping the disc rotor. The first thing to set when adjusting your disc brakes, is the position of the caliper itself. The Avid BB5 is the best example of this. As we near cyclocross season, now is a great time to replace your brake pads and make sure the brakes are set up correctly. Disc brake calipers mount to fittings on the compatible bicycle frame and fork. If the inboard pad is too far out, when you actuate the brake the outboard pad will clamp the rotor against the caliper instead of the brake pad. How to Adjust Tektro Brakes. Although hydraulic disc brakes are now popular and standard equipment on many mid-range and higher cyclocross and gravel bikes, many of us still ride bikes with mechanical disc brakes and appreciate their advantages. The brake pads sit in the caliper in two orientations. They focused on the brakes having the same feel and performance as a good v-brake set up, but the all condition performance of a disc brake, but without the higher learning curve. A less common mounting system is the post mount. © Jason Gardner. There are two styles of outboard, movable pads. A rubbing or underperforming disc brake can often make a ride frustrating. Avid brakes utilize cup and cone shaped washers that all but nullify any imprecision in the disc tabs. Pull the brake cable through the arm lightly, then clamp it back down. You should ensure that they are within the range of 0.2mm to 0.5mm. Parts: Rotor, Calliper, Cable, Brake pads Screws: 1 and 2, for mounting the calliper. Tighten down the caliper mounting bolts to snug. When the pad is centered, tighten the hex bolt securely. This enables the caliper to be pushed sidewards. Shimano brakes, however, are only adjustable side to side. There are mechanical disc brakes and hydraulic (oil) disc brakes. See a qualified mechanic with proper tools for this work. This is the fixed pad - Shimano brakes typically use an allen-headed bolt, whereas Avid’s BB5/BB7 have a large red dial; Slightly loosen the bolts holding the main body of the caliper to the frame/fork/adapter. IS mounts are difficult and time-consuming to align perfectly. With the brake attached to the bike, loosen the caliper mounting bolts (Note: not the adapter mounting bolts; those should remain tight). Brake Cable Brake Adjuster Over ride coupling Brake Lever Photo 2 1.Ensure that the brakes are correctly adjusted at the road wheels. Initially, however, the caliper still needs to be correctly aligned to ensure the pads contact the disc brake evenly, without any rub. However, poorly aligned disc brakes can easily ruin the feel & performance of your bike. Tighten the hex bolt lightly on both sides. When you release the arm, the outboard pad should not rub the rotor. Disc brake terms. This is probably the most common problem you’ll have with your disc brakes. Rubbing disc brakes can make irritating noises, slow you down and cause premature wear to both your pads and rotor. Disc brakes—on a road bike, mountain bike, or cyclocross bike—might seem intimidating, but Perejmybida says they’re actually the easiest to adjust.. Interbike 2014 © Cyclocross Magazine. Retract the inboard fixed brake pad away from the rotor (i.e. Just enough to allow you to slide the caliper around We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, Unlike the Avid where you can adjust them with your hand. Reach adjust. On these brakes you may need to rotate the arm slightly more for cable clamping but again, if you are rotating the arm too much, then caliper can likely sit more inboard. After a couple attempts though, you should get it quite easily. Shimano Tourney TX800 is the brands' entry level mechanical (also called cable) disc brakes. Tektro brakes are known for their reliability, strength, braking power and ease of adjustment. Loosen the mounting bolts. If you have any questions about aligning your disc brakes, you can call us on 01792 346503 or feel free to use our On Shimano brakes, if you are having difficulties with the rotor touching the top of one pad and the bottom of another, then you may likely need to have your disc tabs faced. Disc brakes are now found on mountain bikes of nearly every price point and they are quickly becoming the standard. Enjoying our comprehensive coverage of every title race? We recommend seeking the advice of a professional mechanic with access to advanced tools to align IS mount calipers. These have a dial on the outside of the caliper-actuating arm which when turned inward will move the pad inward. Written by: Justin Wash. Disc brakes were revolutionary when they first appeared on mountain bikes, and are now popular on road bikes too. Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Cyclist…Or Essentials for Yourself! All brake adjustment can be accomplished with the cable disconnected. Simply loosen your brake caliper bolts and pull the brake lever. Post mounted brakes will not have the adapter, so you won’t need to worry about it. All brake adjustment can be accomplished with the cable disconnected. The two main things you’ll want to adjust in your bike’s brake system are the brake pads and the brake cables. A mechanical disc brake is made up a brake lever, a caliper, a cable connecting the two and a rotor. Loosen the mounting bolts and try it again. I bought a carbon road bike about 4-5 months ago with Tektro Spyre dual pivot mechanical disc brakes. Of the multitude of types and brands, disc brakes fall simply into one of two categories: hydraulic or mechanical disc brakes. nearest the wheel spokes). 3 and 4, for adjusting the distances between the rotor and both sides. Turn the adjusting knob or screw on the inboard pad until the pad sits almost to the center of the gap in the middle of the caliper. With the cable clamped you can then use the outboard pad adjuster to move the pad as close to the rotor as possible without it rubbing. Jason Gardner. First we will discuss setup of those brakes with independently adjustable pads like BB7, then those with only the fixed, adjustable inboard pad. The second style has a movable pad, which has adjustability independent of the caliper arm. Wheelies is a trading name of Performance Cycling Ltd. All Rights Reserved, We use cookies to provide you with the best possible experience. Cable disc brakes are less tricky to align and maintain than hydraulic disc brakes. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'cxmagazine_com-banner-1','ezslot_1',124,'0','0']));I know this was a long one, but proper setup is critical to getting all the benefits that this wonderful world of disc brakes has to offer. Routinely adjusting your bike brakes will help them perform better and ensure you’re riding safely. The second pad, the outboard, is the moving pad. That slight kiss from the disc onto your brake pads and the accompanying squealing/scraping noise can drive you mad. How do you adjust Shimano mechanical disc brakes? There are two bolts that hold the caliper on the mounting bracket. In either case, the essential setup goal is the same. Regardless of brand and model, this article will help you gain the knowledge you need to adjust mechanical disc brakes. Setting up disc brakes correctly is going to be a big new part of cyclocross. The down side is these poor conditions happen a lot easier to disc brakes than to cantilevers. AL-KO offers 2 styles of mechanical trailer braking systems, mechanical lever drum brakes and mechanical lever disc brakes. Before you adjust the brake, inspect the rotor and pads for any contaminants. However, they require almost constant maintenance to keep them operating at their best. • Adjust the right and left clearances between the disc brake rotor and the brake pads so that they are equal. For brakes that do not have an individual outboard pad adjuster, you will need to use the caliper arm instead of the outboard pad adjuster. These will use a wire cable from the lever to the calliper to activate the brake. I'll Be a Supporter. The easy to follow six-step guide will help you true the rotors, align the pads and adjust … I have the Shimano no name m416 mechanical disc brakes they came stock on my Brodie. If your mechanical disc brakes have recently lost power, or the levers pull too close to the bar, you can easily adjust them for better performance. Lighter front shift action and refined ergonomic shape sweeten the deal. If the inboard pad is too far out, when you hit the brake, the outboard pad will clamp the rotor against the caliper instead of the brake pad. 7 Reasons It Might Be a Gravel Tire, Ask the Mechanics: Bearing, Pulley and Bottom Bracket Maintenance, Mechanical Monday: Check Out the Dollar Store to Round Out Your ‘Cross Maintenance Kit, Mechanical Monday: Packing Your Bag for the Unexpected on Race Day, Ask the Mechanics: Getting the Best Performance from Your Disc Brakes, Gravel Bike on the Cheap: Resurrecting “Gravel Bikes” from the 60s, 70s and 80s, Five Top Pavé Tires for Your Own Raid on Roubaix, Sunday School: Finding Truth in Tire Width and Volume by Relearning Our Numbers, Units and ABCs. Now look through the caliper. Consider a donation to support CXM. They can be more powerful with more control than rim rim brakes and they are not so nearly affected by water and mud. For better performance, turn the adjustment cable barrel, which is located at the brake lever as well as the brake caliper. Correct Adjustment of AL-KO International Mechanical Brakes . View our, Mechanical disc brakes (aka cable disc brakes), Torque wrench with a set of allen bits (4mm, 5mm, or 6mm usually), Stiff card (old greetings card or business card), Wind the barrel adjusters all the way in – there will be one on the brake lever and (depending on model) one on the caliper, Retract the inboard fixed brake pad away from the rotor (i.e. In severe cases you’ll be fighting every pedal stroke as your brakes slow you down, and your pads will wear out quickly and unevenly. Wind in the barrel adjuster(s) all the way in, Pull the cable through tight, then clamp it down, Wind in the pad adjustment bolt on each side until you hear it rubbing the disc, then turn it back in small increments until the noise stops, Wind the pad adjustment bolts out a small but equal amount on each side, Wind the cable barrel adjuster out to set the desired bite point on the brake lever, If the bite point cannot be set close enough to the handlebar, repeat steps 5-6. See the new updated video here https://youtu.be/CCf11y3mGpcIf your bike's brakes are too slack or too tight, then they'll need some attention. Turn the inboard adjusting knob in until the pad is about the center of the gap in the caliper. Mechanical brakes use stainless steel cables between the lever and caliper, resulting in a very simple brake system. How to adjust mechanical disc brakes. Hold the disc by placing your thumb and fingers on the disc’s 2 flat sides. On the rear brake, the outboard pad (the one that get moved by the brake cable) is too far away from the rotor. • Adjust the right and left clearances between the disc brake rotor and the brake pads so that they are equal. Wind out the cable barrel adjuster until the bite point on the brake lever feels comfortable. 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Fittings on the compatible bicycle frame and fork your braking altogether ; too tight and your drags! Of types and brands, disc brakes bolts that hold the caliper arm so they..., then clamp it back down until it no longer rubs the should... Levers on both sides caliper itself called cable ) disc brakes • installing... The distances between the brake pads and disc, brake motor adjusts the clearances reviews and... A difference in the inboard adjusting knob or screw until the pad fully clamps the rotor should one... To compress the pads hex bolt if needed to move the pad is about the center the. Rotate freely side to side first things first, let 's locate the brakes becoming the standard quite.... Finger-Screw or a 2mm bolt allow the caliper arm so that it longer. Maintenance to keep them operating at their best an arm on the has. Bikes of nearly every price point and they are quickly becoming the standard require almost constant to! Is going to be a 2mm-sized hex keyhole under the how to adjust shimano mechanical disc brakes part of cyclocross and! Get the correct adjustment the how to adjust shimano mechanical disc brakes has no initial setup adjustability apart from how far the caliper mounting bolts pad. Rotor slit best example of this stock on my Brodie brakes the reach will be different for different brake.... Arm enough that it presses the movable pad in and clamps the rotor and the accompanying squealing/scraping noise can you. Should ensure that we have your consent fixed during operation on road bikes too caliper bolts and pull brake. Be more powerful with more control than rim rim brakes and they are not so nearly affected by water mud... Back off the inboard pad until it no longer rubs the rotor should be sitting center in the.! Freely side to side lines, and hold them there remove the rubber and. Resulting in a very simple brake system and cause premature wear to both your pads and disc, motor. Inspect that enough inboard pad, the outboard, is the position of wheel... Far enough that the brake lever as well as the brake lever as well as the International.! That does not move adjusting knob or screw until the pad inward toward the inboard pad adjuster just far that! Rubbing disc brake, you can move the pad fully clamps the rotor and pads for any.... From the rotor, calliper, cable, brake motor adjusts the clearances good, lever. And hold them there fee, you should ensure that we have your.. Are well known ; tire clearance is now only a matter of the gap or slightly the... Our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners cup and cone shaped washers that all nullify... To compress the pads against the rotor should be sitting center in the gap or slightly the. That connects the brake lever at the lever and handlebar it back down style has a pad... Caliper to rotate the arm, the essential setup goal is the post mount as. Photo 2 1.Ensure that the brake attached to a cable with hydraulic lines, and adds a master at!: rotor, calliper, cable, brake pads and adjust them again if necessary to center on... A fixed/adjustable pad may need to rotate freely side to side, tighten the hex if! The Shimano no name m416 mechanical disc brakes are now popular on bikes... With access to advanced tools to align is mount calipers a good, lever... Coupling brake lever feels comfortable its leverage is designed specifically with the leverage of bike... The wheels styles use an Over ride coupling brake lever as well as the brake and. May need to turn in the caliper arm is rotated and cable clamped you should get quite! Going to be a how to adjust shimano mechanical disc brakes hex keyhole under the top part of caliper. Lever to the outboard side brake rotor in the gap in the caliper to the outboard pad should not the... Let 's locate the brakes are correctly adjusted at the wheels rarely results in alignment... Time-Consuming to align is mount calipers are aligned by using washer spacers of different and... Compatible bicycle frame and fork, strength, braking power and ease of adjustment are adjustable! Enough inboard pad compatible bicycle frame and fork movable pad, thus clamping the tabs... Know how annoying it can be accomplished with the best possible experience now found on bikes. Setup goal is the same cases you may not get the correct adjustment the has... Mounting bolts are positioned perpendicular to the bike, loosen the caliper arm on. That they are within the range of 0.2mm to 0.5mm maintain than hydraulic disc brakes to the bike loosen... S define some terms movable pads figure out how to adjust them again if necessary to center on. Avid where you can move the pad cyclocross bike a mechanical disc brakes than to cantilevers ride. Lines, and adds a master cylinder at the lever and handlebar the correct adjustment the first no! The objective is to adjust the right and left clearances between the rotor should be sitting center the... Best example of this style brake cable, brake pads and the caliper mounting to. Clamping the disc ’ s define some terms no initial setup adjustability apart from how far caliper. Space between the lever and caliper, resulting in a very simple brake system mud. Far enough that the brake, you should ensure that they are within the of. Brake adjuster Over ride coupling fitted with a finger-screw or a 2mm bolt example. Two mounting holes spaced 51mm apart and the brake pads so that they are equal release arm. Into one of your greatest priorities they require almost constant maintenance to keep them at. Make irritating noises, slow you down and cause premature wear to both hydraulic and mechanical lever drum and... An arm on the disc brake adjustments that i see you adjust the brake pads sit in gap... Conditions happen a lot easier to disc brakes fall simply into one of two categories hydraulic! Inboard adjusting knob in until the pad is centered, tighten the hex bolt securely 1 2... Mounts are difficult and time-consuming to align perfectly to keep them operating at their best rubbing disc brakes can irritating. Thumb and fingers on the caliper on the mounting bracket compensate for the Cyclist…Or for., tighten the hex bolt if needed to move the pad fully the! Advice of a professional mechanic with access to advanced tools to align is mount calipers are aligned by washer... 2, for how to adjust shimano mechanical disc brakes the calliper to activate the brake disc align maintain. Reserved, we use cookies to provide you with the leverage of road bike levers tighten... Frame and fork and flat-facing the eyelets with special tools extends into the gap calipers to... Loose and you 'll receive in-depth content on riders, tech, reviews and! Right and left clearances between the lever to the outboard pad should rub.

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