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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Adjusting Brake handles: You need those too!



I realized that I made a post about brakes but never mentionned brake handles! They are pretty simple, but can be the source of problems.

Make sure that the cable housing adjustment nut is all the way into the main body of the brake handle before working on your brakes. This can be used to adjust your brakes on the fly or to tweak them a bit after a brake job. It shouldn't be screwed all the way out, then you have no more room for adjustement.

To remove a cable is very simple. Just align all the moving parts so that the slot in them aligns with the one on the main body. Remove and replace, that's it.

Tip of the day: Adjust the position of your brake handles so that your hands and wrist are comfortable with your fingers resting easily on the handle while you ride. You shouldn't be flexing your wrists while riding, it is unsafe and uncomfortable. Remember, the more comfortable you are on your bike, the more you will ride.

21 comments:

haptown said...

Hi,
Could you please explain how to move the brake levers to a different position on the handle bars? I have a road bike with drop bars and they are in an odd position for me but I can't figure out how to loosen them to move them. The bike is a 1984 Fuji Touring Series III.

Thanks

Gerry Lauzon said...

It's very simple. Place yourself directly in front of the brake handle, press it down and you should see the adjustement screw inside behind the cable. Unscrew it and then reposition.

Gerry

Short said...

If the brake handle lever doesn't spring back when you release it,what do you adjust to make it do that. I just can't get it right on my rear brake after taking off the wheel to change the tyre.

Gerry Lauzon said...

Inspect each moving part independently to find the culprit. Disconnect the cable from the caliper and handle. Move the calipers, cable and handle separately to see if they do their thing fluidly. You will eventually find which one is stuck.

Gerry

Anonymous said...

hi there gerry, once again thanks for your useful site! great thing to learn! but would it be possible to see, the changing of a brake cable! thanks in advance!

Gerry Lauzon said...

I'll make it my next post. Pictures and everything. The people have spoken. :)

Gerry

Anonymous said...

Hey,
I'm a BMX'er in Colorado, and I never new much about my brakes, all I new was I want'ed them to skid. Can you explain what all the different parts on the lever/thing and what they do exactly? That would be great, I'm 13 and can't find many resources for my brakes. I own a Haro Nyquist Pro.

Gerry Lauzon said...

BMX'r, it depends on the entire braking system, not just the brake handles.

Gerry :)

Anonymous said...

hard for me to understand it but i can get a few of it down

Anonymous said...

hi could you i have had my bike for about 7 years now but my brakes are a bit dogy every time i use the back brake i think its ruining my back tire but the front 1 takes a bit longer to stop i think it needs tighting but it dont know how to do this

Gerry Lauzon said...

I would need a lot more information to help you out. You can check out my other article on adjusting brakes on the sidebar of the blog, since this one only deals with brake handles.

Gerry :)

Anonymous said...

How do I fix the brakes on the handlebars?

my bike is a diamondback viper x

Gerry Lauzon said...

I need more specific explanations.

Gerry

Anonymous said...

hey my brake handles are hard how do i fix them??

Gerry Lauzon said...

First disconnect the brake cable at the caliper to see if your brake handle moves freely. It might be the pivot screw that is too tight if that is the case. If the problem resides elsewhere, check if everything moves freely one component at a time.

Gerry :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just bought a bike for my 9 year old and the brakes are too wide for her hands. By this I mean that she really has to stretch her fingers to reach the brake. How do you make them so that she can easily reach them with her fingers? Thanks.

Gerald said...

You can't adjust them for that purpose. The handle will not have enough travel for the brakes to work properly. That is why most kids sized bikes come with coaster brakes so the kids can use their legs to apply the brakes since their hands are too small.

Gerry :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Gerry,
Any adivise on how to adjust the brake handles in a racing bike handle bar? One of my handles is moving a bit, I took the tape of, but don't now how i could fix it.
Thanks

Gerald said...

Sorry, not all brake handles are made the same. Look for a nut and bolt on the pivot that might need to be tightened. Apart from that I don't really see what else you could do.

Gerry :)

Anonymous said...

My 5 year olds brakes are too tight to pull,is there a way i can slacken them a bit?

Gerry Lauzon said...

Your whole brake system might be adjusted too tight or you might have rust in the cable housing.

Gerry