How To Adjust Brake Pads On Your Bike

How to Adjust TooTight Brakes Bicycle Repair YouTube
How to Adjust TooTight Brakes Bicycle Repair YouTube from


Brakes are an essential component of any bike, ensuring your safety on the road. Over time, brake pads may wear down and require adjustment to maintain optimal performance. This article will guide you through the process of adjusting brake pads on your bike, allowing you to ride with confidence and control.

Tools Required

Before you begin, gather the necessary tools:

  • Allen wrench set
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Clean cloth

Step 1: Assessing the Brake Pads

Start by inspecting your brake pads. Look for any signs of wear, such as uneven surfaces or thinning pads. If they appear worn out, it may be necessary to replace them rather than adjusting. If they are in good condition, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Loosening the Brake Cable

Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the brake cable bolt on the brake caliper. This will allow you to manipulate the brake pads freely.

Step 3: Aligning the Brake Pads

Position the bike so that you can easily access the brake pads. Use a flathead screwdriver to adjust the position of each brake pad, ensuring they are evenly aligned with the rim of the wheel. The pads should make contact with the rim simultaneously when the brake lever is engaged.

Step 4: Adjusting Pad Clearance

Once the pads are aligned, check the clearance between the brake pad and the rim. Ideally, there should be a 1-2mm gap. Use an Allen wrench to adjust the position of the brake pad until the desired clearance is achieved.

Step 5: Centering the Brake Pads

Ensure that the brake pads are centered on the rim. Spin the wheel and observe if there is any rubbing or uneven contact. If so, use the Allen wrench to make small adjustments until the pads are centered.

Step 6: Tightening the Brake Cable

Once the pads are aligned and centered, tighten the brake cable bolt using the adjustable wrench. Make sure it is secure but not overly tightened.

Step 7: Testing the Brakes

Before hitting the road, test your brakes. Squeeze the brake lever and ensure that the pads engage smoothly and provide sufficient stopping power. If the brakes feel too loose or too tight, repeat the previous steps until you achieve the desired performance.

Step 8: Cleaning and Maintenance

Regularly clean your brake pads and rims to prevent debris buildup, which can affect braking performance. Use a clean cloth to wipe away any dirt or grime.


By following these steps, you can easily adjust the brake pads on your bike and maintain optimal braking performance. Remember to regularly inspect and maintain your brake pads for safe and enjoyable rides. Happy cycling!