How to Adjust Bicycle Front Brakes

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Repairing bicycle brakes. Learn how to adjust front brakes on a bike with expert tips on bicycle repair in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Basic Bicycle Repairs
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Video Transcript

Hello, this is Russ with the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective. Also here on behalf of Expert Village and today I'm going to show you how to adjust a v-brake. There's a couple different kinds of brakes out there. This one is a linear pull brake, it pulls from the side with a long arm and what we're going to do is create it so that the spring tension is even on both sides and also that the brake pads are interfacing evenly with the rim. First thing you're going to want to do is the brake pads, make sure that they're lined up so that you don't have too much drag on either side. You want to look down the front of the bicycle and make sure that they're both across from each other so that you don't have an uneven amount of pull from either side. After you have those brake pads lined up, what you can do is there will be some kind of tool that you'll need to adjust the spring tension on either side. It?s often a flat head screwdriver or a Philips screwdriver, but it can sometimes be a 2 or a 2.5 Allen wrench. What you're going to want to do is if you loosen that screw out, it?s going to create less spring tension on that side, which will inherently change the amount of pull you get from either side of the bike. So you can see as I need to add a little bit more tension to this side, still over here so I'm going take this screw right here and roll it in a couple of turns and that will create more spring tension on this side. You should get it to the point where your wheel moves freely through there, it?s not rubbing on either side, the left or the right and make sure that your brake lever's adjusted properly where you want it. Last thing you want to do is make sure that you have the appropriate amount of cable tension on it. This one right here looks pretty good, but if you wanted it to be a little bit tighter, you could easily take this barrel adjuster right here and roll it out and after you roll it out a little ways, you're going to want to take the nut here that kind of keeps it from losing its position, tighten that one down, make your brake a little bit tighter. It spins nice and smooth through the wheel.

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