Why Do My Mountain Bike's Rear Brakes Not Work Well?

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If your mountain bike's rear brakes don't work as well as they should, you can find out why by checking the way the brake rubs against the wheel and re-centering it with the adjusting spring as needed. Enjoy better braking with the tips in this free video on mountain bike maintenance.

Part of the Video Series: Mountain Bike Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is John from Competitive Edge Cyclery in Upland, California, and I'm going to be showing you some common problems with rear brakes. If you're having problems with your rear brake or front brake for that matter, not working properly, there's a few things you need to check in order to make sure that they are working right. What you're going to want to do is make sure that for one that they're not rubbing when the wheel spins. If the wheel is rubbing, that could be caused by the brake being pushed over from one side too much or the other side too much or it could be that the wheel is out of true. If the wheel is out of true that's going to be a different video. If the brake is not centered properly, basically what you need to do is look for an adjusting spring and what that's going to do is center the brake by adding or decreasing tension on one side or the other. By adjusting the screw, if you tighten it in, that's going to put more pressure on this side and pull it out. And that looks about right. You want to make sure that you have the brake centered and that the pads hit evenly without touching the tire all the way around. If you have damage to the rim like this rim here, it's dented in, that can cause the rim to drop down and you want to make sure that it doesn't hit the tire in any spot. Make sure that the brake pads aren't too warn. There's going to be wear bars on the brake so you can see right there those grooves. When those grooves disappear it's time to replace the brake pads and hopefully that's been some help with your brakes. Thank you.

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