How To Adjust Bike Brakes Rubbing – In 12 Step

The brakes remain the most important safety feature of any bike. If it does not work well, the rider is not safe. Whenever the brake develops any fault, fix it immediately. It is necessary to carry out a routine check on your brake to ensure that it performs optimally. Handle brake problems with care. Fix it yourself only if you know how to do it. If you do not know how to do that, engage a bike technician. Fix the bike and other similar problems that can endanger your safety.

How To Adjust Bike Brakes Rubbing?

Step one

First thing, check to be sure that the rubbing sound is a result of a brake problem. Ensure it is not due to a larger problem.

Step 2

Place the bike in an upright position, and perform a quick-release on the bike wheel to ensure the axle is in the correct position within the dropouts.

Step 3

If the bike wheel is in the correct position, tighten the quick release back, this shows that the problem is not rubbing. If eventually it is a rubbing problem, then you can go ahead with the adjustment.

Step 4

Before you proceed with the adjustments, ensure that the wheel axle is put in the proper location in the dropout.

Step 5

Check further whether the axle or the frame is straight. If they are, then you straighten them, and center that wheels the correct way the best as you can. Then clamp the bike quick release and ensure that it closes very well.

Step 6

Spin the bike wheel. Ensure that the gap between the brake pad and the wheel is in the right proportion. If the gap is normal, it means that the bike rim is correctly warped. You can tell when the rim is out of place when the wheel actually spins. If that is the true position, then there is the need to adjust the bike spokes.

Step 7

Now that the rim is in the correct position. Check further to know whether the bike brake system releases very fast, especially when you pull the lever. If the brake still has an issue, there are possibilities, which include the brake cables issue. It might be dry, or it is dirty. Furthermore, there are chances that the brake lever or the arm lever has a problem.

Step 8

If it is a minor problem, apply oil to the cable, it could restore the braking system and help it function properly.

Step 9

Check to ensure that debris or dirt does not block the pad and that it does not rub the bike rim. Check the system very well and if there is anything that blocks the system, remove them using a screwdriver.

Step 10

It is possible that the pads are no longer in the proper position. If that is the problem, it can affect the braking system and makes it rub. To determine whether it is the pad problem, hold the brake and observe the pad’s location. If it is normal, the position must be such that the whole contact surface hits the bike rim. When that does not happen, it needs adjustment.

Step 11

Push each of the brake arms. If they spring back when you push, then it is an indication that there is a serious issue with the brake pads. The problem could be that the springs are loose. Furthermore, if it is not loose, then it is missing or it breaks. The solution to that should depend on the brake types.

If for instance, it is a V brake type, check further whether the spring wire hooks to the brake arm, if not, then it is a sign that the spring has a problem. Solving this problem is better with a technician. In the meantime, you can adjust the spring tension. The problem could be that the spring is cut. When you adjust it, this could restore to the normal position, and the brake could work again.

Step 12

Perhaps, the problem could be that the arms spring back when you apply the brake. There are cases where one brake arm drags the rim. When that happens, the brake could rub. To solve that problem, look for the spring tension adjuster. This adjuster is a small screw on the brake arms.

Using your screwdriver, you can adjust it. The tension spring is strong. Moreover, both arms are equal. When you bring it to that position, then the braking system works normally again.

How To Adjust Bike Brakes Rubbing

How To Adjust Bike Brake Pads?

The first thing is to ascertain whether the distance between the front forks and that of the tires is equal. If they are not equal, then you must work on the axle nuts or the quick brake lever. You can tighten them when they are not tight.

Examine the brake pads. If the brake pads do not move away from the rim when you release the lever, administer lubricants to the caliper pivot. Ensure that lubricants reach the rim.

8 FAQs On Adjusting Brake PAD!!

Q-1: Brake Pad Still Rubs Against The Rim!

The option discussed above may not solve that problem all the time, especially in a situation where the brakes do not align correctly.

If the brake is still rubbing after implementing the solution above, then there might be a gap issue. All you need to do is to adjust the gap between the metal rim and the brake pads.

Q-2: How Do I Know When My Brake Pads Need Changing?

When the brakes become unresponsive then there is the need to change the brake pad. If the teeth were worn out it means that the teeth which it uses to hold the brake are no longer there. When the brake could no longer hold, then there is the need to change the brake pad.

Q-3: How Do I Know That Brake Pad Is Rubbing Against The Wheel Rim, And How Do I Solve It?

In a normal situation, both brake pads of the bike should move the same distance before they can contact the bike wheel. If they do not, then there is a problem and this must be addressed urgently.

8 FAQs On Adjusting Bike Brakes!!

Q-1: How Do I Adjust The Brakes On A Bike?

Answer: There are different ways of adjusting the brakes on a bike. It depends on the type of brake problem. Before you carry out any adjustment, it is necessary that you check the brake pads. To adjust it, you need the right tool such as an Allen wrench.

This can help lose those nuts that keep the pad in place. Then adjust the brake pads by moving it down and up in the holder until you are sure that it gets to the correct place. Tighten the nuts back to hold the pad firmly using the same Allen wrench. Tighten it very well.

Q-2: Why Are My Brakes Rubbing?

Brakes can rub and there are different reasons which make the brake rub on the wheel rim or the tire. When that happens, it simply shows that the pad or the caliper is out of alignment, and there is an urgent need to put it back. When the caliper gets out of alignment, or the pad is also not in the correct place, adjust the system until it aligns again.

Q3: How Do I Adjust Hand Brakes?

Answer: It is possible to adjust the handbrake when it becomes an issue. It has a lower nut, which you can turn clockwise down its thread. Draw the rod forward in that process. If it reaches a position where it is possible to pull the handbrake levers up, then you stop turning it. Ensure that you adjust the other handbrake rod the same way until they are in the same position. Hold the hexagon on the bike cable while doing that.

Q-4: Will Drum Brakes Self Adjust?

Yes, it is possible for the drum brakes to self-adjust themselves. To do that, do not put it in a reverse position. Once you do not apply the reverse situation, you discover that it does not take time for the drum brakes to adjust themselves.

Q-5: What Is Brake Adjustment?

When the bike braking system fails, you must restore it. Adjusting the brake system simply means repairing the brake system to make work again. In most cases, the caliper or brake pad is the cause. When they are out of alignment, the brake could rub and the process of bringing them to an alignment means adjustment.

Q-6: Can I Adjust The Disc Brakes?

The disc brakes can adjust like the other braking parts. To do that, you need to remove the nuts or bolts that hold it in place and put it in the proper position.

Q-7: Are Grinding Brakes Dangerous?

Grinding brakes are dangerous and it occurs when the braking linings wear or worn out. This means that the braking system is no longer effective. What you do when that happens is to change the pad or the caliper or any part of the bike that causes the problem.

Q-8:  How Much Does It Cost To Fix Brakes That Are Grinding?

There is no specific amount regarding fixing grinding brakes. The cost depends on the nature of the problem, as well as the type of work to do. Moreover, the cost of the brake parts could vary. It is possible that some users can do that repair on their own, in which case it takes the cost of materials. For many others, they could pay a technician to do that.


Brakes are the most important component of a bike. It is necessary that you take proper care of it. Do not allow it to get out of hand because it could cause severe problems for you. The procedures above can help solve most of the brake rubbing problems.

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Last Updated: June 10, 2022

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