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Conventional V-brakes consist of two brake arms which are independent of each other on the right and left hand side of the rim. When the brake lever is pulled, the arms are pulled together via a cable and make contact with the rim.
1. Check if the brake blocks are in perfect alignment and there is sufficient rubber on the pads. This is visible on the grooves on the insides of the pads. If they are worn down, they need to be changed.
2. In addition, the front section of brake blocks should make contact with the rims first. The rear part of the brake block should have 1mm of clearance to the rim. Looking down over the brake the blocks should form a “V” shape, which prevents the blocks from screeching when the brake is applied.
3. Both brake arms must make contact with the rime at exactly the same time when the brake lever is pulled.
4. The brake lever must not make contact with the handlebar even if you have to do an emergency stop.
Synchronization and adjustment of V-brakes
1. Nearly all V-brakes have an adjusting bolt on one side so that the spring pre-load can be adjusted. Keep turning this screw until both brake blocks are exactly the same distance from the rim.
2. Slacken the knurled lock-ring where the cable enters the brake lever on the handlebar.
3. Unscrew the knurled cable bolt several turns. The travel on the brake lever is reduced.
4. Hold the adjusting bolt and tighten the lock-ring to the lever housing. This prevents the adjusting bolt from coming loose.
5. Ensure that the slot in the bolt is pointing towards the front and not upwards otherwise water and dirt can get in.
: Full braking power should be achieved before the brake lever reaches the handlebars. Wear protective gloves and safety goggles when working on your bike.
Picture 1: Correctly adjusted brake pads
Picture 2: Seen from above the brake pads form a "V"