Brakes are, without a doubt, one of the most important parts of your electric bike. They ensure you have a safe and comfortable bike riding experience. It is essential to keep a check and adjust your electric bike brakes accordingly.
It is crucial to adjust if you own an electric bike, especially with mechanical disc brakes. Mechanical disc brakes are most common in different sizes and suit most electric bikes.
However, they do require some adjustments now and then. On the other hand, hydraulic disc brakes do not need many adjustments and are a secondary choice for most bikers.
If you wish to have complete control of your bike brakes and a sense of satisfaction that they’ll comply as and when needed, here’s how to adjust electric bike brakes. Let’s get right into it!
How Do Mechanical Disc Brakes Differ From Hydraulic Disc Brakes?
Buying an electric bike requires you to think about some important factors. Various components on your e-bike will affect your bike’s complete functioning.
The topmost leading element of your electric bike is the type of brakes you have. It is a common misconception to think that all bike brakes are the same because they aren’t.
The braking structure you select for your electric bike will define how quickly the power-assisted bike decelerates and if it is when stopping. It will also determine where the bike will stop and many other factors.
Each electric bike brand has its own setting going on for the brakes. Mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes both serve their own purpose, and they have the qualities best suited for different tasks.
Mechanical Disc Brakes
Since mechanical brakes require the most adjustments, it’s only fair to start with them and move on to Hydraulic brakes. To achieve top-tier performance and guarantee utmost safety, you need to adjust every part of the mechanical brake separately.
Mechanical disc brakes are also termed cable disc brakes. These involve an easy setup with a cable line, a mechanical disc, and a brake lever. Thanks to the open design, it is simpler to maintain and repair the bike.
Nevertheless, the open design calls for maintenance as dust, debris, and small particles build up in your braking structure. It can lead to many challenges while riding, such as a lower stopping power, lack of control, and reduced braking.
Let’s get into how the mechanical brake works on your electric bike.
A mechanical brake function uses a cable that has a start joined to the brake lever, and its rear is fixed to the brake caliper pedal.
So, when you power the brake lever, you are also drawing the cable linked to the caliper. It leads to the entrance of the Otter pad to clasp the blade among the Otter Pad and the internal pad, being aware that the inner pad is fixed.
Hydraulic Disc Brakes
A hydraulic disc brake comes with a piece of advanced machinery and excellent braking functioning. These brakes will deliver you with the optimal stopping power and efficiency. They offer an all-embracing control over your bike and its pace.
However, these bike brakes have cons, such as using an entirely closed fluid-filled braking structure. The fluid acts as a substitute for standard steel cables. These brakes will allow you to experience reduced control, speed, or braking power even in the most unfavorable conditions.
Mechanical and hydraulic bikes both function in similar ways – they affect the braking system the same way. Both braking types are offered with a brake lever attached to a brake caliper.
Each e-bike has its brake at the heart of the wheel. The caliper functions by employing endurance to the wheel when pressed into the rotor. It makes it tougher to twist the bike, decelerating down the tire.
The harder you press the brake lever, the caliper operates more force on the rotor. Thus, there is exceptional defiance that leads to additional braking power.
Matched to the standard rim brakes, these disc brakes do not employ a challenge to the rims. In its place, they concentrate more on the bike’s rotor. It helps the disc brakes to achieve the smallest resistance, making them well-liked on moped bikes.
Adjusting Mechanical Disc Bikes
Since you have to focus on every part, start with adjusting the cable tension. Changing this aims to strengthen the line to the greatest to guarantee an immediate effect when the brake lever is drawn. You start by loosening the cable bolt, then stiffen the line manually.
Once you see that it’s tight enough, secure the bolt once more while tightening. However, you must make sure the cable is not too close as it might harm the line.
Then you move on to adjusting the brake caliper to be in the midpoint of the rotor. You start by loosening the caliper, keep your finger on the caliper till the blade joins to the brake pads, and then stiffen the bolts easily.
Ensure that you leave an adequate gap between the brake pads. Once all this is achieved, you must latch the blade in its place. You can tug the brake lever and strengthen the bolts while holding onto the caliper.
Keep in mind that you might need assistance while performing this step. If no one’s around, you can take the help of a rope.
Furthermore, adjusting the inside pads is the third step that confirms a minute gap between the internal brush and the blade – the ideal length should be 3mm.
To achieve this, start by tightening the bolt of the internal hill adjustment securely, then begin releasing that bolt slightly, and then twist the tire.
If you hear a friction sound, loosen the screw again till the sound withdraws. If you still hear the friction, you must release the screw and bend the tire.
Lastly, you adjust the brake lever pull. This step aims to define when the brakes operate when the lever is drawn, and then you can adapt here accordingly to your liking.
In most bikes, the parallel switch alters the programming of the brake act when the lever is drawn. If your hand is small, you can easily adjust the brake act when the control is near the handlebar.
If you have large hands, you can change the brake act when you are in the mid of the gap, slightly away from the handlebar. You simply have to turn the switch clockwise to start working near the hand bar.
However, you can turn the switch counterclockwise if you wish to use the brakes when the lever is far-off from the handlebar.
Adjusting Hydraulic Disc Bikes
As mentioned earlier, fine-tuning the hydraulic electric bike brake does not entail many stages. It operates as a compact and sealed system; however, you must take the following steps if you catch a commotion while on the bike.
Firstly, loosen up the mounting screws. Then start by pulling the brake pedal. Next, move on to attaching the escalating screws while holding the lever.
Lastly, twist the electric bike tire to hear if the sound is still there. If you still hear the sound, you must unbolt each bolt and tie it until the noise disappears.
Beginner’s Guide: Adjust Electric Bike Brakes
When you get your first electric bike, it will take your time to get the hang of it, but you’ll love it. You might hear a type of resistance coming from the calipers of your brakes in the first few rides.
No need to fret as it is entirely ordinary. The new brakes must be cracked within thirty miles until they require adjusting the first time.
Don’t twist these brakes blindly. In the first adjustment, you might feel that the brake is too tight.
To fix this, you must turn the adjusting knob on the brake lever of your electric bike handlebars. When you turn the knobs clockwise, you loosen the brake caliper, and when you turn the knob counter-clockwise, you tighten it.
Remember that the left handlebar operates the frontal brakes, and the right handlebar uses the back. It can be risky and damage your bike if you mix these up.
Change your brake pad if you can’t intensify the fine-tuning knob any longer and face issues daily. To achieve this, all you need to do is look across the wheel from the right side of your electric bike to spot the silver disc given below.
You will then notice that the disc will have pointing arrows in the way it is supposed to be twisted to loosen or tighten the pads. It is normal to hear clicking noises when turning the discs, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
An expert tip is to rotate the disc in circles of three. This way, you can recall the number of rotations you have finished.
However, if these issues do not go away, there are high chances that the brakes’ caliper might be center off and might just be turning the disc brake blade.
To reset your brake caliper, you need to loosen up the bolts holding the caliper against the structure. When the caliper is moveable enough and is easily stirring about, you can employ the brakes at both the handlebars.
As there is a force on the pedal, intensify every screw one twist at a time before moving to the additional bolt. It will confirm that they are similarly pulled and get the brake caliper to the center.
How Frequently Should You Adjust Your Brakes?
Now that you know all about adjusting the two basic types of brakes, let’s get into how often you should change your brakes. The quick answer is that it depends on how much you ride your bike.
If you are an avid bike rider, you might have to check your electric bike brakes two to three times every week to ensure everything is okay; if you don’t use your bike that often, maybe twice or thrice a month, a monthly checkup will do. Tuning your electric bike every month will keep the brakes in good condition.
It is necessary to do so since the speeds at which electric bikes ride, and the stress of the brakes is much more intense than that of your average bike. The brake pads end up wearing down much faster than on electric bikes.
In A Nutshell
Brakes are your electric bike’s most crucial safety components and can make a huge difference when they are not adjusted accordingly. You are one wrong adjustment away from crashing or getting seriously injured. A minor issue in your rakes can lead to irreplaceable damage.
Now that you know how to adjust electric bike brakes, you must ensure that you take out time every week to examine your bike fully. Make it a habit to clean your brakes to experience fewer performance issues. It will not only keep you safe but ensure that your electric bike lasts you a long time. Safe riding!
You may like the following electric bike articles:
- How to Choose a 750W Electric Bike?
- Can You Ride an Electric Bike Without an Official License?
- How to Protect Your Electric Bike in Cities?
- Can You Ride an Electric Bike on the Sidewalk?
- Are Electric Bikes Allowed on Bike Paths?
My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.