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Brakes : build your stopping power

Well-tuned brakes make you go faster. This might seem like a contradiction, but it’s true. In order to be able to go fast, you need to be able to control your speed safely. Crisp, reliable brakes will make you feel more confident and get you out of trouble when you push things too far.

Brakes : build your stopping power

Brakes are very satisfying to work on. Their performance tends to deteriorate slowly, with pads and cables getting slightly more worn and dirty with each ride, but not usually so suddenly that you notice them getting worse. The good thing about this is that when you come to fit fresh parts, or clean and service units and cables, your brakes will feel significantly better always very satisfying!

Brakes are obviously a mission-critical safety component. Always check them very carefully after you’ve done any work on them so that you can be sure you’re safe to ride away. Make sure both brakes are working properly, then go back over all your nuts and bolts and check that you’ve tightened them all up. Anything that’s left a little bit loose will rattle free as soon as you ride hard, likely leaving you in trouble.

Brakes : build your stopping power

Rim brake pads have universal fittings, but disc brake pads haven’t settled down to a standard yet. Consequently, there are about 30 different patterns, with slightly different shapes, sizes and fittings. This is really annoying as the pads won’t fit unless you get exactly the right kind. It’s worth making sure you always have a spare set so that you don’t get caught out.

Cable brakes are simpler to deal with than hydraulic ones, but the extra braking power you get from the hydraulics makes them well worth learning about. Dealing with brake fluid can seem a bit of a leap into the unknown, even if you feel very confident working with other parts of your bike. But it’s not really significantly more complicated than other tasks, just a bit different. Treat brake fluid – whether it’s DOT or mineral oil – with respect: it’s not good for your skin. Both fluids will contaminate brake pads, causing them to have trouble gripping the rotors properly. DOT will also strip the paint off your frame if you spill it. Wear gloves, and work slowly and patiently.

Brakes : build your stopping power

Source : BIKE MAINTENANCE TIPS, TRICKS & TECHNIQUES