Hauling your road bicycle to a bike shop to have its worn Tektro brakes replaced takes a chunk out of your wallet and often a bite out of your riding time. Save yourself from the labour costs and the inconvenience of leaving your bike at the shop for service by doing the work yourself. Replacing caliper-style brakes -- the type most often found on road bikes -- takes a steady hand and an eye for a little bit of detail.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- 5mm, 4mm and 3mm Allen keys
- Measuring tape or small ruler
Distinguish the front and rear brakes by examining their mounting hardware. The centre bolt for the rear brake will be noticeably longer than that for the front brake.
Place the front brake over the front wheel so it rests against the face of the fork. The fork extends out from the frame and holds the front wheel in place. Insert the mounting bolt into the eyelet hole on the fork from the back. Turn the bolt, threading it through the hole and into the back of the brake. Tighten bolt with a 5mm Allen key.
Hold a brake pad so that it is facing the rim and insert the protruding bolt into the slot of the brake arm. Repeat for the other pad. Hand tighten the securing nuts. Position the pads so that they come in full contact with the rim when the brake arms are squeezed together, ensuring they do not touch the tire wall. For smoother braking, point the front ends of the brake pads toward the rim (known as a "toe in"). The toe in should be slight, only allowing the front of the pads to touch the rim briefly before full contact. Tighten the securing nut with a 4mm Allen key. Loosening the pads for further adjustment or removal can also be done with a 4mm Allen key.
Push down the quick-release lever (a small lever located to the side of the brake arm) and thread the brake cable into the quick-release clamp. Tighten the clamp onto the cable using a 5mm Allen key.
Repeat Steps 2 through 4 for the rear brake, this time placing the brake over the rear wheel and against the crossbar. The crossbar is located between the tubes that run downward from the seat post collar, just above the rear wheel.
Squeeze each brake lever on the handlebars to test the brakes' action. Ensure each brake is centred with its pads an equal distance from the wheel rim, that there is an appropriate amount of clearance for each brake pad (roughly 1.5 to 2mm on either side) and that the cables are securely clamped. Make any adjustments using your Allen keys or the cable adjustment knob, located at the end of the brake cable housing.
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