Tutorial for Shimano V-Brake Repair

Written by matthew ferguson
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Shimano V-Brakes, also known as a linear pull brakes, are found on countless mountain bikes and other utility style bicycles. The design brake consists of two upright arms joined by a cable that is linked at the other end to a brake lever. Each arm features a rubber pad, called a "shoe." Each shoe has a set of grooves that wear over time. When grooves are fully worn, the shoe should be replaced. The shoes are then adjusted and balanced for effective braking.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Shimano V-Brake shoe
  • 5-mm hex wrench
  • Phillips screwdriver

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    Shimano V-Brake Shoe Replacement

  1. 1

    Pinch the sides of the Shimano V-Brake, and separate the cable from the left brake arm. The V-Brake features a quick release system, which allows the cable to be separated from one side of the brake without the use of tools. Opening the brake increases clearance between the shoes and the rim.

  2. 2

    Remove the shoe fixing pin from the outside of the metal shoe holder. Pull the shoe free of the shoe holder. Repeat for both shoes.

  3. 3

    Insert the new shoe into the shoe holder. The surface of the shoe has an arrow to indicate the direction of insertion.

  4. 4

    Reinstall each shoe fixing pin. Push the pin in as far as it will go. The pin secures the shoe inside the holder.

    Shimano V-Brake Shoe Adjustment

  1. 1

    Reattach the cable to the Shimano V-Brake. The metal cable housing through which the cable passes attaches to a groove at the tip of the left brake arm.

  2. 2

    Pinch the sides of the V-Brake. Note the position of each shoe face against the side of the rim. Each shoe face should meet the rim squarely. For pad height adjustment, see Steps 3 and 4. If pad height adjustment is fine, skip to Step 5.

  3. 3

    Loosen the shoe fixing nut on the side of the shoe holder. The nut requires a 5-mm hex wrench.

  4. 4

    Adjust brake shoe height as needed, until the shoe is square with the side of the rim. Fully tighten the shoe fixing nut afterward.

  5. 5

    Observe each brake shoe and its distance from the side of the rim. A V-Brake is balanced when the gap between each shoe and the rim is identical. Shimano recommends a 1-mm gap. See Step 6 for adjustment.

  6. 6

    Turn the spring tension adjustment screw at the base of each V-Brake arm until each shoe is set 1mm from the side of the rim. The screw requires a Phillips screwdriver. Turn a spring tension adjustment screw clockwise to move the shoe further away from the rim. Turn the screw counterclockwise to move the shoe closer to the rim.

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