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How to Adjust APSE Bicycle Brakes

Updated April 17, 2017

APSE bicycle brakes are known to be inexpensive, yet reliable and easily adjustable brakes. Whether your APSE brakes are V-brakes or single-pivot type caliper brakes, proper adjustment is necessary to keep your bicycle in a safe and operable state. Riding a bike that is unable to stop when you pull on the levers is a scary and dangerous endeavour, so rather than deal with the frustration and worry that comes with riding an out-of-adjustment bike, learn to adjust your APSE brakes and get back on the road in safety.

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  1. Locate the cable-stop bolt of the front brake. This is the bolt under which the brake cable runs. It secures the cable to the brake arm so that when you pull the brake lever on the handlebars, the brake caliper or arms close and stop the wheel.

  2. Loosen the cable stop bolt of the front brake using a 5mm hex wrench. When the bolt is loosened, the cable will slide underneath it, causing the brake to open to its widest point. This is necessary to relieve the brake arm springs of their tension, allowing you to adjust the brake more accurately and effectively.

  3. Close the brake caliper or arms with your hand and observe the orientation of the brake pads in relation to the rim of the front wheel. The brake pads should be perfectly aligned with the rim for maximum braking power. If they are not, loosen the brake pad bolt with a 5 mm wrench, squeeze the brake pad against the rim, then re-tighten the bolt to secure the pad in place.

  4. Squeeze the brake caliper or arms once more, but not all the way to the rim. Observe the brake pads' position in relation to the rim. The brake pads should sit about 5mm away from the rim so that they contact the rim forcefully when the brake lever is pulled. To secure the brake in this position, pull the brake cable taut underneath the cable stop bolt with a pair of pliers, then tighten the cable stop bolt using a 5mm wrench.

  5. Repeat this procedure to adjust the rear brake. When you are finished, double-check that every bolt is secured tightly, then take your bike out for a test ride to be sure everything works the way it should.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • 5mm hex wrench

About the Author

Justin Wash

Born and raised in St. Louis, Mo., Justin Wash began his professional writing career in 2004 with an online freelance copywriting business. Over the years, he has written for a myriad of clients including China-Vasion and The Executives Closet.

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