Sunday, March 10, 2013

Tweaking and Breaking In Caliper Brakes

Today was a ride day, with warm weather again in the 60s. I've been riding the New World for a little over a month now, and in that time I've gotten used to its zippy and comfortable ride. The bicycle is deceptively light; it looks like your basic utility bike but actually is quite peppy and easy to push along.

Bicycle brakes require periodic checks and adjusting. The pads on these are brand new, generic pads. The calipers are pretty basic and take normal cables. The pads were new a month ago. This means that they've had about a month to break in and begin to shape themselves to the way in which they hit the rim.

 After awhile of riding, you want to check your new pads to make sure they line up vertically on the rim (too high and you hit the tire, too low and you lose braking surface) as well as horizontally (too far from the rim and you run out of lever travel, too close and the rim rubs the pad surface all the time).

In this case I found my horizontal distance was fine still, but I needed to raise one of the four pads just a touch, as the bottom of it seemed just slightly below the rim. This was easily enough done with a wrench and some care. It's good to run periodic checks on these things, because they do tend to change a little as the pads break in.

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