Quick tips to get your braking back up to scratch

Here’s a new video from Global Cycling Network (GCN) that shows you how to adjust your brakes while you’re out on a ride.

You should check your brakes before heading out, of course, but your brake pads will gradually wear down over time – that’s a fact of life – and sometimes it’ll be necessary to fine-tune them out on the road. This video shows you how to do that quickly and painlessly.

If you’re an experienced cyclist you’ll probably already know the techniques explained in the video, but this is handy stuff for more recent converts to cycling.

The video tells you to start by checking that the brake calliper’s quick release is closed. If not, that’s a super-easy fix.

Improving a brake’s performance is often simply a matter of unscrewing the barrel adjuster so that the pads sit closer to the wheel’s rim. That’ll mean that you don’t need to pull the brake lever so far in when you want to slow down.

If the barrel adjuster is already fully unscrewed you’ll need to adjust the cable, and that requires an Allen key. The video shows you exactly what’s involved.

It also shows you how to adjust the height of your brake shoes in the calliper and how to centre your brakes so that they don’t rub.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.