How to Install Brakes on a Bicycle? Step by Step Guide

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Installing brakes on a bicycle is an important part of bike maintenance. It not only ensures that you can stop quickly and safely, but also helps maintain the bike’s performance over time.

Brakes come in various types and sizes, so it’s important to choose the right type for your bike.

With some patience and attention to detail, anyone can learn how to install brakes on a bicycle.

In this guide, we will discuss what tools are needed as well as step-by-step instructions on how to properly install new brakes onto your bicycle.

Step-by-step Install Brakes on a Bicycle

What to prepare

1. Bicycle brake set – Choose the right type of brakes for your bicycle. You can find brakes specifically designed for road, mountain, hybrid and other types of bikes.

2. Tools – You will need a selection of tools including an adjustable wrench, screwdriver, wire cutters, pliers and a hex key or Allen wrench.

3. Grease – Use small amounts of grease to lubricate screws and other moving parts for smoother, quieter operation.

4. Replacement Parts – In some cases you may need to replace worn out brake pads or cables. Have a few extra parts on hand just in case.

Step-by-step Install Brakes on a Bicycle

Step 1: Unscrew or remove the quick-release on the brake-lever calipers. For disc brakes, remove the rotor and caliper assembly.

Step 2: Loosen the cable-fixing bolt on the brake-lever calipers or remove the screws that secure the brake pads.

Step 3: Remove any old cables or housing from your bicycle, replacing it with new ones if need be. Make sure the new cables are properly routed.

Step 4: Attach the brake pads to each caliper, making sure that they are both evenly spaced.

Step 5: Connect the cables to the corresponding levers on each side of the caliper. Make sure they are properly secured with a hex key or Allen wrench.

Step 6: Add a small amount of grease to the threads of the caliper and brake-lever mounting bolts.

Step 7: Carefully thread the mounting bolts into place, using an adjustable wrench to tighten them until snug.

Step 8: Test your new brakes by squeezing the levers on each side of the caliper, making sure that they are adjusted properly and working correctly.

And there you have it, your new brakes are now installed on your bicycle! With proper maintenance and regular inspections, these brakes should provide you with many years of reliable use.

Types of Bicycle Brakes

Once you have become familiar with the installation process, it is important to understand the different types of brakes you may encounter.

1. Rim Brakes – These are one of the most common and affordable brake systems on bicycles. Typically found on lower-end models, rim brakes consist of two rubber pads that contact the wheel’s rims to slow down or stop the bike.

2. Disc Brakes – More expensive than rim brakes, disc brakes are typically found on higher-end mountain and road bikes. This system uses a rotor attached to the wheel’s hub with a caliper that clamps onto it when braking. Disc brakes offer more stopping power in wet and muddy conditions.

3. Drum Brakes – These brakes are located inside the bike’s hub and use a cable to activate them when braking. They are not as powerful or efficient as rim or disc brakes, but they do offer some advantages such as increased durability and low maintenance costs.

4. Coaster Brakes – These brakes are very popular on children’s bikes and feature a coaster-style lever inside the rear hub. They provide a simple and effective braking system without any external components.

By understanding the different types of brakes, you can make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the right one for your bike. Each type has its strengths and weaknesses, so take the time to research and find one that suits your specific needs.


Q: What is the best type of brake for a mountain bike?

A: Disc brakes are typically considered the best option for mountain bikes due to their increased stopping power and improved control in wet and muddy conditions.

Q: How often should I check my brakes?

A: It’s important to inspect your brakes regularly to make sure they are functioning properly. This should be done at least once a month, or more if you use your bike frequently.

Q: What kind of tools do I need to install brakes?

A: Generally speaking, you will need an adjustable wrench and a hex key or Allen wrench for installation. Additionally, you may need a few other tools depending on the type of brakes you are installing.

Q: Can I install brakes myself?

A: Yes, it is possible to install brakes yourself with some basic knowledge and understanding of the process. However, if you’re not confident in your abilities, it might be best to leave the job to a professional.

Installing brakes on your bike can be a daunting task, but with some research and patience, you can do it yourself and save money in the process. By following the steps outlined above and familiarizing yourself with the different types of brakes available, you will be able to make an informed decision when purchasing new brakes.


Bicycle brakes are an essential component of any bike and their proper installation is key to ensuring a safe ride. With some knowledge, patience, and the right tools, you can easily install new brakes on your bike yourself with little difficulty.

And by understanding the different types of brakes available, you can make sure that you select the best option for your needs.

No matter what type of brakes you choose, it’s important to remember to inspect them regularly and keep up with maintenance to ensure they are functioning properly. Happy riding!

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