Types Of Brakes For Bikes

Share This Post

What Is A Fixed Gear Bike Brake

Bicycle Rim Brake Identification – What Type of Brake Do I Have?

I fixed your bike brake refers to a brake system on, you guessed it, fixed gear bike. You may have heard that fixies bikes dont have brakes. While this may be true to some degree, its never a good idea to ride completely breakless. As a matter of fact, some, if not all, bike manufacturers ship out their bikes with at least one break by law.

Which Is Best For You

As you can probably tell, the type of brakes that will suit you best will depend on exactly what you intend to do on your BMX bike. But heres a rough overview:

V-Bike Brakes Get these if you dont intend to do any tricks or any freestyling on your bike. If youre going to use it for everyday cycling, and maybe some light tricks, then V-Bike Brakes are a great choice. They are lightweight and have excellent stopping power.

U-Brakes These are the most popular type of brakes that you will find on a BMX bike. If you intend to do any major freestyling on your bike, then these are the brakes that I recommend. They stay perfectly out of your way and almost always stay detangled.

Mechanical Disc Brakes If youre looking for a competent all-rounder with lots of benefits across the board.

Pros Cons And Types Of Disc Brakes

There are two main categories of bike brakes used on modern bikes: disc brakes and rim brakes.

Disc brakes are more common on off-road bikes, whereas rim brakes are more common onroad bikes though some high-end road bike manufacturers have been switching to disc brakes in recent years.

Disc brakes consist of a metal disc the rotor attached to the wheel. When the brakes are applied by the rider, pads squeeze on the disc, slowing the wheel.

There are two main types of disc brakes: mechanical disc brakes and hydraulic disc brakes.

Read Also: Burley Bee Single Bike Trailer

What Fluid Should You Use In Your Brake

Most brakes have specific recommendations for the fluids to be used for their flawless functioning. These often include particular kinds of < strong> brake fluid mineral oils. But make sure not to use DOT fluid and mineral oil together. These two aren’t cross-compatible. Using them together can result in the swelling of seals and failure of the braking system. Now that you know about the various bicycle brakes, you can make an informed choice. If you are looking for high quality, effective disc brakes, the Firefox Road Runner Pro disc brake is a good option. Preferred by the majority of the riders, this bike ensures excellent stopping power. In case you prefer a V-brake, you can consider the Firefox Road Runner Pro V-brake for the purpose. Ticking all the boxes for price and utility, it makes for a great choice.

Common Types Of Rim Brakes

New 73mm 93mm Bicycle Brake For BMX ,Road Bicycles, Mountain Bikes All ...

Caliper Brakes

Caliper brakes attach to the bike via a single point above the wheel .

The arms of the brake then extend down either side of the wheel. Caliper brakes are found on most road bikes.

However, they tend not to be used on wider wheels , as they cant generate as much force when clamping around a wider rim.

There are several sub-types of caliper brakes:

  • Single-Pivot Side-Pull Caliper Brakes These brakes consist of two asymmetrical curved arms, both attached to the frame at the same point in the middle. The arms pivot from the same point in the middle and both are attached to the same brake cable on one side, which clamps the brakes when pulled.
  • Dual-Pivot Side-Pull Caliper Brakes The same as single-pivot side pull caliper brakes, except one arm pivots in the middle and the other arm has a separate pivot at the side.

Credit/License: Miyata Century brakes by Ragnar Jensen is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Chris King cross bikeby Matt Haughey is licensed under CC BY 2.0All images edited from the original.

Cantilever Brakes

Each arm attaches to a separate pivot point on one side of the fork . The arms each have a cable attached to a central point, that then connects to the main brake cable. When the brakes are applied, this cable is pulled and the arms are moved inwards.



Don’t Miss: Dirt Bike Game On Cool Math

Understanding The Braking Technique

Braking a bike mainly entails pulling the brake levers on the handlebars. That sets a series of actions in motion to eventually stop the bike. But braking isnt that simple when it comes to real-world road biking or mountain biking. You want to learn a few critical things about how the braking technique so that you can stay safe when out riding.

Disadvantages Of Rim Brakes

Rim brakes perform poorly when wet, and theyre more susceptible to debris and dirt. This means they are therefore less suitable for mountain bikes due to the nature of harsh offroad riding.

Also, the brake pads in rim brakes become worn over time and need to be replaced. As the pads wear down, they require regular maintenance and adjustment.

Read Also: Mountain Bike Rental Park City Utah

What Is The Most Common Bike Brake Type

You will commonly find Caliper Brakes on most bikes, especially on most road bikes or hybrid bikes.

All riders love these types of bike brakes because of better performance and improved safety. However, disc brakes are becoming quite popular these days.

  • Both mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes are the best choice on bikes that require strong stopping power.

Disc Rotors For Bike Brakes: More Than Just A Round Piece Of Metal

Rim Brake Overview by Performance Bicycle

High braking forces, extreme frictional heat and changes in temperature place high demands on disc rotors. The braking surface is usually made of stainless steel, recessed slots and channels allow for better heat dissipation. Depending on the hub you are using, the brake disc comes with a centre lock or a six-bolt mount. The Centerlock standard can be clearly identified by the spline and the large lock ring.

Good to know: When using a special adapter , you can also mount 6-bolt brake rotors on Center Lock hubs if required.


Rotors come in different diameters, depending on the category of bike youre riding. The right disc diameter basically depends on the required braking power. The maximum rotor diameter is specified by the frame or fork manufacturers. Never exceed the maximum rotor diameter, as this may cause irreparable damage to the frame or fork due to the additional load.

Recommended Reading: Best Exercise Bike Without Subscription

Best Types Of Bike Brake For Road Biking

There are pros and cons associated with both a disc brake and a rim brake for road biking use.

In general, road cyclists that are most concerned with their speed and aerodynamics would prefer a lightweight rim brake over a disc.

If you use your road bike for everyday commuting on busy urban roads, you might be better off with the stopping power of a disc brake in the case of unexpected obstacles and passersby.

If you plan to use your road bike in both rain and shine, a disc brake will work for both of these conditions.

If you ride an older bike that uses rim brakes, it may be more hassle than its worth to convert your bike to disc brakes.

However, similarly to mountain biking, if you take to the mountains on your rides, riding with rim brakes can cause blowouts due to the excessive heating of the rim on long, steep downhill sections.

Personally, Id opt for a disc brake.

What Are Bike Brakes

Brakes are the part of a bicycle that allow you to regulate the speed youre travelling at.

Engaging the brakes on a bike will decrease your speed whilst cycling and, if necessary, bring your bike to a complete stop.

Understandably, brakes are an essential safety feature of a bike. They allow cyclists to quickly adjust their speed to suit their surroundings and avoid potential dangers whilst riding.

Also Check: Mountain Bike Jersey Long Sleeve

Tried And True But Still Evolving

Bike brakes have been used for hundreds of years but designers and manufacturers are still coming up with new ideas.

The kinds of brakes cyclists choose tend to be based on budget, the types of bike they own, the kind of riding they want to do and the level of maintenance required to keep riding smoothly, safely and squeak-free.

About the Author

Morgan Strug

Shop Tip: Types Of Brakes And Levers

Brake Type Examples 2011

Posted by Jonnie on


This next series of shop tips over the next several months will be all about creating a basis for more in-depth knowledge. Whether youre working on a bike you already own or preparing to buy a new one, its very helpful to be familiar with all the different types of components. Knowing their names, their uses and their limitations can help you be prepared to ask the right questions and make well-informed decisions.

Recommended Reading: Dirt Bike Rack For Truck

What Type Of Brakes Are Best For Mountain Bikes

Pro cyclists consider disc brakes to be the best for mountain bikes.

When you want to drive on the trail or downhill, a strong braking system is necessary to avoid accidents. Furthermore, you may require riding mountain bikes on slippery roads or bad trails sometime, where good braking is very important.

As Disc brakes provide much stronger braking than rim brakes or other brakes, bikers dont have to worry about braking weakness even on wet or muddy roads. These brakes allow your bike to stop effectively within a short distance. So, considering all things, disc brakes are the best for mountain bikes.

Bicycle Drum Brakes Explained

  • Heavier than rim & disc brakes
  • Not that powerful

Drum brakes are a type of hub brake that sit at the centre of the wheel and use internal brake shoes to apply friction to the outer drum, reducing the bicycles speed or bringing it to a halt.

Invented in 1902, drum brakes were a popular type of brake used by automobiles and were also a common sight on bicycles around the world.

Nowadays, drum brakes arent found on new bikes, because disc and rim brakes have become the new norm thanks to their reliability and ease of maintenance.

Also Check: On Road Off Road Dirt Bike

What Type Of Bike Brake Is Suitable For You

The different types of bike brakes are suitable depending on your riding style. If you ride mainly off-road, you should choose a cantilever brake. If you ride mostly on roads, you can opt for a disc brake. For those who like to take long rides, a drum brake would be best. If you ride only short distances, a v-brake would work fine. Alternatively, if you want to save money, you can buy a set of cheap cantilever brakes that are good enough for commuting.

Which Bike Brake Is Better: Disc Or Rim Brake

Mountain Bike Brakes Explained!

Generally speaking: Disc brakes use more modern technology and are becoming increasingly popular. Nevertheless, many cyclists still use rim brakes. This is mainly due to the low weight, the low price and the proven technology of this bicycle brake. However, since the braking force is applied to the rim flange by rubber pads, there are also disadvantages: In contrast to disc brakes, the braking power of rim brakes decreases in wet conditions. Special brake pads with an optimised rubber compound can help optimise braking performance in wet weather. Another disadvantage is the high wear and one aspect that is a burden on the purse of frequent riders mechanical abrasion of the rim through friction. Special rims with a ceramic coating last significantly longer, but require appropriate pads.So it’s not really possible to say whether disc or rim brakes are better. Which brake type is better for you depends on your requirements and your style of riding. Disc brakes are currently taking over in almost every sector of cycling. Mountain bikes, for example, are fitted with disc brakes as standard, hybrid and city bikes use both types and even in the road bike sector, disc brakes are becoming increasingly popular.

*For 200 minimum purchase value without return. Data protection: ROSE Bikes GmbH stores and processes your personal data on the basis of the privacy notice.

Recommended Reading: Honda 80 Cc Dirt Bike

Types Of Brake Levers

There are two broad categories into which almost all brake levers fall: those which are designed for use with drop handle bars, and those which are designed for flat or upright handlebars. Both are pictured below.

Flat/Upright-Bar Brake Levers

  • Long-pull brake levers have a greater distance between the point at which the lever pivots and the end of the cable . This means that they pull more cable when you move the lever. They work for V-Brakes and Disc Brakes.
  • Short pull brake levers have less distance between the pivot and the end of the cable, so they pull less cable when you move the lever. They work for Road Caliper Brakes and for Cantilever Brakes.
  • Flat-bar brake levers are sometimes joined on the same mounting bracket as a shifter.

Drop-Bar Brake Levers

Stay tuned for our next shop tip: an introduction to cable, housing, and accessories.

You Have To Follow Different Cycle Brake Adjustment Methods To Adjust Mechanical Disc Brakes And Hydraulic Disc Brakes

  • Adjusting a Mechanical Disc Brake:-To adjust a mechanical disc brake, use a screwdriver to loosen the small set screw sitting on the calipers side. Look for the adjustment dial on the calipers side and twist it a bit to adjust the brake. Keep adjusting till the caliper finds itself directly centered above the rotor. Test if the brakes have tightened by squeezing the lever corresponding to the brake you are working on. Finally, tighten the bolts and screw.
  • Adjusting a Hydraulic Disc Brake:-To adjust a hydraulic disc brake, locate the two hex bolts that sit on the calipers side and loosen them. Next, hold the brake lever corresponding to the wheel you want to adjust and squeeze it a couple of times. This will ensure that the caliper on the rotor finds its place back in the center. Tighten the bolts and release the lever.

Read Also: Tubeless Tires For Dirt Bikes

Advantages Of Disc Brakes

Disc brakes are most common on mountain bikes.

This is because disc brakes perform better intough conditions where they may be exposed to water, mud, or dirt.

Because the braking surface is further from the ground, debris is less likely to get between the pads and the disc. With rim brakes, the rim travels close to the ground and can easily pick up debris, which can then become stuck in the brakes.

Furthermore, if debris does enter and reach the disc, the holes in the disc allow debris to pass out rather than remain caught in the mechanism.

Another advantage is that the disc can be replaced, as opposed to the whole wheel being vulnerable with rim brakes.

What Are The Main Types Of Rim Brakes


Rim brakes are of many types, including rod brake, caliper brake, side-pull caliper brake, centre-pull caliper brake, U-brake, cantilever brake, traditional cantilever brake, V-brake, roller cam brake, delta brake, and hydraulic rim brake. Out of these, the main types are:

  • Caliper Brake:-This is a cable-activated brake. This braking system ensures that the brake mounts to one particular point above the rotating wheel. Since caliper brakes are less effective for wide tires, they are not the preferred brake system for mountain bikes, but are very popular with road bikes.
  • Cantilever Brake:-This rim brake has the cable attachment and < strong> brake shoe on each arm, located on the same side of the fork or pivot, but at different points. Since these brakes allow a wide distance between the pads and the mount, they are often preferred for bikes with wide tires. In other words, cantilever brakes are an excellent choice for mountain bikes.
  • V-Brake:-V-brake, also known as a direct-pull brake or linear-pull brake, is a kind of cantilever brake. The basic mechanism of V-brakes is that they work by mounting on the bosses located on the same frame. They typically have long arms. The cable remains attached to one arm and the cable housing to the other. Since V-brakes do not need an isolated cable stop on the fork, they work well with the suspension systems present on several mountain bikes.

How to Adjust V-Brakes?

What Are the Main Kinds of Disc Brakes?

You May Like: Dirt Bikes For Sale Baltimore

Disc Brakes Vs Rim Brakes: How To Choose

Disc brakes are on the left, rim brakes are on the right.

What are the biggest differences between rim brakes and disc brakes? This is a common question asked by riders who cant decide between the two.

Our rundown of the biggest distinctions below will help you make a choice that suits your specific needs.

Magura Hs The Hydraulic Rim Brake For Frequent Riders

Hydraulic rim brakes such as the Magura HS33 are less sensitive and stronger than classic calliper and cantilever brakes, because here, the force is not transferred mechanically but via a fluid. Therefore, these types of bicycle brakes score with enormous braking power and particularly good braking power modulation. Hydraulic brakes are particularly used on e-bikes, as mechanical brakes would quickly reach their limit here: With a permissible total weight of up to 140 kilograms, e-bikes are simply too heavy.

Don’t Miss: Kona Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Why Are There Different Types Of Brakes For Bikes

One of the main challenges with bikes since the day they were first created back in the 19th centuryis how to slow them down.

In fact, one of the people credited with inventing the bicycle, Kirkpatrick Macmillan may well have been fined for knocking down a pedestrian whilst riding his invention around Scotland.

As with all challenges, many approaches are tried out in order to find the perfect solution.

That really is the main reason why there are different types of brakes for bikes.

However, there are also other reasons, including:

Bikes that work best with one type of brake vs another

Brakes that are lighter and cheaper than others

Many reasons. Many types of brakes.

Lets move on and take a look at the two main types of braking systems for bicycles: rim brakes and disc brakes.

Related Posts