Learn How to Adjust Your Bikes' V-Brakes So They Work Perfectly

As fixies become more popular, the needs for guides such as this one for adjusting your fixie bikes v-brakes are becoming more important. At City Bicycle Co., our goal is to provide you with all the information and tools you need to succeed with your city bicycle.

Learn how you can adjust your cable tension, brake pads and centering (linear pull) on your fixies' v-brakes.

What You'll Need

  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Cable Puller (optional)
  • 5 mm Allen Key
  • Sandpaper (one small strip should do)

How to Align the Brake Levers

First, we will begin with the brake levers.

  1. Loosen the clamp on the brake lever.
  2. Align the clamps to match the angle of your arms while you ride on your fixie.
  3. Tighten the clamp.

How to Remove and Inspect Your Fixies Brake Pads

Next, you will inspect the brake pads on your fixie.

  1. Put slack on the cable.
  2. Ensure the lever's barrel adjuster is tightened.
  3. Pulled off the protective rubber back on it.
  4. Disconnect the quick release on the brake cable.
  5. Remove the brake pads.
  6. Keep an eye on the positioning washers on the brakes to make sure you reinstall them correctly.
  7. Look and inspect the brake pads. If they are worn past the indicator line, it is time to replace them.
  8. Use sandpaper to resurface the brake pads.

How to Adjust the Brake Arm Tension

After the inspection, it is time to adjust the brake arm.

  1. Inspect the v-brakes arm tension. If it has good tension, it will be fine.
  2. Undo both of the bolts if there is not enough tension or too much tension.
  3. Move the sprit under the backside of the brake up to increase the tension or move it down to decrease the brake tension.
  4. Tighten the bolts onto the mounting.

How to Install and Align the V-Brakes Brake Pads

Reinstalling the V-Brakes perfectly is important – so take notes here for your fixie bike brakes.

  1. Reinstall the v-brakes and make sure the washers are exactly in place before doing anything else.
  2. Align the brake pads with the pad-side pressing against the rim. Make sure it's flat.

How to Align the Brake Arms

Now it's time to get to the fixies brake arms

  1. Check the brake arm position, ensuring they both face straight up and down when they come in contact with the rim.
  2. Re-arrange the pad washers if they are too wide or too close together.

Some washers are thicker than others are, so you need to make sure you purchase smaller washers if you feel they are too wide apart.

How to Adjust Cable Tensions

The cable tensions needs to be just right to enjoy the ride on your city bike.

  1. Reconnect the cables and adjust the tension on it by pulling the fixies cable through the brake arms pinch bolt. Tighten.
  2. Adjust it until the brakes feel comfortable to your needs.

How to Center Your V-Brake Arm

It is imperative that both bike pads have equal spacing from the rim.

  1. Inspect to make sure the pads come in contact with your fixies' rims.
  2. Adjust the pads by tightening and loosening the adjustment screw.

That is All You Have to Do for Your Fixie Bike V-Brakes

The process is simple and I am confident you will have the tools you need to succeed with your fixie V-brakes.

Keep your fixie in tip-top shape with our tools.