With a brand new bike, a small amount of rubbing and noise is expected to occur during the break-in period of the brake pads. If the wheel spins freely or mostly free, it is recommended to put at least 25-50 miles on the bike to allow time for the pads and rotors to break in before making the first adjustment. However, if the front wheel seems to be held back significantly by the brakes, follow these instructions to make an adjustment:
If the pads are just a little too tight, sometimes we can fix this with the adjustment knob up on the brake lever on the handlebars. The left brake lever corresponds to the front brake, and the right lever to the rear.
If your brake pads are a little too tight, you’ll want to turn this silver knob clockwise (to the right) a few turns and try the wheel again. This will loosen the outside pad of the brake caliper. If your brakes are too loose, you can turn this knob counter clockwise to tighten them.
If you’re unable to tighten that knob any further, and still running into rubbing or squeaks, we can try adjusting the inside pad as well. For this one, you’ll want to look through the wheel to the inside of the brake caliper, looking for the quarter-sized silver disc like this picture:
For this, you’ll need that 5mm allen wrench and we’ll be slotting it directly into the hole in the center of that small disc. If you turn it, you should feel small clicks, and we’ll want to turn it 1-3 clicks in the “Out” direction (counter-clockwise) to loosen the inside pad.
Note: For the RadRover and RadMini, both front and rear brakes' inner pad adjustment will be accessible without removing the brakes from the bike, but on the RadCity and RadWagon rear brakes, we find it’s easiest to unbolt the caliper from the frame (the bolts shown in the picture below), adjust the pad, and re-attach the brake to the frame. Torque these screws to 10-12 Nm.
If that didn't fix the issue or the disk brake rotor looks like it gets twisted when the brake is squeezed, then the caliper may need to be centered.
To do this, start by loosening the two bolts that hold the brake caliper (shown in the picture below) onto the brake adapter that’s bolted onto the bike frame. You’ll need to use the 5mm Allen wrench included in your toolkit to do this. Once these are loose, and the brake caliper is free to wiggle around, squeeze and hold the brake lever for this caliper, up on the handlebars. While holding this down, re-tighten the 5mm bolts. When tightening the bolts, only turn the bolt 1/4th of a rotation then switch to the other bolt. Go back and forth to evenly tighten both bolts to 10-12 Nm. This will center the caliper over the rotor and should take care of some of the noise and rubbing.
If you’re still having issues, contact us and we’ll be happy to help out!