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Loose Brakes Adjustment Guide

Brake cables (and shifter cables) on all bikes stretch with use over time and need to be periodically tightened.

The mechanical disc brakes that come with all ebikes by Rad Power Bikes are a critical safety feature and it is very important to keep them well-adjusted. The brakes are essentially the same as mechanical disc brakes that come on standard pedal bikes and their adjustment and maintenance should be very familiar to any certified, reputable bike shop.  

Caution.png Never touch the brake disc, especially while the wheel is in motion. Touching the brake disc can reduce braking performance and cause squeaking; touching the brake disc while it is moving can cause serious injury.

You'll Need:

  • A 5 mm Allen wrench
  • A torque wrench
Test the Brakes
  1. Power off the bike. Press and hold "MODE" on the LCD display remote, then remove the battery. Press and hold the “MODE” button again to discharge remaining power.
  2. Prop the bike in a bike stand. You can also prop the bike on its kickstand, or hold a wheel in the air so it can spin without making contact with the ground.
  3. Check the brakes. Spin the wheel to check for clearance between the brake pads and brake caliper. Use the left brake lever to stop the front wheel, and then repeat with the right brake lever to stop the rear wheel.

    Brakes should be adjusted if:
    • The brake pads take longer than you would like to slow you down.
    • The brake pads make contact with the brake disc when the brake lever is more than halfway between the neutral lever position and the handlebar.
    • The brake pads are too far away from the disc.
    • One or both brake levers squeeze too close to the handlebar grip, in the photos below indicated with the X.

    Photo_Sep_06__2_27_30_PM.jpg    Photo_Sep_06__2_27_42_PM.jpg 

    Follow the steps below to adjust your brakes if needed. Once adjusted, the brake pads should grip the brake disc when the brake lever is halfway between the neutral lever position and the handlebar grip.

    Photo_Sep_06__2_28_29_PM.jpg

Adjust the Brakes

Rotate the barrel adjuster

  1. Rotate the barrel adjuster by the brake lever. Loosen the lockring and rotate the barrel adjuster in small increments so it "backs out" and moves away from the lever. Tighten the lockring to secure the barrel adjuster in place. This will increase the cable tension.

    barrel_adjuster_-_brake_lever.gif
  2. Check the brakes. Spin the wheel to check for clearance between the brake pads and brake caliper. Squeeze the brake lever to stop the wheel.
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 if the problem persists and more cable tension is needed. If the issue persists after backing the barrel adjuster out fully, repeat these steps on the brake caliper barrel adjuster.

    barrel_adjuster_-_brake_caliper.gif
  4. Check the brakes. If the issue persists, the cable pinch bolt by the brake caliper can be adjusted.

Adjust the cable pinch bolt

  1. Move all barrel adjusters to their original position. Ensure all four barrel adjusters (one on each brake lever and one on each brake caliper) are fully "backed in" and sit flush against the lockring.
  2. Add larger amounts of brake cable tension at the caliper. 
    1. Use an Allen wrench to loosen the cable pinch bolt just enough to allow the brake cable to slide through the bolt.

      IMG_3240__1_.jpg
    2. Pull the cable through the pinch bolt and move the caliper arm up the cable.

      IMG_3239.JPG
    3. Tighten the caliper pinch bolt to secure the cable with more tension.

      IMG_3240__2_.jpg
    4. Torque to 5 Nm.

      IMG_3242.JPG
  3. Check the brakes. Spin the wheel to check for clearance between the brake pads and brake caliper. Squeeze the brake lever to stop the wheel.
  4. Make adjustments if needed. If the brake lever is too tight when squeezed, loosen the cable pinch bolt, carefully push the cable up through the pinch bolt to create more cable slack, then tighten the pinch bolt and check the brakes.

    If the brake cable has been adjusted through the cable pinch bolt fully and the issue persists, the inner pad will need to be adjusted.

Adjust the inner pad

  1. Check the brakes. Spin the wheel to check for clearance between the brake pads and brake caliper. Squeeze the brake lever to stop the wheel. If the brake pad closest to the wheel hub is still too far away from the disc, the inner pad will need to be adjusted closer to the rotor.*

    *Note: For the RadRover and RadMini, both front and rear brakes' inner pad adjustment will be accessible without removing the brakes from the bike. To adjust the inner pad on the rear brake of the RadCity and RadWagon, the caliper must be unbolted from the frame to adjust the pad, and then re-attached to the frame.

  2. Adjust the inner pad. Rotate the spokes out of the way if necessary and slot a 5 mm Allen wrench through the wheel, directly into the hole in the center of the silver brake adjuster disc. Rotate the adjuster clockwise to move the inner pad toward the disc about 1-3 clicks.

    inner_pad_adjuster.jpeg
  3. Test the brake pad clearance and braking feel. Spin the wheel and squeeze the brake lever to check that the brake pads contact the brake disc about halfway between the lever's neutral position and the handlebar grip, as shown below.

    Photo_Sep_06__2_28_29_PM.jpg
  4. Test the bike fully. Reinstall the battery, test the bike fully, and ride Rad!
Caution.png If you are not confident in your ability to successfully and safely perform all steps, we recommend having the work performed by a local, certified, and reputable bike mechanic.

 

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