How To Stop Brakes From Dragging And Sticking

As our cycling community expands, our bike routes improve, and our bicycle commuting population grows, we want to try to improve your every day riding experience with helpful tips from time to time!

Today we want to give a little walk through on what to do when your brakes are sticking on your bike.

Because going to slow down and having your brakes continue to drag against your wheel after you’ve released them can be as dangerous as it is irritating.

So, a simple guide to helping your brakes release:

1. Check To See If Your Brake Pads Are Too Worn Out

You need more than 1/4″ thickness in your brake pads for them to operate properly. If they are worn past that point then you are going to need to replace them.

2. Lubricate Your Handlebar Brake Lever
Sometimes the sticking is caused by the lever control, not by the brake itself. Use a bike lubricant to oil the pivot points in the lever, but not the brake itself.

3. Clean The Brakes and Tire Rims
If there’s a lot of grime and dirt in the brake pads and tire rims then they aren’t going to work well. Take some time to clean them thoroughly, disassembling them if you know how so that you can reach the interior areas.

4. Adjust Your Brake Cables
If your cycle has adjustment barrels on the cables then there are no tools needed to change the tension from the lever to the brake. A simple twist can tighten the cable enough to get the brakes to return to their correct position when you release your brake lever.

If these simple little maintenance tips don’t help, ask around and see if any of your friends have any bike mechanic skills. With our up and coming community of cyclists, it’s more likely than you would expect that a friend could help you tune up your ride. If not, a quick stop at one of our many local shops should get your rolling again in no time!