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The brakes on your bike are the main safety feature. Here is what you need to know to make sure they working properly and you'll be safe while you're out riding.

The front brake is usually cabled to the lever on the right handlebar. Although, if you are left handed, it may be changed to be on the left handlebar. When you squeeze the brake, it should not touch the handlebar.
If it does, you may need to make some adjustments (see below). The break pads should be replaced on a regular basis. Most have notches or grooves that will indicate wear. If these notches or grooves are disappearing, it's time to replace the pads.

How to Adjust Cantilever brakes.
1. Loosen the anchor bolt holding the break cable. Then you can adjust how tight the breaks are.
2. Loop a third hand tool over break pad ends to hold brake pads in place on tire rims.
3. Pull cable tight while you tighten anchor bolt. Remove the third hand tool and test the break.

How to Adjust Side Pull Brakes
1. To tighten the cable, turn adjuster screw clockwise. Then loosen the anchor bolt.
2. Apply a third hand tool to hold brakes on tire rim. Rings on each side of the tool will fit over brake pad locknuts.
3. Use pliers to pull lower end of cable through anchor bolt. Tighten anchor bolt.
4. Release third hand tool. If brake pads remain closed, slightly loosen cable tension.
5. Center the brake over the wheel by tapping spring with screwdriver and hammer.

OR: You may also be able to adjust the breaks by repositioning the brake pads.
Loosen locknuts. Set each pad 1/8 inch from rim. Retighten rim. To test
this, squeeze brake lever. Pads should grab at the center of the tire's rim. If it squeaks, more adjustments need to be made.

How to Replace a Brake Cable

1. Remove cable by loosening anchor bolt and adjuster screw.
2.Pull cable out of housing, stops and brake lever.
3. Start new cable by securing nipple in holder and feeding cable into lever channel.
4. Grease new cable.
5. Thread it through housing and follow stops along bike frame to brake. Continue threading cable through yoke of cantilever brake and into anchor bolt. On side pull break, housing end goes into adjuster screw, cable end into anchor bolt.

This guide will allow you to adjust both cantilever and side pull breaks and replace them if necessary. With these ideas in mind, you will keep your bikes brakes safe and in working order. In turn, when you head out for a ride, you know you'll be able to stop whenever you want!