Learn How To Install Disk Brakes On Your Bicycle

Learn How To Install Disk Brakes On Your Bicycle


Just imagine what a win-win situation it would be for a cyclist, to own the best quality cycle or a bike that not only embodies all the desirable features but also holds an amiable relation with the owner. The basis of this bonding, in most of the cases, lies in the extent of safety provided by the bike and BRAKES play the most important role here. As we are concerned about your safety and well being, we will, in our discussion, learn about making your bikes safer by fitting in these special brakes called the DISC BRAKES.

What Are Disk Brakes?

The disc brakes are a special type of braking system that are quite different from the normal caliper brakes or the rim brakes, commonly used in the bikes. A disc brake, utilizes the calipers that squeezes some pads against the disc. This helps in the retardation of the shaft rotation because of friction generation. Its main purpose is to reduce the speed of the vehicle axle and in many cases, to stop the movement completely.

The most commonly used disc brake, is the hydraulic disc brake, used specially for mountain bikes. However, these are becoming popular for other bike ranges too.

Learn How To Install Disk Brakes On Your Bicycle

Photo Credit: http://www.icebike.org/mountain-bike-disc-brakes/

Why Disc Brakes?

There are a plethora of different positive points and reasons of using disc brakes, some of which are:

  • These brakes are very strong.
  • They are hardly affected by the weather conditions, especially, the wet conditions.
  • Snow or mud cannot pose a restriction for them.
  • They are not altered by rim damage.
  • There is no risk of the wheel getting locked.
  • No special lubrication process is required.
  • They have this ability of heat dissipation without extra heating of the tires.
  • You do not have to worry about the black dust problem, while repairing and maintenance as these brakes do not wear rims at all.
  • They provide the owner with easy modifications avenue.

Note: The advantages of disc brakes are more compelling for mountain bikes and special measures need to be taken while installing them. We are going to discover all the steps involved in its installation.

Learn How To Install Disk Brakes On Your Bicycle

Photo Credit: http://thehybridbikeclub.com/bicycle-brakes-whats-difference

The Prerequisites For Installation

There are several areas that we need to look upon before starting the process of installation which is pointed below:-

  • At the very outset, it is imperative for you to match the parts with each other. Most importantly, the rotor size should match with the mounting brackets. If not matched properly, it may demand unnecessary repairing of the parts, for e.g. repairing bicycle rear axle and the front axle.
  • Choose from among the commonly used rotor sizes, which are: 140 mm, 160 mm, 180 mm, 183 mm, 185 mm, 203 mm.
  • Please know that the mounting bracket for the calipers is the determinant of the height of the caliper above the frame so as to get hold of the appropriate rotor size.
  • Ensure the availability of the required tools. The most important ones are: Hex Wrench (4 or 5mm), Torque Wrench, Torx Wrench, T25 for the bolts of the caliper.
Learn How To Install Disk Brakes On Your Bicycle

Photo Credit: http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/rotor-disc-service-and-installation

The Steps Of Installation

STEP 1: Mounting of the rotors onto the hubs

The very first step is the installation of the rotors on the hubs. This is done using the Torx wrench (T25). In general, 40-60 lbs of torque is required for such mountings. Be extra careful and apply lock-tite to each and every bolt to prevent stripping and loosening. In the end, the wheels are installed back in the dropouts.

STEP 2: Mounting of the rear levers to the feed line and bars

The second step is the mounting of rear levers to the bars and then feeding the line to the frame, which is triangular in shape. Once the line is fed properly, bolt the frame to the mounting bracket of the caliper, secure the bolts tightly and create a loose attachment between the mounting bracket and the caliper.

Note: Make sure not to fix the bolts tightly, at this point.

STEP 3: Mounting of the feed line and the front lever through the fork

In this step, the front levers are mounted and followed up with line feeding, both through the suspension fork. It totally depends on the user, to feed the line either from the outside or the inside. Always ensure that the front brake line is very well organized with the cables and the rear line of the brake.

Now, is the time to mount the mounting bracket of the caliper and tighten the bolts, ensuring the following mentioned figures:

  • Post mounts: 80 lbs.
  • IS mounts: 110 lbs.

Note: Again, create a loose attachment between the mounting brackets and the caliper, leaving the uppermost pair of the bolts un-tightened.


The ready disc brake frames have some mounts, below the frame tubes that help in securing hydraulic lines. It is advisable to use small ties, cutting off the excess. Use amount to secure the brake line on the fork. Take care and ensure that the line does not hinder the movement and is completely away from the spokes of the wheels. The bars are to be turned now, from the right extreme side to the left extreme.

In the end, tighten the loose bolts and ensure that all the parts interact and relate with each other and are in sync. In case of any further problems or conflicts, the levers and the brake calipers need minute adjustments. Also, in order to improve the drag of your disc brakes, follow the below mentioned steps:

  • Spin the wheel, slowly.
  • While this spinning of the wheel, the caliper is to be positioned to the area of zero drag.
  • Let the spinning continue and tighten the bolts of the caliper properly.
Learn How To Install Disk Brakes On Your Bicycle

Photo Credit: https://blog.performancebike.com/2015/01/06/road-bikes-rim-brakes-vs-disc-brakes/

The Installation And The Adjustments Are Done- What At The End?

Do not think that you are all set just because you have fixed those disc brakes in your bike. No, you are not. You may need to tighten or loosen your bicycle brake. Also, in order to get a hang of it and to make the brakes run properly, you need to pedal up your bike and run miles to polish and discover that strength of your disc brakes.

Follow the aforementioned steps and you are ready to hit that trail.

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