Making your brakes work well enough to be safe

Riding without brakes is arguably harder than riding without a chain – at least with no chain it’s the getting going that’s hard, not the stopping.

V-Brakes rubbing
Apart from wasting power, gritty brake pads can wear through a rim very quickly, so fix them!
Pads wear out on a ride
Ensure that the most-used brake has the best pads by choosing from all four and swapping them around as necessary.
Brake lever breaks
Many crash situations can end up with bent or broken levers.
Brake cable snaps
Cables tend to snap at the attachment points. If it’s broken at the brake end, you may be in luck.
Disk rotor bent
Just dropping the bike on its side can bend the rotor. Crashing it can bend it severely. Make sure you take your time to get it straight again.
Hydraulic brake hose broken
It’s surprisingly easy to rip out a hose by catching it on branches. It’s often possible to put it back together again afterwards.
Disk brake pads contaminated with oil
Contaminated pads typically won’t slow the bike down very well. They may also squeak wildly.