I recently bought a new road bike (a very entry model - Giordano Acciao) which has alloy dual pivot brakes. The brakes seem to work poorly, even though they are quite tight. If I squeeze the brake and push the bike forward it might still move - when riding this feeling is even worse, the brake just won't fixate the wheel to non-motion. How is that possible on a new bike? Is there something I can do and that I am missing and I should do? Shouldn't the brake stop the wheel completely?

Best regards

  • 4
    First action should be to take it back to the shop and have your brakes fixed. It is new after all!
    – Carel
    Sep 22, 2019 at 7:58
  • 1
    Do note that the rims may need to have some degree of "break-in". In particular, there may be a film of oil on the rims, and it needs to be worn/washed away. Also, it may be that the pads are simply too hard. Sep 22, 2019 at 11:21
  • The brakes probably indeed work poorly, but I’d just like to point out two things: When pushing the bike you can’t pull the brake levers properly and you get the greatest leverage when pulling from the drops at the very tip of the levers.
    – Michael
    Sep 22, 2019 at 11:33
  • 1
    @DanielRHicks Your phrasing is a bit ambiguous. If there's oil on the rims, it needs to be cleaned off immediately, not allowed to wear away. Sep 22, 2019 at 13:04

4 Answers 4


Entry level bikes are designed to be sold at a price point. What this means is, the parts are spec'd out to at least be functional at the lowest possible cost. In your case the brakes were the parts that are the least functional. They still work, but not great. The good news is that the brake pads are one of the cheapest upgrades you can make. With a minimum of tools and skill you can change the pads. Avoid buying pads at Walmart, Target etc as these are likely similar in quality to what you have. I would suggest you visit a local shop see what they carry and ask for the best brakes you can get in your price range.

  • 3
    I’d check two things before getting new pads: 1) That the cables are installed properly and the brakes move easily when pulling the lever. 2) That the pads are aligned properly, i.e. parallel to the rim. It could also be the case that the pull-ratio of levers and brakes doesn’t match, in which case you’d have to replace one of both.
    – Michael
    Sep 22, 2019 at 11:31

In the USA at least you can take a bike back to the store you bought it from and ask for problems to be addressed. However I googled 'Giordano Acciao' and I'm guessing you got this bike from Amazon or a department store, so that's likely not an option for you.

no offense meant, but bikes from Amazon, Walmart or department stores are the lowest quality and can be barely be usable. The performance you are getting may just be the best the low quality components can provide.

That said there are a number of things you can try to improve things. Check the pad alignment and brake adjustment. Park Tool has a good video showing how to do that here. The pads may need a little wearing in and will improve as the outer surface wears off and the pad conforms to the rim. You can also buy higher quality pads from a dedicated bike shop.


I bought a used bike recently that had unlabelled Promax brakes and Tektro drop-bar levers. With brake pads properly aligned, cables well tensioned, rims cleaned, and pad surface sanded the brakes were working. But just by a small margin well enough to safely use the bike at low speeds (< 8 m/s) on flat ground.

Instead of replacing only the brake pads, I replaced the brake calipers with mid-range Shimano calipers I bought at a discount for about 40 EUR. That was just about twice as much as replacing the brake pads with decent pads would have cost. Decent brake pads were included with the brake calipers.

I also replaced brake cables, but kept the Tektro levers. The brakes function now well enough that they are not the limiting factor to speed any more.


I have purchased brand new brakes and find most are just too spongy and too firm as new,i totally replace all those nylon black washers with steel ones,grease all pivot point and put in a smaller spring,that gives me a very smooth dual pivot brake,look like brake makers are just cost cutting to much and making their brakes to fail much earlier,i havent seen a brand new brake out of the box that worked 100 percent

  • 2
    How can they be simultaneously too spongy and too firm? Did you mistype something?
    – DavidW
    Dec 17, 2023 at 13:10

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