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A bit new to cycling so please pardon my ignorance. All was fine on my bike up until the other day when I engaged the front brake and nothing happened. I had to fully squeeze the brake until it was touching the handlebar before the pads would close. This had never happened before, and the rear brake only needs a small squeeze for the pads to engage. I did squeeze hard on the brake as I was about to miss my turn, but nothing broke or snapped as far as I can see. Please see pictures for the front and rear brakes engaged. Any idea on what has happened?

Rear brake

Front brake

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  • Do you mean the pads don't move until you have the lever all the way down, or that they don't contact the rim until then? Also, please post a picture of the brake calipers. – HAEM Jun 30 '20 at 9:38
  • Thanks for the reply. Sorry I meant the pads don't move until the lever is all the way down. I will add the calipers to the question – Neil Jun 30 '20 at 9:52
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    Show us a photo of the caliper - I wonder if the quick release has been opened, which normally facilitates installation of a wheel with a tyre that is wider than the gap between brake pads. – Criggie Jun 30 '20 at 10:44
  • Also, do remember to do a brief safety check before you set of on your ride. Brakes is absolutely something that should work first time, so check them as you're getting on your bike. – Criggie Jun 30 '20 at 10:46
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    Maybe the cable slip from the nut ? – Max Jun 30 '20 at 12:24
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Work the lever and check that that the caliper is moving - that will tell you that the cable is attached and has not broken.

Make sure the little lever on the caliper that spreads the pads to let the wheel come out of the bike isn't engaged

Inspect the cable run from lever to caliper, make sure the housing is properly inserted into the lever and all frame stops.

If that all checks out the cable may have slipped through the pinch bolt on the caliper. Undo the pinch bolt to free the cable, verify the lever is pulling cable by pulling on the cable and and working the lever, reattach the cable. You can refer to this Park Tool video for installing and adjusting calipers.

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  • OK thanks, I will give those checks a go – Neil Jun 30 '20 at 10:34

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