I have V-brakes and when the pads wear down, the brake needs adjustment.

Adjusting by undoing and tightening the cable is difficult, is there an easier way to adjust V-brakes to compensate for pad wear?

  • 1
    What problem do you have with barrel adjusters? I agree that initial alignment of the brake pads is a PITA.
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 5:49
  • 1
    They did come up with a better system, its called hydraulic disc brakes. There are hydraulic rim brakes, not sure if solving the adjustment problems was a goal of them though.
    – mattnz
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 6:06
  • You can find a local bike commune, sometimes called bike repair café, where enthusiasts show and teach simple maintenance hands-on.
    – Carel
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 7:41
  • 1
    Andy, I think there is a good question in there so I have edited a little to bring that out, hope that's ok
    – Swifty
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 8:28
  • @mattnz The TRP Hy/Rd will self-adjust, while the juihist ones do not. Those effectively have a barrel adjuster on the piston arm.
    – MaplePanda
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


The rim brakes on my last bike had a barrel adjuster that did what you ask. My new bike has disk brakes and they self-adjust.

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The barrel adjuster here is the black cylinder on the right-side. The brake housing/cable pass through the middle. To bring the pads closer to the rim, rotate the barrel adjuster so it comes out from the lever's body by a turn or two, and then tighten the thinner lock ring in the opposite direction against the body. Check the rim still rotates freely between the pads.

  • I could use some more details. Your answer is lacking somewhat. @Ross Millikan
    – fixit7
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 2:47
  • I didn't have to play with the pads on the old bike. If I wanted to move them closer to the rim, I turned the barrel adjuster. I rode the bike for five years, never replaced the pads, and never ran out of range on the adjuster. That sounds like it answers what you are looking for. The disk brakes need no adjustment until the pads are worn out. That happened in a year and I am riding new ones. Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 2:50
  • @RossMillikan feel free to update if required.
    – Criggie
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 3:12

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