When I depress my front brake lever it just goes all the way to the handle bars offering no resistance and the brake pads apply little pressure to the rims

Why is this and how do I fix my vbrake. ?


Most likely, you don't have enough tension in the cable to start with. Loosen the cable-fixing bolt on the brake, and pull through enough cable so that the pads are within a few mm of the rim.

Other possibilities to investigate:

v-brake noodle

You haven't replaced the "noodle"--the curved guide that routes the cable from one brake arm to the other. It needs to hook into the hinged clip at the top of the brake arm. See above.

v-brake spring

Both brake arms have springs that butt against the frame, to force the brakes apart. These are usually tucked behind the arms, and aren't very visible. It is possible for one or both of these to come unclipped from the brake arms (or possibly the frame, although that's less likely).

Similarly, you may need to increase the preload on the springs. In the above photo, they're the screws angled downward at the bottom, but they may be positioned elsewhere on your brakes.

Edited to add: this could also be due to severely misadjusted pads, but that seems less likely. Adjusting V-brake pads is kind of a PITA since there are so many degrees of freedom.

  • If it’s not simply a lack of cable tension it’s either worn or misaligned pads or a broken cable housing.
    – Michael
    Oct 17 at 18:06

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