Introduction- “My BMX Brake Pads Are Not Gripping”!
Your brakes are some of the most essential components of your bike. Any malfunction could lead to horrible damage to your bike or, worse yet, to your person, especially while BMX biking.
Without adequate braking, you could roll right into oncoming traffic with no way to avoid it, resulting in great injury or even death. Therefore, ensuring that your BMX bike’s brake pads are as ready to hit the road as you are is non-negotiable.
Perhaps you’ve recently taken your bike out of storage only to find that the brake pads are not gripping as tightly as they should. The brake pads don’t seem to be making as much contact with the rims of your wheels as they need to, but what can you do?
If you’re looking for a solution for why your BMX brake pads aren’t gripping, this guide will show you some tricks and hacks!
What should you do if your BMX brakes are very slow to stop?
This video shows some ways in which you can improve your brakes (Credit to @Brant_Moore):
If your BMX brakes are very slow to stop, there are a few parts on the bike that you should double-check that are well-known problem areas. The first would be the braking system but that entails also knowing and understanding the mechanisms behind the kind of system your bike has.
The two main types of brakes are rim brakes and disc brakes, with the former being a classic and, thus, much more common in most bikes.
Rim brakes can further be broken down into sub-categories such as caliper rim brakes or cantilever rim brakes, with the latter being most popular among BMX bikes. This is all to say that your BMX bike most likely has cantilever rim brakes but verify this before you undertake any adjustments.
Regardless of your brake types, one quick and easy option you can try is making sure that the brake levers are free of dirt or debris. Brake levers can often collect dust and other particulates that negatively impact the system, so clean them off while ensuring that they’ve remained properly placed on the handlebars.
Ideally, your brake levers shouldn’t squeak or feel resistant to pressure but if they do, feel free to use a tiny amount of lubricant on the brake levers and cables. Take care to avoid accidentally lubricating the brake pads or rotors, however, as this will only adversely affect your braking.
If neither the brake levers nor cables seem to be the issue, then the problem could be your brake pads themselves. These components tend to wear down over time, culminating in weak grips that don’t allow the wheels to fully stop spinning. Clean off the brake pads if they appear overly covered in debris that might hinder their contact with the rim of the wheels.
If the brake pads feel a bit too smooth to the touch, use some sandpaper to roughen them up. Doing so should give them more grip and help your bike to slow faster; it’s that simple!