How To Install Caliper Brakes On Bicycle

Author: Alex Bristol

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Caliper brakes are a self-contained mechanism that is attached to the bicycle frame with the help of a single bolt for each brake (front and rear). The entire caliper brake system consists of a lever that is connected to the brake via a cable. When the lever is squeezed, pressure is exerted to the rim of the wheel through brake pads. This helps in reducing the rotation of the wheel which in turn will eventually slow down the bicycle.

The one frequently asked question is how to install caliper brakes on bicycles which are an essential component for safety measures. We are here to ease your problem and give you a step by step process on how to install caliper brakes on bicycles.


We first need to know the several parts of a caliper brake system. These include:

  • Rim
  • Brake Lever
  • Brake cable and housing
  • Brake caliper

Installation process:

Following is a step by step instruction on how to install caliper brakes on bicycle:

Install the caliper – The caliper comprises of two grooved washers and a recessable nut. Upon opening the box, you’ll find these items screwed onto the caliper’s bolt. All you have to do is remove the nut and move the caliper through the gap in the brake bridge right above the rear wheel. Then tighten the nut all the way.

Install the Lever – The next step is to fix the lever onto the handlebars. To open the lever, use a 4mm allen, place the lever anywhere you’d like on the handlebar and then make sure to tighten it back.

Install the cable and housing – Slide the cable out of the housing. Feed it through the lever until the barrel looking end catches and slide the housing back over the cable, all the way in its little holding area. Move the other end of the cable through the guide in the top of the caliper. Pull and hold the caliper together with your fingers. Meanwhile, pull the cable through the eyelet on the caliper’s side. Hold the caliper in place by tightening the nut.

Secure the housing – Route the housing along the top tube with the help of the cable ties. Use the screwdriver to tighten it. The housing should make a soft curve down to the caliper. The front wheel will still have freedom to move. There should be a short loop of cable remaining in the front.

Align the brake pads – Align the brake pads with the braking surface using a 4mm allen key. The whole pad should be touching the braking surface. Swivel the caliper until the pad’s rim contact is adjusted. Pump the brake a few times to make sure it’s working.


Caliper brakes are an excellent way to ensure added security while riding a bike. Some people do find it difficult to install them, but the entire process isn’t very difficult and with this guide, I’m sure things would get even easier.

Relevant Article:

Rear brake installation – Post by Pure Cycles

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