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A bicycle is a vehicle composed of many elements, joined together to form a perfect joint. Among the most important components of a bicycle are certainly the brakes, because they allow the rider to move safely and stop when necessary, or even reduce speed.  

Precisely because of their usefulness, bicycle brakes must be functional and precise, able to lock the wheels gradually but efficiently at the same time. 

Check out our bike components section: you will find everything you need to complete/improve your bike.

Because of the great importance of brakes on a bicycle, whatever the use of the bike and the type of rider, they must be chosen with care, they must be of high quality, and manufacturers are constantly working on research and innovations to improve their products.

How does the bicycle brake work?

The braking impulse, whether to slow down or stop the bike, is given by the rider using the lever on the handlebar. At this point, the braking system is activated and, depending on the type of bike brake, all its elements come into play.

What types of bicycle brakes exist?

Like every component that evolves over time and the introduction of new technologies, there are some bike brakes that have fallen into disuse and others that are growing significantly. 

Currently the most common systems are:

  • TRADITIONAL BICYCLE BRAKE: the traditional brake is a system that, through friction between special pads and the wheel rim, allows the bike/cyclist system to brake. The traditional bike brake is usually mechanical and transfers, through small cables, the force impressed by the cyclist's hand to the brake pad that comes into contact with the wheel rim. Depending on the material the rim is made of, there are different pad compounds so that the correct braking is always achieved. Traditional brakes, which are still widely used in road bikes, have now been totally replaced by disc brakes in land-based disciplines (MTB, CX, Gravel) while they still have a small share of the market in racing bikes.
  • DISC BRAKE: it represents the safest braking method for bicycles because disc brake pads create a higher coefficient of friction. This system is available in different models and sizes. Smaller discs are suitable for cross-country or racing bikes, larger disc brakes for enduro, MTB and downhill bikes. 
    Braking with disc brakes is also unaffected by rain or other external conditions, ensuring effective braking at all times.

Then there are other types of brakes, which have a smaller market share and have never reached the general public: these are drum brakes, coaster brakes or the now obsolete rod brakes that acted directly on the tyre.

How to change bicycle brakes?

The brakes are an essential part of the bicycle, and we should always check that the pads, or brake pads, are clean and not too used. It is always good to have working brakes, and if certain parts are consumed they need to be replaced so that you can always go out safely on your rides or training rides.

Hydraulic disc brakes are the ones that require the most maintenance; they have a special oil inside the sheaths. If air bubbles form inside the sheath, braking may be uneven and it is essential that the oil is always under pressure. In some cases it is necessary to replace the disc because, mainly as a result of falls, the disc could bend and no longer allow smooth braking.

How much does it cost to change bicycle brakes?

Changing brakes varies greatly in cost, from a few euros to replace pads to a higher price to change the whole system. Ask Cicli Mattio for a quotation, we will meet your needs. Remember, however, the expense of keeping your bike's braking system in order is a useful expense and not a superficial one; safety on the road must always be a priority.

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