How to Adjust Your Schwinn Bicycle Brake Pads

By Matthew Ferguson

Schwinn bicycles come in a variety of designs. Each relies on some sort of a brake to help modulate speed. While brake design may differ from one type of bike to another, each system employs a set of pads to seize some portion of the wheel during braking. Rim brakes are any design of brake that uses the sides of the rim of the wheel as a braking surface. Disc brakes, found almost exclusively on mountain bikes, use a rotor attached to one side of the wheel. Proper pad adjustment is required by both systems for effective braking.

Pull the brake lever into the handlebar to engage the brake. Each pad, one on either side of the rim, should be even with the side of the rim. A pad that is angled up or down may strike the tire or hang over the bottom of the rim. An even pad engages the rim fully.

Loosen the nut on the side of the crooked pad, using a 10mm spanner wrench. Position the pad until it is even with the side of the rim. Tighten the nut, using the 10mm wrench. Repeat for both pads if necessary.

Pull the brake lever into the handlebar a second time, but slowly. Note the amount lever travel before the brake engages the rim. Adjustment is required if the lever travels more than one-third of its total distance before the brake is engaged.

Turn Schwinn rim brake adjustment barrel counterclockwise to decrease lever travel. Depending on the model bike, the adjustment barrel is located at one end or the other of the brake cable. Use the barrel to set the lever travel.

Disc Brakes

Pull the brake lever into the handlebar of the Schwinn bike. The lever should not travel more than one-third of its total range before the pads engage the rotor.

Look into the slot at the top of the brake caliper, and observe the position of the pads on either side of the rotor.

Use a 5 mm hex key and turn the adjustment screw on the side of the caliper facing away from the bike clockwise to move the outside pad closer to the caliper. Schwinn recommends a gap of 1/32 of an inch, or .793 mm. If available, use a feeler gauge as close to the recommended value as possible to check the gap.

Turn the adjustment screw on the side of the caliper facing the clockwise to move the inside pad closer to the caliper. Adjust the gap to 1/32 of an inch.

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