How to Install Caliper Brakes on Bicycle

Calipers brake has been one of the most used bike brakes due to the advantages it offers. The most significant advantage of the caliper brake is it is available at a low price when compared with the other types of the brake. Though available at a low price the caliper brake works efficiently durably. Another great advantage of the caliper brake is they are straightforward to use. However, one issue about the caliper brake is they are worn out quickly. You can install a new caliper brake on your bicycle easily. Today we’ll let you know how to install caliper brakes on bicycle.

As we say, installing caliper brake is pretty straightforward when compared with the other types of the brake. Even if you have no prior idea about it, you will be able to change the caliper brake after reading this article. So, keep digging the article with your full concentration.

Types of Caliper Brake

Before you start learning how to install caliper brake on bicycle, you should know what caliper brake as well as how many types of caliper brakes is. Caliper brake is a type of rim brake which is installed above the rim. It squeezes the rim with brake pads to stop or slow down the vehicle.There are usually three types of caliper brake. Below, we will discuss them briefly:

Single Pivot Sidepulls

The single pivot side pulls brake is the one which has both of the brake arms pivots are around the center bolt. The counter bolt attaches the brake to the frame or fork. The cable housing is attached in the one brake arm and in the internal wire with to the other.

The single pivot brakes have a works very slowly, but they can track the warped rim very well. However, centering can be an issue for such brake as both brake arms are withdrawn autonomously by the spring.

Dual Pivot Sidepulls

The dual pivot brake comes with a pretty asymmetrical mechanism when compared to the other. In such brakes, when you turn the brake, one arm of the brake rotate around the center bolt when the other rotates around the pivot on the wheel. Both of the arms are connected with a cam so that it can move them at the same time and produce the same power.

Center pulls

When it comes to the center pulls, both of the brakes rotates around the pivot. The brake pads come upward to grab the wheel. It has been an accessible mode lately at the 60s. However, still, a lot of bikes use this mechanism. How to Install the Caliper Brakes on Newer Bikes.

Before you finally start knowing hot install the caliper brake, you will need to know about the term “reach.” It is the length from the center bolt to the middle of the brake pad. Reach is also known as the range, and it can be between 39 to 108 mm depending on the bike you have chosen.

How to Install the Caliper Brakes on Bicycle (Traditional Nut Style)

Okay now let’s start mounting the brake on your vehicle. The caliper brake includes a center bolt which is in the middle of the upper tube of the brake. Generally, the size of the center bolt is 6mm or 1/4 inch. The center bolt should be comparable size so that it can fit through the hole of the brake bridge or the fork crown.

The brake and position it on the brake by putting the center bolts in the hole of fork crown or brake bridge of the frame. There should be a hex nut along with washers to secure the brake with the frame of the bike. If you are mounting the brake on the curved surface of the brake bridge, then you must use radiused washers. Else, the brake may end up by crashing the brake bridge after a few days.

You may need a washer with a larger radius to support the brake if the mounting position of the brake is not correctly radiused. However, that is not that important for the fork crown. The fork crown is sturdier enough to support the brake even if it is attached only using a lock washer or a flat washer.

Remember that while mounting the brake, it is imperative to secure the component correctly. If you keep it loose, then you will often hear rattling noise. Besides, the brake will also come off eventually. Moreover, it will brake firmly on one side when braking weakly on another side. Such things can even injure the cyclist. 

How to Install the Caliper Brakes on Bikes (Recessed mounting)

You will find the recessed mounting on most of the newer bicycles available in the market. The recessed mounting offers you a lot of advantage when compared with the traditional way. It is lightweight and has a better appearance. In recessed mounting, the center bolt is shorter, and it doesn’t extend as like as the traditional one.

The forks and front which are designed for the recessed mounting include a stepped hole. The size of the hole is 6mm in front and 8mm on the back. It uses a cylindrical nut instead of 10mm wrench to support an Allen wrench of 5mm.

The procedure of installing the brake with recessed mounting is exactly as same as before. Actually, it is much easier as you are free from the hassle of nuts and bolts. The whole process is the same; only you will need to secure the newer wrench and nuts in recessed mounting.

How to Install the Caliper Brakes on Bikes

Is it possible to use caliper brakes which are designed for recessed mounting on your bike? Yes, it is possible. Here is how you will do it for the rear wheel —there are multiple options of doing so depending on the constructions of your bike. The first option is you may mount the brake on seat stays if the backside of the brake bridge is possible to drill out. Remember to use radiused washers to secure the brake properly.

If it is possible to drill out the brake bridge from the front, then you can also equip the brake. You can easily attach the brake using the washer in this way.

For the front wheel — there also multiple ways of doing so. We will tell you the best way. You can drill out the front wheel to make a hole for the brake. You can do it as we mentioned above for the rear wheel.

Others Ways of Mounting the Brake

In above, we mentioned different ways of installing different types of caliper brakes on your bike. However, if the bike comes with different types of frame construction instead of the regular one, then the above method will not work for you. Here, with various “frame construction,” we mean the frame equip the brake in different places. Below, we will discuss how to mount the brake on such bikes.

Rear Brake at Chainstays

If the rear brake of the bike stays at the chainstays, then you can use this procedure. For such bikes, you can drill a hole in the tube that goes from middle of the rear wheel to center of the bike. These types of frame are called the chainstays.

Rear Brake at Mixte Stays

If the bike comes with a mixte frame, the brake may be equipped in the seat stays. However, such a brake will not be potent as certain power will be lost due to the hazardous cabling. 

Rear Brake Onward of the Seatstays

We all know that the rear caliper brake should be installed behind the seat stays. However, if the bike includes a baggage rack, then it may not be possible. In such situations, the brake can be installed ahead of the seat stays.


In above, we provided you different ways of mounting the caliper brake on bicycles. If you have read the entire article, then you should be able to install such brakes from your own from now on.

So, if you are going to do so, then make sure to secure the brake properly. Hopefully, the article on How to Install Caliper Brakes on Bicycle will be useful for you.

Leave a Comment