Today’s tech tip discusses how to adjust the free play on the foot brake (rear brakes) of road bike equipped with rear drum brakes. Too much free play and your foot will need to extend too far to engage the brakes properly during heavy braking (or normal braking). This is an easy adjustment, in fact all you’ll need is a 14mm wrench and a few minutes of time.
First check the free play of the pedal with the bike parked. By pushing down on the pedal with your hand, you can feel when the brake starts to engage. You want to shorten the length your foot has to go to engage the brakes so that you can comfortable and safely stop. Too much free play and it will be difficult to depress the pedal fully (especially on forward controls). To adjust the freeplay, find the adjusting nut on the rear of the bike near the brake drum (see photo). Using a 14mm (size for this Honda Shadow) wrench, turn the adjusting nut clockwise to lessen the free play or counter clockwise to give the pedal more free play. Adjust it so it feels comfortable when braking. Once you feel like you have it dialed in right, take it for a test ride to make sure if feels good during actual braking. That’s it for today’s tech tip!
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