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Bike rim brakes

Rim brakes

Rim brakes are a common type of braking system used on bicycles. These brakes work by applying friction to the rims of the bicycle's wheels to slow or stop the bicycle. There are three main types of rim brakes: caliper brakes, cantilever brakes and the so-called V-Brakes.


  • Caliper brakes are one of the most common types of rim brakes. They consist of two arms and are divided into: single-pivot, dual-pivot, centre-pull and U-brake according to the design, mounting, and pivot point of the arms. When the brake lever is depressed, these arms rotate inwards and press the brake shoes against the sides of the rim. Caliper brakes are lightweight and suitable for road bikes where aerodynamics and weight savings are important.
  • Cantilever brakes are historically one of the oldest types of brakes. Rim brakes or also called Cantilever brakes can be found on cheaper types of bicycles. Their disadvantage is complicated adjustment and lower efficiency. The advantage, however, is their low price. They are also not the best for muddy, rainy or snowy weather. They work by using a pair of brake arms to attract the brake shoes to the bike's wheel rims, creating friction.
  • V-brakes are similar to cantilever brakes and are often used on mountain bikes, hybrid bikes and some touring bikes. They use two long 'V' shaped arms that pull the brake shoes towards the rim. V-brakes are known for their superior braking performance compared to traditional cantilever brakes.


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