How to Adjust Hydraulic Disc Brakes on a Bike?

The period of adjusting hydraulic disc brakes comes when rubbing of it occurs which is a common problem. You will need to adjust and align the hydraulic brakes after such incidence because even if the rubbing will not cause you to slow down but will surely make you feel riding the back annoying. Hence, to help you out this piece of article will enlighten you regarding how to adjust hydraulic disc brakes on a bike.

Finding out the problem:

Before you start adjusting the hydraulic disc brakes on a bike it is essential that you first find out where the problem has arisen from.

Diagnosis of the problem:

Because of a misaligned caliper you will see the pad or rotor rub occur. The rub of pad or rotor can be caused by an improperly seated wheel as well.

  • Be confirmed that the wheel has been seated properly. By keeping the bike on the floor release the quick lever. To make sure that the frame and axle are in contact it is essential that you apply a downward pressure on the bike. And then again tighten the quick release lever.
  • Check if the pad or rotor has rub. To do so, elevate the bike, give the wheel a spin and sight the gaps between the rotor and pads. To make the caliper easy lo look at simply just use a backlight.

Additional factors to keep in mind before adjusting the hydraulic disc brakes:

The additional factors that we have listed down below must be kept in mind before you move on to following the procedure of adjusting the hydraulic disc brakes.

  • Check for a bent rotor: 

As you will be spinning the rotor it is normal to observe some lateral movement in it. However, a rotor that is only significantly bent will cause difficulty for adjusting the hydraulic disc brakes. For such cases doing a rotor replacement is the best option but simply doing some rotor truing will do for disc rotor truing.

  • Securing the rotor:

Rotors are secured by the help of mounting bolts or just a lock ring.

  • Keeping the pistons clean:

Pistons can get sticky because of dust and dirt settling on one or both of them. Hence, it is essential that you clean these pistons using a good quality engine degreaser for ensuring proper adjustment of the hydraulic disc brakes.

The procedure of adjusting the hydraulic disc brakes: 

If you are done with confirming that the wheels have been properly seated and have check for other sources of pad or rotor rub it is the time that you can begin with the adjustment of hydraulic disc brakes. The process of adjustment of the hydraulic disc brakes is the same for the front and rear.

Step 1:

The mounting bolts needs to be loosened until it has been made sure that the caliper body can be moved side to side freely. You should know that on some bikes the mounting bolts are situated under the chain stay or on a bracket.

Step 2:

For centering the caliper body over the rotor it is essential that you squeeze the brake lever.

Step 3:

Do the snugging of the mounting bolts while you are holding the lever. After you are done with snugging release the lever.

Step 4:

To ensure that the pad is not rubbing any longer it is essential that you give the wheel a spin.

Step 5: 

If you notice there is no rubbing any longer you can move on to securing the mounting bolts to full torque by applying pressure of about 6-8 Nm. And you will be done with the process of securing.

Step 6:

Give the wheel a spin. And while it is spinning you will need to loosen one of the bolt and adjust it by pushing the caliper in the direction of rub until you see a gap on either side of the rotor. By being careful so that you don’t hurt your fingers you will need work near a spinning wheel. If you cannot find the right way of adjusting the disc brakes, you will need to try doing the same procedure on some other bolt.

Once you see that the pads are not rubbing any longer, you can secure each mounting bolt by applying the same amount of pressure that we mentioned earlier. And you are finally done with adjusting hydraulic disc brakes on bikes.


To conclude, by keeping in mind about all the factors that we have mentioned above you are ready to go with adjusting hydraulic disc brakes. Also, by reading all the steps regarding how to adjust hydraulic disc brakes on a bike you will be able to ride your bike freely.

Read here the best mountain bikes under 300

Leave a Comment