Electric Bike Brakes NOT Working - Common Reasons and Solutions - Thebicyclegeek

Electric bikes are a great inexpensive way to move around, but you could risk serious injuries if your bike brakes don’t work as they should. The information below will help you fix them yourself if your electric bike brakes are not working.

Let’s get started!

Common Types Of Brakes On E-Bikes

There are many different brake types on the market today. Some e-bikes may also have regenerative braking systems that use the electric motor to slow the bike down and recharge the battery.
However, disc brakes and rim brakes are used more commonly than others on e-bikes. Because the cycling world has changed chiefly to disc brakes for their superior stopping power and reliability, this is the type of brake we will discuss below, though there are still two variants.

Mechanical Disc Brakes

Mechanical Disc Brakes - Thebicyclegeek

Mechanical disc brakes are often compared to rim brakes. Because they both use the force applied to a braided steel wire to move the brake pads and bring your bike to a stop. But compared with rim brakes, mechanical disc brakes tend to be more powerful and offer better-stopping performance than rim brakes, especially in wet or muddy conditions. They are also easier to maintain than hydraulic brakes, and cheaper.

Hydraulic Disc Brakes

Hydraulic Disc Brakes - Thebicyclegeek

Hydraulic disc brakes work with liquid to increase the pressure behind the brake pistons that push the brake pads into the disc, slowing and stopping your bike. This system is a bit more complicated but allows for better and more consistent results than the wired or mechanical brake system.

5 Most Common Reasons Why E-Bike Brakes Don’t Work

Because there are multiple types of brakes you can find on an e-bike, there are also different reasons why the brakes may not work and ways to fix them. Below we list the five most common reasons the brakes on your electric bike may not work and how to fix each issue.

The Brake Pads Worn Down

Brake Pads Worn Down - Thebicyclegeek

The brake pads are the part of the brake system that gets pushed onto the stainless-steel disc on the wheels to slow and stop your bike, and if these pads are too worn down, they may not make complete contact or slide over the steel instead.

One of the earliest signs that your brake pads got worn down is the amount of play you have on your brake lever. If you notice that you need to apply more pressure to your brake lever to bring your electric bike to a stop, you should have a look at the brake pads and consider replacing them.

How to Fix it:

To solve this situation, you only need to replace your brake pads. It’s easy and you can even do it by yourself. There may be more than one way you can do this, and some prefer taking their bike to a shop to ensure the brakes get reassembled correctly.

You can also replace the brake pads by undoing the caliper bolts, pushing the pistons back into the caliper, and removing the pin or bolt that keeps the pads in place. Next, you can push out the pads and the pad spring, insert the new pads and reattach the caliper. We have found a video for more in-depth instructions for you.

The Cables are not Attached or Slipped

If your electric bike brakes aren’t working and you have mechanical brakes. There is a chance that your brake cables didn’t attach correctly or have slipped out of place. To see if this case, you can follow the line leading from your brake lever to the brake caliper and see if the cables still connect with the caliper and the lever.

How to Fix it:

If you are unsure how to reattach your brake cables, you could take your bike to a bike repair shop. However, doing this yourself is also relatively easy. To check if the wire is attached to your lever, you can apply pressure to the lever, revealing a hole for the wire to secure. Once the wire is in place, you can screw the cap back onto the lever.

If the cable doesn’t connect to the caliper, you will see a bolt on the bottom with a bracket that should keep the line in place. You can put the cable back in place by undoing the bolt, inserting the wire, and tightening the bolt again.

The Caliper wasn’t Tightened Enough or Misaligned

The Caliper wasn’t Tightened Enough or Misaligned - Thebicyclegeek

The caliper is the part of the system that holds the brake pads, and if the brake caliper isn’t aligned correctly or tightened enough, it may move around or cause your bike to brake inefficiently. Since the brake pads get pushed by pistons against the brake disc or rotor, it is best to ensure the caliper is aligned correctly to help you brake more efficiently and stop any scraping.

How to Fix it:

If you want to fix your e-bike’s caliper alignment, you should start by loosening the bolts slightly and keeping the caliper in place. After reducing the bolt grip a little, you should be able to move the caliper from side to side. Next, apply pressure to the brake lever to ensure the pistons are aligned correctly and tighten the bolts again. We have found a video if you need some visual help.

The Brake Rotors Dirty or Damaged

The Brake Rotors Dirty or Damaged - Thebicyclegeek

Disc brake rotors, though less likely than rims, can still get dirty or damaged if you use your bike a lot, and this may cause some problems when you need to brake. If your electric bike struggles to slow down or you hear a rubbing noise when you cycle, you will likely need to clean, fix, or replace your bike brake rotors.

How to Fix it:

If your rotors are dirty, the easiest way to prevent them from causing problems is by cleaning them with a degreasing wash or alcohol, and this should remove any dirt keeping your brakes from functioning correctly.

If your rotors are damaged or bent, there are two possible solutions. You can choose to replace the rotors if they are old or severely damaged. However, if your rotors are just a little bent but otherwise still in good condition, you may be able to bend them back into place.

The Brake Lever Damaged

If you use your electric bike a lot, some damage can occur on the brake levers that can cause problems when you try to brake. Two of the most common ways your brake levers may have gotten damaged are if they got bent so that you cannot apply enough pressure to stop your bike in time or if the levers have snapped or broken off.

How to Fix it:

The simplest way to repair faulty or damaged e-bike brake levers is to take your bike to a professional to have the levers repaired or replaced. However, you may also be able to do this yourself if you understand how the brake levers work. Mechanical brake levers are easy to replace, you need to detach the steel cable from the old levers, attach the new levers to the handlebars, and reattach the wires the same way they were before.

What Happens If The E-Brake Doesn’t Work?

With electric bikes, a system usually ensures your e-bike stops if you apply pressure to the brakes. However, if your electric bike brake isn’t working, this may cause your bike’s keep going in some cases, which can cause an accident or injury.

Though you should be able to manage your e-bike’s e-brake not working, it is best to take your bike to a professional so the problem can get resolved. If your e-brake isn’t working, this may cause safety problems if the issue doesn’t get resolved quickly.

Conclusion: Electric Bike Brakes NOT Working

f the brakes on your electric bike are not working and you are unsure what to do or how to repair the problem, the easiest solution is to take your bike to a professional for repairs. However, there are also several problems that you may be able to solve on your own. If you want to do the repairs, the list above will help you find and resolve the problems.

Read more about: All You Need to Know About Electric Bike Brakes