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How to adjust electric scooter brakes

by Kerry Washington
How to adjust electric scooter brakes

Electric scooters popularity keeps rising due to increased gasoline prices and congested cities. Commuters are looking for ways to get to work fast without the inconvenience of traffic jams. Innovations in electric scooter design has led to models that can reach speeds of up to 40 mph. At such speeds, you need a serious braking system to bring the scooter to a halt without toppling you over.

Electric scooters vary in both design and braking systems. What you find in a kids scooter isn’t the same as in high end fast models. The battery system will determine the kind of power been delivered to the rotors. Today, you have electric scooters churning out 2000 watts of power. This necessitates a powerful braking system.

Electric scooter braking troubleshooting – Adjust electric scooter brakes

Check braking pads

The first thing you need to be on the lookout for with faulty braking is the brake pads. Just like those of the car, this wear off due to excessive friction and need to be changed constantly.

Adjusting brake cable tension

If your brakes are loose or lack the grip to bring your scooter to a halt then you need to tighten the brake cable adjuster. You should continue adjusting the cable until the braking system is responsive. While at it ensure that your scooter brakes are in no way interfering with the tire rims or scooter rotor anytime you release the brake lever.

To tighten this cable, loosen the brake cable stopper. Pull the brake cable until you can feel that it is no longer loose. Next, tighten the cable stopper then unthread the cable adjuster until you get to the proper tension.

Braking maintenance

Depending on where you have been riding your scooter it is imperative that occasionally you clean out your discs and rims. When at it, inspect the braking pads for any signs of tear and replace accordingly. Lubricate the braking points to reduce friction and replace any worn out cables that could be affecting braking cable tension.

Types of Electric Scooter braking systems

When you are purchasing an electric scooter, you need to consider how fast you want it to travel. Kids’ scooters will normally have speeds of between 6 to 8 mph but high-end scooters are known to hit high speeds of up to 40 mph. Here are the main scooters braking systems:

Disc brakes

These are the best type of brakes for scooters. They are extremely responsive in both dry and wet conditions while allowing the scooter to come to a complete halt even under high speeds. They are also safe, lightweight, and easy to use. You will often find such kind of braking systems in high-end scooters.

The downside is that they are expensive and will increase the overall price of the scooter. In addition, should you make the mistake of purchasing low quality ones, they will cause serious damage to your rotors. You also need to constantly clean out your disc brakes off mud as this hinders their contact hence reducing responsiveness and performance.

How the disc brakes work

The disc braking system operates in the same way as the car one. You have the scooter wheels been surrounded by rotor that rotates as the wheel spins. The scooter braking caliper will have the brake pads that grasp the rotor whenever you press the brakes. The friction between these two components cause the scooter to come to a halt.

Scooter braking systems can either be fully, semi-full hydraulic or mechanical. In the fully hydraulic system, activation of the braking system is through pressure from the hydraulic fluid. When the brake lever is pressed the pressure in the hydraulic lines is increased and this causes the pistons in the system to cause the braking pads to grasp the rotors. The semi-hydraulic system uses a brake cable to activate the hydraulic lever.

Mechanical braking systems use a cable like the one in bicycles to activate the braking caliper. When you pull the brake lever the cable becomes short and this tension is transmitted to the calipers that then force the pads to grasp the scooter rotors.

Pros

  • Offer the best braking performance at high speeds
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • You can use them in wet and dry conditions
  • Lightweight
  • Hydraulic disc brakes perform exceptionally well

Cons

Contribute to the rising cost of the scooter

Drum Brakes

The drum brakes are housed within the wheel hub and work by pushing the braking pads outwardly towards the braking surface. Since the housing is enclosed you do not have to worry about outside interference.

Pros

  • Works well in wet conditions
  • Low maintenance
  • Ideal for moderate scooter speeds

Cons

Complicated to maintain

Foot Brakes

In terms of effectiveness, the foot brakes come after the disc brakes and drum brakes. The foot brakes are activated through a fender that is pushed down with your heel. This generates some friction with the tire hence enabling it stop. The foot brakes are found in budget scooters mainly for kids and do not perform well in wet conditions. You also need to ride in a specific position to activate them.

Pros

  • Little maintenance
  • Ideal for slow scooters
  • Easy to use

Cons

Ideal for low speeds and offer poor braking power

Regenerative brakes

Here a switch is activated that electrically charges the motor so that you have some resistance to the motor spinning. The downside is they are ineffective if there is no battery power.

Pros

  • Minor energy recovery
  • Do not add to scooter weight

Cons

Poor braking performance

The last types of brakes for scooters are the electronic ones. This work through a switch that is activated thereby shortening the motor terminals. This in turn creates some resistance that stops the scooter. The electronic brakes offer no added weight but are perform poorly in stopping the scooter.

Conclusion

Purchasing a scooter is a great way to get to and from work without the worry of traffic jams and paying for gasoline. The scooters are environmentally friendly and easy to fold and carry around. However, you need to have regular checks to your braking system to ensure it is working optimally. The best scooter brakes are the disc ones. This offer better braking power in both wet and dry conditions. The article explained how to adjust electric scooter brakes and to understand them better.

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