Here’s some sound advice (pun intended): If there’s a squeaking or rubbing noise coming from one of the brakes on your Jetson Electric Bike, don’t just wait for it to go away. A noise is a pretty good indicator that some part of the braking mechanism is slightly out of place—and rubbing against something it shouldn’t be.
How’d that happen? Even with the best and most secure packing, shipping, and storage, things can sometimes still get jostled around. Brake calipers are among the parts most often affected because they are sensitive (which is also why they are precise and can slow you down so smoothly).
There’s good news here:
- It takes only a few tweaks to eliminate the noise.
- Making the adjustment is easy.
- Doing brake work is a good opportunity, anyway, to check that it everything is secure and ready to bring you safely to a stop.
Tools you’ll need: A 5mm Allen Key
Level of difficulty: Easy
How long it will take: Less than 10 minutes per wheel
Understanding brake calipers and disc brakes
Bicycle handbrake levers are connected via cables to horseshoe-shaped mechanisms at the wheel area of the bike that are called “calipers.” When you squeeze the lever, the pull of the cable forces the caliper arms closed, pushing the pads inside of the arms onto a part of the wheel that’s in motion. The pushing of those pads onto the moving part causes a friction that brings that part—and, thus, your wheel—to a stop.
On some brakes, the caliper pads close onto a wheel’s rim—on other bikes, such as your Haze, they close around a disc on the side of the wheel.
The only time the pads should touch the disc is when the caliper is pulled closed because you have engaged the brake. If you’re hearing a noise even when you’re not using the brake, then one of caliper pads is likely misaligned and rubbing against the disc even when the caliper is open.
How to adjust the brake caliper
Start with these instructions, and then read on for helpful model-specific details.
- Rest your bike on the kickstand, turn it on its side, or rest it carefully upside down—do what you need to do to get a good view of the silver disc on the side of each wheel, as well as the black metal part that stretches over one edge of it. That black part is the caliper. Then locate the brake pads on the inside of the caliper arms—one on each side of the disc.
- Once you’ve located those parts, give the wheel you’re working on a spin. (You may have to lift up that part of the bike, if it’s still upright, or put it upside down.) Watch the disc revolve through the caliper window, and try to notice which pad is rubbing against the disc.
- Bring the wheel to a stop and prop your bike up on its kickstand.
- Stand behind the wheel and look at the caliper from that angle. Locate the one bolt at the top of the caliper and one at the bottom. Important: Ignore the bolts on the side of the caliper, facing away from the side of the bike. Those bolts are helpful for other adjustments—just not this one.
- Using a 5mm Allen Key, loosen each of those two bolts by turning it counterclockwise for about 4 - 5 rotations. You may need to use some force to get the loosening started.
- Move the caliper in, out, up, or down—depending on how yours was misaligned—until:
- the top of the pads are aligned with the edge of the disc.
- no part of either pad is touching the disc.
- While holding the caliper in that new position, fully tighten one bolt and then the other by turning it clockwise with the Allen Key.
- Check that the caliper is secure.
Here’s some helpful model-specific information that will help you identify and adjust the caliper on your Jetson electric bike.
- Axle – When you are looking at the caliper from behind the wheel, the bolts for adjusting the caliper are above and below a red-colored tab
- Bolt, Bolt Pro, and Bolt Up – When you are looking at the brake from behind the wheel. The bolts for adjusting these calipers are above and below a black-colored tab.
- Haze – When you are looking at the brake from behind the wheel, the bolts for adjustment are above and below a small window in the middle of the caliper through which you can see the disc.
- Adventure, Journey (2.0), J5, J8, and LX10 – These calipers are solid black, with no protruding tabs or windows. When you are looking at the brake from behind the wheel, the bolts for adjusting the caliper are at the top and bottom.
First and foremost, run a post-adjustment brake safety test. Walk with the bike for a few steps and, while it’s in motion, squeeze the handbrake for the wheel you just worked on (left handbrake for the front wheel; right handbrake for the rear wheel). The brake should bring the wheel to a stop.
Then, take your Jetson for a quick ride or continue walking with it, and listen to make sure the noise has completely gone away. If all you hear is the beautiful sound of your setting, then get yourself and your bike fully charged up, and head off on an adventure.
If you still hear a noise—even if it’s softer or less squeaky than it was before—try adjusting again. Sometimes it can take a few tries to get the caliper positioning just right. If you’ve made a few attempts and can’t seem to get rid of the noise, reach out to us. There may be something else at play; we’ll help figure out just what it is—and how to resolve it.