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How Rollator Brakes Work: Understanding The Basics How To Apply, Adjust & Fix Brakes

old lady using rollator handles and brakes

Last Updated: June 15, 2021

One of the first things that popped into my mind when searching for a walker was: how do rollator brakes work?

It is pretty simple, but…

I noticed quite a few people are curious to understand how these brakes work. Hence, I decided to write an article where I tell you what rollator brakes are, where are the brakes on a rollator, and how they work.

Ready to dive? Let’s get started!

Using Rollator Brakes: Here’s What You Need To Know

Rollator brakes; also called loop-lock brakes are pretty similar to the brakes on a bicycle.

You apply the brake by using your hands to squeeze the brake lever that is right under the rollator grips.

Rollator brakes are an essential component of any walker.

Where are the brakes on a rollator?

handles of a rollator parked in a park

Most rollators feature either loop-lock or bicycle-style hand brakes. You will find these brakes beneath the handlebars used to hold the walker.

There is also another type of rollator brake, push-down brakes, that you can apply by pulling down on the handlebars of the walker. They are useful for people with weak hands as they require a less strong force.

However, these brakes are not as common as they can be difficult to use for aged people. 

How to apply the brakes on a rollator?

The answer to this question depends on the location of the brakes on your rollator.

If your rollator features the common loop-lock or bicycle-style brakes, then all you need to do to stop or prevent the rollator from moving is pulling up the brake levers. This will tug the brake cable, which will engage the wheels and create friction to stop them from moving.

It is imperative to note that the brakes on both sides work independently of each other. If you pull up the left-hand lever, the left wheel will stop. The same is the case with the right-hand level and wheel. So, you need to pull up both levers when you want to stop or slow the rollator. 

Adjusting The Brakes On A Rollator

At this point, you are probably thinking you know all there is to know about rollator brakes. However, there is one important aspect of the best rollator walkers that we have not covered yet: how to adjust rollator brakes.

Adjusting the rollator brakes is very easy. There might be some variations depending on the walker model and brake type, but the basic steps remain the same:
  1. Find the brake adjuster located on the hand brake
  2. Loosen the brake cable adjustment lock to move it away from the brake handle
  3. Turn the hand brake adjuster counterclockwise to tighten the brake or clockwise to loosen the brake

How to tighten rollator brakes?

To further tighten your rollator brakes and make them more swift, apply the same directions to adjust the other end of the brake cable.

  1. Find the brake adjuster located on the frame near the rear wheel
  2. Loosen the brake cable adjustment lock to move it away from the frame
  3. Turn the hand brake adjuster counterclockwise to tighten the brake

How to loosen brakes on a rollator walker?

If you have loosened the brakes using the steps above but still have not achieved your desired results, follow these steps:

  1. Find the brake adjuster located on the frame near the rear wheel
  2. Loosen the brake cable adjustment lock to move it away from the frame
  3. Turn the hand brake adjuster clockwise to loosen the brake

elderly using a rollator to stand up

Other Popular Questions About Rollator Brakes

I have covered pretty much everything you need to know about where the brakes are on a rollator, how to apply the brakes on a rollator, and how to adjust rollator brakes.

However, I understand you might have some additional questions, such as how do you lock the brakes on a rollator. Hence, I’ve answered them too:

How do you lock the wheels on a rollator?

Knowing how to lock the wheels is important, as it helps gain stability and balance.

If you have a rollator that features a loop-lock brake, then you simply need to push down on the brake levers to lock them in place.

Consequently, the wheels will not be able to move until you pull up on the brake levers to release them.

How do you fix the brakes on a rollator walker?

One of the most common issues people experience with walkers is that ‘the brakes aren’t holding’. If you’re experiencing this too, you just need to make a simple adjustment on the rear wheels of the walker: depress the brake and adjust the brake cable from the brake end.

Usually, fixing a brake does not require any tools. You’re going to need a wench tool at max.

How do you change brakes on a walker?

Regular walker usage can lead to the deterioration of the brake cable, but that does not mean you need to change your walker completely.

You can simply fix the brake cable using some DIY steps you’d easily find around the internet.

How do you adjust the brakes on a rollator?

I’ve already talked about that. Please refer to the previous section to learn more about adjusting the brakes on a rollator, but keep in mind that the steps might differ for different types of rollators.

Here's a demo video on how to adjust brakes:

Final Thoughts

Understanding how rollator brakes work is essential for everyone who owns and uses a walker. I hope this article will aid you in that.

Let me know in the comments box below what troubles you encountered with your rollator brakes and how you got them fixed. And also, don’t forget to share it with the rollator users in your surroundings!

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