How Do Rollator Brakes Work? (Adjust, Lock, and Replace Guide)

Rollator brakes are essential components of any type of walker.  They provide a way for the rollator to stop if you do not have full control while moving forward.  Locking brakes also provide an extra layer of protection for stability and balance for those that use them for that purpose.  Because of this, you should know the basics of how rollator brakes work.  what happens if they stop working, how to lock them in place, and more.  Unlike walkers or wheelchairs, Rollators braking systems are different. 

How do rollator brakes work?   Rollator brakes are also called loop-lock brakes and are engaged by taking your hand and squeezing on the brake lever that is right under the rollator grips.  The brake levels are connected to a braking system by a cable similar to that of a bicycle brake.  Once squeezed the brake pads that are attached to the back wheels clamp down applying pressure and stopping the forward motion.  To lock the rollator in place most brakes need to be pushed down, instead of squeezing them up.

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How to use Rollator's Brake

Rollator brakes

The closest way to explain a rollator’s brake system is that of a bicycle.  The rollator’s brakes are right under the grips and typically larger than bicycle grips. 

None the less they are designed for the person using the brake to squeeze up.  This squeezing motion allows the brake pads that are at the back of the rollator’s wheels to squeeze shut.  The connection from the hand brakes runs by a way of a small thin cable just like a bike.  

Where are rollator brakes located?

When talking about the location of brakes on a rollator we should be explaining that there is the hand brakes portion that starts the engaging of the brake pads that will slop the forward motion or lock in the wheels if you have a rollator.   

Hand brake location:  On a rollator, the hand brakes are located right below the grips.  This is done so that when you squeeze the brake it is in a location that is easy to squeeze and it can be deployed faster because your hands are already located on the grip anyways.  

Brake pads:  The brake pads are what clamp down on the back wheels to actually start to slow and then stop the forward motion when you grip and push up the brake handle.  These are located on the back wheels and are connected via a small cable from the handle to the pads. 

Do rollator brakes work independently of each other?

Yes.  Rollator brakes are independent.  This means when you press the right brake pad and wheel will stop.  Same for the left brake.  You press that and it will start to stop.  To stop both wheels at the same time you will press both brakes at the same time.

Locking the wheels on a rollator

Knowing how to lock the wheels on a rollator is important.  This is useful to gain more stability if your rollator has a seat.  If you want to use the handles for balance.  Either way here is how you would lock the wheels or park brake as some call it.

For the models that use loop-lock brakes, you would simply just push down on the brake levers.  This locks the wheels until you release them.  How do you release them?  Simply pull up on the brake levers again. 

Adjusting brakes on a rollator

If you find that you need to adjust the brakes on a rollator it is not difficult to do this.  While there may be some different variations from brand to brand the process should be very similar.

First and foremost.  If you have a rollator manual please look at it for adjusting brakes.  Second, if you feel like you cannot handle this on your own we would suggest asking for help from someone that is familiar with bike brakes to end a hand. 

Loosen rollator brakes

Here are the simple steps to loosen a rollator brake.

  • Step1. Near the rear wheel and on the fame look for the brake adjustment screw. 
  • Step2. The brake adjustment locknut needs to be loosened.  This will allow the adjustment screw to move.
  • Now, turn the brake adjustment screw clockwise to loosen the rollator brake.

Tighten rollator brakes

Just like in the above steps we need to find the adjustment screw so we can move it.  Follow the steps below.

  • Step1. Near the rear wheel and on the fame look for the brake adjustment screw. 
  • Step2. The brake adjustment locknut needs to be loosened.  This will allow the adjustment screw to move.
  • Now, turn the brake adjustment screw counterclockwise to loosen the rollator brake.

How to turn a rollator by using your brakes

You can use your brakes to make turns easier.  This is because the braking system of rollators is independent of each other like we discussed above.  So, when turning you can use the brakes to make things easier.  Here is how. 

When making a right turn:   Making tighter turns are easier when you apply one of the brakes.  When making a right turn simply press the right brake to stop that wheel.  This will help in turning to the right. 

When turning left:  When turning left apply on the left-handed break while the right side is not pressed.  This will help make a sharper turn to the left. 

Related questions

Can you replace the brakes on a rollator?  Yes, brakes on a rollator can easily be replaced by yourself or by someone that has knowledge of changing bicycle brakes as they are very familiar.  Most replacement rollator brakes will cost around $15.00 to $30.00 new. 

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About ASmith

Adam Smith is the main researcher and contributor at Mobility Medical Supply. Adam has many years of research in public data, and software security. With Mobility issues within Adam's family, he decided to dedicate in-depth guides on mobility products to anyone looking to improve movement and gain independence.

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