What is a Quick Release?
The idea behind quick release brakes is that the brakes can be opened to allow the removal of the wheel in the event of a puncture or wheel change.
A quick release brake is usually of the caliper type as shown. The quick release mechanism is either on the brake lever or the brake itself. When the quick release lever is moved to the Open position, the calipers widen allowing you to remove the wheel. Once the wheel has been replaced, moving the lever back to the Closed position sets the calipers to the position for normal use.
V brakes are also known as linear-pull brakes. Use one hand to bring the the brake arms together. With the other hand, pull the metal guide pipe (also known as the 'noodle') and flip the metal holder downward, making space between the two brake arms. Reverse the process once the wheel is back in the frame and depress the brake lever a few times to ensure everything is working as expected.
With cantilever brakes simply bring the two brake arms together with one hand and release the barrel end of the straddle wire from the brake arm with your other hand. The brake arms will now spring back allowing removal of the wheel. Reverse the process once the wheel is back in the frame and depress the brake lever a few times to ensure everything is working as expected.
It is vital that you check the Quick Release lever is in the Closed position before riding your bike.
The lever can be accidentally opened whilst the bike is in transit or when lifting the bike off roof racks or out of a vehicle. Riding with the quick release lever in the open position can seriously affect braking and can result in serious bodily injury.