How to Change Bike Brake Pads?

Are you wondering how to change the brake pads? Here is the complete guide for beginners.

If your bike brakes are not working effectively, you should not ignore them further and inspect the entire braking system right away. The entire process of inspection and fixing is neither long nor complex. As a newbie, you might need step-by-step guidance to fix the issues.

Although there can be multiple things that could be causing the problem, our focus here would be discussing the change of brake pads. So, let’s start:

When to change the brake pads?

If you notice the following condition, you should immediately change your brake pads:

You’ll see visible circles or lines on the fresh brake pads. If the ones on your bicycle don’t have those lines, you should change them.

If you haven’t changed brake pads for years, you might not even find the brake pads because of wear and tears. In such a situation, you shouldn’t risk using the bike without the replacement.

Also Read: How to Adjust Bike Brake Pads?

How long it takes to change the brake pads?

Changing the brake pads is not very challenging. It can take up to 5-10 minutes. But if you are doing it for the first time, it might take a few minutes extra. So, plan it accordingly.

What will you need to get your new brake pads?

Here are the things you’ll need to get your new brake pads:

  • Allen Keys
  • Tire levers
  • New brake pads
  • Pliers

Different brake types:

There are two main brake types, bottom loading, and top-loading. These brake types depend on the fitting and removing pads into the calipers. The top-loading brakes are easier to remove and fit as compared to the bottom loading brake.

How to change the brake pads?

Remove the pads:

Both the top loading and bottom loading brake types have a different mechanism for replacing the brake pads:

Top loading brakes:

There is a pin grooved at the end of the bolt that holds the brake pads. Use a pair of pliers to remove that pin, and then find the right Allen size key that unscrews the bolt. As soon as you’ll do so, you’ll be able to pull out the bolts and the pads.

Bottom loading brake:

These brakes have split pins to hold the brake. Use the pliers to bend the pin for removing the brake pads. While removing the brake pads, you’ll have to adjust a bit to finalize the side from which you can remove the brake pads. This is due to the asymmetry of some brake types.

Check the pistons:

If your brake pads are excessively worn out, then pistons might have been affected as well. So, it is better to adjust them to make your brakes perfect again.

Usually, pistons adjust to the brake pads accordingly. So, with the worn brake pads, the pistons will be out of place. To fit them back, you can use a plastic tire lever to put them back to position. You shouldn’t be using metal pliers as they can damage the pistons.

Install new pads:

Similar to the removal process, you can install the new pads. For the bottom loading and asymmetrical pads, you’ll have to remember the right direction from which they came out. You’ll have to install them in the same direction too. So, keep that in consideration.

Fit the pin:

Adjust the pas so that the bolt or split pin can get into the caliper, pads, and the spring. To place the split pin properly, you’ll need pliers to bend it at a sharp angle; so that it can’t get out. Similarly, for the bolt, you need to slide it through and tighten it.

You are done with the entire process. Wasn’t it simple?

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