How to Change Bike Disc Brake Pads

How to Change Bike Disc Brake Pads
Disc brakes are the most effective type of bicycle brake. They are heavier than rim brakes, but a lot stronger and more reliable. This is why they are popular with mountain bikers. As reliable as they are, however, they still require periodic maintenance and part of that is replacing worn-out brake pads. Despite the variety of disc brake formats, the procedure is pretty straightforward and even a novice should be able to do it in no more than 20 minutes.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Replacement disc brake set
  • Brake cleaning fluid (optional)
  • Old rag (optional)
Step 1
Set the bike on the floor handlebars and seat down, so the wheels are in the air. If you have a bike rack that will let you set up your bike up like this, that is best as it will provide the most stability. Otherwise, you might have to set it against a wall or get a friend to hold the bike steady.
Step 2
Take off the wheel using either the quick-release lever or a wrench, whichever is appropriate.
Step 3
Pry back the calipers using a screwdriver. Take off the brake clip with a pair of pliers and then pull out the retaining pin. Whatever remains of your old pads should come off the caliper now. Keep the return spring, which might have fallen off during the removal, just in case your new pads did not come with one.
Step 4
Put the new brake pad and the return spring together so the holes for the retaining pin line up, and slide these together into the caliper. Push the retaining pin back in.

Tips & Warnings

Spray some brake-cleaning fluid onto the rotor and wipe it down before putting the wheel back on the bicycle. So long as you have the wheel off and are working with the brakes anyway, this is a good time to do some basic maintenance.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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