How to Change My Bicycle Brake Pads

How to Change My Bicycle Brake Pads
Bicycle brake pads are a part of any bicycle that will wear out and break down over time. It is important to maintain your pads by keeping them clean and checking the wear status weekly or before every ride. Changing them is something quick you can do at home and will give you the peace of mind that you can stop safely and quickly when and if you need to.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 4mm Allen key or a 3-way multitool
  • Bike cleaner
  • Rag
  • Brake pads
Step 1
Take the old pads off using a 4mm Allen key or a 3-way multitool. Loosen the brake pad bolt that secures the pads onto the brake arm of your brake caliper.
Step 2
Clean the brake arm before you install the new brake pads.
Step 3
Loosen the bolt on the new brake pad and put the bolt through the brake arm on the brake caliper.
Step 4
Tighten the brake pad with your Allen key or multitool so it doesn't move.
Step 5
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 with the second brake pad.
Step 6
Install your wheel if it is not already on your bike. Then loosen up one of the brake pads and line it up to the breaking surface of the wheel. You want to aim for the center of the braking surface.
Step 7
Tighten the brake pad down and repeat the process in Steps 6 and 7 for the other side of the brake.

Tips & Warnings

You want to change both brake pads every time you need to replace your brake pads.

Article Written By Courtney Johnson

Courtney Johnson is a freelance sports writer and photographer based in California. Her articles and photos appear regularly in newspapers and magazines such as "Triathlete" and "Cross Country Skier." Johnson graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in media production and minor in writing. She is studying for her copy editing certificate at the University of San Diego.

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