How to check the pads on a bike


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In this case, only organic, rubber is used:

  • Disposable bicycle brake pads consist of a metal and rubber plate with bolts. They are cheap, have a low noise level, but wear out quickly;
  • Additional linings are available in cartridge versions. The thickness of the workforce increases, and the service life becomes longer. We recommend using tri-color overlays.

Bicycle brake pads are classified according to the weather:

  • universal;
  • for dry weather;
  • for wet weather.


It is important for any cyclist that his bike works smoothly and without breakdowns, but for this it is necessary to carry out regular technical inspections in order to identify problems in a timely manner. This also applies to brakes, only a quick and smooth (modulation) reduction of speed, and hence driving safety, depends on them. We will consider bicycle brake pads and their maintenance in more detail below.

When choosing new pads, you need to pay attention to the following important parameters:

What pads your rotor is designed for (unless, of course, you plan to replace it)

What standard of pads is used now. dimensional characteristic

What material is used for the pads currently installed on the bike

  • Pads, what is it and what it is eaten with?
  • Bicycle disc brake rotor and pad compatibility
  • Pads standard and dimensional characteristics
  • DRUM
  • DISC
  • V-brakes squeak
  • Disc brake pads creak
  • Reasons for squeaking pads
  • Why do new brake pads creak?
  • What to do about it?
  • Squeak fixing tips
  • Driving tactics
  • Question answer


In order for the brake system to work properly, the bike must be regularly inspected. Professionals recommend checking the system setup ideally before every trip. If suddenly the system gets lost, flies, then only one of the pads can clamp the rim. If this is not given importance, this can lead to disastrous consequences on the track or failure of the brakes. The same goes for the disk system. It is imperative to keep your bike clean.

In the event of a breakdown, the disk system is repaired in a few simple steps. The old elements are replaced with new ones according to the instructions and the system is configured. In the case of hydraulic systems, it may be necessary to bleed the hydraulic line.

The rim system is replaced with a hex key: the faulty elements are removed and new ones are put on. Carry out adjustment.


The brake mechanism is located in the hub of the rear wheel of the bicycle and is a drum with brake pads. They can be hand or foot operated. At present, the hand-type drum type is practically not found. It is heavy enough, not compatible with shifting bike speeds.

The foot type is still found in urban, walking versions. But it has low power and if the pedals are not positioned correctly, an emergency stop will not work. If the chain falls off, the bike cannot be stopped in the absence of a manual system. They are also characterized by a large mass and a decrease in maneuverability when driving.

  • unpretentiousness;
  • rare maintenance;
  • resistance to dirt, dust and bad weather;
  • the possibility of braking when the wheel is curved by a figure eight (in contrast to the tick-borne, rim systems).


If there is a need to replace brake elements, before buying, you should correctly decide on the choice:

  • what type of brakes was on the bicycle. modern discs, rims, or drum;
  • what material can and should be used to choose a braking system;
  • depending on which bike model and type of riding, you can give preference to one or another system, if a choice is possible;
  • it is necessary to take into account in what weather and on what routes, routes the bike will be used.

When To Replace Disc Brake Pads | Tech Tuesday #107

Brake pads for discs should be selected depending on the model of the braking system. this can be determined visually by their appearance and shape.

It is often appropriate to use one type of pad on one wheel and another on the other, for example:

  • rear wheel. metal option for heavy-duty braking in dirtier conditions. Since the distribution of weight in extreme disciplines is such that the rider’s weight is often shifted behind the saddle and falls just on the rear wheel;
  • the front wheel is organic, it is appropriate because the load on the front is slightly less.

V-brakes squeak

Rim brakes can squeak for the following reasons described below.

  • Pay attention to the material from which the pads themselves are made. The key point is the hardness of the rubber. If it is soft, then squeaking is unlikely, but such products have a short life. They are more likely to wear out. If the pads are made from hard rubber, they are more durable, but squeak more.
  • Wheel rim. It creaks for two reasons: there has been a strong contamination of the surface against which the shoe is pressed, or it is badly worn out. Sometimes a rim that has served for many years and is made of low-quality steel can simply fall apart due to this.
  • The position of the pads in relation to the rim. They must be strictly parallel, without any visible skew. The pad material should adhere to the rim over the entire area. This helps to remove squeaks and extend service life.
  • The pads themselves are damp. As a rule, in warm, dry weather, their creak is much more rare than in rainy weather.
  • Mechanics by which the bicycle braking process takes place. Everything is much simpler here: the brake squeaks even when the wheel is removed. Therefore, it is necessary to thoroughly clean and lubricate the mechanism, as well as lubricate the brake cables with WD-40 fluid.

Driving tactics

In addition, you can give a number of tips for driving tactics:

  • if possible, predict the length of the braking distance in order to brake shorter and press the pads more intensively;
  • choose only high-quality material for the pads. This also applies to disc brakes and V-breaks;
  • Disc brakes usually stop squeaking after being dried. To do this, you can do two or three emergency braking. Why does the creak disappear? During a series of emergency braking, the pads become very hot and the water evaporates.

Thus, despite the differences, there are common reasons why good brakes can squeak: wet weather and winter season (then the pads are always damp), the installation of new pads and the material from which they are made.

How to check the brakes on a bike

Periodic monitoring of the condition of the brakes on your bike will help you to significantly improve their performance and, accordingly, increase your own safety on the road. What should you pay attention to? Our expert, Master of Sports of Russia of international class, Champion of Europe and certified cycling coach Oleg ZHUKOV, tells about four rather simple steps of monitoring the condition of the brakes.

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Pads First of all, it is necessary to periodically check the condition of the brake pads. With the calipers in the open free position, clean the brake pads with a rag (preferably by removing the wheels) and check their condition. Look out for wear and alloy particles that will peel off the rim and get stuck in the pad, which will damage the rim and reduce braking performance. Almost all more or less decent pads have marks of permissible wear (control mowing line). If the block has worn down almost to the mark, it must be replaced. Unevenly worn pads are also subject to replacement, as the smaller contact area with the rim reduces braking performance. Uneven wear indicates that your pads are not installed correctly (crooked) and need to be adjusted.

Monitor the wear status of the pads with a special indicator.

Caliper Travel The lighter the brake calipers move, the less effort you spend on braking and the better it returns to its original position without interfering with the rotation of the wheel. Release the brakes (for Shimano, for example, this is done with a lever on the caliper, for Campagnolo. with a pin button on the shift and brake knobs) and squeeze the caliper with your fingers until it touches the rim, and then release and make sure that the caliper is free to compress and release If something interferes with the free movement of the caliper (this may be corrosion from reagents on the road or mechanical problems), then it requires maintenance and adjustment.

On Shimano brakes, the calipers are released by a lever on them.

Cables and Jackets Periodic lubrication and monitoring of the brake cables on your bike improves their glide in the outer jackets and thus provides lighter and smoother braking force and smooth return of the calipers to their original position. Check the shirts for any external damage that could obstruct the movement of the cables inside. After removing the wheel, press the brake lever and check the lightness and smoothness of its movement. Difficulty moving the handle may indicate corrosion of the cable or its mechanical damage inside the shirt. Maintenance consists in lubricating the cables or, if necessary, replacing them.

Cables and jackets require periodic lubrication.

Rims Clean the braking surface on your rims with a rag. If the braking surface has seizures and / or irregularities, it needs to be sanded. Most rim manufacturers make wear indicators on them. line or control recess. so look for them on the rim and see if the wear remains within acceptable limits. If the permissible wear is exceeded, alas, the rim needs to be changed without waiting for it to wear off to holes.

The wear indicator on the rim will prompt you to replace it in time.

Do not forget to periodically check your brakes, and if you need to service, adjust or replace their components, you can contact a specialized workshop.

Serving disc brakes on a bicycle

Bicycle brake. the part of the bicycle designed to regulate (slow down) the speed of its movement. The brakes are responsible for safety. Before each ride, check the operation of each brake separately.

Serving disc brakes on a bicycle

Modern disc brakes on bicycles have proven their reliability and braking power, as evidenced by their proliferation in all cycling disciplines from road to downhill bicycles, as well as in urban and tourism bicycles.

Disc brakes are hydraulic and mechanical. They differ in the design of the transfer of energy from the handle to the caliper. Mechanical brakes transmit energy through a conventional braided brake cable, while in hydraulic brakes, fluid transfers energy from the handle. Mechanical brakes are very reliable and easy to repair, but they have less power. only one pad works.

Despite their power and performance in muddy and watery conditions, these brakes require periodic maintenance. The maintenance of disc brakes includes the following points:

Checking the brake disc and brake pads for wear.

The wear of the pads depends on the conditions and in what area the brakes are used, the more often moisture gets on the brakes and especially dirt with sand, the faster the pads wear out. A brake disc, as a rule, has a long service life and wears out only when the pads are worn out to the limit. Most often, the brake disc suffers from curvature. side impacts from a fall can easily bend it. Also, the disc bends from uneven heating and from sudden efforts during braking. Small distortions can be corrected with special tools. When worn out, the pads must be replaced with new ones. Most brake pads are easy to change, no need to remove the wheel on the bike when replacing.

Bleeding the brakes must be done in several cases, in the first case, preventive. As a rule, this is necessary so that the brake fluid does not boil. this will lead to a sharp decrease in braking force. Shimano and Magura brakes run on mineral oil, which is colored red by Shimano, while Magura’s blue is specially made to indicate if the color becomes transparent or cloudy, it means that the fluid does not meet the requirement and it should be changed by pumping the brakes. Third-party brakes use the same brake fluid found in cars and motorcycles. The second case when it is necessary to bleed the brakes is a situation in which the handle travel has increased and the brake power has dropped. In this situation, air has entered the hydraulic brake system. To remove air, the brake system must be pumped with new fluid.

The most common reason for cleaning brakes is braking noise. As a rule, this is caused by oil, aggressive cleaning agents and other chemicals getting on the brake surface of the pads and brake disc. There are special products for cleaning the brake system, but the brake disc can be cleaned with degreasers or alcohol. The pads can be cleaned by heating in an open flame or with an industrial hair dryer.

Checking and adjusting the brakes on a bicycle

Stopping the bike at the right time is an important component, since the life of a person and others depends on it. That is why you need to choose the best option for yourself, and make out the main nuances of installing the brakes.

How to set up mechanical disc brakes?

  • Preparatory activities. Make sure the adapter is securely attached to the frame or fork. The rotor must be level and the wheel must be firmly in the frame or fork.
  • Centering the caliper. After making sure that all components are in the correct position, place the caliper in the center of the disc. This is done by loosening the bolts on the caliper and adapter. The rotor is adjusted to the center so that the pads wear evenly on both sides. After that, the caliper is fixed.
  • The gap is adjusted to the fixed block. To do this, using a key, you need to move the block to the surface of the rotor.
  • A gap is established to the movable block. To do this, you need to loosen the bolt that fixes the cable. Thus, it becomes possible to move the block to the required place.
  • Pliers pull the cable and tighten the bolt for further fixation.
  • Handle adjustment. A twist on the handle allows you to set a suitable distance from the grip to the handlebars.
  • Checking. In order to check the operation of the brakes, you should take a ride on the terrain and see if everything suits you.

Rim brakes

The essence of the mechanism consists in pressing the brake pads against the outer part of the wheel. This way the bike stops.

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V-brakes are most commonly used in this category. They are characterized by good braking, low weight, reasonable cost and ease of maintenance.

With the help of a hexagon, it is easy to tighten the cable or change the pads.

  • it is problematic to brake in wet weather, therefore, if water gets on the block, it is recommended to dry it by repeatedly pressing the brake lever;
  • periodically it is necessary to adjust the cable and tighten it;
  • Long-term braking heats up the wheel rim, which causes tire deterioration. Fortunately, worn out pads are very easy to replace.

Disc mechanical and hydraulic brakes

The main parts of the hydraulic brake: brake line, brake rotor, caliper and brake lever.

Interaction with the lever triggers a mechanism that connects the brake pads together. The higher the pressure reading, the greater the degree of braking. The design feature is that the pressure is evenly distributed throughout the structure.

The mechanics include some similarities in content. The difference is in the absence of a hydraulic line, a cable is used instead. When you press on the lever, the cable pulls and pulls the caliper. Due to the applied force, the pads are clamped, and friction is created, as a result of which braking occurs.

How To Check Brake Pad Wear | Mountain Bike Maintenance

Based on the description of the process, it can be seen that it is somewhat more difficult to stop mechanics. That is why, when switching from one type of brake to another, you should be extremely careful, since it takes time to get used to.

The advantages of disc hydraulics:

  • requires less force to brake;
  • the process is faster and safer for the driver;
  • used in all weather conditions, except for winter;
  • thanks to the action of the hydraulic line, the discs do not have to be changed frequently due to wear.

The advantages of disc mechanics:

  • lower cost;
  • undergoing repairs in any conditions;
  • the ability to replace the cable and brake levers with other models;
  • use in winter, without the risk of the rope freezing.

Disadvantages of disc mechanics:

  • the formation of gaps between components;
  • periodically the cable needs to be changed due to stretching;
  • regularly need to adjust the work of the brakes;
  • due to the fact that the cable is springy, there may be problems when braking.

Cons of hydraulic brakes:

How to adjust hydraulic disc brakes?

  • You will need a 5 mm hexagon. The bike should be secured for comfortable operation.
  • Turning the wheel, you need to listen to how the disc moves. If it touches the pads, it should be specified which side.
  • If the disc is without curvature, but there is friction, remove the fastener bolts.
  • The brake lever should be left in the clamped position, at the same time, with the other hand, inspect and adjust the caliper bolts.
  • Check that the disc does not rub against the pad. After that, finally tighten all bolts.

There are times when it is not possible to adjust the brakes due to constant friction, which means that the rotor is crooked. For alignment, you need a special wrench or a regular adjustable wrench. For correct adjustment, the disc must fit exactly between the key clamps.

How to check and adjust the brakes on a bicycle?

Setting v brake rim brakes

Rim brakes are common due to their crisp stopping technique. The brake pads are positioned so that they are opposite, the wheel is fixed in parallel with them, and between the rim.

Pressing the handle sends a signal to the levers, which are responsible for the work of the pads. This way the pads fit the wheel and stop the bike.

Well-coordinated work requires that the cable is always intact, without damage. If a fiber is touched, the rope should be replaced immediately. Therefore, the inspection of bicycle parts should be carried out regularly for timely diagnosis.

Correct operation of the cable consists in free movement in the jacket. The build quality of rim brakes is determined by the degree of pressure of the pad to the rim.

This moment should be adjusted with fasteners. To do this, loosen the fixed pads so that you can easily move them with your hands. Place it parallel to the rim, but remember that it is not allowed to touch the shoe with the tire.

If soft rubber pads are used, they must be fixed so that the front side is 1 mm closer to the rim than the back. For fine tuning, a spacer is placed under the rear. Such an operation is necessary so that the components do not undergo rapid wear.

If the pads are on a rigid base, install them strictly parallel to the rim. After the pads are installed, push the brake lever and adjust the nuts.

Brake pads

The bicycle consists of many necessary simple mechanisms, one of which is the pads. this is an important component of the brake system of bicycles. The quality, braking efficiency and safety of the cyclist depend on them.

Brake pads are of various types, both for rim brakes (V-brake type) and for disc brakes, their main difference is the type of design and, of course, the price range. The more expensive the pads are, the better and more efficient they are. Let’s consider in detail the brake pads for the above types of brakes.

Disc brakes

Disc brakes on a bicycle are a brake disc, or it is also called a rotor, which is attached to the hub of a bicycle wheel and a caliper (machine), in which the brake pads are located. When you press the brake lever, the braking force is transmitted through a cable to the pads, which are pressed against the rotor and directly friction occurs and, as a result, braking.

Disc brake pads of different types.

Disc brake pads are used for disc brakes. There are different types and types, for example:

They are organic and metallized. Organic disc pads are soft, have a short life and wear quickly, but provide good brake grip. And metallized disc brakes are harder, as they are made of metal filling and are more durable and provide excellent braking on descents.

Disc brake pads are selected for a bicycle based on the type of disc brakes (for each brake model, the corresponding pads). You can determine which shoe is needed by its appearance and shape.


V-brake type brakes. consist of two levers, which, when pressing the brake lever, are reduced to the rim by pulling the cable and braking occurs due to the friction of the pads on the rim surface. Typically, this type of brake is used on entry-level and mid-range bicycles.

V-brakes are of two types:

Disposable brake pads for v-brakes.

Cartridge pads and cotter pins are often sold as a set. These pads are more expensive and perform better in wet weather. The cartridge pads are collapsible, which makes it possible to change only the rubber component. Brake pads are available, both for dry and wet weather and universal (all-season).

Red arrows indicate cotter pins for removal

It should be noted that any pads, both cartridge and disposable, are suitable for V-brake.

  • Be sure to find out more about which bike brakes are best in order to make the right choice.
  • Which brakes to choose disc or rim //

Installation, adjustment of brakes and V-brake pads

Steps for installing and adjusting V-brakes:

  • Attach the brake levers to the handlebars and adjust the position of the levers with a hexagon;
  • V-brakes can only be installed on a frame that has pivots for this type of brake:

There must be pivots on the bike to set the pads.

The brake pads must be evenly pressed against the rim, so it is important that the distance to the left and right is the same. If the distance is different, then the braking efficiency will decrease, one of the pads can overwrite the rim, as a result of which the pads will wear out unevenly. To avoid this, using the adjusting screws, we adjust the position of the pads, which are responsible for tensioning the spring of the brake lever (they are under a Phillips screwdriver or under a hexagon). If the screw is tightened, the block will begin to move away from the rim, if unscrewed, it will approach due to the spring of the brake lever. The result of these manipulations is to find the correct position of the pads relative to the rim. Remember that the block must not hit the tire.

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A special lamb. if you twist it, the distance will increase, if you unscrew it, it will decrease.

The distance between the shoes and the rim can be adjusted by turning the thumb on the brake lever. If you twist it, the distance will increase, if you twist it, it will decrease. If you cannot achieve the desired result on your own, contact the bike workshop.

  • Why hydraulic brakes are better and how hydraulic brakes are correctly adjusted on a bicycle
  • Find out which pads to put on the roller brake of the bike

Installing and adjusting disc pads

The sequence of actions for installing and adjusting disc brakes:

  • Attach the brake levers to the handlebars and adjust the position of the levers with a hexagon;
  • Install the caliper (machine) on the frame in special disc mounts;
  • Install the brake discs (rotor) onto the hub using the bolts (6 pcs.) That are included in the kit;
  • Fasten the cable to the brake lever, insert them into the jacket and, using the guides on the frame, guide the jacket to the caliper;
  • Attach the cable to the caliper. Now the most important point is to keep your hands clean before installing new disc pads, otherwise you may ruin the new pads. Disc brake pads are spring-loaded, which are applied when braking.
  • We insert the brake pads into the caliper, clamp them with a cotter pin (we bend the ends to fix the pads). Then adjust the position of the brake pads until the pads touch the rotor. The gap between the rotor and the disc must not exceed 1 mm.

After all adjustments and adjustments, do not forget to check the quality of braking and the tightness of all fixing bolts.

  • It will be useful for you to find out why the brakes squeak on the bike.
  • for popular models of disc brakes:

Watch another video about tuning and adjusting the v-brakes from the guys from Veloshostka. For a clearer understanding

Rim brakes

Here the device is a little simpler. The role of the caliper is performed by two levers that clamp the brake pads, thereby stopping the wheel.

Bicycle brake pads: disc brakes

This type of brake is also called rotary. This is because a special disc (rotor) is used for braking, not a rim. It rotates with the wheel. The main role here is played by the caliper, which clamps the rotor with its pads. This is the whole point of disc brakes.

What are the brakes

Technology does not stand still. Therefore, bicycle braking systems are constantly being improved. For the average bike enthusiast, you need to know that there are two types of brakes: disc and rim. These are two diametrically different brakes. Because of them, cyclists were divided into two camps. Some believe that there is nothing better than the good old and proven rims, while others believe that this is already an outdated technology, therefore disc brakes are much more modern and efficient than their predecessors. It should be noted that each of them is right. They have one thing in common, without which neither one nor the second will go far. These are bicycle brake pads. It is they who perform the main function. they create the friction force, which stops the vehicle. And all the same, disc system or rim system, brake pads for a bicycle require equal attention. This means that this element also needs to be looked after. In case of complete wear, they should be replaced immediately, since then the bike will simply stop braking. Therefore, it is very important to monitor the condition of your bike.

Bicycle brake pads: maintenance, replacement, wear detection

The bicycle quickly began to gain popularity among ordinary citizens. But before leaving for each walk, you need to carry out a small technical inspection. It is worth constantly monitoring that all the necessary nodes are in perfect order. The outcome of the walk depends on this: will it be pleasant or not. Well, what system guarantees safety when driving? Of course, the brakes. Today we will talk about what systems are, how to replace brake pads for a bicycle and many other nuances.

How to extend the life of your brake pads

As a rule, we brake with one brake. Some people advise to occasionally change the pads from the front to the rear and vice versa. So they wear off more or less evenly.

You also need to check that the system is perfectly tuned (this applies to any type of brake). It happens that the setting flies, and some block clamps the rim all the time. So you need to pay attention to this right away. Not only does this greatly impede the movement, but such a ride simply “eats” the pads. This can be the case with a disk system. The problem is solved in a simple way. with high-quality tuning of all brakes.

How to Determine Bicycle Pad Wear

The point is, it is best to check your bike brake pads for wear before replacing them. Suddenly they are still suitable for such a service. In general, good manufacturers make special notches on their product, which help determine the wear of the system. When the pads are worn out so much that the cuts themselves will no longer be visible, then this is a signal that it is time to change them. But before replacing a worn-out element, you need to ask the question: “What affects their service life?”.

First of all, the number of kilometers and riding style affects durability. Everything is clear, the more you drive, the more the pads are torn off. Compare a person who loves simple and unhurried walks in his city, or a cyclist who cannot live without a headlong descent from a mountain and an active ride along forest paths. Therefore, much also depends on the driving style.

In fact, these tips for prolonging the life of brake rubber are needed only for those who are serious about cycling, or very enthusiastic people. The fact is that good brake pads live on average fifteen thousand kilometers, and some even more than thirty thousand kilometers. It seemed to ordinary people now that there was some kind of mistake, but no. In fact, for hobbyists, these are just a couple of cycling seasons. But ordinary people who just like to go out into nature on weekends also need to replace these nodes, but not because they travel so much. As a rule, beginners make some mistakes that lead to rapid wear of the braking surface. Is it possible to do so as to change the pads as rarely as possible? The answer is you can.

Replacing brake pads on a bicycle

The pads on the rim brakes are also fairly easy to change. To do this, unscrew the block with a hexagon and replace it with a new one. Only after installation is it necessary to adjust the brakes and make sure that everything is evenly installed.