How to install a brake disc on a bike

Bridging the gap in mechanical disc brakes

If you have a mechanical disc brake on your bike (the approach to hydraulics is somewhat different), then you can remove the gap, or rather, eliminate some curvature of the brake pads, by properly fixing the caliper. Provided that the possible curvature of the disk is preliminarily eliminated.

For repairs, you will need a fifth hexagon, as well as another person who will press the brake lever at the right time. The procedure is as follows:

brake, disc, bike
  • loosen the mounting bolts on the caliper, which secure the latter to the adapter;
  • forcefully press the brake lever;
  • the pads will press against the disc and the caliper is shifted as needed, and the curvature is eliminated;
  • the caliper will need to be rotated in this position without releasing the brake lever. until there are no traces of curvature left. Like this. And no gap!
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And if the caliper does not have an adapter, then you will need a set of calibration washers and, again, a fifth hexagon for twisting the bolts (although on some brakes you can do without a key and twist the bolts directly by hand).

The bolts are twisted neatly on both sides of the caliper, and the pads are brought close to the disc. You will get a barely noticeable gap, which will not prevent the disk from spinning.

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Care of brake pads and their possible “resuscitation

The step-by-step process is as follows:

  • fill the spirit lamp with alcohol and light;
  • clamp the removed block in the pliers and ignite, holding the side with the abrasive over the flame of the spirit lamp (under the influence of heat, dirty fatty oils trapped in the abrasive simply evaporate;
  • ignite the second block;
  • cool both pads;
  • with sandpaper, thinly remove the top layer of abrasive from the pads together with the remains of dry oil, achieving absolute evenness of the treated surface.
brake, disc, bike

And the pads are like new again. Move on to the next item in the disc brake maintenance plan.

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Required tools.

  • Brake fluid
  • Plastic bottle
  • Fuel or vacuum hose
  • Protective clothing (gloves, goggles)
  • Cable ties
  • Socket, open-end wrenches for 6, 7, 8mm
  • 10 step guide to setting up your brakes

How to Install Mechanical Disc Brake

Mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes

Compare these 2 disc brake options.

How to Replace a Bicycle Disc Brake Rotor

Check the wear of the pads

Deciding whether it’s time to change the pads or not is very simple. Some pad manufacturers make a mark, such as the small bump on the Magura pads on the right in the photo. On the left is another block. It needs to be replaced a little earlier than it reaches the thickness of the return spring. Inspect the brake pad surfaces. Partially worn pads can sometimes be improved slightly by flushing them (see step 4). The glossy surface of the pads will be hard and shiny, and there will be circular grooves on the surface of the rotor. Sand the surface of the pads with sandpaper or a file. Check the condition of the pads every month to avoid damage to the rotor.

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