Garage Files: How to Check and Replace Your Brake Pads


Garage-1817-Be sure to remember to replace the safety clip. We’ve been on rides with some who forgot this step, only to find their pads fly out in the middle of a rocky descent when the pin rattled loose. That’s not a good day for anyone.

Garage-1918-Replace the wheel in the frame, being careful to align the rotor between the fresh pads, and then reinstall the axle.

Garage-2019-In a perfect world the brakes would clear the new pads without rubbing and be ready to hit the trails. However, most brakes will need to be adjusted slightly after the new pads are installed. Center the caliper so the pads are equidistant from the rotor as you look down through the “pad window,” and then tighten the bolts.

Garage-2120-Depending on your riding style and how much you use the front versus rear brake on the trail, you may only need to replace one set of pads at a time. But if you’re already doing one, you should at least always check the other.

Garage-2221-A clean brake is a happy brake. Don’t be afraid to use isopropyl alcohol on the rotor to clean off any excess grime that may have found its way onto the rotor before testing the system.

Garage-2322-Enjoy hitting the trails with your new stoppers, and don’t forget to “burn them in” a little before you head out for your first ride. New pads require nearly the same break-in period as an entirely new set of brakes.

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