Brake pads – change them regularly

Bike pads V-brakes

Your brakes might be the most important part on your bike, and it’s super important to keep them in top shape. Part of the brakes are the brakes pads. The pads are the contact point between the breaks and the surface on your wheel that you brake against, and the clue here is that the pads will be worn over time. They are of a softer material than the braking surface so that it is your pads that get worn and not the breaking surface.

Bike brakes can be divided into to general types:

  • Rim brakes – Used mostly on road bikes and older MTBs
  • Disc brakes – Mainly used on newer MTBs, but also some newer road bikes.

  • Rim brake

    Rim brake

    Disc brake

    Disc brake

    So what happens when your brake pads gets worn? The first sign is that you have to squeeze your brake a little more to apply the same brake pressure. The compensate this you can tighten the brake cable. Here’s some videos on how to do just that for Rim Brakes and Disc Brakes.

    You can’t readjust the brakes forever. After a couple of readjustments your pads are so worn out that they need to be replaced. A lot of pads have marks or wear lines to show you when it is time to replace them. One thing is sure, if your down to the metal you have to change the pads. Underneath you see two example pictures of what worn out pads might look like:

    Worn out rim brake pads

    Worn out rim brake pads

    Worn out disc brake pads

    Worn out disc brake pads

    So you now know if you need to change the brake pads on your bike or not. Here’s an overview of where you can get those new pads:

    Rim breaks:

    ItemAmazonChain ReactionDealExtreme
    Brake blocks + pads$7£5$5 (4 pack)
    Brake pads$6£4

    Disc breaks:

    ItemAmazonChain ReactionDealExtreme
    Brake pads$10£6$5

    When you have installed your new pads be sure to do a series of hard test brakes with full force to test that everything is done correctly. Good luck!

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