How to Replace Brake Pads on a Bike – Rim Brakes

How to Replace Brake Pads on a Bike – Rim Brakes


In this video, we will walk through brake
pad replacement on bicycle rim brake systems. Brake pad replacement is part of our video series:
The Park Tool Guide to Rim Brakes. Watch this video to see how we’ve organized the content in the series. Otherwise, let’s begin. We’ll help you identify what type
of pad system is on your bike, then we’ll walk you through the replacement process. After that we’ll forward you to another video to help make some final adjustments, so your brakes reach optimal performance.
Let’s get started. Typical tools include hex wrenches for brake
pad adjustment and caliper mounting, box end wrenches for pad adjustment, and needle nose pliers. Now, pads come in all different shapes and
sizes, but there are three basic rim brake pad systems: road, threaded stud, and smooth stud. We’ll show you how to identify which system you have,
and then you can skip to the process that matches. In the smooth stud system,
the post extends from the pad, and is pinched by a mechanism in the caliper arm. There are no threads on the post. The road brake system and
the threaded stud system look similar. They are both fastened to the
caliper arm at the end of the stud. The best way to differentiate between
road pads and threaded stud pads is that the threaded stud pads have a series of
two convex and two concave spacers. A road brake pad will have a thin washer,
and maybe even a spacer, but it lacks the pairing of the two convex
and two concave spacers. All three of these systems come in either
a one-piece, where the pad is fixed to the stud, or a cartridge style,
where the pad slides in and out. If a bike shop or retailer doesn’t carry the
exact pad that matches your cartridge system, it’s fine to replace it with a one piece pad
or cartridge style pad unit. Now let’s walk through the process for each system. Go ahead and skip to the portion of
this video that’s relevant to you. We’ll start with the road brake pad system, and walk through the process
for replacing the entire pad unit. This process is often easier without the wheel. Loosen the pad fastener and remove the pad
from the arm. Inspect the new pads for any forward arrows
and left and right side markings. If there is a closed side to the holder and
an open side, the closed side always goes to the front. Install the pads accordingly. If you are replacing only pad material on
cartridge style pads, remove the retention screw or clip, and pull
the pad backward to slide it out. Inspect the new pads. There will be a groove in the back
of the pad to accept the retention screw or clip. Push the new pad fully into place and
install the retention screw or clip. Repeat the process
on the other side. This concludes the process for replacing the
pads on a road bike, but you will need to make additional adjustments
to make the brake function properly. Depending on what type of caliper you’re working with, we have these videos and corresponding start times to help you make the final adjustments. Now we’ll walk through threaded stud pad replacement, and show you the process for replacing the entire pad unit first. But before we begin, we need to understand
spacer selection. On this other bike we have a caliper arm
with correct and incorrect spacer selection. These wide and narrow set of spacers help position the caliper arm as the pads strike the rim. Ideally, we’d want the caliper arm
close to vertical as the pad strikes the rim. On the rider’s left, we can see this wide spacer is inside, and this caliper
arm is angled outward. For this bike, we’d want our narrow spacer inboard. Back on our example bike, we can see a slight
angle inward. Installing a new pad with more material will bring this line closer to vertical, so we’ll plan to keep the same spacer orientation. We’ll remove the wheel just to get it out of the way, and we’ll begin by removing the mounting nut, spacers, and brake pad from the caliper arm. Again, pay attention to the spacer orientation as they come off. Inspect the new pads for any directional arrows,
indicating on which side to install the new pad. If there is a closed side to the holder, and an open side, the closed side always goes to the front. Install the new pad with attention
to the spacer orientation. Repeat the process on the second pad. If you are replacing only pad material on cartridge style pads, remove the retention screw or clip, and pull the pad backward to slide it out. Inspect the new pads,
and look for the curve of the pad. The curve should match the curve of the rim. There will be a groove in the back of the pad
to accept the retention clip. Push the pad fully into place
and install the retention clip. This concludes the process for replacing the
pads with threaded studs but you will need to make additional adjustments
to make the brake function properly. Depending on what type of
caliper you’re working with, we have these videos and the corresponding start times
to help you make the final adjustments. Now we’ll focus on smooth stud pad replacement. First, we’ll walk through the process
for replacing the entire pad unit. This process is often easier without the wheel. Inspect the caliper arm and pad stud, making
note of spacer orientation. There are often convex and concave
washers that permit pad alignment, and they will need to be re-installed correctly. Using a hex wrench to hold the bolt head, loosen
the mounting nut with a wrench to wiggle free the stud. Note any “forward” arrow indicating which
side to install the new pad. If there is a closed side to the holder and an open side,
the closed side always goes to the front. Slide the new pad unit into place. Repeat the process on the second pad. To replace only the pad material
with cartridge style pads, begin by looking for a retention clip or screw
on the back of the pad and remove it. Pull the pad backward to slide it
out of the cartridge holder. Inspect the new pads, and look for a groove in the
back of the pad to accept the retention clip. Push the pad fully into place and install the clip. This concludes the process for
smooth stud pad replacement, but you will need to make additional
adjustments to make the brake function properly. For smooth stud brake pads, watch this video at the appropriate start time to help with the final adjustments. Thanks for watching our
Rim Brake Pad Replacement video. If you haven’t seen it yet,
be sure to watch this video to see how we’ve organized
the Park Tool Guide to Rim Brakes. Thanks for watching, and be sure to subscribe for the latest videos from Park Tool.

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  1. Wow, the production and information contained in your videos continue to get better and better. THANK YOU!

  2. I was just looking for a quick reference, but I didn't expect to find anything this in depth and high quality.
    Thank you very much for making this, it's helped me with problems I didn't even know I'd be able to fix.

  3. Hello Park Tool, thanks as always for your resourceful video !
    On your video there seems to be multiple orders of spacers for your threaded stud system : pad-concave-convex-arm-concave-convex-nut or pad-concave-convex-arm-convex-concave-nut. The most common configuration I'm used to is the first one where the brake arm is in contact with the 2 convex spacers. You seem to mostly use the 2nd configuration. Does it matter as long as a convex spacer is coupled with a convex one? Does it change the adjustment possibility? Does it depends on your brake pads? Is there a reason for wanting one or the other?
    Cheers !

  4. What can't I put the rubbers in the get them back new ? I mean like if I have rubbers on a old bicycle for a long time and they are still good to use back

  5. on my ads there is an indication line, how far away from the line dose ware have to be before you get spares. mine are 3mm away

  6. There's not much more to be added to the superlatives already stacked up here… but you deserve recognition for your channel and video production. I admire streamlined content… No wasted airtime. Very good example of how to make a how to Video:). It takes a job this well done for me to participate in our God forsaken review & comment culture.
    So here's my comment, like and subscription… You answered my question. Thank you

  7. Was wondering about this for a while. Bought the bike the other day and getting the knowledge in ahead of time. Already knew a good bit,and even work on a few myself as a hobby. This really helped me identify what and how I needed to do things. Tomorrow I'm gonna check what type of brake pads I need and make a decision. Hopefully I won't need some crazy tools for the job. The one thing that might get me are the Allen wrenches,other than that,I should be good.

  8. very concise, to the point, super clear. thank you so much. also love the fact that you gave us the 'skip to relevant brake' option. my new brakes are in, i am back in business!! hurray!!

  9. Do a video now for changing a rear road brake on a crank area brake on a TT bike. It looked like it couldn't be done without removing the chainset on thr rhs to me at first but it can be done. To do it I cut down a 90 degree hex key to about 8 mm long on the shortest length. After this is done it is possible to insert the hex key between the chainset rings and chainnstay to remove and replace the pad screw but it is still very fiddly but a much easier job than removing the crank as well.

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