Brakes are an extremely important component of a bike, and it’s the only thing that will help you slow down and come to a stop. For this reason, your brake pads need to be inspected from time to time, and you need to pay attention to them to ensure they are in working order. The good news is that you can check and replace your brake pads at home, and the following steps will allow you to confirm whether or not your brake pads are working properly and how to replace them if you notice any problems:
Look At Pad Wear
It’s often possible to do this without removing any parts, so look down to the top of the calliper and visually inspect your pads. You should look from the opposite side, too, because pads don’t always wear evenly and flipping your bike upside-down is best because this will allow you to get a better look. You can remove your wheel if need be, and if you see that your pads are worn down almost to the backing, they need to be replaced. It is recommended that you check your pads every couple of weeks or after a very wet ride because mud will cause your pads to wear down a lot faster.
Look For Contamination
This, too, would require you to replace your pads, so check to see if this is the case as brake pad contamination is generally obvious. If you notice that your brakes are making a loud squealing sound under your braking force, it’s a sign that the brake pads are contaminated and if your brakes are low on power and you feel that grabbing them is not bringing you to a stop, you’ll know you have this problem.
Replace The Pads
The first step is to remove the wheel, and you’ll need to push the brake pistons back inside the calliper because they will sit further out as the pads wear. This will allow you to fit the new pads in, and if you are going to use a metal tool like a screwdriver, you must leave your old pads in while completing this step; otherwise, you will damage the pistons and ruin the brake. It’s always best to leave the old pads in because it helps distribute the force better and is easier and safer.
You can remove the pad retainer once the pistons are pushed back, and you must pull the old pads from the top or bottom. Clean the calliper and rotor with some isopropyl alcohol or disc brake cleaner and use a rag or paper towel to remove any contaminants. Once everything is clean and dry, you will be able to insert the new pads into the calliper, after which you can re-fit the retaining bolt and then re-fit the wheel.