A Simple Guide to Maintaining and Replacing Your Bike Brake Pads

A Simple Guide to Maintaining and Replacing Your Bike Brake Pads

Maintaining and Replacing Your Bike Brake Pads
A Simple Guide to Maintaining and Replacing Your Bike Brake Pads


There are over 40,00 bicycle-related injuries per year. Scary, right?

Sure, wearing a helmet will help prevent injuries. But what about the things that can cause injury? Take your bike, for example.

If you don’t keep your bike in tip-top shape, it’s an accident waiting to happen. That’s why it’s important to perform routine maintenance.

Start by looking at your brakes. If you don’t know how to maintain and when to replace your bike brake pads, today is your lucky day.

Read on to learn the ins and outs of bike brake maintenance.


Inspect Your Brakes

Like cars, bike brakes will squeal if there’s a problem. But also like cars, you should never wait until you hear the problem before you try to solve the problem.

Here’s a handy list to know when you should check your brakes.

  • Before a long distance bicycling excursion
  • After every 500 miles
  • Once a month
  • After you’ve replaced the brake pads
  • If you are pulling more weight
  • After riding in the rain

Of course, wear and tear on your bike brake pads varies depending on how much you ride. If your bike has been kept in storage for a while, you should still check your brake pads before taking it out for a spin.


Know What to Look For

The wear on your bike brake pads is the most major indication that they need replacing. But, depending on the kind of bike brakes you have, you’re going to be looking for different things.

Rim brakes are typically found on road or hybrid bikes. These brake pads come with grooves in the pad that contacts the rim of the bike. If you can’t see the tread in the rubber, you need to replace the pads.

Disc brakes are found on mountain bikes and, even recently with the rise of people biking to work, commuter bikes. In order to activate the brakes, calipers squeeze the discs mounted to the wheel hubs. If there is 1.5 millimeter or less compound on the brake pad, it must be replaced.

When you notice your brake pads have been worn down considerably, take your bike to your local bike shop to get them fixed up by a pro.


Maintaining Bike Brake Pads

Whenever you’re inspecting your bike brake pads, you need to be aware of contamination. The oils on your hands have the potential to ruin your brake pads, so it’s important that you keep contact with your skin to a minimum.

If your skin or any other kind of oil came in contact with your brake pads, simply clean the pads off with rubbing alcohol.


Ready to Ride?

Whether you’re gearing up for a cross-country trek or simply riding around the neighborhood, routine maintenance on your bike is important. And, now that you know how to repair your bike brake pads, you’ll be ready to ride your bike anywhere!

For more information on all things relating to the bicycle, contact us!

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