When To Replace Bike Rim Brake Pads

Author: Alex Bristol

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Replacement of brake pads:

The bike rims need brake replacement and it has become a common service for rim calipers. However, some people fail to understand or do not realize when to replace bike rim brake pads. While you keep using the pads, they lose their efficiency and material too early and easily. When they are worn off, they become too thin to function properly.

Adding on to this, the pads have been observed to get hard when you use them for longer periods of time.

Types of brake pads:

You will come across many brake pads that come in different sizes and shapes but here we will discuss the three basic rim brake pads; road, threaded stud, and smooth stud.

  1. Road brake pads:

When you remove the wheel, this process becomes automatically easy. The pad fastener should be loosened and then removed from the arm. For installing the pads accordingly, you need to have a little knowledge about how to fix them in the right place. This brake system is similar to the thread stud system. This one has a thin washer (maybe a spacer as well).

  1. Smooth Stud brake:

In this brake pad system, the post has been extended from the pads and then pinched through a mechanism present in the caliper arm. No threads are there on the post. On the cantilever brakes, you will find a large smooth stud pad.

  1. Threaded stud pads:

Like we have mentioned before, the road brake pads and the threaded brake pads are much similar. The caliper arm has it attached to it at the end. The only difference between the two pads is that threaded pads come with a series of 2 convex and concave spaces each.

When to replace the brake pads?

Brakes have been noticeably the most essential feature of any bike. It allows you to keep your bike in control. The brakes not only save you from potential accidents but also improve your performance judiciously. It goes like this; take care of your brakes and they take care of you.

Whether you have carbon or alloy rims, your pads will wear off from the side of the contact. You will see the tread disappearing and there will be a flat surface. Therefore, it is time to change your pads.

Inspections for pads:

Before you get your hands on new pads, make sure you inspect them thoroughly and know how they are supposed to be used. Each bike has its own type of brake pads and it may vary. Keep in mind to look for arrows pointing forwards, left, or the right side. If the holder has one side open and the other side closed, then it is for sure that the closed side has to be put in the front.

If in case you are just replacing the material of the pad, then you will have to remove the screw or clip first, pull the pad backward and slide it out.


As it is well-established by now, we all must have know-how on when to replace bike rim brake pads. They control a very important and crucial part of a comfortable, uninterrupted, and satisfying bike riding experience.

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