There are two ways to replace rear brake pads: either by removing the rear wheel or keeping it on. We recommend that you remove the rear wheel if you think that there’s a problem with the caliper or brake system. Otherwise, it’s easy to replace brake pads without removing the rear wheel. We will tell you how and then add a video to help you get the knack. Brake pads should be replaced once the thickness in any pad is less than 1mm. Allowing the brake pads to wear into the metal backing plate will cause serious damage to the brake rotor. Inspect the brake pad thickness periodically and more often if you ride in muddy or sandy conditions.
TIME TO COMPLETE:
With the bike sitting firmly on a stand, locate the rear brake caliper. Using the appropriate size straight-blade screwdriver, remove the brake pad pin cover (this cover is found on most model bikes). This typically requires a significant amount of force. Completely remove the cover and inspect the threads. Clean the threads, if necessary, with contact cleaner and a lint-free rag.
Now that the brake pad pin is exposed, use the appropriate wrench to loosen and remove the pin. Inspect the pin and make sure that the pin is straight. Use contact cleaner and a rag to clean the brake pin. Make sure to keep the old brake pads in place.
With your thumbs, carefully push the brake caliper towards the spokes. Remember to keep the old brake pads in place! (If you skip this step, you will not be able to compress the brake pistons.) The pressure from your hand will push the two circular pistons against the left brake pad, causing the pistons to retract. This step allows enough room for the new brake pads. Make sure that the pistons are completely compressed into the caliper housing. You will know that this has happened when the caliper cannot be pushed any farther against the brake rotor. Remove the old brake pads.
Keep the new brake pads free of any dirt or grime. Take note of the locating mounts on the interior of the caliper. Notice the ledge on the caliper where the new brake pads should be placed. If the pads are not properly installed, the pads will fall out and potentially cause serious damage and/or harm. Once the new pads are in place, the brake pad pin should easily slide through the mounting holes in the brake pads and thread into the caliper housing.
Using the appropriate wrench, tighten the brake pad pin until it bottoms out against the caliper. Do not overtighten the pin or strip the threads. Once the pin has been tightened, inspect the brake pads again to make sure that they have been installed properly and are secure. Use a straight-blade screwdriver to screw in the brake pad pin cover until it is tight (most model bikes).
Roll the rear tire with your left hand and push down on the rear brake pedal continuously with your right hand until the piston completely pushes the brake pads against the rotor and stops the rear tire from rolling. The pads should be worn in by spiking the rear brake pedal several times at medium speed. Allow the pads to cool before putting serious strain on the brake pads. After break-in, check the pads one final time to ensure that the pads are installed properly.