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Bicycle Brake Pads

It is safe to say the brake pads on your bicycle are extremely important. All brake pads, blocks and shoes will wear away over time;it is up to you to replace these, and to regularly check the condition of your brakes.

Types of Bicycle Brake Pads

When shopping for brake pads, be sure you know which type of brake pads your bike requires. There are two main type of brake pads, because there are two main categories of brake systems: rim brakes and disc brakes. The braking surface of a rim brakes is the rotating rim of the wheel. Rim pads are very common and can also be called bike insert brake pads or blocks. They are popular because they are light and low in cost. Bike disc brake pads use a circular metal disc mounted on the hub of the wheel. In this case the pads exert pressure on the rotor to decrease speed, not on the wheel rim.

When Brake Pads Wear Out

It is important to make sure you replace your brake pads regularly. There are a signs to look out for. In general, of course, if you are pulling the brake lever hard and only achieving minimal braking, then undoubtedly the brake pads needs replacing.If your bicycle has rim brake pads, check the teeth and grooves to see if the rubber has worn down. You will be able to see this if the indents in the pads have rubbed away, leaving the pad smooth. Disc brake pads have between 3 mm and 4 mm of compound on the pad. If you notice this reducing to 1 mm, then it is time to replace it. You will note, too, these brakes working less effectively at this point. However, if your pads, whether insert or disc, are still unworn, you probably need to tighten your brake cable.

Brake Pad Tips

Be mindful of the extra wear and tear affecting brake pads during winter months. They can get ice, mud, dirt and debris stuck in them from the road or from cycle paths. Additionally, salt applied to icy roads can significantly damage bike parts. Clean your brake pads regularly to make sure they don't wear out more quickly than normal.

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