Brake Pad Replacement: Rim Brakes

Brake Pad Replacement: Rim Brakes

In our previous blog we explained the importance of ensuring your brake pads were not worn

Over time the brake pad material will wear and ultimately cease to effectively stop you. Brake pad material can also perish as it ages so it’s important to be able to replace when the need arrises. In this blog, we’re going to take you through the process of replacing two of the most common rim braking systems:

  • Road brake pads
  • Thread stud brake pads (commonly found on v-type brake systems)

Both type of brake pads come as either a solid piece pad or in a cartridge style (where you only need to replace the brake pad material rather than the whole piece.

Road Brake Pads V-Brake/Threaded stud Brake Pads




Remove or loosen the wheel. Loosen the pad fastener and remove the pad from the arm. Take a minute to inspect your new pads for any directional specific arrows. Fit the pad to the arm. Repeat the process on the other brake arm.


With cartridge style pads you’ll need to remove the retention screw and slide the pad out. You may need to use some pliers. Then simply slide in your new cartridge and tighten the retention screw. Repeat the process on the other brake arm.

(For information on setting up the brake pads. See next week’s blog…)




V-brake type pads use different width spacers to position the brake arm relative to the rim. These are moved inboard or swapped outboard to position the arms to the rim.

Before you replace your old pads, take a picture of your current set up to note the order of the spacers/their position. Ideally, the calliper arm should be as close to vertical as the pad strikes the rim.

And remember, it’s a lot easier to fit the brake pads whilst the wheel is out of the bike!

Also, some V-brake pads are uni-directional so make sure to check for any directional arrows before fitting your new pads.

The above process only describes the removal/refit process. Next week we will go on to show you about what additional adjustments you will need to make to make sure your brakes function correctly.

Leave a Reply