How Do I Know If My Mountain Bike Brake Pads Are Worn? (Let’s See)

Mountain Bike Brake Pads Are Worn

Brake pads are one of the most crucial parts of automobiles. They must be checked and maintained from time to time to avoid mishaps.

However, your safety as an automobile owner depends on it more considerably. This write-up will enlighten you on how to tell when your brake pads are due for replacement.

There are many ways to know if the brake pads of your mountain bike are worn. The ways range from the thickness of the brake pads, the distance you ride the bike, and the sound your brakes emit. More so, the metal of the brake pad starts hitting the rim, resulting in a crunching sound.

What Are The Signs Of Worn Brake Pads?

Mountain Bike Brake Pads Are Worn

Your automobile will start giving you some symptoms whenever your brake pads become worn. If you notice any of the signs below, inspect and repair them.

However, if you can not do it, contact a professional mechanic.

  • Your bike will start taking a long time to stop or slow down: When your brake is damaged, bringing your automobile to a stop will begin taking a lengthier time than it used to. This is otherwise known as brake fade.
  • The vibration of the brake pedal when you press it: This can be caused by faulty brake pads, which make your brake pedal violently shake whenever you step on it.
  • Notification by the wear indicator:  Wear indicator is sometimes manufactured with the brake pads, and it’s located near the top of your automobile brake pads. The function of the indicator is to emit the squealing sound that comes from your brake.
  • Another sign of worn brake pads is that your bike pulls to a side whenever you apply a brake.
  • Furthermore, your brake will start overheating, emitting a chemical order whenever you are riding.
  • And lastly, your brake pedal will be feeling spongy. As a result, brake application will require more pressure than it used to.

When To Replace Disc Brake Pads?

Managing faulty disc brake pads is very risky, and it’s not advisable. Whenever you start noticing any symptoms of worn disc brake pads, the best solution is to replace them. 

When your disc brake pads are due for replacement, the wear indicator will give you a tip. In addition, the indicator will come close to the brake rotors.

So don’t waste time anymore before you replace the disc brake pads whenever you see this indication.

More so, whenever your car is taking so long before it stops, inspect the brake pads; kindly replace them if the brake pads wear.

Moreover, your disc brake pads have a minimum thickness of 1.5mm; once you measure them and the braking material remaining is lesser than that, replace the disc brake pads to avoid problems.

How Long Do Brake Pads Last On A Mountain Bike?

This depends on several factors. And some of the factors are;

  • Pad type: You should expect a resin or organic pad to last for 500-700 miles mileage, while sintered brake pads last 1000-1250 miles.
  • Another factor is your braking habits.
  • Furthermore, the weather also contributes to how long your mountain brake pads can last.
  • Your riding style is also a significant factor.
  • And the environment where you are riding is also one of the factors.

How To Replace Worn Brake Pads?

This may sound complex to you, but the truth is, it’s super easy and fast to do. Read more to know about mountain bike tires as well.

Below is the step-by-step process of replacing your bike-worn brake pads with new ones;

  • The first thing to do is to disconnect the wheel from your bike. Next, lose the thru-axle and slide it out of the hub. The wheel will drop out.
  • Remove the retaining pin or screw that secures the pads.
  • After removing the retention bolt, the next thing is to remove the worn pads using a screwdriver or Allen wrench.
  • Inspect the remaining braking material. Next, clean the inner of the caliper with a degreaser. The purpose of the degreaser is to ensure that the pistons inside the caliper are moving correctly. Make sure you clean the caliper after applying the degreaser; too much of it can contaminate the new pads. 
  • Replace the worn pads with new ones. Pins/bolts do come with new pad packages; therefore, secure the pads with them.

When To Replace Mountain Bike Disc Brake Rotors?

Generally, automobile disc brake rotors last for a long time before damaging. Due to this reason, people ignore it. However, this isn’t advisable as it may result in an unexpected incident. 

Therefore, inspecting your bike’s disc brake rotors from time to time is very important for the effective operation of the bike and your safety as well. 

Some of the ways to know when your disc brake rotors need replacement are as follows;

  • Check the information about the rotors you are using: Every company that manufactures rotors does provide minimum thickness for their rotors.

    Measure the disc brake rotors of your bike with a digital micrometer, vernier caliper, or digital caliper.

    Once you measure it and the breaking material reaches the recommended level, your rotors are due for replacement.
  • Another way to know when your rotors need replacement is to check where your rotors are located.

    If a small phase has formed between the brake and the rotor, your rotors have become faulty, and of course, you must replace them.
  • In addition, if your rotor bends, you can straighten it with a rotor truing tool. However, if it bends too much, don’t take the risk of straightening it; the best thing is to replace it.
  • Lastly, your riding style and how much you ride your bike also determine when to replace your disc brake rotors.

    For example, if you are the type that rides your bike 3-4 times a week, your rotors could last for at least two years.

How To Install Mountain Bike Disc Brake Rotors?

Perhaps, your disc brake rotors are worn, and you want to replace them with new ones. Worry not, because this isn’t difficult and doesn’t require any particular skill.

All you need to do is to follow the below instructions carefully;

  • To install a new set of rotors, you need to remove the old ones. Therefore, use a cassette tool to remove a center-lock rotor type while using a T-25 Torx wrench for 6-bolt rotors.
  • There are some areas of the hub that aren’t easy to reach when removing the rotor, and there might be dirt or dust on the areas; clean the surface.
  • It’s time to install the new rotors. There is an arrow on the rotor; ensure that you’re conscious of the arrow during the installation; the arrow must be facing the wheel’s rotation.
  • Mountain bikes often use 6-bolt rotors; therefore, install the rotors in a star shape.
  • Rotors always come with instructions from their manufacturing company on tightening them. Check the label of the ones you get, and tighten the bolts to torque spec as instructed on the label.
  • It’s advisable to remove any dirt that might have contaminated the new rotors during installation before replacing the wheel. Also, ensure to clean the surfaces with isopropyl alcohol.
  • Replace the wheel and inspect carefully to confirm if the caliper is aligned correctly.

Best And The Most Common Type Of Mountain Bike Brake

There are many of them, but just a few are the best. Below are the most effective mountain bike brakes;


Worn brake pads pose some danger to you, so it is always better to replace them as soon as they are worn.

However, knowing when your mountain bike brake pads get worn can be tricky. But looking out for these subtle signs makes everything easier.

Josh Matthews

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