Bicycle Mechanics - Can I repair worn brake pads?
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Ok, I did a search first to see if I could find the answer, but no luck...
I preface all this with a big I'M SORRY.... I don't have a lot of knowledge with bike lingo. I am trying to learn- I know how to do some basic repairs, and I have a basic bike maintenance class on February 20th, and I'll be doing the Park Tools class in four weeks (I am speaking with the Park Tools representative right now).
My front brake pad is really worn down- I am wondering if I can replace it myself, or if it's something I have to take into the LBS. I have s Specialized Sirrus A1 hybrid bike. Is this possible I could do this for myself? I don't want to break my bike!
02-09-03, 10:04 PM
Sure you can do it yourself! Some have removable pads, where the pad is held in by a cotter-pin. In that case you just remove the pin and slide the pad out. If it is not removable, you have to take the one bolt out of the outside of the pad. Be sure to keep the spacers in their correct position. Then when you replace the unit, just squeeze on the lever while that pad is still a little loose so you can align it with the rim. Make sure it doesn't hit the tire and hits the rim squarely. You can do it easily Koffee, and it'll be good experience.
02-09-03, 10:12 PM
Just found this page too. Might help some.
Looks like Dirtgrinder gave you some good detail info on how to change your brake pads.
I will just encourage you by saying that you SHOULD change your own brake pads. The brakes are one of the most important parts of your bike. You should know how to repair and maintain every part of your brake system.
02-10-03, 01:48 AM
I was wondering how you could repair brake pads... but sure, you could replace them!
Dirtgrinder gave you a good reference for v-brakes. V-brakes and sidepull brakes (found on many road bikes) are the easiest to work on because there are few adjustments.
Cantilever brakes are a little bit more finnicky, but as usual, Sheldon Brown has good instructions here http://sheldonbrown.com/cantilever-adjustment.html .
It's not a high tech job, and patience is all you really need, plus a 5 mm Allen key or a wrench. Just make sure your pads don't touch the tire.
Geez-replacing brake pads is one of the simpler things you can do on a bike. Takes all of 2 minutes to do.
Thanks for the comments- I typically would go to the biggest bike store in town and have them charge me top dollar to do something that I always wondered if I could do myself. The last straw was when I went there because my tire had a flat- I had no idea how to change it or even take the wheel off! It took them all of about 5 minutes, and they charged me about $15. I got another flat the next day, and I had to pay another $15. After that, I figured out that I could learn how to do this stuff on my own and make a fortune. I am slowly learning about my bike, and I will definitely be getting involved with Park Tools- I spoke with the Chicago representative last night, and he was very inspirational- I'll be taking his class in about a month, then afterwards, he said he'd give me practice by working in his shop on other people's bikes so I can really get a good understanding of bikes. We ended up talking for a couple of hours last night. I have hope.
In the meantime, I'll be checking out those sites and getting my pads REPLACED.... not repaired... ;)
I know I am clueless right now, so thanks for your patience.
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