How to replace MTB brake pads

Replacing the brake pads of your mountain bike is one of the simplest maintenance tasks to do. While pads can last for a long time, it is recommended to replace them at the beginning of the season to prevent any malfunction. When replacing your pads also check how good the brake levers feel. If too plushy, they will require re-bleeding.


  • Long nose pliers
  • Nitrile gloves

Replace MTB Brake Pads

  1. Hang the bike on a bike stand or flip the bike upside down if you don’t have a bike stand.
  2. Remove the wheels
  3. Using the pliers, close the split pin in the caliper and slide it out.
  4. Once the pin is removed, remove the brake pads by sliding them out of the caliper.

Some brake pads have cooling fins attached to them.


  1. Install your new pads by just sliding them in.
  2. Re-insert the split pin and twist one of the legs slightly.
  3. Place the wheel back in the bike.
  4. Test the brake

Brake pads

There are many types of brake pads these days, make sure you buy the appropriate set of pads by consulting your caliper manufacturer sheet.


MTB Brake Pads

Tips and Tricks

  • Do not press the brakes while the wheel is out
  • If you buy metallic (sintered) pads, make sure your rotor allows them.


The people at Bicycle Repairs & Maintenance Melbourne made a really good video explaining how to replace MTB brake pads.


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