10 Steps to Change Your Avid Disc Brake Pads| Comprehensive Guide

Imagine the exhilaration of riding your bike down a winding trail, the wind in your hair, and the thrill of the ride. Amidst this adventure, your brakes play a pivotal role, giving you the control and confidence to conquer any terrain. Imagine elevating that experience further – enhancing your braking performance and reclaiming that smooth, precise stopping power. Welcome to the world of changing Avid disc brake pads, where the fusion of skill and knowledge transforms your biking experience.

This guide unveils the art of replacing your brake pads with finesse, ensuring your bike’s stopping prowess remains unparalleled. With step-by-step insights and expert tips, join us as we delve into revitalizing your Avid disc brakes. Get ready to unlock a new level of mastery as you embark on this journey to maximize your biking adventures.

10 Steps to Change Your Avid Disc Brake Pads

How to Change Your Avid Disc Brake Pads

Changing the disc brake pads on your Avid disc brakes is a relatively straightforward process that can greatly improve your bike’s braking performance. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

Materials You’ll Need:

Materials NeededDescription
New disc brake padsEnsure you have the appropriate replacement pads for your Avid disc brakes.
Allen wrenches (sizes may vary)Different sizes of Allen wrenches might be needed to remove retaining pins or bolts.
Clean rag or paper towelsUsed for cleaning the caliper and maintaining a clean workspace.
Isopropyl alcohol or brake cleaner (optional)Optional for cleaning the caliper before installing new pads.
Disposable gloves (optional)Optional gloves to prevent contaminating the brake pads with oils from your fingers.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Gather Your Tools: Ensure you have all the necessary tools and new brake pads ready before you begin.
  2. Safety Precautions: Put on disposable gloves to prevent contaminating the brake pads with oils from your fingers.
  3. Release Pressure: Squeeze the brake lever gently a few times to push the brake pistons back into the caliper. This creates more space for the new brake pads.
  4. Remove the Old Pads: Using an appropriate size Allen wrench, remove the retaining pin or bolt that holds the brake pads in place. Carefully slide out the old brake pads from the caliper. Take note of the orientation and position of any spacers or washers.
  5. Clean the Caliper: Use a clean rag or paper towel to wipe any dirt, dust, or debris from the caliper. You can also use isopropyl alcohol or brake cleaner to ensure a clean surface for the new brake pads.
  6. Insert the New Pads: Gently slide the new brake pads into the caliper, making sure they align with the rotor. If there are any spacers or washers, ensure they are placed correctly as per the previous arrangement.
  7. Secure the Pads: Insert the retaining pin or bolt back into the caliper to secure the new brake pads. Tighten it to the manufacturer’s recommended torque specification.
  8. Test the Brakes: Before riding your bike, gently squeeze the brake lever to ensure the brake pads make contact with the rotor. If needed, you can adjust the brake lever position and caliper alignment.
  9. Bedding-In Process: After installing new brake pads, it’s important to perform a bedding-in process. This involves gradually applying the brakes to generate heat and transfer a layer of pad material onto the rotor. This improves braking performance. Consult your brake pad manufacturer for specific bedding-in instructions.
  10. Final Check: Double-check the brake pad alignment, secure all bolts or pins, and ensure there is no unusual rubbing or noise while spinning the wheel.

Remember that proper maintenance and installation of brake components are critical for your safety. If you’re unsure about any step, consult your bike’s user manual manufacturer’s guidelines or seek help from a professional bike mechanic.

Tips for changing Avid disc brake.

Here are a few things to consider before changing your Avid disc brake. These include:

-Check the condition of your existing pads. If they look worn or dirty, replace them immediately.

-Don’t forget to check the condition of your rotors. If they look worn, replace them too.

-Before you begin, make sure you know what type of Avid disc brake you have. There are two types: Avid’s XC and XD series. The difference is that the XD series has a longer lever arm than the XC series.

-You’ll need a pair of pliers to remove the bolts holding the caliper onto the frame.

-To remove the caliper, loosen the bolt that holds the caliper onto the handlebars. Then pull the caliper off the handlebar.

-Next, remove the bolts that hold the caliper onto the fork.

-Finally, remove the caliper by pulling it away from the frame.

-Now that the caliper is removed, you can access the pad carrier assembly. Remove the screws that hold the pad carrier into the caliper.

Related Post: How Often Should You Replace Your Mountain Bike Disc Brake Pads?

How to know when your Avid disc brake pads need to be changed?

Avid disc brake pads need to be changed when they reach their limit. There are many ways to know when your Avid disc brake pads need to be changed. For example, if the Avid disc brake pads are making noise, that’s one way to know. If the Avid disc brake pads are not working as well as they used to, that’s another way to know.

And finally, if the Avid disc brake pads are starting to look worn out, that’s yet another way to know. So, there are three ways to know when your Avid disc brake pads need to be changed: noise, poor performance, and wear and tear. Keep an eye (and ear) out for these things, and you’ll be sure to promptly change your Avid disc brake pads.

When should I replace my Avid brake pads?

Replacing your Avid brake pads is crucial for maintaining safe and effective braking performance. The timing for replacement depends on various factors, including your riding style, terrain, and brake pad type. Here are some general guidelines to help you determine when to replace your Avid brake pads:

  1. Pad Thickness: Most brake pads have wear indicators that become visible as the pads wear down. When the pads are worn close to this indicator line or are around 1-2mm thick, it’s time to replace them.
  2. Visual Inspection: Regularly inspect your brake pads for signs of wear. If you notice that the pads have a thin profile or have worn unevenly, it’s a clear indicator that replacement is needed.
  3. Reduced Braking Performance: If your brakes are taking longer to slow down the bike or need to apply more force to achieve the same braking power, it’s a sign that your brake pads are worn and should be replaced.
  4. Squealing or Squeaking: Brake pads often have built-in wear indicators that can produce a high-pitched noise when they come in contact with the rotor. If you hear persistent squealing or squeaking sounds when braking, it could indicate that the pads are worn and need replacement.
  5. Vibrations or Pulsations: If you experience vibrations or pulsations when applying the brakes, it could be due to unevenly worn brake pads or a glazed surface. In such cases, replacing the pads can improve braking performance.
  6. Riding Conditions: If you frequently ride in wet or muddy conditions, your brake pads might wear out faster due to the increased friction and debris. Check your pads more often if you ride in adverse conditions.
  7. Mileage and Usage: Higher mileage and more aggressive riding styles can lead to faster brake pad wear. Consider the distance you’ve covered and your riding habits when assessing the condition of your brake pads.
  8. Inspect Rotor Wear: Examine your brake rotor for signs of excessive wear, grooves, or uneven surfaces. If the rotor is significantly worn, replacing both the pads and the rotor together is recommended.
  9. Regular Maintenance: Perform routine checks on your brake pads as part of your regular bike maintenance routine. This proactive approach can help you spot wear early and prevent sudden braking power loss.

Ultimately, your safety is paramount, so if you’re unsure about the condition of your Avid brake pads, it’s best to err on the side of caution and replace them if there’s any doubt. Regular inspections and replacing your brake pads before they become excessively worn can help ensure consistent and reliable braking performance.

Also Read: The 8 BEST Disc Brake Pads For Cars

How many km do bike brake pads last?

The lifespan of bike brake pads in kilometers (km) can vary widely depending on factors such as your riding style, terrain, weather conditions, brake pad material, and maintenance practices. On average, bike brake pads can last anywhere from 1,000 to 6,000 kilometers, but it’s important to remember that this is just a general estimate. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Riding Style: Aggressive riding with frequent braking, such as downhill or mountain biking, can wear out brake pads more quickly compared to leisurely rides on flat terrain.
  2. Terrain: Riding on hilly or mountainous terrain often requires more braking, which can lead to faster wear of brake pads.
  3. Weather Conditions: Wet and muddy conditions can accelerate brake pad wear due to increased friction and abrasive debris on the road.
  4. Brake Pad Material: Different brake pad materials have varying levels of durability. Organic brake pads tend to wear out faster but are quieter, while metallic or sintered brake pads are more durable but may be noisier.
  5. Maintenance: Proper maintenance, including keeping the brake system clean, checking alignment, and replacing pads when needed, can extend the lifespan of brake pads.
  6. Rider Weight: Heavier riders may experience faster brake pad wear due to increased stopping power to slow down the bike.
  7. Braking Habits: Gradual and controlled braking is gentler than abrupt and forceful braking on brake pads.
  8. Type of Bike: Road, mountain, and commuter bikes may have different brake pad wear rates due to their specific usage.
  9. Brake Type: Rim brakes and disc brakes have varying wear patterns. Rim brake pads tend to wear down faster since they directly rub against the rim, while disc brake pads are less affected by debris but can also wear out over time.
  10. Quality of Brake Pads: High-quality brake pads may last longer due to better materials and construction.

Inspecting your brake pads for signs of wear regularly and replacing them before they become too thin, affecting braking performance. Don’t rely solely on mileage as a guideline; instead, monitor the condition of your brake pads visually and consider factors like the feel of your brakes and any unusual noises. By promptly addressing worn brake pads, you can ensure your bike’s braking system remains safe and effective.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I replace brake pads and discs myself?

Yes, you can replace brake pads and discs yourself. However, we strongly advise against attempting to do so unless you have some experience working on bikes. It’s easy to damage components by trying to fix them yourself. Also, if you mess up, you could void your warranty.

2. Is it OK to replace brake pads?

No, it’s not OK to replace brake pad material. You must also replace the entire brake pad assembly when replacing brake pads. This includes the brake pad, backing plate, and screws that secure the brake pad to the rotor.

3. What size brake pads should I use?

You should use medium-sized brake pads. Smaller brake pads will only cause your brakes to wear faster, while larger ones will make your brakes less responsive.

4. Do you need to bleed brakes when changing pads?

Bleeding brakes aren’t necessary when changing brake pads. However, it’s still a good idea to check your brakes. If your brakes aren’t functioning correctly, you can always bleed them after you’ve changed the brake pads.

5. Why are my brakes soft after changing pads?

If your brake pads are getting softer, you may consider replacing them. The best way to tell whether or not your brake pads need to be replaced is to measure their thickness. If they’re too thin, you know they need to be replaced.


Knowing how to change your Avid disc brake pads is essential. This is a simple process that anyone can do, and it only takes a few minutes. By following the steps in this article, you can ensure that your brakes are in good working order and that you can safely stop your bike.

John D. Archer

John D. Archer is a mechanical engineer and writer based on the area of automotive accessories at brakeshub.com, A resident expert and professional, John is passionate about all things automotive and loves to share his knowledge. He has good experience in all kind of automotive accessories. He has worked as a chief mechanical engineer in some reputed automotive garage firm.