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How to Replace the Brake Discs on Your Bike

Time to replace the brake discs on your bike? Well, you need to get on it ASAP. Riding around with worn out brake pads will inevitably destroy your discs. Driving you bike with bad pads and discs is like gambling with your life.

Stuff Needed to Change Bike Brake Discs

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  • Brake fluid
  • Pliers
  • Torque wrench
  • 2 bungee cords
  • Old toothbrush or rag
  • Copper grease
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Brake cleaner spray
  • Allen keys, sockets or spanners

12 Steps to Replacing Your Bike’s Brake Discs

Here are instructions to change the brake discs on your machine, in 12 easy steps:

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  1. Buy new brake pads for your bike. For better braking, use sintered pads. Ceramic brake pads are better at stopping heat from getting to the brake fluid.
  2. Loosen the screws and pins holding the worn pads into the caliper. Then, remove the caliper itself. But, do not completely remove the pins just yet.
  3. Loosen the bolts retaining the caliper. Then, remove them, making sure not to allow the caliper to hang onto the brake hose. If you don’t have a bungee cord to keep the caliper in place, leave one of the bolts intact to keep it in place. Keep the hose connected so you won’t have to bleed the system.
  4. Remove the clips and any pins keeping the old brake pads intact within the caliper. Pull the pads out. Store all removed parts carefully so you can get to them easily when it’s time to put on the new brake pads.
  5. Gently maneuver the lever on the front brake. Make sure the pistons are able to slightly move out of the bores. To avoid forcing the pistons too far out, pump the lever. If not, you’ll have to bleed the system.
  6. Apply spray cleaner on the caliper. Then, use a toothbrush or cloth to rub and clean it. Be sure all traces of moisture are completely wiped away. Be sure to dry the pistons’ exposed ends, fluid reservoir, and remove and clean the rubber diaphragm.
  7. Firmly push the bike’s pistons back into its caliper, making sure not to overflow the fluid reservoir. Be very careful so that you won’t damage the pistons, or force one out while trying to push the other in.
  8. Lubricate the backs of the pads and freshly cleaned pins with copper grease. Replace the brake pads and the pins and/or clips. The friction material should be facing the disc, with space left in between the brake pads for replacing the disc. Replace the bits.
  9. Slide the caliper in place. Make sure to place it over the disc, making sure they in the right positions. Smear a little copper grease on the bolts’ non-threaded part, and replace them.
  10. For twin front discs, repeat steps 2-9. Retighten all pins. Reposition all clips. Replace all dust caps. Be sure not to get any grease on the brake pads or let the reservoir overflow.
  11. Readjust the pads to the pistons by pumping the brake until the level is pulled back enough for braking on the road. Then, squeeze firmly. Be careful not to spill any of the brake fluid on your bike. It will strip your paint.
  12. Make sure the brake fluid reservoir is filled to its maximum mark, and refit the cap and rubber diaphragm.

And, you’re done! That’s how to replace the brake discs on your bike.

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