checking SLX disk break pads

mattl80 Posts: 80
edited March 2011 in MTB workshop & tech
Hi guys, bit of a noob when it comes to disk breaks so please excuse my ignorance, i have searched around but cant find anything and the shimano guide is a bit confusing.

My back break doesn't seem to be working as well as my front breake, in that it feels slightly spongy and makes a bit of a sqeek so i want to check the pads. Am i right in thinking i just need to pull the split pin out and the pads should just lift out the top of the caliper?

i've been reading the techdoc on shimano's site which mentions a "pad spacer" when putting the pads back in :

"Install the new brake pads, and then
install the pad spacers (red).
After this, bend open the split pin"

I have no idea what pad spacers are? it doesn't mention taking them out yet it says to put them back in which is a bit confusing to say the least!?



  • .blitz
    .blitz Posts: 6,197
    The pad spacer referred to is a product-liability inspired, wedge-shaped bit of red plastic that is used to push the pads back as far as possible. When replacing old pads with new ones, the new pads will be thicker than the old ones and so the pistons in the calipers need to be retracted or the rotor won't fit inbetween them.

    Most people simply put a screwdriver between the old pads and twist from side-to-side. The old pads are toast anyway so it doesn't matter if they are damaged.

    But it's not necessary to take the pads out to check them, it's easy to do by turning the bike upside down and removing the wheel. If the pads have less than a millimetre of friction material on them, it's time to think about replacement.

    If your brakes are noisy, try loosening the caliper mounting bolts, apply the brake and hold it on firmly while re-tightening the mounting bolts

    Spongy brake? Pull the brake lever back firmly as in 'OMG crash stop' and secure it in that position with some elastic bands or cable ties. Leave it like that overnight or even longer if poss
  • mattl80
    mattl80 Posts: 80
    Cheers mate, most helpful. So i checked both the front and back sets and they dont seem overly warn (about 2/3mm left). i changed the front and back pads around and now the back break feels a bit better while the front feels a bit worse so i may get some new pads anyways. Cheers for the advice!