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  1. #1
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    Quick mechanical ?

    My front (disc) brake pads are engaged, but the wheel (and disc) is off. How do I get them to release so I can put the wheel on?

    Thx.

  2. #2
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    Pop the pads out (may need some needle nose pliers), push the pistons back w/ a screw driver blade, put the pads back in, done.
    Naysayers never apologize. Critics go to their grave thinking everyone else is wrong.
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  3. #3
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    After pads are off you may also be able to fit the angled side of a small box wrench between the pistons and pry apart. Watch out for the "nipple" in the middle of the pistons.

  4. #4
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    huh? flat blade screwdriver...total non-issue. Leave the pads in.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyonrat
    huh? flat blade screwdriver...total non-issue. Leave the pads in.
    terrible idea ...the brake pad surface is so delicate that the screwdriver will scratch it and F up your pads + rotors...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by $ally Hu$tle
    terrible idea ...the brake pad surface is so delicate that the screwdriver will scratch it and F up your pads + rotors...
    Say what?!?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by $ally Hu$tle
    terrible idea ...the brake pad surface is so delicate that the screwdriver will scratch it and F up your pads + rotors...
    Delicate? You mean these multiple sets and brands of brakes I have done that to more times than I can count might be messed up now? Darn, if I only would have known....

    Well, I did wipe the screwdriver off with rubbing alcohol first and all... Seriously, think about what those pads do when you clamp down on the lever. A fast-spinning piece of metal with sharp edges is getting pinched in there. By all means, don't go nuts with a screwdriver or anything, but really, it is not major surgery. It's a mountain bike.

  8. #8
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    go to your local bike shop and see if they prefer to pry apart brake pads with a screwdriver or take the pads out and push the pistons back..

    guess I just like to take proper care of my valuables even if it's just a "mountain bike"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyonrat
    Delicate? You mean these multiple sets and brands of brakes I have done that to more times than I can count might be messed up now? Darn, if I only would have known....

    Well, I did wipe the screwdriver off with rubbing alcohol first and all... Seriously, think about what those pads do when you clamp down on the lever. A fast-spinning piece of metal with sharp edges is getting pinched in there. By all means, don't go nuts with a screwdriver or anything, but really, it is not major surgery. It's a mountain bike.
    My response to the OP was based on the assumption the pads have completely shut. In this case, there's no room to slip the blade of the driver between the pads w/o causing damage to the pads.

    What you might be able to do is twist the driver blade against the metallic backing plate of the pads and open a gap. Most pads do have a lip between the braking material and that back plate.

    OP: if you do this method, take care to de-bur the driver blade. Considering the size of the pads, each nick and gouge on the braking surface will reduce your braking efficiency.

    My $0.02 for you.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by $ally Hu$tle
    go to your local bike shop and see if they prefer to pry apart brake pads with a screwdriver or take the pads out and push the pistons back..

    guess I just like to take proper care of my valuables even if it's just a "mountain bike"
    You're mistaking cheap-a$$ disc brake pads with "valuables."

  11. #11
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    OP-
    in the future, save yourself the agrivation and use one of those plastic wedges between the pads when you take the wheel off. a $3 wedge saves you alot of hassle when that brake lever gets bumped accidentally.
    “Me fail english? Thats unpossible.” - Matt Groening

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    You're mistaking cheap-a$$ disc brake pads with "valuables."

    Cheap-a$$ is debatable..my pads are 30 bucks a piece..

    Also, you wouldn't even have to replace pads if the job was done properly without being lazy and taking a minute to pull the pads out.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by $ally Hu$tle
    Cheap-a$$ is debatable..my pads are 30 bucks a piece..

    Also, you wouldn't even have to replace pads if the job was done properly without being lazy and taking a minute to pull the pads out.
    You pay $60 to replace your brakes?

    [backs away slowly from the crazy mt biker]


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    You pay $60 to replace your brakes?

    [backs away slowly from the crazy mt biker]

    uhh I'd be willing to bet I'm not the only one with solid 24k gold pads to match their yeti..

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by $ally Hu$tle
    you wouldn't even have to replace pads if the job was done properly without being lazy and taking a minute to pull the pads out.

    Since you take the time to do it properly, then why do pay $30 for pads you don't have to replace?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosayno
    Since you take the time to do it properly, then why do pay $30 for pads you don't have to replace?
    brake pads wear down over time...

  17. #17
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    Thanks for all the responses.....I guess the only one missing was someone mocking me for being a d-bag newbie and encouraging me to stay off their trails! ;-)

    FWIW, it took a total of about 75 seconds to remove the pads & push the pistons back in, then replace the pads....And I might have been able to slip a small putty knife in between, but no way a full blade on a screwdriver.

    Anyway.....Thanks again for the responses.

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