The Bikes Way

MTB disc brake pads longevity

How Long Do Mountain Bike Disc Brake Pads Last?

Disc brakes are a game-changer for mountain bikers. They’re fast to respond, provide excellent modulation, and stop you on a variety of terrain with ease.

However, disc brakes also require more regular maintenance than your average brake. Due to their use of friction pads instead of stainless steel brake pads, mountain bike disc brakes need frequent pad replacement.

How Long Do Mountain Bike Disc Brake Pads Last?

The mountain bike brakes How often you ride, the conditions you ride in, and how well you maintain your equipment all contribute to the life of your disc brake pads.

According to my riding experience, I follow the general rule of thumb that every one hour of severe riding will reduce the life of your pads by 1.5 to 2.5%. So, if you ride at an average speed of 22 to 24 miles per hour, your brake pads generally last anywhere between 800 to 1700 miles.

However, this will vary from rider to rider based on their braking habits, type of brakes, and environmental factors.

How to Check the Condition of Your Disc Brake Pads?

how to check the condition of your disc brake pads

The condition of your bike’s disc brake pads is essential for your bike’s performance and safety. Here are a few tips on how to check the condition of your bike’s disc brake pads:

  1. Take a look at the pads themselves. If they are excessively worn down, it’s probably time to replace them.
  2. You can also check the condition of your pads by feel. They need to be replaced if they’re thin and don’t offer much resistance when you press on them.
  3. Feel any vibration when you brake. If you feel a vibration, it could signify that the pads are warped and need to be replaced.
  4. Check for wear is to listen to your brakes while riding. If you hear squealing or grinding, the pads are getting close to the end of their life and need to be replaced.
  5. By removing the brake pads and place one of them on a flat surface. And measure the thickness of the padding material by using a filler gauge or any other appropriate tool you have. If the thickness is less the 1mm, then it’s time to replace them.

The regular inspection ensures that your brakes will always be in good working condition and that you’ll be able to stop safely when you need to.

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How to Choose Replacement Disc Brake Pads?

how to choose replacement disc brake pads

When choosing new disc brake pads, you must consider the riding you do most often. If you are a frequent downhill or wet-weather rider, you’ll want to choose a pad made of hard material like sintered metal pads.

Sintered metal pads are more durable materials that provide more consistent braking in all weather conditions and will last longer.

On the other hand, if you ride mostly on dry, flat terrain, you may want to choose a softer resin pad that is less aggressive and creates less vibration.

There are a few critical differences between sintered metal pads and resin pads that can make one more appropriate for your bike, depending on your needs.

Sintered Metal PadResin Pad
Made from copper, steel, and iron.Made from rubber, glass, carbon, and Kevlar.
High DurabilityLess Durability
High braking power and heat resistance.Less braking power than sintered metal brakes.
Good for heavy-duty riding or riding wet or muddy conditions.Good for casual riding or riding in dry conditions.
Ideal for downhill or racing applications.Good choice for everyday riding.
Produce more noise when braking.Very quieter while braking.
Faster rotor wear.Slow rotor wear.
Lack of braking power under cold weather conditions and need to be hot to work well.Excellent braking under cold weather conditions.
Expensive than resin brake pads.Cheaper as compared to sintered brake pads.

Buy best seller sintered metal brake pads.

Buy best seller resin brake pads.

How to Change Disc Brake Pads?

Changing disc brake pads is straightforward and can be done at home without professional assistance. Make sure to use the correct tools for the job, such as a needle nose, screwdriver, Torx-compatible wrench, and adjusters.

You’ll also want to ensure the disc brake rotor is cleaned correctly before installing the new pads. Although you can do this job at home, watching the video below is a good idea to get a feel for the process.

What Determines How Long Disc Brake Pads Last?

what determines how long disc brake pads last

Several factors contribute to how long bike disc brake pads last. The first is the type of pad material.

  1. Some materials, like organic pads, wear down faster than others.
  2. The second is the condition of the rotors. If the rotors are warped or damaged, they can cause the pads to wear down faster.
  3. The third is the riding conditions. If you ride in wet or muddy conditions, your pads will wear down faster.
  4. The fourth is the riding you do. If you do a lot of downhill or mountain biking, your pads will wear out more quickly than if you stick to mostly flat terrain.
  5. Finally, the fifth factor is how often you ride and how hard you ride. If you ride frequently and put a lot of stress on your brakes, your pads will wear down faster.

How To Prolong The Life Of Disc Brake Pads?

You can do a few things to prolong the life of your bike disc brake pads.

  1. First, make sure that you are regularly clean and inspect your pads. If you see any signs of wear or damage, replace them immediately.
  2. Secondly, always use fresh brake fluid when bleeding your brakes.
  3. Finally, avoid riding in wet or muddy conditions as much as possible. This will help to prevent your pads from becoming clogged with debris and wearing down prematurely.


How Much Does It Cost to Replace Disc Brakes Pads on Mountain Bikes?

It can cost anywhere from $10 to $30 to replace the brake pads on a mountain bike. The price will depend on the pads’ quality, the bike type, and the pads’ size.

Do You Have to Change Discs When Changing Pads?

No, you don’t have to change discs when changing pads on your mountain bike. However, checking your discs for wear and tear before changing your pads is a good idea. If your discs are worn out, they may not work correctly with new pads.

Can You Use Wd40 to Clean Disc Brakes on Mountain Bike?

Yes, you can use WD40 to clean your disc brakes on your mountain bike. However, it is important to note that WD40 is not a brake cleaner and should not be used as a replacement for one. You should only use WD40 to clean your brakes if they are already clean and you are just trying to remove any residual grease or grime.

Are Mountain Bike Brake Pads Universal?

There is no definitive answer to this question since there are many types and sizes of mountain bike brake pads available on the market. However, most mountain bike brake pads will generally be compatible with most mountain bike brake systems. There may be some exceptions, however, so it is always best to check with your bike mechanic or retailer to be sure.


Disc brake pads are one of the essential parts of your disc brakes. It is vital to know how long disc brake pads last and how to prolong their life. It’s necessary to know how to check the condition of your disc brake pads and understand how the type of pads you use will affect your life. You should also know how to choose new disc brake pads and how to change them.

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