The mechanical disc brakes that come with all ebikes by Rad Power Bikes are are a critical safety feature and ensuring the brake pads have adequate pad material to stop the ebike is very important. The brakes are essentially the same as mechanical disc brakes that come on standard pedal bikes and their adjustment, maintenance, and brake pads should be very familiar to any certified, reputable bike shop.
Watch the video, read through the instructions below, and contact Rad Power Bikes Technical Support if you have questions. If you are not confident in your ability to successfully and safely perform all steps, we recommend having the work performed by a local, certified, and reputable bike mechanic.
1. Gather the parts and tools you will need: needle nose pliers, a 5 mm Allen wrench, and the replacement brake pads. Nitrile gloves are recommended to prevent oil from your hands from getting on the caliper pads or brake rotor, which can cause squeaking and decrease brake performance.
2. Turn the bike OFF. Unplug the battery from the charger (if charging) and press and hold the MODE button until the LCD Display and bike turn off. Use the battery key to unlock and remove the battery from the bike. Once the battery is removed, press and hold the MODE button until the LCD Display has remained off for several seconds, to ensure the electrical system is fully off and the bike is safe for maintenance activities.
3. Locate the brake pads. The brake pads are inside the brake caliper near the bottom left of each wheel. The photo below, of the rear wheel of a RadRover, shows the brake caliper circled.
4. Remove the brake caliper from the frame. Use a 5 mm Allen wrench to remove the two bolts that hold the caliper to the frame, pictured below.
Note: Take care to avoid accidentally touching the brake rotor (the large metal disc that the caliper and brake pads squeeze against when the brakes are applied to slow and stop the bike). Oils from your hands can cause squeaking and decrease brake performance.
5. Remove the pin holding the brake pads in place. Use the needle nose pliers to grab the end of the pin and carefully bend it in line with the rest of the pin so that it is straight. Grab the eye hole at the opposite end of the pin with the pliers, carefully remove the pin, and set that aside for installation with the new pads.
6. Remove the old brake pads. Push the pads from the top of the caliper body (where the pin was removed from) and out through the bottom of the caliper as depicted below.
7. Prepare the new brake pads for installation. While wearing gloves, arrange the pads into the configuration that they will be inserted into the caliper. The brake pad material should be facing each other with the metal spacer between them. The hole at the top of each pad (which is where the retention pin will go) should be aligned. With fingers on the outside of the pads, press them together so the two sides of pad material are touching.
Note: Do not to touch the pad material on the new pads with your fingers-- the oil from your hands may cause the brakes to squeak and/or lose performance.
8. Install the new brake pads into the caliper. While pinching the pads together in the configuration described above, orient them so the side with the pin holes and spacer hinge enters the caliper first. Slide the pads into the brake caliper, hinge-side first.
9. Replace the brake retention pin. Once the pads are fully inserted into the caliper, replace the brake retention pin. Use needle nose pliers to carefully bend the end of the retention pin to around a 90° angle so it cannot slide out.
Note: Ensure the caliper retention pin is properly installed and the end of the pin is bent to securely lock it in place.
10. Reinstall the caliper. While wearing gloves, align the space between brake pads on the brake rotor and slide the caliper into position so the mounting bolt holes on the frame are aligned with those holes on the caliper body. Reinsert the two bolts into these holes and use the 5 mm Allen wrench to reinstall the two bolts that hold the brake caliper to the frame. Tighten the two bolts evenly by turning each bolt about 1/4 turn and then switch to the other bolt. Alternate between bolts to evenly tighten both of them to 10-12 Nm.
Note: Do not touch the brake pad material or brake rotor with bare hands during installation.
Note: Ensure the two caliper mounting bolts are tightened evenly and fully to 10-12 Nm.
Note: If the caliper does not slide onto the disc easily, please refer to the article linked HERE to increase the space between the brake pads and allow room for the rotor to slide in between them.
11. Adjust the brakes. To adjust the brakes, loosen the cable pinch bolt and while lifting up on the caliper, pull the brake cable down as shown below. Hold the cable in place and tighten the cable pinch bolt to 10-12 Nm.
If the brake rotor does not spin freely between the brake pads after adjusting with the cable pinch bolt, the brakes require additional adjustment. Please refer to the Disc Brake Adjustment article linked HERE for detailed instructions.
NOTICE: If you do not have the experience, skill, and tools to complete a brake pad replacement and adjustment, Rad Power Bikes highly recommends having a certified, reputable bike mechanic complete these procedures as well as any future maintenance, adjustments, and tuning.
For questions or assistance with brake pad replacement procedures or for help finding a bike shop in your area that can help, contact Rad Power Bikes Technical Support by email to email@example.com or by phone to (800) 939-0310 x 2.