After we recently looked into replacing the entire V-brake brake shoe (click here for details), we are going to focus on just replacing the rubber brake pad insert of a cartridge brake shoe system on a V-brake in this ‘How to…’ guide.
Lots of steps are very similar, but there will be a few rather significant differences, so if you are a V-brake user, then you might find this helpful.
1.) To start with, we are going to look at what you will need for this job. You will need a new set of rubber brake pads (for example our ‘All Weather Brake Replacement Rubber Pad Inserts’ code CC-M31R - details here), a pair of (ideally) long nose pliers and an Allen key set.
2.) Here is the V-brake system with some worn rubber brake pads, before we get going.
3.) Push away rubber cable protector, unclip V-brake pipe so that you can release and open the brake.
4.) With your long nose pliers, grab the little security pin (which prevents the rubber pad sliding out of the cartridge) and pull it out.
5.) Using your thumb, push rubber pad backwards and out of the cartridge brake shoe. You will need to pull this out of the opposite end, as it will sit rather tightly.
6.) Unpack new rubber shoe and make sure you keep hold of the little metal pins.
7.) Now insert the rubber pad into the cartridge, making sure the part of the rubber pad that has the gap in the insert slot on the back goes in last. That gap is located at the back end of the rubber pad so that you can push the security pin back through once you are done. It is important that the curvature of the pad is the same as the cartridge, otherwise, you might end up having the ‘right’ pad in the ‘left’ cartridge, and vice versa.
Make sure that you push the rubber pad all the way to the front of the cartridge.
8.) Take your pliers and grab the little security pin. Insert the pin into the hole and make sure it goes all the way through. It should snap into place once inserted far enough.
9.) Reconnect the V-brake pipe. Due to the new pads being thicker than the one you have just replaced you will probably have to lengthen the brake cable on the top of the V-brake arm or screw in the cable barrel adjuster on the lever so that your wheel runs freely in-between the brake pads.
If the newly inserted rubber brake pad is not aligned with the rim (as described in step 11 and 12 here) please go through those steps to prevent the pad either slipping off the rim when the brake lever is applied or touching the tyre.
10.) Make sure that everything is tight and that your brake pad and rim surface are clean and free of grit. Check the system thoroughly for functionality before you go for your first ride.
Please note that our ‘How to…’ guides are only advisory and that we cannot be held accountable for any damage or cost in relation to this article. If you use the information in this document, you take full responsibility for the outcome. If you are at all unsure please have a qualified bicycle mechanic do this job for you. Incorrect installation can lead to failure and serious injury.