I have Tektro disc brakes on my bike, and I guess I pulled the lever when the back wheel was off. After the pads were not separating I tried to force them apart, but got no luck. Is it because there is too much fluid in the system, or I cannot separate them with the wheel off?

  • Pictures would help, can you wind out the rotors / calipers and get any movement or remove the pads at all
    – Dan K
    May 14, 2019 at 17:21
  • 2
    What method did you use to try to retract the pads/pistons? Have you tried taking the pads out, then levering the pistons back into the calipers? May 14, 2019 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


You normally need to take the pads out and lever the pistons. The pistons have a tight tolerance and jam easily.

Its possible to do it with the pads in but you need a narrow enough tool to get all the way between the pads, that is strong enough to put the force need to retract the pistons. You also risk damage the pads.

There cannot be too much fluid unless you bleed the brakes with the pistons extended. The fluid that pushed the pads out will return the reservoir, however this needs a happens quite slowly- you need to apply a gentle force to the pads for a long time rather than a brute force it.

Worth watching

  • I took the pads out already (I meant the rotors were stuck, not the pads) but I’ll try to get something to apply force over time and see what happens. Thanks
    – JHus
    May 14, 2019 at 22:11
  • Sorry - by 'long time' I mean a few seconds, of steady pressure, not a half second 'whack'. If you are doing it right, you feel the pistons moving slowly
    – mattnz
    May 15, 2019 at 0:04

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