I changed my brake pads. The old ones had a single bolt holding them on.

These new ones I bought have a bolt and a ton of washers. I thought maybe they were for size adjustment.

I just left them all on and it seems to be okay. Are there any downsides to this?

  • I'm guessing your old brake pads were much shorter too ?
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 6 at 21:41
  • I only just noticed that this is about a brake caliper and not a (mini) V-brake. I think they need different pads with much shorter bolts? The principle is the same but I think with brake calipers one of the convex surfaces is even integrated into the brake pad cartridge.
    – Michael
    Commented Apr 7 at 6:24
  • Yes, the original brake pads were shorter than these
    – John
    Commented Apr 7 at 10:14

1 Answer 1


They are not simple washers. They have a concave and convex shape which allows you to tilt the brake pad up and down and left and right (“toe in”). You need one pair on the inside and one on the outside. One pair has a thicker dull gray piece, one has a thinner one. You can choose which one to use on the inside or outside depending on your needs.

See: Orders of the washers on threaded-stud brake shoes

  • So, could I just use one bolt and one washer like the original brake pads had?
    – John
    Commented Apr 6 at 12:10
  • 1
    I meant the non-braking surface i.e. the ordinary rim sidewalls without reinforcement for braking (brake track).
    – Michael
    Commented Apr 6 at 19:03
  • 2
    @John these pads were intended for V brakes, and the threaded portion might be too long to mount with fewer washers. The nut on the end probably has a hex socket rather than going all the way through, so stacking washers might be required here.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 6 at 21:43
  • 1
    @John yeah these should work fine - the extra length helps with braking, but exaggerates any misalignment problems. The conical washers help with that by allowing you to get the alignment you want, when its not exactly flat to the caliper's mounting point. Just be careful the brake pad doesn't rub on the tyre when closed even as it wears down.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 7 at 19:31
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    @John this Parktool page lists the different brake types and explains how you can identify your brake system. From your image it seems you have dual pivot or side pull calipers brakes (but I can be wrong, it's hard to identify it from this picture). Commented Apr 8 at 15:43

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