How to Perfectly Align Bicycle Disc Brake Pads in Just Seconds

Disc Brake Pad Alignment Tool

Almost every time I remove the wheel from my bicycle, I struggle to realign the disc pads with the rotor when I reinstall the wheel. Even with thru axles, sometimes the disc brakes can be slightly out of alignment. As a result, I used to spend a considerable amount of time trying to tweak the alignment by eye.

But, not anymore. In less than a minute I can have the rotor spinning smoothly and the pads perfectly aligned.

Here is how:

    • Simply place the disc brake alignment tool over the rotor,
    • loosen the brake mounting bolts,
    • rotate the rotor until the alignment tool is positioned between the rotor and the pads,
    • squeezing the brake lever,
    • and retighten the brake mounting bolts.

That’s all there is to it. Everything is in perfect alignment.

While a common hack is to use a folded business card to do the same thing, it doesn’t make sense not to have this little gadget handy in your tool kit. You can find the tool online for about 50¢ at sites like or spend a bit more and get it the next day from Either way, it is a valuable addition to your tool kit. Also, I prefer an alignment tool with the hole (as pictured). I can slip a pin through the hole in the tool and a hole in the rotor if necessary to hold the tool in place as I rotate the alignment tool between the pads. Works like a charm ever time.

Ken Whittaker

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *