Are there any alternatives instead of retaining clips of disc brakes

So, I've got SRAM Apex disc brakes, the front pads have worn down so took them out. Thought I should check back ones so done the same. Obviously this includes taking out the retaining clip too. This is the first time in changing/inspecting the brake pads. If I knew about these retaining clips before investing in a bike with Apex disc brakes I wouldn't have bothered. Just in case nobody has experienced this with SRAM Apex/Rival/Force disc brakes, the retaining clip is fitted on the inside of the caliper instead of the outside which I believe is the usual place. I've heard reclipping the clip on outside is a bit of a palaver but trying to do it in the inside, well I cannot describe how much of a joke it is. I've been trying for a couple hours for 2 days now and has still failed. If I've got to reclip this every time I change/inspect the brake blocks it will be a contributing factor of giving up cycling. So, this is the rant to put you in the picture of how I'm feeling. Next is the question in the title

Are there any alternatives instead of retaining clips of disc brakes?

I've heard of one but don't know if its an acceptable one. Loctite Threadlock. I've heard there is a blue version for bolts/screws that need to be unscrewed sometimes. Has anyone heard of this? Would it work without damaging the bolt?

Anyone know of other suggestions?
 
I don't know about alternatives, I suspect there won't be any. However, I'm wondering if there isn't another problem at play here? I have SRAM Rival callipers, which have the similar retaining clip arrangement and I must admit to having no problems at all with them. I remove the retaining clip with a pair of needle nose pliers, then when I've refitted the bolt, I gently rest the clip in the correct orientation on top of the waisted section of the bolt, then a gentle push with either my finger or the end of the closed pliers, is enough to reseat it.

Do your new pads come with a new retaining clip? maybe it's worth trying a new one in there, maybe the old one is slightly damaged causing the problems you're having? It's tricky to visualise or diagnose over the internet I'm afraid, but I would suggest the problem is elsewhere rather than the actual design.
 
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So I've just been down and looked at my callipers and taken a couple of photos, hopefully might help you located your problem?

Removing the clip gently with a pair of pliers:

536426


Resting the clip back in place over the retaining bolt:

536427


A gentle push with my finger and it's back in place:

536428


With the clip back in place it's free to rotate forwards and backwards on the actual retaining bolt. I've taken a photo of it with it rotated forward for clarity, but it will move freely on its own. The clip once properly seated is actually a tiny bit proud of the surrounding calliper which makes it quite easy to put your finger on and apply pressure to seat it.

Hope that's helpful let us know how you get on.
 
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OP
GmanUK65

GmanUK65

Über Member
So I've just been down and looked at my callipers and taken a couple of photos, hopefully might help you located your problem?

Removing the clip gently with a pair of pliers:

View attachment 536426

Resting the clip back in place over the retaining bolt:

View attachment 536427

A gentle push with my finger and it's back in place:

View attachment 536428

With the clip back in place it's free to rotate forwards and backwards on the actual retaining bolt. I've taken a photo of it with it rotated forward for clarity, but it will move freely on its own. The clip once properly seated is actually a tiny bit proud of the surrounding calliper which makes it quite easy to put your finger on and apply pressure to seat it.

Hope that's helpful let us know how you get on.
Its maybe not a designing flaw but I struggle with it. I'm going to try threadlock blue to see if that helps, if not I'm going to have to persevere with retaining clips
 

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
I'm really struggling to see the issue. It's a simple failsafe if the retaining pin happens to loosen.

Giving up cycling over it is a touch dramatic
 
The original retaining bolts that SRAM installed, already come with blue threadlock, the same with the replacement retaining bolts that they provide in their own brand replacement pads. All you will be doing by using blue threadlock, is returning the fitment of the retaining bolt to original factory specification, but then leaving away the retaining clip. Now you could argue that the retaining clip is just belt and braces, but this is the brakes we're talking about here. I would be inclined to not entirely rely on the threadlock, the same as SRAM.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
SRAM use the bolt and circlip on most of their brakes. Not an issue and it's a safety feature for ham fisted folk.

I have Guide RS on my MTB, and the circlip is more central, and outside of the calliper, so just remove with my fingers. The only time I need to do this is for worn pads, which is more often than on road bikes. You can inspect pad thickness by looking at them, or if struggling, use a torch.

Shimano use a split pin. So ideally you should change these every time, but I don't.

I don't find either brakes an issue. The SRAM solution looks much neater than a split pin though.
 

bikingdad90

Veteran
Have you undone the screw that locks the pad in before you’ve tried to remove the retaining clip? It could be that the clip is seized on so the bond needs breaking first before it will budge?

For what is worth, Shimano run a similar pad design in their XTR models and the pin is secured on the outside with a little clip that looks a bit like a hair clip and the pin screws into the caliper, they could be a solution for you?
 
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GmanUK65

GmanUK65

Über Member
Have you undone the screw that locks the pad in before you’ve tried to remove the retaining clip? It could be that the clip is seized on so the bond needs breaking first before it will budge?

For what is worth, Shimano run a similar pad design in their XTR models and the pin is secured on the outside with a little clip that looks a bit like a hair clip and the pin screws into the caliper, they could be a solution for you?
I have thought about using Shimano brakes instead of the SRAM ones but I've heard they aren't compatible. For me to do this I would have to get Shimano levers as the SRAM hydraulics use a different fluid to Shimano and I don't know if the Shimano GTX levers are compatible with SRAM derailleurs so this could be costly procedure
 

Phaeton

Grumpy Old Barstool
Location
Oop North (ish)
Never seen these brakes so bear with me, is it a bolt or a pin that you are trying to put the clip onto, normally there is a grove cut into the pin/bolt, are you sure that the pin/bolt is seating far enough into the caliper to allow the clip to get into the grove?
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Blimey, if it's driving you that crazy, just leave the circlip off. My retaining bolt hasn't ever come loose. You are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Chill, ride 'clip less' ^_^
 
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