Does what it says on the tin – it’s great for releasing wedged pads or when you want to reset the pistons during pad replacement
If you have to take a wheel out to store or transport your bike, there’s nothing worse than the brake lever getting pressed and this pushing the piston out of the caliper. You then have to wedge something between the pads to reset them, but if you use an inappropriate tool, you can end up with damaged pads and marks on the caliper. If the pads are really jammed together I use a knife initially and then a thin cone spanner, but this isn’t good for the pad compound or my hands. I’ve been meaning to get a proper disc brake spreader for this job and one finally turned up the other day – the Birzman Disc Brake Piston Press.
This tool is pretty simple, it’s just a big steel bar with a padded handle and a hole to hang it up. The head features a thin, tapered edge, allowing you to easily squeeze it between jammed brake pads, and it’s also angled slightly, allowing you to get better access.
Since it’s designed for this job, I found it much more effective and less risky than my current knife/spanner combo. It feels solid in the hand, which means it’s easy to use and should last ages.
I always think you should have the right tool for the job, and the Birzman Disc Brake Piston Press does what it says on the tin – it’s a great tool for releasing wedged pads or when you want to reset the pistons during a pad replacement.
Pad spreaders are quite common and work the same way, so you’re going to be buying on price and, since the Piston Press is cheaper than the equivalent tool from Park, Pro and Unior, it’s the one I’d recommend.