Brake pads

Jayves

Speeding Up
Nov 20, 2009
115
3
38
Yokohama
jayves-rando.blogspot.jp
#1
I'm having a hard time wearing out my brake pads on one of my road bike and it's been 4-5 years. Yes, I know, I should ride it more in the mountains but hey.. I'm a light person and don't need much force to stop the moving mass.

Now I'm feeling (very subjective) that it is talking more effort to push the levers to stop.

Question, should I wait to replace pads until it wears out (who knows when will that be) or is there a rough guideline on replacement schedule ?

What's your replacement schedules?
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#2
For metal rims, I replace mine when they become too pitted from me digging out tiny bits of scratching alloy shards from them. The amount of time between replacement depends on where I have been riding; getting caught in the rain speeds things up, obviously.

I occasionally get the 'you know what, I am going to replace my brake pads' feeling,and vainly saunter into a bike shop, buy some pads and replace, for that nice new brake pad feeling.
 

j-sworks

Maximum Pace
Feb 5, 2012
1,199
48
68
Tokyo
#3
I'm having a hard time wearing out my brake pads on one of my road bike and it's been 4-5 years. Yes, I know, I should ride it more in the mountains but hey.. I'm a light person and don't need much force to stop the moving mass.

Now I'm feeling (very subjective) that it is talking more effort to push the levers to stop.

Question, should I wait to replace pads until it wears out (who knows when will that be) or is there a rough guideline on replacement schedule ?

What's your replacement schedules?
Yeah generally with alloy I find that they last forever, but the quality of braking does start to degrade so that is when I replace them.

Most importantly for me is my mental and nothing destroys my confidence more than questioning my braking on a descent, so brake pads are one of the things I don't ride into dust. I replace them when I feel like it which is every summer, and I do this with tires, and chains as well. They are cheap to replace and keep me safe provided I don't push my luck.
 

knownone

Speeding Up
Aug 4, 2011
138
5
38
Tokyo
jeremyscofield.ca
#4
During a scary ride in the summer rains I recently realized that I had not changed my brake pads on my 2002 Trek 2300 since I bought the bike. After changing the pads I noticed an instant improvement in braking. Like everything else, if things degrade gradually you tend to adjust with them (until they fail on you). Now I do plan to change them more often (perhaps once a year).
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#6
For Alloy rims the famous 'salmon' oxide pads were always good. A bit harsh on the rims, but they stopped the bike in the rain. Now then, the 'dual' compound idea is wierd. Why? Because under conditions where either pad is less effective, you have HALF of the effectiveness! And, the salmon (soft) pads gumm up like crazy under high heat / speed descent leading to burst innertubes ( or melted glue). Most modern pads are designed according to the rim material requirements - so it's best to check with the rim maker first. With that being said, most alloy rims are about the same and most riders here are not hauling their butts down from 80+ kph repeatedly during the course of a ride - so, overheating , glazing and other issues probably aren't so widespread. Given the roads / riding / wheels in Japan, I'd probably go with a mildly 'dusting' type of pad that is easy on the rims and offers good braking performance in variety of conditions. The 'salmon' is pretty much like that. So are the Dura Ace Pads , btw. BTW - I have literally hundreds of 'take off' Ultegra and DA pads I'll sell cheap as I don't use any of them on our wheels (carbon or niobium). If your pads get mucked up with alloy and grit chunks you should replace them just so you don't cause further wearing on the brake surface . Alloy wheels DO wear out, BTW - and fastest way to this is by using grungy, old, grit filled pads.
 
May 22, 2007
3,612
1,444
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#7
Wow. Niobium has been known for more than 200 years, yet I had never heard of it until today.

Other interesting materials:

Timtanium unobtaniate (spends most of its half-life in a factory in China)
Noobium triborate (somewhat brittle, goes on and on and on)
Weinium (bright orange)
Garminum hypergravitite (related to butter on toast; the material that ensures my bike will land rubber side up in any given mountain stream)
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,435
886
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#9
Other interesting materials:

Timtanium unobtaniate (spends most of its half-life in a factory in China)
Noobium triborate (somewhat brittle, goes on and on and on)
Weinium (bright orange)
Garminum hypergravitite (the material that ensures my bike will land rubber side up in any given mountain stream)
And this year's Nobel prize for chemistry goes to Half-Fast Mike! :D
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#10
Wow. Niobium has been known for more than 200 years, yet I had never heard of it until today.

Other interesting materials:

Timtanium unobtaniate (spends most of its half-life in a factory in China)
Noobium triborate (somewhat brittle, goes on and on and on)
Weinium (bright orange)
Garminum hypergravitite (related to butter on toast; the material that ensures my bike will land rubber side up in any given mountain stream)
GSAstuto said:
Haha!

Portlandium - requires frequent brownies and coffee cleaning.

Just remember - that which you cannot ride, won't hurt you!
Haha, nice. In before this gets out of hand.
 

Jayves

Speeding Up
Nov 20, 2009
115
3
38
Yokohama
jayves-rando.blogspot.jp
#11
Before investing 776yen x 2 Shimano 7900 brake shoe, I experimented by filing the shoe surface to 'remove the old skin' and then cleaned by spraying brake cleaner. This seems to increased the 'bite' once again and feel new.... I can probably squeeze another season but still cautiously observing if the bite degrades quickly...

I have a SwissStop Green on my other steel bike and they are great but expensive. Again, I still have to wear them out :(

When I was touring on a rainy days, I manage to wear out a pair brake shoes in a few days on a heavy touring bike. The same also for a disk brake pad, I manage to wear one in *a few hours of rain* on a 100km MTB event in Ohtaki, Nagano. Otherwise, on my road bikes, they last forever!
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#12
Clean your RIMS!

I've talked about this before, but in a nutshell go to a 100 Yen shop and get a graphite eraser (you can also get them under the guise of calcium build up removers - used for scrubbing baths and toilet bowls.)

Scrub your rims to a sheen for awesome braking.
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#13
Yeah, that is a good point. Clean rims make things a lot nicer.

I have used a graphite eraser for this, on the advice of Far East. Works well. The Mavic special one is even nicer, if you can / want to get your hands on one.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#14
Yeah, that is a good point. Clean rims make things a lot nicer.

I have used a graphite eraser for this, on the advice of Far East. Works well. The Mavic special one is even nicer, if you can / want to get your hands on one.
HAHAHAHA the Mavic specail one is identical to a standard graphite eraser...... I had the Mavic one orginally until the guys at Mavic Neutral support told me not to bother with it.
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#15
It is not identical.

I found a normal graphite eraser is a little harsh - the mavic one is a bit more crumbly and soft, and works faster.
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#17
Sweet. I will go back to graphite erasers when my official mavic rim cleaner wears out. I can spend the 500 yen saved on a mavic sticker to put on it, then everyone will be happy.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#18
Sweet. I will go back to graphite erasers when my official mavic rim cleaner wears out. I can spend the 500 yen saved on a mavic sticker to put on it, then everyone will be happy.
Yeah, I was surprised by their openess on it as well mate. The reason they recommended the harsher graphite eraser is that it actually removes the alloy flakes that may end up in your pads and thus reduce the effectiveness of the braking surface of both the rim and the pad.

Obviously this is done once in a while and not in conjuction with general/regular cleaning of the bike and wheels as it will obvioulsy wear the alloy surface.

Another great product for just cleaning the rims up is toothpaste or baking powder.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#20
Its amazing how well baking soda an vinegar clean up just about anything on a bike. That notwithstanding, on really tough filth I use Aluminum Wheel Cleaner which is basically a mild solution of lye. 'MUC OFF' is my favorite - and also for most of the stateside CX krewes. But you can't get it in Japan (as far as I know). But you can get Turtle Wax and I pick it up at DONKI. It's also great for degreasing mucked up chains, derailers and cassettes. I usually follow with some Simple Green or Citrus cleaner then rinse clean. For rims - then follow up with the FE Carbon Eraser for a perfect finish. If you have Carbon rims - then use a resin-safe cleaner (Like SOYO, GOOF OFF, or other cleaner). You can also use Acetone - but you need to work quickly and make sure it doesn't stay long on the rim as it may soften some gel coats or resins. FWWI, I will oftentimes use plain laquer thinner on the glue surface to both clean and soften it a bit, but never on the brake surface. There I use magic sponge, eraser and either Goof Off or denatured alcohol. Or baking soda and vinegar. Some mechanics have recommended using SOS pads, too - I found they work ok on hard anodized rims, but are harsh on coated rims (like most of the modern ones) and might leave some steel residues, too. Last option is Scotchbrite Pads - in combination with the bakingsoda (or toothpaste) will clean out and polish most rims (Alloy).

Getting the pad 'glazing' residue off the rim is super important especially in the Summer. They generate hot spots and will cause rapid heating of the rim which will go straight to the tube and could cause blowout. Or, in the case of carbon rims - once the pad starts to glaze and overheat the rim - the rim temp rapidly increases above the Tg and becomes putty and loses its structual integrity.