Bicycle Mechanics - How to make cheapie disc brakes perform
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01-28-07, 10:35 AM
Im here at college so i went to dick's and picked up a 200 dollar mountain bike. its a mongoose blah blah blah, it works fine for what i need it for except the brakes just...suck.
i ride a road bike and this is the first bike ive had with disc brakes and i just want to know what i could do to make them stop alot better. i mean they cant even lock up the back tire if i squeeze as hard as i can. just some tips or some cheap fixes would be greatly greatly appreciated. thanks a bunch.
Here is my short list of possible remedies:
1. Adjust the cables (I assume they're cable operated, opposed to hydraulic) if the levers are bottoming out against the handle bars.
2. Clean the rotors and pads with rubbing alcohol (oil, dirt a/effect performance).
3. Give them time to break in. The instructions that come with my Hayes disc brake pads recommend something like 25 good hard stops to develop the full capability of the pads. I assume this is similar to other brand pads, and considered a "break-in" period.
01-28-07, 06:39 PM
All good advice... but also make sure the static pad is set right correctly. One pad will not move when braking, and it is the outside pad that will move towards it.. and nip the disc between them. If the inner fixed pad is set to far away, the disc will flex under pressure from the outer pad as it presses on the disc... this can effect braking power.
The fixed pad should be set so that is is just touching the disc... you should hear a very slight scraping as the wheel is turned, not to much or it will be 'always on'... just touching. To set the fixed pad there may be either a red or yellow wheel on the fixed pad side on the brake body... turning this will move the pad in or out.
Here is a quick and dirty shot of my bikes brakes... you can see the red wheel, there is a pink sticker with an arrow pointing to it, sorry for the quality... a phoptographer I am not!
Okay, it could be on your model it is the inner pad that moves in, and the outer pad is set and does not move... you can test this by pulling the brake lver and looking to see which one actually moves... in theis case the adjustment wheel will be on the outside.
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