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Old 11-15-07, 10:00 AM   #1
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Metal in my brake pads

Hey guys, I just got a new bike about 3 weeks ago, and since then I've dug a piece of metal or two out of my front and rear brake pads, it was bad enough that it looks like it was shaving/scrapping up my rims. My plan is to go to the bike shop and get them to put some replacement pads on, should I be concerned about my rims also?

Is this a common occurrence? The new ride is a specialized tri-cross double comp.
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Old 11-15-07, 12:47 PM   #2
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While that is a scary looking thing, it happens all the time and isn't of any big concern. Dig out the bits and keep on riding.
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Old 11-15-07, 01:00 PM   #3
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Replace the pads with KoolStop pads. The pads that came on my 9-speed Dura-Ace when new were horrible and I also found metal embedded in them. KoolStop pads are softer, stop better, are quieter, and last just as long.

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Old 11-15-07, 01:03 PM   #4
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I had the same thing happen with my last new Trek Squegee. Clean the rims with a scotch brite pad and some denatured alcohol and toss some Kool Stop inserts on there. If your results are like mine, there will be a world of difference in brake feel and stopping power.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 11-15-07, 01:48 PM   #5
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+1 to the comments above. To explain what's happening a bit, debris (usually gravel or sand) is getting stuck in the pads (travels up with the rim). Then these little bits scrape up the rim, which makes them silver. After a rainy or dirty ride, a bike wash is in order. Super low pressure everywhere (just let it fall out of the hose), except the brake pads, where you want as much pressure as you can get to blow that stuff out of there.

If you hear your pads making metallic scratching sounds, stop right away and us a corner on your multitool to remove debris from your pads. That will prevent the grooves from getting cut into your rim.
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Old 11-15-07, 01:52 PM   #6
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ah, groovy guys, thanks for the info.

Jsharr, I didn't know they let you out of foo.
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Old 11-16-07, 10:15 AM   #7
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Yeah, I get out of Foo all the time, just don't post in other areas unless I have something constructive to add.

BTW, on new bikes, I think the machined braking surfaces on the rims either shed metal, or are not cleaned well after machining, esp. on Trek owned brands (not sure who made your new bike). I would clean the rims and pads on any new bike with machined braking surfaces right away.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 11-16-07, 10:38 AM   #8
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I've had a couple of bikes do the metal-in-the-brake-pads thing with the original Shimano pads. Switched to KoolStop and it never happened again. Make sure to get the KoolStop Salmon pads.
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Old 11-16-07, 04:12 PM   #9
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I'd say that getting sand or small rock fragments stuck in there is far worse than metal. Sand will scratch/abrade alu much worse than alu itself will.
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