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Old 01-03-13, 05:20 PM   #1
TomD77
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Gritty rides and saving the wheels

After the first several miles of my ride today on wet pavement on a grey, damp and cold day, any brake application sounded like my brake pads were surfaced with 40 grit sand paper. I could imagine the result of all that grit on my wheels so I did my best to complete the ride with the absolute minimum of braking. On arriving home I spent several minutes with the hose washing the grit with very special attention to the wheels and brakes. Afterwards I spent another 10 minutes with a shop rag and alcohol cleaning the rim surface. It still sounds coarse and gritty on brake application. What do I need to do, yank the brake pads?
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Old 01-03-13, 05:30 PM   #2
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Take off the brake pads and see if there is stuff embedded in them. If you don't want to buy new pads (like if you just bought them) then you can use a sanding block or something similar to clear them down to fresh rubber and get rid of anything embedded.

Otherwise new pads aren't that expensive. The shimano pads are really good. I love the feeling of fresh pads vs old ones with junk in them and they aren't that expensive.
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Old 01-03-13, 05:36 PM   #3
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Or just install disc brakes. That way the sound never goes away, but you get used to it.
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Old 01-03-13, 10:28 PM   #4
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Spare pair of wheels.

I am not a fan of OM wheels so have bought better quality ones for my bikes. I aso have one set of the original wheels that I had detensiond and retrued at the LBS and these are my winter/foul weather wheels. I also use Michelin Pro series tyres that are not the cheapest around so have a pair of Cheaper Lithions fitted on these wheels. Plenty of punctures in winter and tyres get cut up and ripped very easily in wet weather so the although the Lithions do not give as much grip as the PR's--They are cheaper and a bit less prone to flats.
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Old 01-04-13, 12:08 AM   #5
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Or just install disc brakes. That way the sound never goes away, but you get used to it.
Haha yeah really. Or what's worse is when they get hot. Sounds like an old garbage truck braking.
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Old 01-04-13, 06:36 AM   #6
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Tom,
Are these your new wheels you posted about a few weeks ago? Mine get that NW Florida fine grit from the pavement when it is wet (mixed with what ever sand and silt is on the road surface,) I just clean them off with a damp and then a dry paper towel and regularly wipe the braking surface with alcohol and a soft rag. The pads will clear themselves next ride pretty much. yes you are getting some additional wear from the abrasives in the grit but it is no more than other areas have, save the volcanic dust in those areas that have had activity over the years (it is really abrasive.) Unless your wheels are exceptionally soft in the brake tracks they will survive just fine.

I have Fulcrum Racing 7 aluminum rims and switched to Kool Stop Dual Dura brake pads about a month ago. I can find no excessive wear tracks from grit on them. What brake pads are you suing now? If you think they are wearing excessively I would ask the LBS you got them form to look at the brake tracks and see what they think.

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Old 01-04-13, 08:04 AM   #7
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Being a year round commuter, I've learned that my "best" wheels stay off the rain/snow/commuter bikes. (Yes, I have one for each.) To me the wear on any part of a bike is just to be expected.
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Old 01-04-13, 08:33 AM   #8
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I clean my wheels and wipe them down with rubbing alcohol as needed after a wet or dusty ride. But I also consider my wheels to be in need replacement after 7500 miles if that bike is used in the winter. The accumulated wear on the rims and bearings begins to become a factor at that point.
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Old 01-04-13, 10:11 AM   #9
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Tom,
Are these your new wheels you posted about a few weeks ago?
No. I finally got my first bike, supposedly on a one month loan, back after a year. This was the bike that really got me into biking. The wheelset on this bike can be a sacrificial goat if necessary, being Shimano WH-500, which is, I read, in the same quality ballpark as those "fine" Bontrager wheels which failed a month or two back. I've got the warranty replacement for the Bontragers on a shelf in my shop so I've pretty much covered when it comes to entry level 700 wheels.

This is a pretty good riding bike but not in the same league as my Bianchi Via Norone.

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Old 01-04-13, 05:19 PM   #10
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Switch to KoolStop's salmon-colored brake pads.

They're gentler to the rims in two ways. First there's a wiper at the rear of the pad that helps clear stuff off the rim, (I apply the brake very gently and a little early to give the wiper a revolution or two before I actually slow down), and second, the pad compound doesn't collect and hold grit as much as other pads.
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Old 01-04-13, 05:31 PM   #11
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Check the brake pads for bits of imbedded metal. I use a utility knife to pop the shiny bits out.
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Old 01-04-13, 05:56 PM   #12
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+1 for the Kool Stop salmon or even the Dual Dura pads that TSL suggested.

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