Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: The Summit of Lee
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There is a disc brake "break in" period, but it shouldn't take to terribly long. Ride on the flat and speed up and slow down a few times. Don't get them too dirty until they're broken in. Don't try to break them in too fast either. Some people hang on to a car and hold down on the brake until the rotor is hot enough to cook a steak. That can cause the pads to glaze, I think.
As far as the sandpaper and alcohol...that's just to get rid of brake noise when you're broken in.
I found an old post for you:
One bike mechanic told me that some people experience no squealing at all while others cannot get rid of it. I can't help but wonder if there is not something about the set up that can cause this ?
As i have said, mine were incredibly noisy and i sanded the pads and cleaned them and the discs with alcohol. Noise gone 100% ! I believe that some squeal and some don't because some are contaminated by handling or fluid while bleeding or any number of possibilities. If 2 people use the same brakes and one is noisy and the other isn't, it makes sense that it can only be the pads at fault, and that it must be contamination of some type.
My brakes only took a few miles to get broken in well, probably less than 20 anyway. (I run Avid Juicy's)
Hope this helps.