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  1. #1
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    Cantis & Ceramic Rims

    I just finished building up my first cyclocross bike and had a question regarding the compatibility of ceramic brake surface wheels with canti brakes. I bought some new Mavic Open Pro rims with the ceramic braking surface and some new Paul's Neo Retro brakes. I had the LBS setup the brakes and the guy who installed them has Paul's on his bike and is a very experienced mechanic. They installed ceramic specific brake pads (the ones that came with the Paul's were never installed). They told me that the first set of pads would wear quickly to break in the braking surface, and got me some other ceramic specific pads to replace them. So far I've gone on about 3 rides with the new bike for a total of about 10 miles and the pads are nearly shot, and the noise from the brakes in unbelievably loud, like people stop whatever they're doing to look up to see what that god awful squeeling, screeching, screaming noise is. I'm not sure if it's because the wheels are new, ceramics are not compatible with cantis or that they were's set up properly, but whatever it is, it's really bad. Any thoughts on this?

  2. #2
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    Take the bike back to the very experienced mechanic.

  3. #3
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    that loud sound is typical of something on the rim surface. Your mechanic seems to think that there is some initial coating that will be worn off, which is why he wants you to use the normal pads then switch to the ceramic pads.

    If the pads can be swapped without adjusting the brakes then just try the ceramic ones and see if they make noise.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    I'm not running normal pads now. I'm using the ceramic specific ones. I'm heading down to talk with him now.

    Quote Originally Posted by crocodilefundy View Post
    that loud sound is typical of something on the rim surface. Your mechanic seems to think that there is some initial coating that will be worn off, which is why he wants you to use the normal pads then switch to the ceramic pads.

    If the pads can be swapped without adjusting the brakes then just try the ceramic ones and see if they make noise.

  5. #5
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    I took it back to the bike shop and they gave me a different brand of ceramic pads, problem solved. For some reason they decided to try out a different brand of ceramic pads for the first set.

  6. #6
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    good luck with the wheels, hope the noise doesn't come back (it has every time for me despite how many different kinds of pads/brakes/adjustments I try). Quiet for a bit but, came back every time. After 2 years of weekly tinkering and investing, I gave up on them.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the rim is abrasive and hardened, so 1st is knocking off ceramic bits that are not so well attached ..

    if you replace pads after every race , its less trouble than wearing thru rims and replacing those..

  8. #8
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    I don't have any cross-specific experience, but back in the day I ran ceramic Mavics on my mountain bike. I used regular pads and everything worked out quite nicely. What reason does the mechanic give for using the special pads?
    Bikin' far-off places with the wife: http://peacocksride.wordpress.com

  9. #9
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    Essentially he said that standard pads would get eaten alive by the ceramic rims, especially since they were new. And that was definitely my experience with the first set that we tried. They were almost completely shot after 2 short (less than 10 mile) rides. He said that there was a break in period for this type of rim and after the rims were broken in, the next set would last about 3 times as long. He is a life long daily commuter in the Seattle area and has been running ceramic rims for many years now. We'll see how this new set of pads works. They definitely got rid of the noise problem and they don't seem to be wearing quickly like the first set.

  10. #10
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    Hunh, good to know for when I build a new set of CX wheels. Thanks.
    Bikin' far-off places with the wife: http://peacocksride.wordpress.com

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