Old 12-28-18, 08:16 PM
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Buglady
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Bikes: 2018 Ghost Square Trekking B2.8 e-bike; 2015 MEC Cote gravel/touring bike; 2012 MEC Silhouette hybrid; 1985 Boyes-Rosser tourer, now outfitted as Winter Trundle-bike

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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
You don't need to remove anything to inspect the pads, a flashlight helps. You look down from the top and visually confirm the remaining pad material - 0.5mm is easy to see and often "very close to the backing plate" is good enough.
Exactly this. Most disc brake pads start off with pad material about the thickness of a US or Canadian nickel when they are new. Once the pad is as thin as a dime, you should replace it.

(This is a very conservative approach, I admit, but it's not because I am trying to sell people brake pads they don't need, I swear! I'm super conservative about replacing things early because I have seen far, far too many brakes where someone put off replacing pads just that tiny bit too long. I am firmly in the "better safe than sorry" camp. Brake pads are $12-20 a pair. New rotor or even new brake caliper after a pad wears through to, or even THROUGH, the backing plate? Much more expensive, and also your old parts will end up in my shop's Box Of Shame and be used to train new mechanics).

Source: I do this for a living (full time mechanic at MEC) and am fully trained in most of the modern brakes. (Except Magura. We make Dave deal with all the Maguras).
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