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Brake Pads - A Few Queries

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Brake Pads - A Few Queries

Old 10-01-18, 04:17 PM
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Brake Pads - A Few Queries

I'm trying to learn maintenance and whilst not frightened of it like any newbie not very experienced.

I've been riding my bike on flat across gravel / some mud for 1500 miles since a new set of pads on the rear and the ones on the front being checked without any issues at all.

For the last 3 weekends with done some training in hills so had some much faster downhill sections without any issues getting ready for a charity ride which involved much of the same and my brakes (Deore XT's) both front and rear were making quite a bit of noise (rear squealing badly) and in one part felt they were quite ineffective.

I've posted some pics of the pads, the ones with the supposed cooling system are the older ones on the front and the other from the rear ... I spoke with someone at a shop today and they said the ones that supposedly offer cooling really don't make any difference and it's pretty much a marketing gimmick ... the only place it might marginally help is for serious downhill racers ... what are people's thoughts on this??

Also do these pads look like they need replacing ... to an uneducated eye they still look like they've got life in them... or am I wrong.

If the pads are OK ... what else could have suddenly made the brakes start making noise after so many miles of being fine and fading when needed as it wasn't excessively long downhill stretches at about 34 / 40 mph max.

I'm going to clean the rotors anyway, am I best sanding them with a fine paper 1st and I have car brake cleaner and isopropyl alcohol to hand ... might one be better than the other???

Any help even if it's just to one if the queries would be much appreciated!!

Last edited by Witterings; 10-01-18 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 10-01-18, 05:04 PM
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I got my Shimano pads to quit squealing by cleaning them with Dawn dish detergent. One drop on each pad and then rube them together lightly for about a minute and then rinse with warm water. The noise was completely gone when I did this.
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Old 10-01-18, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
I'm going to clean the rotors anyway, am I best sanding them with a fine paper 1st and I have car brake cleaner and isopropyl alcohol to hand ... might one be better than the other???
Shimano recommends isopropyl alcohol for cleaning rotors and pads.

Use sandpaper on the pads and the rotors.
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Old 10-01-18, 07:41 PM
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Auto brake cleaner spray is too harsh for pushbikes imho. IPA is ok but these days I'm cleaning bike parts with Electrical Contact Cleaner - it's plastic safe & doesn't hurt paintwork, seems to degrease better, dries faster than IPA and leaves zero residue. (Cheap/stale IPA often evaporates leave water behind)

Your pads still look like plenty of meat left on them afaik... have you got new ones to compare to? My usual RoT is "half"... pads wear to half of new thickness, it's time to change. (Then again some ppl run them until they hit backing plate, what do I know huh...)

If you're busting out the sandpaper I'd be honing off the glaze from the pads, not sanding the discs.

Not a huge fan of discs on pushbikes but hard to avoid them these days. After wrenching I do a final degrease... I use squirt bottle with a teaspoon of dishdrops in a pint of water. If that's not to hang, I grab the Windex (ammonia Windsor cleaner). Wet the disc/pads/calliper and let drip dry, don't wipe - mostly because every rag around will be greasier & will recontaminate, it's safer just not to touch anything.

Pad heatsinks are a gimmick even if Koolstop makes them. There's not enough airflow/speed for them to do anything too useful.; they're probably doing more as additional thermal mass to soak the heat before the fins can dissipate it away. If you find your brakes fading from overheat, change to harder pad compound or think about upgrading to larger disc/caliper.
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Old 10-02-18, 05:03 AM
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There is plenty of pad left on those. My experience has been that riding in the mud/wet can allow dirt to become trapped in the pad material and cause them to be ineffective at stopping. Removing the pads and sanding them usually restores braking power.
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