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Better Disc Brake Pads

Old 03-14-19, 11:28 AM
  #1  
richas
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Better Disc Brake Pads

I had a close call the other day. A car tried to t-bone me, he saw me at the last second and we manged to avoid contact. (I was going over his hood for sure...)

I had the rear brake locked up and only managed to get a couple fingers on the front brake lever. Pulling as hard as I could I couldn't get good braking from the front. The front brakes take a LOT of pull, with four fingers let alone two.

I have changed the pads but don't remember what they are. Can someone recommend good pads that are more "grabby"?

Giant Defy Disc - TRP mechanical disc.

Thank you

Rich
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Old 03-14-19, 11:49 AM
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Shimano pads may help, but really the weakness is the mechanical disc.

Shimano hydraulic discs, pads and rotors will greatly improve things. If you have mountain-bike-style bars, you can do the whole upgrade for $200 (XT level, pre-bled). It will be more pricey for drops, but still worth it in my opinion.

As you know, probably, 80% or more of your braking power is derived from the front brake. It might be possible to adjust what you currently have to at least get safe performance. What you describe is unacceptable.

Tell us a bit more about your bike and we might be able to offer more detailed options.

Edit: Is it this? https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/defy-1-disc-2016

If so, replacing with hydraulics might not be the best way forward. Maybe TRP hybrid cable/hydraulic calipers would be the most cost-effective upgrade:

https://trpcycling.com/product/hyrd/

I've never tried them, but many people seem to think they are significantly better than the pure cable-actuated mechanical brake calipers.

You could try upgrading the front, first, since that will make the most difference.

Last edited by wgscott; 03-14-19 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 03-14-19, 11:54 AM
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richas
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It is 2016 Giant Defy Disc 1

Shimano 105 shifters
the Brakes are TRP Spyre-C, Mechanical disc, 160mm

Thanks

Rich
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Old 03-14-19, 12:08 PM
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richas
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Thanks again for the advice. How about this?

https://www.worldwidecyclery.com/pro...hoCCDgQAvD_BwE
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Old 03-14-19, 12:59 PM
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I have used the HY/RD brake. All of the hydraulic action is in the caliper. You will use nearly 3/4 of your lever pull before you begin to brake, When they are setup properly. I couldn't tolerate this so put my spires back on. When I changed from drop to crazy bars I tried them again with Paul Canti levers. The Paul levers have much more through or reach than other flat bar style levers. When the brakes grabbed I had 2" of pull left. One of the HY/RD calipers developed a leak and I purchased the Paul Klamper. If I didn't have S&S couplers and need to take the frame apart I would use full hydraulic brakes. Some people like the HY/RD more than I did. They are more powerful than the spyre. The Paul Klamper is more powerful than the spire also. Go to YouTube and look up the HY/RD setup video.
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Old 03-14-19, 01:14 PM
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Reading the above, I am back to thinking my first suggestion might be the best. I think you can get 105-level hydraulic road brakes etc. "reasonably" cheap. Or sell the bike and get a new, zero-compromise bike that has the brakes you want.

In 2013, lying around the house recovering from a nasty ankle break, I decided I wanted hydraulic brakes. This was when Shimano's were first coming out, and the least expensive option was to get Ultegra hydraulic brakes, and they were bundled with Di2. So about half the cost of the custom bike I was having built up was the brakes and drive train. I have zero regrets. It is a small price to pay to avoid another hospitalization.

Meanwhile, it might be worth a trip to the bike store to see if they can make your current brakes work any better. Contamination of the rotor or pads could cause them to behave poorly. (If your back brake works better, that tells you something about the front, specifically, is problematic.) Replacing pads and rotors is cheap, so even if it is stop-gap, it is probably worth it.

I have TRP full hydraulic brakes on a different bike (along with bar-end shifters). I replaced the default pads with Shimano pads, and I use Shimano rotors. TRP tells you which Shimano pads are compatible.

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Old 03-14-19, 01:19 PM
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I have the HY/RD brakes on my commuter and I love them. I didn't want to spring for full road hydros so I got a pair of HY/RD second hand to use with my 6600 shifters. Now I have 5700 shifters and they have worked flawlessly with both for me. They work WAY better than the cheapo mechanical brake they replaced.
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Old 03-14-19, 02:29 PM
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Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I will probably try new pads or more likely, the HY/RD caliper.

If I thought I could sell my wife on a new bike cause I didn't like my front brakes, well, we wouldn't be having this conversation. ;-)

Rich
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Old 03-14-19, 03:07 PM
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I put Hy Rd on because my Avid BB7 had little subtilty (But I have a Disc Brake Bike Friday..
a 160 disc is relatively huge on a 20" wheel)

Put brakes On. was a Bike stops suddenly but I Don't, ( Newtonian Physics )
May try Organic compound pads , But, a wet squeal from front is an attention getter..

It's my wet weather bike, I dont go that fast ..






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Old 03-14-19, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
I have used the HY/RD brake. All of the hydraulic action is in the caliper. You will use nearly 3/4 of your lever pull before you begin to brake
That's not my experience (with Sora levers). It's nice and tight, with braking starting at about 1/2" pull of the lever.
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Old 03-14-19, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by richas View Post
I had a close call the other day. A car tried to t-bone me, he saw me at the last second and we manged to avoid contact. (I was going over his hood for sure...)

I had the rear brake locked up and only managed to get a couple fingers on the front brake lever. Pulling as hard as I could I couldn't get good braking from the front. The front brakes take a LOT of pull, with four fingers let alone two.

I have changed the pads but don't remember what they are. Can someone recommend good pads that are more "grabby"?

Giant Defy Disc - TRP mechanical disc.

Thank you

Rich
Sounds like what you need isn't new pads...iit sounds like your brake pads need adjusted for wear. Mech brakes don't advance the pads. Could also be rotor/pad contamination--but I'd sooner suspect you just plain need to adjust the pads.


Any disc system should be able to lock the wheel.
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Old 03-14-19, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Sounds like what you need isn't new pads...iit sounds like your brake pads need adjusted for wear. Mech brakes don't advance the pads. Could also be rotor/pad contamination--but I'd sooner suspect you just plain need to adjust the pads.


Any disc system should be able to lock the wheel.
I recently adjusted the pads, very little lever throw.

Thanks

Rich
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Old 03-14-19, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by richas View Post
I recently adjusted the pads, very little lever throw.

Thanks

Rich
Then either the pads/rotors are contaminated, or they're past their wear limit. Pull the pads and and measure how much compound is on them.

All it takes is finger oil on the pads/rotor to foul braking. I suspect contamination primarily among the two--if the pds were past their wear limit--you'd probably have heard the gawd awful noise of metal grinding noise by now.
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Old 03-14-19, 06:17 PM
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I upgraded my Giant Contend SL from stock Spyre rotors to Shimano Ice-Tech, and tried sintered metallic Truckerco pads. That seemed better until something got contaminated, then braking was awful when wet -- not just sound-wise but also braking power.

Next I tried organic semi-metallic Truckerco pads. Cleaned, sanded, and swapped my front and rear rotors (just to make sure the front rotor wasn't the problem, since the rear always behaved). That's what I'm running now, and braking is good enough to stop me, but I still get squealing even in dry conditions. Maybe it's from the pads not being perfectly centered, which is impossible to do since I swap wheels multiple times a week, so I just ordered a HY/RD caliper for the front. Will try them out for the first time on a hard group ride on Sunday if I have confidence that I installed them correctly.
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Old 03-14-19, 10:32 PM
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If you put that much effort into the lever and didn't flip over the bars there is either something wrong like contamination or you need to adjust your front brakes. Hydraulics are better but they aren't THAT much better.
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Old 03-15-19, 01:01 AM
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"Contamination of the rotor or pads could cause them to behave poorly."

Absolutely. I have them and they are very sensitive.

Try cleaning the rotors and the pads. I use white gas for the rotors and emery paper.for the pads.
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Old 03-15-19, 05:56 AM
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Try larger rotors first - those increase braking for hydraulic and mechanic brakes.

Going hydraulic is good too, a Deore level brake for $50 should be leaps ahead of any mechanical. Plus better modulation.

IMHO it is good to leave rear rotors smaller. As you experienced, there is enough force to lock them and locked wheels brake less well.
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Old 03-15-19, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Sounds like what you need isn't new pads...iit sounds like your brake pads need adjusted for wear. Mech brakes don't advance the pads. Could also be rotor/pad contamination--but I'd sooner suspect you just plain need to adjust the pads.


Any disc system should be able to lock the wheel.
This. Even a cheap disc brake should allow you to easily lock up the wheel -- which you don't want to do, of course. But you get the point.

If you have to pull the lever almost to the bar, then your caliper needs adjustment, and perhaps new pads. You should probably just replace the pads (cheap and easy) and thoroughly clean the rotor at the same time, then "bed in" the new pads properly. youtube is your friend on all this.
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Old 03-15-19, 08:13 AM
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For those saying that any disc system should be good and that Hydro’s aren’t THAT much better than mechanical I’ll counter that my experience is with pretty crappy Tektro mechanicals, Shimano Deore hydros, and TRP HY/RD. The change from the crappy Tektro mechanicals (with the exact same brand new pads as the Shimano) was indeed HUGE. I was also unable to lock up my wheels in many conditions using the Tektros. They also didn’t have any real modulation since you basically just had to squeeze really hard on nearly all braking attempts and if you did lock them up (which you usually didn’t) then braking was weak. When I changed to the Deore it just so happened that they took the same pads so the comparison is with the same bike, same rotors, and same pads. The difference is night and day. So yes, when compared to crappy mechanicals the Hydros are THAT much better. Now between my 3 bikes I have Dura Ace 7800 rim brakes & STI, TRP HY/RD calipers & 105 5700 STI, and Deore LX calipers & XT levers. All of them perform very well even though they are all different types and all of them blow away the old Tektro mechanical disks.
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Old 03-15-19, 10:27 AM
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Tried Swiss Stop disc pads.. yet? Kool Stop offers disc pads too .. ..
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Old 03-15-19, 02:00 PM
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Change cable housing to compressionless housing. The Spyre don't work well without compressionless housing. If already set up with the correct housing, then perhaps it is the travel adjustment.
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