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Disk brake varieties

Old 04-14-19, 05:24 AM
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Disk brake varieties

At our charity bike shop and during regular maintenance for these organizations we rarely see bikes with disk brakes however they do appear once in a while. We do see a lot of big box store bikes and 99% have conventional brake systems.

My question has to do with what to stock in the way of replacement disk pads to accommodate these bikes. It seems there is a lot of varieties and shapes and wondered if there are more popular pads that we should carry or are there a few versions that would fit a wide selection of brake units.

Right now we are turning those repairs away because we do not stock disk pads in our portable shop part boxes. Fortunately, so far, the donated bikes we have received that have disk brake have been fully functional or just needed a minor adjust (no parts) bu i know it will be coming.

Stocking everything is just not in our budget nor does it seem practical.

We welcome your valued input.
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Old 04-14-19, 06:17 AM
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There is so such variety you'd never get a handle on it. This will def. be a big problem for you in the future.

Here's an example of variety for department store brakes.
Brake blocks Scroll down page.
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Old 04-14-19, 06:50 AM
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The round Tektro pads and fat-ish (compared to the current crop) Shimano pads are by far the most common, but I still wouldn't keep more than 4 pairs in stock.
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Old 04-14-19, 01:59 PM
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Kool-Stop's website is a great resource, and the D620 spec pad is going to give you the most coverage. Shimano coverage vs. Tektro coverage. This pad part number will cover 90% of the low-to-mid range "mountain bike" brake systems, both hydraulic and mechanical. You'd likely see a lot of Tektro Aries type brakes (MD-280 and MD-300) on big box bikes that come in.

Now, you certainly don't need to stock Kool-Stop brand pads, but anything that fits a Tektro MD-300, for example, will fit 90% of disc brakes you'll see.
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Old 04-15-19, 05:51 AM
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Thank you all for your help and replies. It is informative.
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Old 04-15-19, 07:57 AM
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We don't stock disc pads other than what is donated(people and shops donate all kinds of stuff). So if we get a bike that needs new pads, and we happen to have a set that fits, the new pads are installed. Of course that all depends on the general condition of the bike in the first place. If we get a donated bike that we don't have replacement pads for, we may buy a set. That would depend on the value of the bike. If we know that bike will sell quick and for a good price, will buy them. Otherwise it may take a while to get them.
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Old 04-15-19, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
We don't stock disc pads other than what is donated(people and shops donate all kinds of stuff). So if we get a bike that needs new pads, and we happen to have a set that fits, the new pads are installed. Of course that all depends on the general condition of the bike in the first place. If we get a donated bike that we don't have replacement pads for, we may buy a set. That would depend on the value of the bike. If we know that bike will sell quick and for a good price, will buy them. Otherwise it may take a while to get them.

I can follow your logic if I was selling these bikes but all ours are serviced and freely distributed at no cost to the end client. Yes we do evaluate bikes that are donated to determine if they are worth saving. Actual value of the bike is not a determining factor, just the safety and ride-ability. We do not put bikes out there that are only partially repaired.
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Old 04-25-19, 11:17 AM
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I volunteer at a high volume, big city non-profit Co-op. We encourage folks to work on their own bikes, with the 'Advisors' helping out when needed.

Disc-based bikes maybe represent 5% of what comes through our door, but are showing up more. When the current stock of department store bikes with discs starts to break down (almost immediately), then we'll be seeing a lot more.

Apart from simple cable tension and pad alignment tweaks on mechanical discs, we cannot provide much help here. There are dozens of pad 'standards', and variations even within the popular brands.

Even if we did stock some of the more common pads (Avid, Shimano) we'd be faced with high losses on these, as our clients and volunteers have the tendency to open up packages of new parts and try and fit them by trial and error.

So if one doesn't fit, then open another package and keep on trying. The failed experiments get thrown into the bottom of the random parts bin.

So we advise clients with discs to bring in their own pads. Or to visit a full-service professional shop.

About once a week someone with a $6,000 full-sus downhill rig bursts through our door looking for new pads and a "bleed kit". They come to us after finding out that regular shop rates and parts pricing will cost them $200 for an annual brake service.

So they expect to deplete our bleed kit, open up several packages of new pads, leave their old worn-out pads in new packaging, leave tools scattered and hydraulic fluid on the floor, and then 'donate' $5 to us and call it a day.

If someone is on a $6k bike, they should be prepared for some annual O&M costs.

Actually some of our sketchiest, cheapest, and most rude clients ride complex full-suspension rigs. In an urban environment with no real mountain biking. Go figure.

Last edited by Dave Mayer; 04-25-19 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 04-26-19, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
I volunteer at a high volume, big city non-profit Co-op. We encourage folks to work on their own bikes, with the 'Advisors' helping out when needed.

Disc-based bikes maybe represent 5% of what comes through our door, but are showing up more. When the current stock of department store bikes with discs starts to break down (almost immediately), then we'll be seeing a lot more.

Apart from simple cable tension and pad alignment tweaks on mechanical discs, we cannot provide much help here. There are dozens of pad 'standards', and variations even within the popular brands.

Even if we did stock some of the more common pads (Avid, Shimano) we'd be faced with high losses on these, as our clients and volunteers have the tendency to open up packages of new parts and try and fit them by trial and error.

So if one doesn't fit, then open another package and keep on trying. The failed experiments get thrown into the bottom of the random parts bin.

So we advise clients with discs to bring in their own pads. Or to visit a full-service professional shop.

About once a week someone with a $6,000 full-sus downhill rig bursts through our door looking for new pads and a "bleed kit". They come to us after finding out that regular shop rates and parts pricing will cost them $200 for an annual brake service.

So they expect to deplete our bleed kit, open up several packages of new pads, leave their old worn-out pads in new packaging, leave tools scattered and hydraulic fluid on the floor, and then 'donate' $5 to us and call it a day.

If someone is on a $6k bike, they should be prepared for some annual O&M costs.

Actually some of our sketchiest, cheapest, and most rude clients ride complex full-suspension rigs. In an urban environment with no real mountain biking. Go figure.
Dave thank you for your insight. Even though we are not a coop and do not sell parts, it was still helpful
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Old 04-26-19, 05:09 PM
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I have two big box store bikes from the same big box store and they both have different mechanical disk brakes. I buy my pads from China for around $1.25 US a pair for resin (used to use the copper embedded ones but they make too much noise even though they last considerably longer) and it doesn't seem to matter which part number you need they're all available cheap. The last set of rotors I bought from the same place were Avid HS-1 for right at $7.00 each. A US supplier in Georgia. I can't justify spending big dollars on cheap bikes, but I haven't been disappointed with the parts either. More and more you will see disk brakes on low end bikes showing up in your non-profits and for less than $10.00 you could have a pretty impressive selection of pads on hand, but is it worth it? That's your call.
My 2 centavos on the subject.
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Old 04-28-19, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
I have two big box store bikes from the same big box store and they both have different mechanical disk brakes. I buy my pads from China for around $1.25 US a pair for resin (used to use the copper embedded ones but they make too much noise even though they last considerably longer) and it doesn't seem to matter which part number you need they're all available cheap. The last set of rotors I bought from the same place were Avid HS-1 for right at $7.00 each. A US supplier in Georgia. I can't justify spending big dollars on cheap bikes, but I haven't been disappointed with the parts either. More and more you will see disk brakes on low end bikes showing up in your non-profits and for less than $10.00 you could have a pretty impressive selection of pads on hand, but is it worth it? That's your call.
My 2 centavos on the subject.
Hi, While I can understand your source of parts, I would hope you can share any info on to get better delivery time frames. My experience has delays all over the map from days to weeks to over a month.

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Old 04-29-19, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeTBM View Post
Hi, While I can understand your source of parts, I would hope you can share any info on to get better delivery time frames. My experience has delays all over the map from days to weeks to over a month.
I've been very fortunate in that I usually receive my orders within 2 weeks. I have had some that never show up at all, but that is very rare. The items I order that ship from US based addresses are usually Chinese sourced and just seem to be fulfillment centers for Chinese sellers. I wish there was a secret I could share with you regarding better delivery, but alas, it's just a shot in the dark with each order placed. Good luck.
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