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Do front disc brake pads wear out faster than rear ones?

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Do front disc brake pads wear out faster than rear ones?

Old 11-13-20, 02:11 PM
  #1  
cazzooo
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Do front disc brake pads wear out faster than rear ones?

I was never a physics major but somewhere I heard that more pressure is put on the front brake on a bike than on the back. I just had to replace my front brake pads but the rear ones still had some life on them. Is it true that front brake pads get more wear that rear pads? These were resin Shimano pads.
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Old 11-13-20, 02:35 PM
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It's true in many cases, but brake lever application is HIGHLY personal. Some prefer to use more front brake than rear. Some prefer to use more rear brake than front. This can also depend on the type of riding -- you can often use more rear brake to help steer the bike off road (or to keep from going over the bars in certain off road situations).
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Old 11-13-20, 02:37 PM
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Yes - the majority of your stopping power is in your front brake
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Old 11-13-20, 02:40 PM
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Juan Foote
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Yes, just like a car if you are applying your brakes correctly.
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Old 11-13-20, 02:41 PM
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Normal.
Weight transfers to the front when braking. The more severe the stop, the less weight on the rear, which means you have to use less rear brake to prevent skidding.
Think how much rear pad you would need if all your stops were borderline front wheel stand.
I don't do discs, but I would expect to replace the fronts 3-5 times more often, since I pavement ride only and tend to use noticeably more front brake.
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Old 11-13-20, 02:46 PM
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Unless coasting with your rear brakes on down hills and whatnot rather than brake as works best, your front pads will get worn quickler.
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Old 11-13-20, 02:50 PM
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I have always worn approximately 2 front pads for every rear one both on the mountain bike and the road bike.

Most braking power comes from the front wheel, so it makes sense.
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Old 11-13-20, 02:58 PM
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The fronts should wear out well before the rears if you are using your brakes correctly. The only thing that might accelerate rear brake wear is if you ride in bad weather a fair amount. Then the front wheel kicks up water and grit that sprays the rear wheel and can act as an abrasive on the brake pads and rotor. It's why rim brake rear rims tend to fail before front rims.
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Old 11-13-20, 03:56 PM
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I think it depends on your riding style. If you primarily ride on icy roads then your rear might wear out quicker. In the snow, it's 50/50 for me and dry hard pack then the front wears about 50% faster even when I apply brakes evenly.
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Old 11-14-20, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Amt0571 View Post
I have always worn approximately 2 front pads for every rear one both on the mountain bike and the road bike.

Most braking power comes from the front wheel, so it makes sense.
not on the dirt.
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Old 11-14-20, 12:58 PM
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If you use your front brake more, then yes. If you don't then probably not. Your front brake has most of the braking power. However some people get scared to use it and they sit relatively untouched when they should be used more often.
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Old 11-14-20, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
not on the dirt.
I definitely wear front pads before rear pads on the dirt.
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Old 11-14-20, 04:54 PM
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Answer is "yes."

It's true for cars, too. I tend to keep a vehicle until it is ready for the junkyard, and I have never had to put new rear brakes on one of them.
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Old 11-14-20, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
not on the dirt.
Hey acl I ALWAYS wear front pads out more quickly than rears. It's a little closer on dirt, but I definitely brake harder with the front. I do use more rear brake off road, but not enough to wear the rears faster.
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Old 11-15-20, 07:00 AM
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As mentioned, depends on riding style. eg. to bleed speed off the bike to keep close distancing in a paceline, I use the rear. Over a 30-60 mile ride, that could be quite a lot of micro-braking events.
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Old 11-15-20, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Hey acl I ALWAYS wear front pads out more quickly than rears. It's a little closer on dirt, but I definitely brake harder with the front. I do use more rear brake off road, but not enough to wear the rears faster.
hey man! good seeing you here too.

Right. I was more replying to the other fella's "2x front pad wear to 1x rear pad wear". On the road yes, less so on dirt. On dirt I find myself braking evenly front and rear, the more i'm behind the saddle the more rear bias the braking. In a straightline then more front bias braking. But hell all this depends on trail/dirt conditions too. Also, when I was running 180mm/160mm front/rear, the front pads wear slower compared to 160mm/160mm front/rear (but 180mm rotor made too much noise so downgraded to 160 rotor and noise disappeared).

Last edited by aclinjury; 11-15-20 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 11-15-20, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
The fronts should wear out well before the rears if you are using your brakes correctly.
When I was a kid the mantra I remember hearing was you should always apply your rear brakes first and harder to avoid flipping over the front wheel.
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Old 11-15-20, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by MyRedTrek View Post
When I was a kid the mantra I remember hearing was you should always apply your rear brakes first and harder to avoid flipping over the front wheel.
1) The moment you brake, the weight moves to the front.
2) So it follows that if you brake at the rear the most, you will skid much sooner than you would flip over the front if using the front brake.

I'm reminded of certain motorcycle riders, cough - HD - cough, who "had to lay 'er down" and never using the front brake.
I think you heard that from just such a person.
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Old 11-15-20, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MyRedTrek View Post
When I was a kid the mantra I remember hearing was you should always apply your rear brakes first and harder to avoid flipping over the front wheel.
Hog. Wash. Or BS. Or complete myth.
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Old 11-16-20, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
As mentioned, depends on riding style. eg. to bleed speed off the bike to keep close distancing in a paceline, I use the rear. Over a 30-60 mile ride, that could be quite a lot of micro-braking events.
I also usually bleed speed with the rear. But it's nothing compared with the strong braking the front brake sees.

When it's wet or I think the surface can be slippery, I also give more emphasis to the rear brake. Otherwise I mostly brake with the front brake using only a slight touch of the rear as I feel that makes the bike slightly more stable.
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Old 11-16-20, 04:17 AM
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Sometimes I use my rear brake.
My partner wears her back brake pads out faster than I wear out my fronts.
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Old 11-16-20, 04:21 AM
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For hard braking efforts (need to stop quickly), I use both brakes with more pressure on the front brakes

For small braking efforts where I only need to press the brake lever lightly to slow down a bit, creep slowly to a stop, I use only the rear brakes. This way I keep wear to about the same rate as the front and rear pads as much as possible.
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Old 11-16-20, 05:35 AM
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Most of the time I apply both my brakes simultaneously. If I need to bleed my speed, I usually do it with the front brake. So I guess the usage is split approximately 55%/45% front/rear. However, the brake pad wear seems to be about equal or slightly faster on the rear. This especially true during winter. I reckon it has to do with the fact that the rear wheel picks up more road grime and debris, as it receives some spray from the front.
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Old 11-16-20, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by MyRedTrek View Post
When I was a kid the mantra I remember hearing was you should always apply your rear brakes first and harder to avoid flipping over the front wheel.
That was "entry level" stuff when we were kids. Once you learn to move your center of mass around (rearward), the front brake becomes much more useful.
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Old 11-16-20, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by MyRedTrek View Post
When I was a kid the mantra I remember hearing was you should always apply your rear brakes first and harder to avoid flipping over the front wheel.
Yes, me too. It only took about 50 years to rid myself of that bad habit. And I learned it here on BF. Finally, my last two pairs of brakes I've worn the fronts out first.

I think it didn't help that the first bikes I learned to ride were made in the 50s and didn't have front brakes. You just got used to the way a bike handled with coaster brakes only.

The way I finally understood it was if you're running, which leg do you use to stop with?
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