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V-Brakes: Pad contamination/fouling issues

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V-Brakes: Pad contamination/fouling issues

Old 08-05-11, 08:47 AM
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V-Brakes: Pad contamination/fouling issues

Hi All,

Tried searching on this issue and found nothing so I ask:
Is it common for V brakes to have their pads become contaminated with metal particulates? I've recently gotten back into cycling for fitness, and purchased a Specialized Sirrus (not sure which variant, but I love the thing!). On several occasions, I noticed either the front or rear brakes were making a metal-on-metal scraping sound. Removing the pads revealed that they had become fouled with some kind of small, soft metal particles, like aluminum.

As a remedy, I carefully picked out the particles and re-installed the pads - I'm pretty anal about installation (alignment, toe-in, etc.). After this, the brakes became quiet again and worked just fine. I inspected both rims, and the surfaces on each, while not glass smooth, seem to be still in good shape. There's no gouging, or anything like that. Thing is, it's happened a few times, which leads me to my questions;

Is this a common issue with V-brakes, or are my (stock) pads simply junk? I've never experienced this with other types of braking systems before.

The consensus seems to be that Koolstop Salmon pads are the best; Is this still true?

Thanks for any input.
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Old 08-05-11, 09:10 AM
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Yes it's common, and I ruined a pair of rims that way. The bits of metal come from the rims themselves, and it starts when you pick up grit in the pads, in my case by riding in the rain. And yes all you can do is keep cleaning those pads. I don't know if the Koolstop pads are less prone to this problem, but I'm sure it can happen with any pad material.
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Old 08-06-11, 02:30 AM
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Happens with every pad I've used. I can't say it happens any less with Koolstop pads or not since I've not noticed them helping, but it happens badly on old hardened pads. Brake type doesn't matter either.
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Old 08-06-11, 02:41 AM
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Kool Stops seem to resist this better as they are better at shedding debris and dirt before they engage... see this more with other brake pads that do not have the same design.

Consider Tektro to be among the worst stock brake pads out there and always suggest that my customers swap them out as they seem to contribute to a much higher rate of rim wear although they do deliver some good stopping power... at a cost.
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Old 08-06-11, 05:55 AM
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Thanks for the replies everyone!
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