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How often should brake pads be replaced?

Old 07-26-13, 06:59 PM
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How often should brake pads be replaced?

Do brake pads dry out after a few years? My bike is 3 years old, and there's plenty of material on the pads. Bike stops fine, but the brakes are a bit noisy. Should they be replaced just because they're a few years old?
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Old 07-26-13, 07:04 PM
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When they are worn down, there should be some groves on the pads, when these are no-longer visible, would replace (would count old as being 20+ years, not 3), for the squealing, this could be various of factors, toe in, glazed pads, dirty rims
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Old 07-26-13, 07:29 PM
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If they aren't worn, they're probably still fine. Pads do age and dry out, but I don't believe 3 years a lot.

Meanwhile, you might take a coarse file, or swiss rasp, and dress of the braking surface to bring up fresh rubber. You can do this on the bike, by removing the wheel. Wrap a rag around the fork o rear stays so you don't scratch them.
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Old 07-27-13, 12:45 AM
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I'd say no worry, 3years are not a lot.

Speaking of brake pads.. When should you change the brake pads for disc brakes?

Generally I change car brake pads when the material left is less than 3mm or the sensor is lighting/rubbing.. but on a bike a new one has 2-3mm so it puzzles me.
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Old 07-27-13, 01:19 AM
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Don't worry good quailty pads work fine 30+ years old. I have run some that where close 50 in good condition..
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Old 07-27-13, 05:48 AM
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At 3 years you'll probably be OK, I've seen 30 year od pads that were still soft but I've also seen 10 year old pads that were hard as rocks.
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Old 07-27-13, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Poirier
Do brake pads dry out after a few years? My bike is 3 years old, and there's plenty of material on the pads. Bike stops fine, but the brakes are a bit noisy. Should they be replaced just because they're a few years old?
Strictly speaking, rubber doesn't "dry out". There's not really anything that evaporates from the rubber over time. Rubber can harden as it crosslinks further or lose it elasticity through oxidation of the compounds that make up rubber. The oxidation is usually caused by ozone, which our modern petrochemical society makes in abundance. If you put a treatment on rubber parts...not something I suggest for brake pads...the treatment's main purpose is to protect the surface from ozone.

Three years is nothing to worry about. I wouldn't suggest using brake pads that are 20 years old but yours are fine. By the way, if you haven't worn out a set of pads in 5 to 10 years, much less 20, you aren't riding enough.
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Old 07-27-13, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Meanwhile, you might take a coarse file, or swiss rasp, and dress of the braking surface to bring up fresh rubber. You can do this on the bike, by removing the wheel. Wrap a rag around the fork o rear stays so you don't scratch them.
If you have cartridge-style pads (and/or they're poorly aligned), IMO it's worth removing the pads from the holders (or entirely) to dress them. Then you can use a patch of concrete if you don't have a suitable file.

It may help to clean the rims with something soapy; at my work we use truck wash.

Then a few good hard stops to bed them in.

Last edited by Kimmo; 07-27-13 at 11:43 PM.
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