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How long do your disc-brake pads last?

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How long do your disc-brake pads last?

Old 04-26-18, 04:59 AM
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johngwheeler
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How long do your disc-brake pads last?

Iíve been commuting on my Giant TCX cyclocross bike for about a year now, and one thing Iíve noticed is that my brake pads donít last very long. Iím already on my 3 set, and starting to wonder whether my wear is typical.

I probably average about 100km per week - a little more in Summer and a bit less in Winter, so allowing for vacations / bad weather / illness etc., this is about 2300 maximum in 6 months - and probably less.

Is c. 2000km / 6 months really all one can expect from a set a brake pads? My riding is mostly suburban, with a bit of city riding, but only short descents that require significant braking.

I remember using rim brake pads for years at a time as a kid, but then again, I probably didnít ride as much as I do now!
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Old 04-26-18, 05:17 AM
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Generally speaking rim brakes last longer than disc. But 2000 km probably isn't that far off. Depends on how hard you are on the brakes. Moisture and grit during wet riding also degrades them.

On my Norco I probably have about 3000 km, and I'm about to change them, though I did inspect them and realistically I could probably leave them on for another 500-1000 km, I'm not going to.

Having said that though, the canti brakes on my commuter also don't last that long, mainly due to regularly riding in wet conditions, as well as having it loaded with heavy groceries. I change them every 2000-3000 km as well.
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Old 04-26-18, 07:08 AM
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My main commuter has BB5s. I use semi-metalic pads. Metalic last longer, organic grip better. I get about a year, about 2500 miles. I don't know for sure since I don't track which of the three bikes I ride, but my main bike is at least 60% (less in snowy winters).

What surprised me was that the rear brakes wore faster than the fronts. The fronts handle more braking force when stopping, but I figure that I "drag" the rear brakes, and use them to slow before engaging the fronts.

Even when I had just one rim-brake bike, I'd go years before the brake pads would wear down.

But even though my disc brake pads don't last as long as the rim-brake pads, I buy the BB5 pads online for under $10 a pair, so it's not expensive.
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Old 04-26-18, 07:57 AM
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My conditions are primarily dry (just because it doesn't rain here) but I'm getting on average 5,000-6,000 per set of front pads, Shimano or TruckerCo organics. Shortest-lived pair was a set of Giant Sport Organics, which got just a hair over 4,000 miles being run in the back. They were however, the quietest brake pads I've ever used.

180F/160R Ice Tech rotors, TRP Hy/Rd calipers, ~10k miles per year.

My disc brake pads last a lot longer now, as I'm splitting riding time with a rim-brake bike. I expect to get maybe 6,000 miles out of a set of Kool Stop rim pads. They're well past halfway at ~4k miles.
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Old 04-26-18, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by johngwheeler View Post
Iíve been commuting on my Giant TCX cyclocross bike for about a year now, and one thing Iíve noticed is that my brake pads donít last very long. Iím already on my 3 set, and starting to wonder whether my wear is typical.

I probably average about 100km per week - a little more in Summer and a bit less in Winter, so allowing for vacations / bad weather / illness etc., this is about 2300 maximum in 6 months - and probably less.

Is c. 2000km / 6 months really all one can expect from a set a brake pads? My riding is mostly suburban, with a bit of city riding, but only short descents that require significant braking.

I remember using rim brake pads for years at a time as a kid, but then again, I probably didnít ride as much as I do now!
Do you know the model name of the disc pads you use?
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Old 04-26-18, 11:53 AM
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I have 2100 miles on the pads that came with the BB7s. I checked recently and the rear will be replaced in about 500 miles. The front was fine since I drag the rear more.

My mountain bike eats organic pads in a few hundred miles, but the brakes are used a lot more.
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Old 04-26-18, 12:06 PM
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I blow though piles of them. I ride like a borderline-clinical paranoid, which probably doesn't help. I'm lucky to get more than 1k miles from a pair (160 mm Ice Tech rotors, organic pads, Ultegra hydraulics).
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Old 04-26-18, 12:16 PM
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This is going to depend a LOT on your individual cycling environment. I ride long distances in the country on my way to work, going as much as 10 miles with no stop signs. Someone else might have to stop 10 times in a mile, or have to do a lot of slowing down in curves.
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Old 04-26-18, 01:35 PM
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I'm not sure what to think here. I'm running organics now, and have at least 5500+ miles on them. I don't have my notes but it's gotta be closer to 6000 miles, easy. I ran semi metallics but switched to organics for the slightly better feel. Regardless, I'm wondering how it's possible that a person could get so few miles from a set of brake pads. I'm a clyde too, so it's not like I'm some featherweight with a light touch.

I literally just walked across my office to check my pads and while they're a bit thin up front, there's still some meat on 'em. What in the heck are you guys doing to get such a short life outta your brake pads?!

-Kedosto
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Old 04-26-18, 02:54 PM
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Perhaps the rotor pattern has something to do with how long the pads last. I dunno. Just throwing it out there.
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Old 04-26-18, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
how it's possible that a person could get so few miles from a set of brake pads.
Hills. Lots of hills. Steep, windy roads down hills, in particular. For me, a flat ride is anything with less than 100 ft/mile climbing.
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Old 04-26-18, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by johngwheeler View Post
I’ve been commuting on my Giant TCX cyclocross bike for about a year now, and one thing I’ve noticed is that my brake pads don’t last very long. I’m already on my 3 set, and starting to wonder whether my wear is typical.

I probably average about 100km per week - a little more in Summer and a bit less in Winter, so allowing for vacations / bad weather / illness etc., this is about 2300 maximum in 6 months - and probably less.

Is c. 2000km / 6 months really all one can expect from a set a brake pads? My riding is mostly suburban, with a bit of city riding, but only short descents that require significant braking.

I remember using rim brake pads for years at a time as a kid, but then again, I probably didn’t ride as much as I do now!
It depends on where and how you ride. I have 3400 miles on my commuter and the pads are still going strong. This is in pretty flat terrain though (Illinois).

This is SRAM Force disc brakes and SRAM pads on I think Avid Rotors (160 F, 140 R).
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Old 04-27-18, 04:12 AM
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Last year I bought my first disc brake bike, love it - I weigh 100 kilos and stopping at the bottom of hills was always an adventure on rim brakes, dry or wet.

I replaced the OEM rear pads at about 3000 km, the front is fine - roads are hilly around here and I tend to ride the rear on the way down because of road conditions and the frequency of deer and other varmints leaping into the road.

I put on a more expensive "heavy duty" pads, will see if get more than 3K out of those.
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Old 04-27-18, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
What surprised me was that the rear brakes wore faster than the fronts. The fronts handle more braking force when stopping, but I figure that I "drag" the rear brakes, and use them to slow before engaging the fronts.
Another factor might be that generally the rear of the bike gets much more dirt on it than the front - part of the dirt picked up by front wheel lands there.
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Old 04-27-18, 06:36 AM
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I'm on my first set of disc brake pads from the factory. Have never changed them.

So let me toss this twist into the discussion....

How much difference is there is disc brake pad quality?

In terms of stopping power and noise? My stock pads are squeaky and annoying. I just assumed that's what disc brakes sounded like, being that it's my first bike with discs. Could different pads fix that? The stopping power on them is pretty good. Any stronger and they'd just lock the wheels up, which is no good. But I could go for less squeaking. Bike came with Tekro hydrolic brakes, probably low end pads.
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Old 04-27-18, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
How much difference is there is disc brake pad quality?

In terms of stopping power and noise? My stock pads are squeaky and annoying. I just assumed that's what disc brakes sounded like, being that it's my first bike with discs. Could different pads fix that? The stopping power on them is pretty good. Any stronger and they'd just lock the wheels up, which is no good. But I could go for less squeaking. Bike came with Tekro hydrolic brakes, probably low end pads.
I'm curious about this as well. The usual trade-off is more grip for less life/longevity, but I would also think that too much grip is a issue for a bicycle with disk brakes.
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Old 04-27-18, 11:34 AM
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uh, noobie question, but how do you know when they need to be changed?
rim brakes were pretty obvious...
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Old 04-27-18, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
uh, noobie question, but how do you know when they need to be changed?
rim brakes were pretty obvious...
When your bike won't stop and there's a deep gouge in the rotor.

jk I look at the pad thickness whenever I happen to take the wheel off. Pad material present = good. Pad razor thin = not good. They can probably be viewed with the wheel on too. I change mine every 3000 miles with my regular bike maintenance.
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Old 04-27-18, 01:03 PM
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I like Kool Stop Aftermarket pads better than the factory stock ones , except for the Magura HS 33 pads, but they went to Kool Stop, in Oregon and had them mold the pads for their red/salmon compound..

even like their disc pads over what Avid puts on their BB7 disc brakes..
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Old 04-27-18, 01:19 PM
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I seem to get about 1500-2000 miles. Mixed dirt, road, gravel wet and dry. Cheap $2 sintered pads from China on eBay or some Tektro E10.11 organic. They are cheap so I swap them out at first sign of anything and I'm sure they could go much further.
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Old 04-27-18, 02:02 PM
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Is it easy to change disc pads?

I've never done it on a bike. Have done it on cars more times than I care to remember and never want to do it again. But never done it on a bike.
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Old 04-27-18, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Is it easy to change disc pads?

I've never done it on a bike. Have done it on cars more times than I care to remember and never want to do it again. But never done it on a bike.
Easier than rim brakes, actually.
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Old 04-27-18, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Do you know the model name of the disc pads you use?
Iīm not sure of the brand - these were cheap SRAM-compatible pads bought on e-Bay, so they might be less durable than other brands. That said, the original SRAM Hi-Road pads that came with the bike also only lasted about 6 months, so I donít think there is a huge amount of difference.

There are organic, so again I would expect less lifetime than sintered metal.

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Old 04-27-18, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
uh, noobie question, but how do you know when they need to be changed?
rim brakes were pretty obvious...
I shine a flashlight between the rotor and the pads every month or so to see how close the pad surface is to the retaining clip (that holds the two pads in position). Once it gets close (almost touching), it’s time to change the pads.

You’ll probably notice some noise when the pad gets too thin or if you wear it down to the clip or the backing plate, in which case you need to change the pads immediately to avoid ruining the rotor.

I also noticed by brake lever becoming stiffer, which is a warning sign that something is amiss with the brakes.





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Old 04-27-18, 06:51 PM
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I've been using some aluminum-backed "Gekors" semi-metallic pads off of Amazon in my Hy/Rd calipers. LIke $8 a pair, they've got 5,500 miles on them.
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