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How long do disc brake pads last?

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How long do disc brake pads last?

Old 08-01-18, 07:44 PM
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jefnvk
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How long do disc brake pads last?

Just curious. I have 1100 or so miles on my Mazama with TRP Spyre brakes, and the last bit of my 50 mile a day tour, I was having to move the pads inwards a quarter turn every morning to keep braking adequate on the front. The back, I could't adjust the inboard pad with my wrench, was left just adjusting the outboard, and it go to a point where my lever is basically sitting up against the handlebar when I try to stop. There doesn't seem to be much material left on them, is that all you really get out of a set of disc pads?
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Old 08-01-18, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Just curious. I have 1100 or so miles on my Mazama with TRP Spyre brakes, and the last bit of my 50 mile a day tour, I was having to move the pads inwards a quarter turn every morning to keep braking adequate on the front. The back, I could't adjust the inboard pad with my wrench, was left just adjusting the outboard, and it go to a point where my lever is basically sitting up against the handlebar when I try to stop. There doesn't seem to be much material left on them, is that all you really get out of a set of disc pads?
Interesting question, one I've wondered about a lot lately myself. I've got close to 12,000km (7500miles?) on mine and keep thinking that they should be due for replacment, but I'm not getting squealing or weakness braking....
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Old 08-01-18, 08:38 PM
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Doesn't really matter what we get out of a set of pads-- only matters what you get.

So, don't buy TRP pads when you replace. Buy TruckerCo, KoolStop, SwissStop, even no-name Chinese pads from Amazon. TRP makes a fine caliper, but their pad compounds leave something to be desired.
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Old 08-01-18, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Doesn't really matter what we get out of a set of pads-- only matters what you get.

So, don't buy TRP pads when you replace. Buy TruckerCo, KoolStop, SwissStop, even no-name Chinese pads from Amazon. TRP makes a fine caliper, but their pad compounds leave something to be desired.
Sure, just trying to figure that out though. I had really no intention of buying TRP, mostly because they are Shimano 525/515 equivalents, and those are everywhere locally and I'd like rear brakes before this weekend.

I figured the pads would get less than traditional brakes, That said, after 1000 miles on Kool Stop V-brakes on another bike, they barely even look worn. The guys I know who have disc brakes are all MTB, where the wear isn't anything close to a road bike, but they go through a few pairs a year, I also don't expect is realistic for my situation. Just trying to baseline what to expect from these things.
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Old 08-01-18, 08:51 PM
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When my TRP Hy/Rd calipers got swapped out to go full hydraulic, the pads had 8,500 miles on them, and were perhaps halfway worn. No-name Amazon pads, 4 for $15.
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Old 08-01-18, 09:19 PM
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I got less than 1000 miles out of the cheesy stock TRP pads. They're terrible, very dirty as well.

Switched to semi-metallic trucker co and those lasted somewhere around 6-7000 miles. Adjusted the calipers very rarely. Unloaded, fair amount of rain and gravel riding.
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Old 08-01-18, 09:36 PM
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Keep track, write it down, YMMV ...

I got rid of the stock Avid BB7 pads and put Organic Kool stop in...

and in doing so got rid of the squeal . so IDK how long the stock ones would have lasted..

my use was flatlands river shore bank, but during rainy winter season..

KS have been fine ..


...

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Old 08-01-18, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Sure, just trying to figure that out though. I had really no intention of buying TRP, mostly because they are Shimano 525/515 equivalents, and those are everywhere locally and I'd like rear brakes before this weekend.

I figured the pads would get less than traditional brakes, That said, after 1000 miles on Kool Stop V-brakes on another bike, they barely even look worn. The guys I know who have disc brakes are all MTB, where the wear isn't anything close to a road bike, but they go through a few pairs a year, I also don't expect is realistic for my situation. Just trying to baseline what to expect from these things.

I dunno how your MTB friends ride, but I brake way harder, way more, and in environments with a lot more mud/grit than I usually see on roads with my MTBs. That said, I've still got the stock Shimano pads on my main CC touring bike and I think they've got something like 4000 miles on em.
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Old 08-01-18, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Just curious. I have 1100 or so miles on my Mazama with TRP Spyre brakes, and the last bit of my 50 mile a day tour, I was having to move the pads inwards a quarter turn every morning to keep braking adequate on the front. The back, I could't adjust the inboard pad with my wrench, was left just adjusting the outboard, and it go to a point where my lever is basically sitting up against the handlebar when I try to stop. There doesn't seem to be much material left on them, is that all you really get out of a set of disc pads?
I blow through them at an embarrassing rate. Probably 3 or 4 sets per year. The metallic ones last a bit longer, but you get a bit less modulation.

I also trash out rotors pretty frequently (requiring at least yearly replacement, usually after every 3 pad changes).

This is with Shimano hydraulics, fwiw.
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Old 08-02-18, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Just curious. I have 1100 or so miles on my Mazama with TRP Spyre brakes, and the last bit of my 50 mile a day tour, I was having to move the pads inwards a quarter turn every morning to keep braking adequate on the front. The back, I could't adjust the inboard pad with my wrench, was left just adjusting the outboard, and it go to a point where my lever is basically sitting up against the handlebar when I try to stop. There doesn't seem to be much material left on them, is that all you really get out of a set of disc pads?
It really depends on a lot of factors, but in very general terms I'd say that disc brake pads last quite a long time.

I'm not exactly sure how long my wife's pad lasted the last time but she did get through 5000 miles of touring with a set and that was the original hayes pad.

We just finished a 1000 mile tour, I have TRP spyre up front and I do 95% of all braking with that brake. Also a 203mm disc since me, bike and stuff combined is around the same weight as your standard tandem.
I put in new EBC gold pads before the tour and there is no noticeable wear on them whatsoever. At the beginning of the tour I left just a teensy bit of rub in because the disc isn't 100% straight and the rub is still there after 1000 miles...

But of course weat weather and riding in mud etc wears down pads quicker, or so I've heard. Also people are able to chew through their pads in no time if they do not bed them in properly and use them incorrectly (usually this happens to CX riders who convert to discs from cantilevers and have no idea how to use them). However I have also heard that TRP pads are utter garbage and should be replaced with something else as soon as they wear out. I swapped them as soon as I got the caliper.
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Old 08-02-18, 02:27 AM
  #11  
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Is there any intervall you should change it over time, say if it is more than ten years old, does the rubber dry out?
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Old 08-02-18, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by dbursell View Post
Is there any intervall you should change it over time, say if it is more than ten years old, does the rubber dry out?
I suppose if you can find a disc brake pad with rubber somewhere you should maintain some change interval. However I'm almost 100% certain there is not a single disc brake pad on the market that has any rubber in them.

So, no.
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Old 08-02-18, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by manapua_man View Post
I dunno how your MTB friends ride, but I brake way harder, way more, and in environments with a lot more mud/grit than I usually see on roads with my MTBs. That said, I've still got the stock Shimano pads on my main CC touring bike and I think they've got something like 4000 miles on em.
Yeah, I tear through pads on my MTBs way faster than on my road/gravel bike.
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Old 08-02-18, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
However I have also heard that TRP pads are utter garbage and should be replaced with something else as soon as they wear out. I swapped them as soon as I got the caliper.
Yeah that seems to be the consensus here and other places as I dig a bit. I'll swap them out and see how it goes!
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Old 08-03-18, 05:10 PM
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This is good news because I have been consistently underwhelmed by the TRP Spyres' performance, while many said they were the best mech discs on the planet. I will invest in some replacement pads and see if they inspire more confic=dence.
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Old 08-03-18, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
This is good news because I have been consistently underwhelmed by the TRP Spyres' performance, while many said they were the best mech discs on the planet. I will invest in some replacement pads and see if they inspire more confic=dence.
Not really upset with their performance, they're every bit as good as any caliper or canti break I've used, just noisy, dusty, and lately wearing fast.
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Old 08-03-18, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Not really upset with their performance, they're every bit as good as any caliper or canti break I've used, just noisy, dusty, and lately wearing fast.
About as good as Tiagra with stock pads , ... close to 105, nothing near as good as Ultegra ... and I haven't even put on my orange and black cool-stops on the Ultegra bike yet. Maybe I don't abuse my brakes enough .... my disc Sportif gets used mostly in the damp or wet.
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Old 08-03-18, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
About as good as Tiagra with stock pads , ... close to 105, nothing near as good as Ultegra ... and I haven't even put on my orange and black cool-stops on the Ultegra bike yet. Maybe I don't abuse my brakes enough .... my disc Sportif gets used mostly in the damp or wet.
Well, the closest thing I have to Ultegra is some early 90s 600 tricolor, but to be honest the best brakes on any of my bikes are some $3 Tektro V OEM takeoffs, even better than my hydro discs on the fatty...
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Old 08-03-18, 09:07 PM
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Probably has to do with how much you use them. I still have the same pads on the calipers for 17 years. They are close to needing replacement, I bought pads a year ago and still have not needed to change them.

I don't ride the brakes on descents like I see/hear a lot of people do, so I suspect that is why they have lasted so long.

The disc pads might last the rest of my lifetime.
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Old 08-04-18, 07:42 PM
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The time fram for replacement is going to depend on how hard you use them and how often. I have 3500 miles on my hydraulics that came on my Roubaix Elite and they are still operating like the day I bought it. I do live in a very flat area and do apply them hard very often. I try to apply them like I do my car brakes. More of a gentle feather and I use both equally most of the time.
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Old 08-04-18, 07:54 PM
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Depends on conditions, really. I probably brake more than most people (steep descents every day), so I probably go through pads faster.

If if you live somewhere flat and dry you could get a heck of a lot of miles out of a set.
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Old 08-05-18, 10:14 PM
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On fairly easy (Illinois flatness) conditions, I am replacing my organic pads at 4000 mi. They still had some significant life in them I think.
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Old 08-05-18, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
This is good news because I have been consistently underwhelmed by the TRP Spyres' performance, while many said they were the best mech discs on the planet. I will invest in some replacement pads and see if they inspire more confic=dence.
So I have the Spyre and while it's a good concept, in my opinion the execution is a bit lackluster. The internal pad adjusters are almost worthless since they don't seem to keep adjustment very well (here's a thing they could have taken from avid with the ratcheted adjustment wheels) and the brake is incredibly fiddly to setup. When you know how to setup, say, a BB7 it's easy peasy and off you go but the spyre is a whole different ball game. It actually needs to be pressed lightly against the mount (be it the actual post mount or the adapter) while you very gently squeeze the lever as to not give too much bite against the disc while you simultaneously nip up the bolts. Any other way, I have noticed, ends up with the pads being crooked against the disc meaning you get significantly less power.

Once you get them setup properly though with proper pads they are quite the performer.

But I still dream of getting the hayes CX pro's. Probably the best mechanic disc brake ever made...
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Old 08-06-18, 04:54 AM
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I can't even take a guess at how much mileage a set will last for, but I can say it's quite a long time. I have a 11 year old Trek mtn bike, with Avid mechanicals, and along with some other things i was doing to the bike, i figured I might as well install some fresh pads.
But, when I pulled the original pads out, they looked virtually the same as the new (Trucker) pads I was going to install, so I just reinstalled the originals and saved the new ones.
But, to be fair, I use this bike as a road trainer, riding on paved rolling hills, with no rain, mud, creeks,etc. and the brakes don't get a lot of serious use. Still, after a decade+ I thought that by now these original pads would be toast.

Last edited by Brocephus; 08-06-18 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 08-07-18, 05:06 AM
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As others have said, YMMV. As a data point, I weigh 230 lbs and do a lot of hilly riding. I do ride the brakes downhill a lot - around here (MD) there aren't many downhills that don't have deer/raccoons/squirrels/dogs/cats/etc running across the road, or potholes and/or gravel scattered about. I had rotator cuff surgery 5 years ago after I tore it kayaking, so I'm more paranoid about going down than I used to be.

With those parameters, I got about 2500 miles out of my rear pads on the 2017 Trek Domane SL6 I bought in early 2017. I think I was paranoid about locking the front wheel, so was overusing the rear - I actually did lock up the rear on a steep downhill when a groundhog ran out in front of me. I'm now trying to to be more even, the front pads are still OK tho.
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