Disc brake stopping power

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
I have recently noticed that my aluminum Creo's stopping power pressing the left brake lever seems less effective. Frankly, I'm not a disc brake expert so don't know what to expect. I've probably got a bit under 2,000 miles on the bike. I know I've read that when the pads are wearing or worn, there might be some odd sounds. But I don't notice anything other than the stopping power seems less.

Ideas? I guess I can go out to the infallible Youtube and see what I can discover!
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
first thing is clean them with alcohol rubbing or denatured alcohol I have had to do this after washing the bike sometimes. I used spray bottle but you can poor it on. I like to hold the lever a bit roll the bike to scrub the rotors and rinse again. thats the first thing. if that does not work then you may want to lightly sand the pads and rotor. you can check the wear on the pads. if all that fails then its time to bleed the brake lines. it may take a little bit of braking to get them working well again after cleaning. if you sand them you need to bed the pads in again.
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
first thing is clean them with alcohol rubbing or denatured alcohol I have had to do this after washing the bike sometimes. I used spray bottle but you can poor it on. I like to hold the lever a bit roll the bike to scrub the rotors and rinse again. thats the first thing. if that does not work then you may want to lightly sand the pads and rotor. you can check the wear on the pads. if all that fails then its time to bleed the brake lines. it may take a little bit of braking to get them working well again after cleaning. if you sand them you need to bed the pads in again.
Thanks. Alcohol for it and me are now being considered! I will have to check out some of the terms you used.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
2000 mi ....that seems amazing if you haven't had to replace the pads at least once already.
I replaced the pads on my Haibike Trekking Class 3 for the first time at 5,000 miles. They still had a nice amount of material on them, but did a full work up for the start of riding season. Really flat around Central IL.
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I replaced the pads on my Haibike Trekking Class 3 for the first time at 5,000 miles. They still had a nice amount of material on them, but did a full work up for the start of riding season. Really flat around Central IL.
Wow, that's incredible.
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
I replaced the pads on my Haibike Trekking Class 3 for the first time at 5,000 miles. They still had a nice amount of material on them, but did a full work up for the start of riding season. Really flat around Central IL.
Well, we do have HILLS around here. Yesterday was about 1,200 gain and LOSS (brakes) over 23 miles.

Frankly, I don't know how folks look inside those calipers to see their pads. And I will be honest, removing and REPLACING the rear wheel has been tough as my last two rear flats proved.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Well, we do have HILLS around here. Yesterday was about 1,200 gain and LOSS (brakes) over 23 miles.

Frankly, I don't know how folks look inside those calipers to see their pads. And I will be honest, removing and REPLACING the rear wheel has been tough as my last two rear flats proved.
you can sometimes remove the pads without taking the wheel of depending on the brand of caliper. you take the pin or screw out thats holding the pads in place then pull them out. you want to keep the same orientation left and right pads need to stay left and right.
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
Kahn, if you regularly only apply light pressure on your brakes when coming to a stop, or slowing down, your pads can become glazed, which can decrease your braking power significantly.
I'd recommend you do the following brake maintenance procedures (or have a bike shop do it if you're not comfortable doing it yourself):
1. Take your wheel off the bike and take out the brake pads.
2. Lightly scuff up the pads and then clean them with brake cleaner or alcohol. I recommend wearing disposable gloves.
3. Check the thickness of your pads. I can't remember, offhand, what the minimum thickness before replacement is).
4. Lightly scuff up the rotor (both sides) and clean with brake cleaner or alcohol. You don't need to take the rotor off the bike.
5. Re-install the pads and go for a ride. Do 4 or 5 hard brake pulls from a decent speed to bed it the brake pads/rotors. Same thing applies to new pads.
Doing this down a steep hill works great.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Well, we do have HILLS around here. Yesterday was about 1,200 gain and LOSS (brakes) over 23 miles.

Frankly, I don't know how folks look inside those calipers to see their pads. And I will be honest, removing and REPLACING the rear wheel has been tough as my last two rear flats proved.
I think this VIDEO will answer a LOT of your questions. The video camera can see the pads with the wheel on, so you should be able to as well. Brake pad wear is also effected by how you ride. Personally I coast for some distance before I even touch the brakes.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Besides, the brake pads in GRX 400 are secured with a screw to be removed with a flat screwdriver.

1639991392412.png
 

John in CA

Member
Region
USA
City
Berkeley, CA
Kahn,

My experience may help put your 2,000 miles on your brake pads into perspective.

In mid-September, I purchased a Vado SL 5.0. I immediately started tracking every ride with Specialized Ride and Ride With GPS on my iPhone. I have ridden 523 miles with 60,380 Feet Of Elevation Gained. I live in the Berkeley (CA) hills where every local ride is in hills. In addition, that distance and elevation gain includes seven rides up/down Mt. Diablo, SF Bay Area--12.1 miles, ~3,650' elevation gain. The 12.1 miles downhill requires almost constant braking.

On my last descent down Mt. Diablo, at 488 miles, 57,080', I noticed an unfamiliar noise when applying the brakes. I took the Vado to the store where I bought it--Mike's Bikes in Berkeley--and they told me the brake pads were badly worn. They replaced them with TRP Flat Mount, Semi-Metallic pads. I told them I had expected more than ~500 miles on a set of brake pads, but they assured me that with almost 60,000' of downhill riding, ~500 miles wasn't bad. (I don't know what the original pads were, but perhaps the new TRP pads will last longer.)

Perhaps other riders here will have thoughts on my stats, but given my experience, I'd say you did quite well getting 2,000 miles on your pads. As I've discovered, elevation gain/loss is likely the most important stat when evaluating brakes and battery usage, not distance.

John
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
Kahn,

My experience may help put your 2,000 miles on your brake pads into perspective.

In mid-September, I purchased a Vado SL 5.0. I immediately started tracking every ride with Specialized Ride and Ride With GPS on my iPhone. I have ridden 523 miles with 60,380 Feet Of Elevation Gained. I live in the Berkeley (CA) hills where every local ride is in hills. In addition, that distance and elevation gain includes seven rides up/down Mt. Diablo, SF Bay Area--12.1 miles, ~3,650' elevation gain. The 12.1 miles downhill requires almost constant braking.

On my last descent down Mt. Diablo, at 488 miles, 57,080', I noticed an unfamiliar noise when applying the brakes. I took the Vado to the store where I bought it--Mike's Bikes in Berkeley--and they told me the brake pads were badly worn. They replaced them with TRP Flat Mount, Semi-Metallic pads. I told them I had expected more than ~500 miles on a set of brake pads, but they assured me that with almost 60,000' of downhill riding, ~500 miles wasn't bad. (I don't know what the original pads were, but perhaps the new TRP pads will last longer.)

Perhaps other riders here will have thoughts on my stats, but given my experience, I'd say you did quite well getting 2,000 miles on your pads. As I've discovered, elevation gain/loss is likely the most important stat when evaluating brakes and battery usage, not distance.

John
Both silent brake pads were shot and will be replaced (not by me) and one line needs to be bled. And Seattle is like a mini San Francisco so most every ride is a hilly ride. And a ride I did this summer dropped 4,000 feet with lots of braking. Many rides are between 1,200 and 2,000 feet of gain/loss.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I’ve started to mix in some flatter rides, and also trying to not brake so much on the hillier ones, but my stats are as follows in the 9 months I’ve had my creo:

4,563 miles (plus perhaps 100 miles commuting, which is extremely hilly but short, 1.5 miles each way but down about 250 feet at once)
286,115 recorded feet of elevation, the commutes would add perhaps 7,500 to that.
bike currently weights 26lb, rider 185lb plus gear, so call it 215lb. Both bike and i were a little heavier in march, call it 230lb then.

i replaced both pads after 5 months and 150,000 feet of elevation - the fronts could have lasted a little longer but wanted then both fresh.

the pads had to be replaced again last week, so another 4 months and 136,000 feet of elevation. the demise of this set were hastened by 100 miles of riding/braking in seriously wet muddy gross weather in oregon; and possibly also an unfortunate submersion in salt water when i rode through a foot of standing water during a “king tide” event here in San Francisco.

@John in CA your 60,000‘ feels a little low to me; but the full power Vado is a heavier bike and i do ride pretty fast on the descents, trying to brake in short progressive burts just before turns rather than riding them for a long time - you may be braking a bit more per foot, so to speak. drag does a pretty good job slowing you down past 40mph o_O

I’ll be interested in hearing how your semi metallic pads fare. I stuck with resin, because i wasn’t planning on riding in the rain much more this year. We’ll see about that!!!
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
I’ve started to mix in some flatter rides, and also trying to not brake so much on the hillier ones, but my stats are as follows in the 9 months I’ve had my creo:

4,563 miles (plus perhaps 100 miles commuting, which is extremely hilly but short, 1.5 miles each way but down about 250 feet at once)
286,115 recorded feet of elevation, the commutes would add perhaps 7,500 to that.
bike currently weights 26lb, rider 185lb plus gear, so call it 215lb. Both bike and i were a little heavier in march, call it 230lb then.

i replaced both pads after 5 months and 150,000 feet of elevation - the fronts could have lasted a little longer but wanted then both fresh.

the pads had to be replaced again last week, so another 4 months and 136,000 feet of elevation. the demise of this set were hastened by 100 miles of riding/braking in seriously wet muddy gross weather in oregon; and possibly also an unfortunate submersion in salt water when i rode through a foot of standing water during a “king tide” event here in San Francisco.

@John in CA your 60,000‘ feels a little low to me; but the full power Vado is a heavier bike and i do ride pretty fast on the descents, trying to brake in short progressive burts just before turns rather than riding them for a long time - you may be braking a bit more per foot, so to speak. drag does a pretty good job slowing you down past 40mph o_O

I’ll be interested in hearing how your semi metallic pads fare. I stuck with resin, because i wasn’t planning on riding in the rain much more this year. We’ll see about that!!!
Looked over my stats and I've done about 120,000 feet of gain and there's probably a matching loss +/-

Maybe that's a more than reasonable time frame or rather elevation profile. Hey, are you mocking our sister state's "wet, muddy, gross weather"? ;)
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Kahn,

My experience may help put your 2,000 miles on your brake pads into perspective.

In mid-September, I purchased a Vado SL 5.0. I immediately started tracking every ride with Specialized Ride and Ride With GPS on my iPhone. I have ridden 523 miles with 60,380 Feet Of Elevation Gained. I live in the Berkeley (CA) hills where every local ride is in hills. In addition, that distance and elevation gain includes seven rides up/down Mt. Diablo, SF Bay Area--12.1 miles, ~3,650' elevation gain. The 12.1 miles downhill requires almost constant braking.

On my last descent down Mt. Diablo, at 488 miles, 57,080', I noticed an unfamiliar noise when applying the brakes. I took the Vado to the store where I bought it--Mike's Bikes in Berkeley--and they told me the brake pads were badly worn. They replaced them with TRP Flat Mount, Semi-Metallic pads. I told them I had expected more than ~500 miles on a set of brake pads, but they assured me that with almost 60,000' of downhill riding, ~500 miles wasn't bad. (I don't know what the original pads were, but perhaps the new TRP pads will last longer.)

Perhaps other riders here will have thoughts on my stats, but given my experience, I'd say you did quite well getting 2,000 miles on your pads. As I've discovered, elevation gain/loss is likely the most important stat when evaluating brakes and battery usage, not distance.

John
Yeah, this was almost exactly my experience. At somewhere around 500 miles, << I noticed an unfamiliar noise when applying the brakes. >>

I don't do my own work, and it's my busy season at work, so I took the bike in ASAP. Front brake pad was totally destroyed, they showed it to me, so I just had them tune up and clean everything. I'm on blood thinners, I don't want to mess around. Yeah, I should have replaced the rear brake too, probably.

I don't track my cumulative elevation gain and loss, but the relationship between mileage and vertical is probably very similar to yours. I live in the Hollywood hills, and my rides are typically 8-12 miles with at least 1,000 to 1,400 feet of vertical. Yesterday was was 12.5 miles with 2,000 feet of vertical. Longest was 32 miles with over 4,000 feet of vertical. So... I guess if I'm averaging about 10,000 feet for every 100 miles... yeah, I probably had done about 40,000 to 60,000 feet of elevation when my front brake pad reached the end of their service life.
@John in CA your 60,000‘ feels a little low to me; but the full power Vado is a heavier bike and i do ride pretty fast on the descents, trying to brake in short progressive burts just before turns rather than riding them for a long time - you may be braking a bit more per foot, so to speak. drag does a pretty good job slowing you down past 40mph o_O

I’ll be interested in hearing how your semi metallic pads fare. I stuck with resin, because i wasn’t planning on riding in the rain much more this year. We’ll see about that!!!
Ya, speed has got to be a factor, too. I do not always go fast on every descent, but when conditions are right, it's fun to let it rip. Max speed on descents was usually 32-37 MPH... until I changed my route a few weeks ago. Now it's 40-43 MPH. (I know some folks here are in the 50 MPH range.)

Weight here is a bit less, me and Seeker weigh a little less than 200 pounds.

Yet a fourth (fifth?) factor: Curves. There are a LOT of hairpins and really tight turns in the hills, so that means on many descents, I'm probably braking quite a bit more.

Then a fifth (sixth?) factor: Terrain. Yesterday, I was descending some moderately gnarly rock gardens, and also would suddenly encounter patches of very fine "Sierra Sand" as someone here called it-- and I am not very skilled, have little experience with some of the conditions I'm riding. So I ride the brakes in places where, if it were asphalt, I'd be letting it rip and maintaining momentum.
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington

John in CA

Member
Region
USA
City
Berkeley, CA
@John in CA your 60,000‘ feels a little low to me; but the full power Vado is a heavier bike and i do ride pretty fast on the descents, trying to brake in short progressive burts just before turns rather than riding them for a long time - you may be braking a bit more per foot, so to speak. drag does a pretty good job slowing you down past 40mph o_O

I’ll be interested in hearing how your semi metallic pads fare. I stuck with resin, because i wasn’t planning on riding in the rain much more this year. We’ll see about that!!!
My results seemed low to me too. My Vado is the SL 5.0, weighing about 33 lbs. I'm around 210. I'm not nearly as comfortable with speed as you seem to be! 28-30mph is about my limit, and that's on a downhill straightway. Turns are much slower. I try "to brake in short progressive bursts," but I confess to riding them and no doubt brake "more per foot" than might be optimal.

My LBS decided which pads I needed, so that's how I ended up with the semi-metallic pads. (I don't know what type of pads came on the new bike.) I'll let you know how it goes, although it will be a while since I'm not a rainy day rider... and Northern California is finally getting rain.,
 
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