June 18th, 2013 10:06 PM
Disc brake maintenance recommendations
Besides the annual bleed and the occasional new pads & rotors, what do you guys do about disc brake maintenance? I never heard that there was anything to do, but I'm not getting the performance that I want from my Shimano XTs a few months after changing pads/rotors.
I was talking to somebody that said to run steel wool through the pads and wipe the rotors down with alcohol after every other ride. What should I be doing?
June 18th, 2013 11:14 PM
Besides not getting the performance you'd like, what exactly is the issue? Not enough power, locking up on you, etc.
June 18th, 2013 11:29 PM
Not getting enough power. I've been trying a few different pad/rotor combinations, based on the advice of my LBS. Yet to find one that gives good stopping power for more than 5-6 months of riding. And I rarely ride more than once a week.
June 19th, 2013 07:56 AM
When you change pads you have to bed the new ones; pads that haven't been bed correctly will never achieve full power. You can save your current ones by removing them, scuff the surface with some emery clothe and then do 10-20 hard stops from about +15mph on each wheel without locking the brakes.
Other than bleeding 2-3 times a year, always bed new pads and keep current pads and rotors free of soaps and lubricants. Have a look at your hoses every once in a while too to make sure there are no leaks or bubbles.
June 19th, 2013 09:03 AM
bleeding 2-3 times a year? Ha ha ha
June 19th, 2013 09:12 PM
Yeah, I've got a set of Hayes brakes I bled in 2001 or so that have't needed a bleeding at all. If you're bleeding them that often, 2-3 times a year, you might have a leak of some sort.
I too try and break in pads, which helps, but there's an issue if you only get 5-6 months, meaning 20-25 rides, and you're losing power. What brand are we talking?
June 20th, 2013 07:34 AM
I'm pretty sure that I've been bedding the pads correctly. I essentially followed the steps that you outlined.
The brakes are Shimano XT's from maybe 5-6 years back. Not exactly sure of the model. I've tried a mix of non-Shimano pads and rotors, and the latest setup is all Shimano, to see if that makes a difference. I only have a couple rides on these new pads/rotors, but I'm hoping that they will last longer so I'm trying to figure out what I need to do.
June 23rd, 2013 08:47 AM
It sounds to me more like a piston/caliper positioning problem. I had a similar problem with my SLX's. Brought them in to the shop and described the problem. Didn't take the guy twenty minutes, they've been perfect since.
June 23rd, 2013 03:08 PM
I've kind of been wondering about that. Do you know what the guy did? Not sure what to tell the mechanic at LBS if they're recommending new pads/rotors.
June 23rd, 2013 06:41 PM
He said he pushed the pads back, centered, and aligned the caliper. I go to Papa Wheelies in Portsmouth nh. By far the best shop I've been to so far.
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