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Thread: Brake fade?

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Brake fade?

    I have the Shimano SLX M666s. I recently replaced the RT64 rotors with the RT67 "ice tech" rotors. I am using a the Shimano resin non-finned pads.

    When I was out riding today, I was just about to go down a steep and fairly long hill on the road, and (for a reason not worth explaining here) I decided to just use the rear brake to maintain a reasonable speed. I didn't do any super heavy braking, just 3-4 seconds holds. By the time I got down to the bottom of the hill the brake lever was going down much closer to the bar and there was less power.

    It felt almost like there was air in the system, but less than a minute after getting to the bottom of the hill the rear brake returned to normal. So I tried another hill and the same thing started happening followed by a quick return to normal.

    I've never experienced brake fade before. Is that what this is? I find it unusual that the new RT67 rotors rotors would fade when I haven't experienced fade with the non-ice tech RT64s. Granted, I don't think I've ever just used the rear brake going down a hill.

    Or does this sound like it needs bleeding?

  2. #2
    El CicloPath!!!!!!!
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Did you bed in the pads to the new discs? Anytime the lever goes to the bar, there may be air in the system and you should properly bleed thm to rule that out.

  3. #3
    Reputation: Cotharyus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Brake fade is a factor of heat build up. I know less than nothing about the rotors you're talking about in terms of construction and materials, but if these rotors are lighter and have less material in them than the old rotors, they won't dissipate heat as quickly. As far as lever travel, it doesn't matter what kind of fluid you use, if it gets too hot it won't work the same as it does when it's inside it's thermal operating range.

    You KNOW (I'm not tell you this like it's a question, I'm saying it's something you already understand) that it's silly to just use one brake on a hill. Chalk it up to experience that you understand what the limits of the brakes are when used individually. It could come in handy if you ever have one brake completely fail while riding, that you know what the other brake will do by itself. Just don't make a habit out of doing it, and you won't have to worry about brake fade as much.

    As far as the lever pulling further back, that could be a heat issue. But bleed it to make certain everything is ok.

  4. #4
    Merendon Junkie
    Reputation: abelfonseca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Sounds like your brakes need bleeding. I would not expect much fade with decent pads with the amount of braking you mention. It seem that the air bubbles close to the caliper are expanding because of heat reducing you brakes performance. When it cools back down, the bubbles shrink back and your brakes return to their previous state.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Thanks. It's been 2 years since I installed them and I've been boasting how I haven't had to do any maintaince (except pad changes), but looks like I should do a bleed just in case. Once I do (could be a while), I'll post whether it's made a difference or not.

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