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  1. #1
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    Do brand new disk brakes need break in? Please Help

    I just purchased my first full suspension bike (Raleigh Ram 1.0) and it has disk brakes. I was very excited for this until I got the bike home and the brakes hardly slow me down. I brought the bike back to my shop and they said it was set up properly but disk brakes need to break in before they are stopping like they should. Is this true or is my shop feeding me a line of BS. Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by crk916
    I just purchased my first full suspension bike (Raleigh Ram 1.0) and it has disk brakes. I was very excited for this until I got the bike home and the brakes hardly slow me down. I brought the bike back to my shop and they said it was set up properly but disk brakes need to break in before they are stopping like they should. Is this true or is my shop feeding me a line of BS. Thanks for the help.

    I just want to make sure I didn't get a bad set of brakes. Hopefully this is normal. All those with mechanical disk brake systems please help.

  3. #3
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    Every set of disc brakes needs breaking in. I had a set once that would hardly even slow me. I had another set that I mostly broke in going up and down my driveway waiting for a tardy riding buddy.

    Apply them often and fairly hard and you will feel the power come. Depending on the make, this is said by the makers to take from 20 - 100 stops.

    Try reading the website of the brake's maker. I wonder why we accept bike brakes like this but car makers wouldn't be allowed to sell a car who's brakes didn't work adequately from the get-go.
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

  4. #4
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    In my experience "good" brakes don't require break-in to work.

    I've seen slightly better performance with brakes after break-in, smoother rolling, stronger feel, and less noise, however they've always stopped the bike with plenty of power to spare....even on the first ride. I've never seen brakes that wouldn't stop the bike initially develop into anything close to the performance of good brakes.

    How much did the bike cost? I've not heard good things about cheap discs...especially the cheap mechanicals. The least expensive, mechanical, I've had good luck with were the Hayes HMX, that have been discounted to about $110 bucks a set...and I don't have enough miles on yet to know if they will ride in as well as the trustworthy Avids.

    I suspect the brakes on your bike will never develop anything close to the performance of the better discs, like Avids.

    Danny

  5. #5
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    Thank you for the help. I am hoping they do work out to be fine after break in. I am a casual trail rider, not a serious racer. So I do not need maximum, i.e top of the line hydraulic, stopping power. But I would like the power of at least "V" brakes.

    Anyone else that knows something about Disk brakes and break in please let me know.

  6. #6
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    Figured out a MAJOR part of the problem. The bike shop forgot to tighten up the "in" caliper. I was tinkering with (trying to figure out) adjustments. The "in" caliper was not tightened in. Every time I squeezed my brakes the "in" (in as in close to the spokes/wheel) caliper would move toward the wheel. Better braking but I think they still need breaking in but a world better. I mean there was like 0 stopping.

  7. #7
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    No good

    Quote Originally Posted by crk916
    Figured out a MAJOR part of the problem. The bike shop forgot to tighten up the "in" caliper. I was tinkering with (trying to figure out) adjustments. The "in" caliper was not tightened in. Every time I squeezed my brakes the "in" (in as in close to the spokes/wheel) caliper would move toward the wheel. Better braking but I think they still need breaking in but a world better. I mean there was like 0 stopping.
    That's extremely disheartening if your bike shop didn't assemble your brakes correctly. What if you would have taken it on a downhill ride your first time out.. scary.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by crk916
    I do not need maximum, i.e top of the line hydraulic, stopping power.
    Well there's a popular misconception. I'm a big fan of hydraulic disc brakes but probably the most powerful brake I've tested was the Avid cable disc. The Formula Activa cable disc was a very pleasantly deceiving brake too.

    Mechanical advantage, rotor size and tire grip have the most effect on stopping power, not the method of applying the brake.
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

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