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  1. #1
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    How will I know: Disc brake pad replacement?

    I have a simple question that searching didn't answer; never owning disc brakes before how will I know when it is time to replace the brake pads? I have a trip computer on and understanding mileage depends heavily on ride style, about how many miles will the pads last? I have the standard entry level TEKTRO IO brakes.

    I'm not having brake issues, I have adjusted them since I started riding last spring to cure a squeak. Just curious what I should look / listen for so I know when to replace them. For the price of a set of pads, I'm not worried about replacing them early. Just don't want a failure on the trail.

    And, should I replace front and back at the same time, or OK to replace one but not the other?

    Thanks for the guidance.

  2. #2
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    the easiest way to see how much the pad is worn for me has been taking out the wheel and simply looking at the pads, there should be at least 1mm of frictional material on the pad. However, if you plan to get hydraulic brakes in the future, there maybe more effective methods. If your brakes are adjusted properly, they shouldn't be noisy, up until the frictional material is practically gone, but I would watch for that, since then the rotor can be damaged. However, I had a set of those when I first started riding about 5 years ago. While they are ok for mild riding, down the road you can look into some bb7's which have been outstanding for the past 3 years for me.
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  3. #3
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    mileage doesn't reflect usage... much like a car, you'll know when it's time
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  4. #4
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    I have Tektros (which have been great) as well and I clean the pads every month or so by soaking them in isopropyl alcohol. At the same time I'm checking for wear. Like the other poster said, if they're really thin <1mm, then it's time to replace. You can order the pads directly from Tektro's website. You do NOT need to replace F and B at the same time. Your front brakes will likely wear much faster than your rear but the lever feel/pull will feel different with new vs old pads.

  5. #5
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    My pads started howling at me when it was time.

    Quote Originally Posted by CCMTB View Post
    You do NOT need to replace F and B at the same time. Your front brakes will likely wear much faster than your rear but the lever feel/pull will feel different with new vs old pads.
    For me, the rear wore out faster because I drag it through technical sections and around hot corners. I do agree that the stopping power comes from the front brake, but to me there isnt as much time on the trail to safely use the front brake.

    I also replaced both sets of pads at the same time because I did not like the different lever pull. For how long they last, $20 is not too bad.
    Something wrong with your bike? Blame it on super human strength and sleep well at night knowing you are more than a man.

  6. #6
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    It depends on a lot of factors, generally though you should replace your pads when they start geting within about 1-2mm from hitting the pad retainer spring. If you wear the pad into the spring you will most likely ruin your rotor.

    Unless you use your brakes very evenly, generally your rear pads will wear out first. This is also very dependant on the conditions in which you ride also... Like lots of water/ mud or dirt with high sand content, even trails with lots of steep decents will speed up pad wear (obviously ).

    I have also had experiences with some brake systems needing to be bled after significant brake pad wear, because there wasn't enough fluid in the system or the fluid reservoir wasn't big enough. which makes it not very cost effective to wear the pads down to the point of needing replacement anyways....

  7. #7
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    best way is to take a look at the pads.. When they start to wear down youll think "man those are getting a bit thin-- i better replace them"... That is the time to replace them.. LIke was said above-- less then about 1mm-- chuck and replace.. No reason to take a chance when its getting really thin-- cause you could run out of pad and have metal to metal -- and ruin the rotor too..

    As for front and back--- for me-- naaaa.. I look at the pads and how much meat is left.. After the new brakes are bedded in-- they should feel similar to the older pads.. A good bedding in is a must for happy braking..

  8. #8
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    I use a dime. If brake pad material is less then the thickness of the dime, it is time to replace.

  9. #9
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    I checked this dime idea today, since it's come up in a few places. A dime is 1.35mm thick. I compared a dime to a set of unused Avid Trail pads I have, and they're only maybe 50% thicker than the dime (2mm thick?).

    So are we saying that only 1/2 the material on a brake pad should get used before it needs to be replaced?!

  10. #10
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    Error on the safe side, once you start braking with the springs/clips, you might damage the rotors.

    At 230lbs and 20 minutes of descending 3000 feet I need good working brakes!!

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