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  1. #1
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    Sintered Pads & Wet Weather | Commuting Problem.

    I have Shimano Alfine Hydraulic brakes on my main commuter bike. I have plenty of experience with Shimano Hydros on my other bikes, but I'm having a problem with frequent pad glazing on these brakes.

    I often ride at least 20 miles a day, which in Portland OR usually means 20 miles in pouring rain. Water from the road, falling from the sky, as well as water spraying down from my front fender tends to saturate my front brake pads & rotor so much that they lose significant power and become extremely noisy.

    Dragging the brake on a downhill to the point where I can see the water boiling off the pads/rotor is the only way to get my brake power back, plus I get to watch steam shooting off my front brake as I do it.

    However, I find that my pads glaze very frequently, and once glazed, they produce noise, have reduced braking power, and give a quite a lot of negative lever feedback. Sometimes they will glaze in only a week or two. I have to pull and sand the pads, and then re-bed them to get them back to normal.

    Resin pads don't have a problem with glazing, but they wear out ridiculously fast. I've used both the Shimano M03 Metal and currently EBC Gold pads. The EBC pads tend to glaze quicker, but the Shimano's eventually do as well.

    Whats really weird is that the rear brake never has any problems. I can leave my bike parked outside in the rain four hours, and they will be strong and silent as soon as I hop on the bike.

    Anyone got any ideas? I'm running 160/160 rotors, and 160 is the max rotor for my fork.

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Maybe a different rotor? Different pads would be my first suggestion, but it sounds like it was your first suggestion too.

    I could swear my Avid rotors with tons of slots in them work better than the ones with just a few little holes. I need to do a back-to-back test one of these days... Not sure where your rotors fit into that. More exposed surface area for the volume of metal in the rotor means better heat transfer. Whether that means your pads don't glaze in the first place or that you can't un-glaze them anymore... sorry, dunno.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Maybe a different rotor? Different pads would be my first suggestion, but it sounds like it was your first suggestion too.

    I could swear my Avid rotors with tons of slots in them work better than the ones with just a few little holes. I need to do a back-to-back test one of these days... Not sure where your rotors fit into that. More exposed surface area for the volume of metal in the rotor means better heat transfer. Whether that means your pads don't glaze in the first place or that you can't un-glaze them anymore... sorry, dunno.
    I've got a few different rotors that I've swapped around. Currently have an XT level 'ICE TECH' 160mm CL rotor on the front, I had an older style Deore level ceterlock rotor (the style that had a bunch of small, round holes in it) previously.

    I was wondering if rotors with more slots in them might also trap more water in those slots.

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The marketing text for the Avid G3 rotor (that's what I have) says that the slots clear debris out of the caliper.

    I had Roundagons before, and I noticed that when I rode on particularly muddy courses, I'd always get streaks running around the rotor in the areas that fell between the little holes. That suggested to me that that area was staying nasty all the time.

    I sometimes wonder if lots of little slots or holes or whatever also speed up pad wear, but you've got bigger problems. Anyway, I think the little slots would trap water, but not as much as they'd carry out. When you're riding in the rain, things get wet. So I think clearing grime would be more important.

    Actually, I also think that rotor glazing is more of a problem on the road. All those little oil slicks that cars leave mean that you're splattering that stuff into your calipers too. I still like the BB7s on the front of my commuter, though.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    maybe i need a mini-fender just for my rotor & caliper....

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