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  1. #1
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    When to change brake pads and/or rotors

    Hi folks,

    I have a Trek 4900 I bought new in 2005. It has shimano deore cable disc brakes. I rode once in a while, unitl recently when I started riding regularly at least once or twice a week.

    On a ride afew weeks back, my brakes started squealing like mad and seemed to stop working effectively. I think what happened is that I got some tri-flow on the rotor or pads (oops). After some advice from a friend, I pulled the pads off, and they were completely glazed over (shiny and smooth). I sanded them down to remove the glazed surface, and then lightly sanded the rotor and washed it with some soap and water. This got rid of the squealing, and the brakes seemed to start working better. However, I was working on bedding the rear brakes in last night and noticed that the front brakes were starting to squeal agian, but just a little right before the bike came to a complete stop (not nearly as bad as before).

    So, since I'm kinda new to this, I just wondering where I should go from here. The pads look like they're pretty worn down, so first thing I'm gonna do is get some new Shimano M08 pads to replace the ones on there right now.

    Is there any thing else I should look at?
    How do I know if/when the rotor is damaged or worn and needs to be changed?
    Should I clean the rotor again right before I put the new pads on?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Gregg

    *edit* - after clicking the nifty Disc Brake FAQ that I didn't see til after I posted, it looks like I should hit the rotor with some IPA just to make sure I got all the tri-flow off. Probably will still throw new pads on there as well.

    Any other advise would still be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: vk45de's Avatar
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    what i've heard is that baking the pads will cure the problem. but yeah isopropyl alcohol to clean rotor, some sources will say to sand your rotor before changing to new pads to remove glaze - i don't think you have to though

  3. #3
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    Reputation: SteveUK's Avatar
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    It's virtually impossible to damage a rotor (in that sense), so you should be good to just clean both sides with Isopropyl Alcohol (this method works for me)or remove it and washing with hot soap water and rinsing/drying thoroughly.

    As long as the rotor is free from oil/contaminates, it'll just be a matter of bedding in the new pads. My only other advice would be to drop a clean cloth over your calipers whenever you're working with oils/lube, although I'm guessing you already know that now...
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveUK
    My only other advice would be to drop a clean cloth over your calipers whenever you're working with oils/lube, although I'm guessing you already know that now...
    Big 10-4 on that one.

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