Quick question regarding new mechanical brakes- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Quick question regarding new mechanical brakes

    So i'm stupid enough to forget what a sticker on my new bike said.
    And i already discarded it, so I want to clear this up, lol.

    So i'm 99.9% sure "something" on my bike said that the brakes needed some time to start working properly, so i needed to ride a little and brake softly for some time before any serious downhills or heavy braking.

    Like the pads or rotor needs to be used lightly for some time before starting to work at peak performance.

    Now, these are cheap Tektro Aries, mechanicals, so i'm not expecting a lot from them, but definitely more than my old rim brakes on my walmart bike.
    And on my first ride, they didn't work at all, not enough braking power, just a lot of rubbing unless i squeeze the lever really hard.
    The rotors and pads are perfectly clean as well (they are new with zero use, duh)

    So i'm guessing it's due to the fact that they need some time to work properly.
    Did I get this right? And yeah, call me dumb, i'm never throwing away those stickers again xD.

  2. #2
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    YESH! I found it
    It was on the assembly manual.

    It says "Disc brakes require a "break in" period. Ride and use the brakes gently for 15 miles before using the brakes in downhill conditions, for sudden stops, or any other serious braking."


    Sounds about right what do you think?

    I think i just answered my own question once again.

  3. #3
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    Finally i found the word. "Break in, Bed in, or Burn in" process.
    Learned something today.

  4. #4
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    Yes, pads need to bed in to the rotor. Two things happen. One, the pad wears to the shape of the rotor. Yes it seem flat, but there will be ridges and irregularities. If rotors are new, then the rotor also beds in. Used rotors will have "rings" created by the old pads, that the new pads need to wear to. Untill there bed in, the pads are only contacting on the high spots of the rotor, thus you do not have full pad contact and highly reduced braking.
    Second, the compound on the pads benifits from a gradual heat cycling. Once the pad has conformed to the rotor, you can begin braking harder and longer. In steps, giving plenty of cool time between the heat cycles. This final cures the resins in the pads.
    Too much heat before the pads are bedded to the rotor, or at once before the resins are fully 'cooked' leads to a faster wearing pad and less overall braking capability.

    Same process happens in your car as car brakes are exactly the same as our bike disks, just larger.

    And very light 'dragging' of brakes is bad too, especially for trying to bed in. It will glaze the pads and rotors making them basically slipperier to eachother.

  5. #5
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    ^ i don't really agree with all that, but he's on the right track.

    rotors are frequently contaminated on a new bike from oils and grease used during manufacturing and assembly process. they should be cleaned with alcohol and a clean rag before riding.

    since it's too late for that, i would clean both the rotors and pads with alcohol and clean rag. then find a BIG hill somewhere safe and go down it repeatedly doing constant/frequent HARD stops in order to get the rotors and pads as hot as possible. like smokin hot, you should smell burning brake pads. then allow to cool.

    the other easy way to do it is to hit them with a blow torch and burn off any contamination. both the pads and rotor. don't cook the pads, just get them good and hot so they de-gas.
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  6. #6
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    Wipe the rotors. Cook the pads in a frying pan until they stop smoking. Rub them on some 250 grit sandpaper on a flat surface. Then bed your brakes in on a hill.
    You should have whatever performance you can get out of them. Deore M615 front from Ribble for an upgrade if you want one.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Wipe the rotors. Cook the pads in a frying pan until they stop smoking. Rub them on some 250 grit sandpaper on a flat surface. Then bed your brakes in on a hill.
    You should have whatever performance you can get out of them. Deore M615 front from Ribble for an upgrade if you want one.
    Thanks.
    Well, maybe for later, i just used most of my money for the bike, so i'm not planning to upgrade so fast.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BENKD29 View Post
    ^ i don't really agree with all that, but he's on the right track.

    rotors are frequently contaminated on a new bike from oils and grease used during manufacturing and assembly process. they should be cleaned with alcohol and a clean rag before riding.

    since it's too late for that, i would clean both the rotors and pads with alcohol and clean rag. then find a BIG hill somewhere safe and go down it repeatedly doing constant/frequent HARD stops in order to get the rotors and pads as hot as possible. like smokin hot, you should smell burning brake pads. then allow to cool.

    the other easy way to do it is to hit them with a blow torch and burn off any contamination. both the pads and rotor. don't cook the pads, just get them good and hot so they de-gas.
    Rubbing alcohol?
    Didn't consider cleaning before sadly. If there was a contaminant in my rotors, and my pads just got contaminated because i didn't clean it before the first ride, shouldn't they be contaminated to the point of having to cook them or something?
    I thought pads kind of absorb stuff so they are really hard to clean unless you get them hot, like you mentioned.
    But wouldn't they just contaminate the rotors again?

    But it brakes okay, surely not at maximum power but okay. I think that if they were too contaminated they wouldn't brake at all, but now that you mention it i'm not so sure.

  9. #9
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    yeah, any drugstore isopropyl alcohol (70%). if you have any doubts use a torch, oven, toaster, frying pan, whatever, and sandpaper. i personally don't want to put the smoke from those things anywhere i eat my food, that's why i said torch, but Exxon is just not my flavor.

    if they're already working ok then they will only get better. there's no down side.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

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