Adjusting Tektro disc brake.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Adjusting Tektro disc brake.

    Just got a new bike that has mechanical Tektro F&R brakes. I do my wrenching on my road bike, and figured it'd not be too hard for a disc, but I did a little searching for tips.
    I got my front brake dialed in good, but the back brake I can't get the pads parallel to the disc! I've used the method of holding down the brake lever and tightening up the mounting bolts. This worked fine for the front, but as the bolt tightens, the assembly shifts sideways.
    Could it be the mounts? Could it be the frame?
    Brakes in question are the Tektro Novela. Also, I know on road bikes the pads that usually come with Tektro are horrid. It seems that the front braking, despite being set up properly, still brake considerably worse than my road bike. Could it be the pads?

  2. #2
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    My GT avalanche came with the mechanical Tektro novella brakes. I usually just eyeball it to get the calipers on "close enough" to being right. The pads took some time to break in but they certainly don't have much braking power.

    I haven't tried different pads yet but I have a feeling that is the biggest problem. There isn't much you can do to get more power out of mech. brakes unless it has more leverage in some way.

    I have been thinking about trying new pads before dropping the money into hydraulic brakes. I was just going to buy a front hydro since the rear does have more than enough power to lock the rear tire (what more could you want from a rear brake?). Pads are cheap enough it would be worth a try.

  3. #3
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    Might look into pads, but the alignment issue is making the rear ineffective. I can't lock them up, even going down a steep incline squeezing both brakes hard. Yeah, that's bad... and dangerous!

  4. #4
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    That sounds way worse than mine! Like I said I've just been eye balling it to get the caliper aligned straight and the pads have been wearing evenly. Even with a poor alignment I'd imagine they should have more braking power than what you have. It shouldn't take much effort at all to lock the rear.

    Did you happen to get any sort of contaminants on the pads? I clean my pads and rotors with automotive brake clean pretty often.

    P.S. I did buy Avid speed dial 7 levers. With them set for the strongest braking power they did help slightly over the stock levers but nothing significant. The pads still feel more like they're just sliding across the rotor instead of actually grabbing. So it is most likely a pad issue.

  5. #5
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    The next thing to figure out is which pads to get? I see plenty online that have the same basic shape and design but will they fit our caliper? That has been the only thing that's kept me from trying new pads for the past year.

  6. #6
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    The sintered tektro pads are 300% better than the organics. my method of preventing pad rub is to get some thin 3x5 cards or thick printing paper and put some on each side of the rotor and then mount the caliper loosely. Get a couple rubber bands or a zip tie or whatever and use them to keep the brake applied *dont need to squeeze the crap out of it*. Then tighten the mount bolts down and remove the paper. Helps keep the bolts from spinning the caliper into the rotor as you tighten. I also use 2 washers on my bolts and put a tiny amount of chain oil on the washers so its almost like a bushing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    Did you happen to get any sort of contaminants on the pads? I clean my pads and rotors with automotive brake clean pretty often.
    Made sure they're clean. I've read that many disc pads have a break-in time, so this might be part of it. I like the washer suggestion, and will try that. I've already emailed the company in hopes of resolving this.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus044 View Post
    The sintered tektro pads are 300% better than the organics. my method of preventing pad rub is to get some thin 3x5 cards or thick printing paper and put some on each side of the rotor and then mount the caliper loosely. Get a couple rubber bands or a zip tie or whatever and use them to keep the brake applied *dont need to squeeze the crap out of it*. Then tighten the mount bolts down and remove the paper. Helps keep the bolts from spinning the caliper into the rotor as you tighten. I also use 2 washers on my bolts and put a tiny amount of chain oil on the washers so its almost like a bushing.
    I'm not sure what pads they are stock. On Tektro's web site it looks like they only sell them in metal ceramic. I'll make sure the new ones are sintered pads if I can get them.

  9. #9
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    Disco Brakes has after market pads for Tektro brakes.

    Yes, there is a burn in period for disc brakes, but it doesn't take long. Assuming that your pads are not contaminated from oil/grease/whatever, clean your rotor with either alcohol or a brake cleaner. Find a quiet road, and get the bike going at a decent speed, then apply the brakes gently to bring you to a walking speed (do not lock them up). Repeat this 10-20x for each brake, one at a time. Your goal is to get an even coating of pad material deposited to the rotor surface, which will help make the brakes work better.

    That said, there is a right and wrong way to set up mechanical brakes. I prefer Avid's suggestion myself: a 2:1 ratio of gaps to the inner : outer surfaces of the rotor. Coupled with a good lever, your brakes will work better--not spectacularly, but still, better than they were likely set up.
    Last edited by wschruba; 02-11-2013 at 03:43 PM.

  10. #10
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    Take the brake off the mount and file off the paint. It has been my experience that the factories overtighten the rear brake and indent the paint. When you try to canter them, they just end up right where they started, in the indent. The reason the front brake is ok is that it was not installed by the factory, rather was installed during assembly at the shop. (9 out of 10 Tectro brakes I have assemble have been this way)

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