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Thread: Brake Fade

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Brake Fade

    How real is this and do the newer style dual piston hydraulics deal in handling this?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    Brake fade is caused...

    by a build up of heat between the rotor and the brake pad. There is no way of "dealing with it" specifically. Many factors can affect brake fade, rotor design thickness and material, pad compound composition, weight of the bike, weight of the rider, riding conditions and terrain, braking technique, etc. Even the air temperature during the ride can have an effect.

    So yes, brake fade is real, and can be an issue for some riders.

    Any brake is suseptable to fade under the right conditions. Usually the fix for brakes that tend to fade is a switch to a larger rotor, and/or brake pads made of different material. Usually switching to a metalic brake pad compound and a larger rotor will help. A good mechanical brake won't fade any more or less than a good hydraulic brake all things being equal, i.e. bike, rider, rotors, pads, etc.

    Anyway, It makes no difference whether they are mechanical or hydraulic. And it can vary between models and brands, and the quality of the brakes overall. Cheaper low end brakes are usually more prone to it than higher end quality brakes. The key is getting the right brake for your riding style and trail conditions. Using a light weight brake set designed specifically for cross country riding on a down hill bike is a pretty good way to set yourself up for fade problems.

    So do some homework, what bike, riding style, terrain, your weight, and then come back and ask this question again if you are looking for recommendations. You'll get some good input with more info.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  3. #3
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    Reputation: vk45de's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    I know of 3 types of fade:
    1. Green fade - caused by resin boiling off of new pads
    2. Fluid fade - brake fluid boiling and system losing pressure
    3. Pad fade - pad overheats and loses friction
    All these fade has to do with excess temperature so a more massive rotor will reduce all but specifically:
    1. Break in your brakes
    2. Switch to higher BP fluid
    3. Switch to higher performance pads such as semi met -> sintered met

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by vk45de
    I know of 3 types of fade:
    3. Pad fade - pad overheats and loses friction
    Actually pad fade is caused by out gassing of the pads preventing them from clamping down on the rotors. Metallic pads out gas less at high temperatures, hence they fade less.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

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