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Upgrading shimano deore BR-M446, hydraulic disc brakes

KvassKvass Posts: 2
edited July 2013 in MTB workshop & tech
Hi, I bought Giant XTC 2012 a year ago as a commuter and since then the performance of brakes declined greatly, so I decided its time to do something about it.

First of I am a complete noob, but did a little bit of research. I've found that its time to bleed them as the levers became soft and pull right to the handlebars, I don't know if I've contaminated the rotors, but gave them a good clean with brake/clutch cleaner, pads probably need replacing too but I want to upgrade them as they never been brilliant.

So my questions are:
-what material of pads offer best performance/durability?
-I've found my brakes use B01S pads, but those are resin only?, are ther aftermarket pads that will fit that calliper?
-There is a note on my rotor "resin only", do you think they would be ok to use with other pads?
-In case of changing rotors, would any fit that brake?
-I use 160 on front and rear, weight 11 stones + water and gear, would it help if I've fitted 180 on front?
-what kind of adapter do I need in order to fit 180?

I found a couple conflicting answers to those questions so if You could clear this up for me I would be grateful.

Any advice how to improve brakes, am I missing something? Don't want to break a bank with this, after all I still think those are decent hydraulics for commuter, but I do like to go on a trail from time to time, and don't want to kill myself.

I've been looking at these rotors:

Budget but still good reviews, Tectro disc wave

Pricier, avid HS1


  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Sounds more like they just need some tlc. Probably contaminated with road crud. Clean the rotors using isopropyl alcohol. And if you think you pads need replacing they probably do. Although probably the first thing you should have checked. Superstar make good replacements.
    I am a lot heavier than you and manage fine with 160 rotors.
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  • *AJ**AJ* Posts: 1,080
    These brakes are pretty good for cheapo ones! I run them on my commuter and they are much better than previous (more expensive) Hayes and avids.

    The standard pads in these aren't brilliant though as they are cheap resin ones.... I'd upgrade to superstar organics.

    Something else you need to check is that your discs DON'T say "resin pads only" in them... If they do you'll need to upgrade the discs too. You might not think its worth it, but with decent pads and discs these brakes are very good and reliable.

    As for the brake feeling spongey, it does sound like they need a bleed, but this is surprising after only a year.

    Take them apart, give them a good clean, fit the new pads, and discs... Then make sure the reach adjustment isn't wound in at all (this can stop them adjusting properly at first) and pump the lever a few times! If this doesn't sort them out its time for a bleed! It's easy enough to do.
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