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When to ditch disc pads

rwooferrwoofer Posts: 106
I've been getting a lot of noise from my front Ultegra discs. I've tried cleaning pads and discs with alcohol numerous times and have also sanded the pads to look like new and still the problem persists. Braking performance is also poor. The pads are hardly worn which is why I keep persevering.

Have they somehow been contaminated beyond recovery? Should I just buy another new set. Any suggestions how to get a more conclusive answer than try a new set and risk them getting contaminated as well?

Posts

  • hopkinbhopkinb Posts: 5,464
    edited 2 March
    They're only a 6 to 8 quid a pair. If they're not performing, surely get a new set, bed them in properly (10 to 15 hard stops from 30 kph) and have functioning brakes?
    Disc brakes make a lot of noise in the wet, that's more or less as certain as death or taxes. Once I've bedded them in, I have never had a problem with stopping until I'm trying to brake on the retaining springs. Noisy in the wet, and my latest set of sintered pads squeaks a bit when dry, but no problem with functionality. Maybe your discs and pads are too clean from all the sanding and rubbing? New pads and discs don't perform well until bedded in my experience.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,002
    hopkinb said:

    They're only a 6 to 8 quid a pair. ......

    Where are you getting your Shimano pads at that price?? Try more like £12-19 a pair from the usual suspects.

  • hopkinbhopkinb Posts: 5,464

    hopkinb said:

    They're only a 6 to 8 quid a pair. ......

    Where are you getting your Shimano pads at that price?? Try more like £12-19 a pair from the usual suspects.

    I don't use Shimano pads, as I have sram brakes, which are also 20 quid. There are several suppliers of similarly shaped brake pads for 6-8 pounds depending on pad material. Over 5 years I have not noticed any difference in wear rate or performance. In fact I had to buy an original sram set in a hurry recently, and they wore down even more quickly than the copies.
    I expect the same suppliers do shimano shaped pads for similar money.
    Still, as per his post, the OPs front brake doesn't work well, whether it's 20 quid or 6 quid, he should replace the pad. If that doesn't work, his brake might be leaking fluid or something.
  • rwooferrwoofer Posts: 106
    Maybe I should give a better go of bedding them in. At the moment I'm basically cleaning them after every ride, because they are that bad!
  • janwaljanwal Posts: 455
    https://gorillabrakes.com/product-category/avid-brake-pads/page/2/
    Give these a try. I use their mixed resin pads in Sram brakes on two bikes. Lots of feel, very little noise even when wet. Wear well and cheap. Can’t fault them. Quick delivery. If in doubt which to use drop them an email,they reply quickly.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    pad material does seem to make a difference, the OEM pads on mine had awful feel/braking performance and squealed like anything, I swapped to sintered and they feel much better, more confidence in them and they dont make any noise at all, just the overall wear rate is probably a bit higher,seem to need to replace them sooner than the originals, but theres arguably an impact of more miles, riding in worse conditions in that mix too, so I dont think its excessive wear
  • Noise doesn't stop functionality.
    The only thing noise does is annoy those you are riding with.
  • rwooferrwoofer Posts: 106
    david7m said:
    These look interesting, but they don't seem to come with the cooling fins. Do they work well as supplied?
  • david7mdavid7m Posts: 635
    rwoofer said:

    david7m said:
    These look interesting, but they don't seem to come with the cooling fins. Do they work well as supplied?
    I've put the non finned on the rear for now (fronts are ok which seems odd) and have been told finned won't be long now. Im waiting patiently, but no rush yet as these for best bike and currently enjoying mtb.
  • thistle_(mbnw)thistle_(mbnw) Posts: 3,348
    Poor performance could also be a problem with the brake - I have this on an old MTB and no amount of cleaning, bleeding, new rotors, new pads managed to sort it. Performance comes back on a test ride after doing the above but next time it's back to useless.
    rwoofer said:

    david7m said:
    These look interesting, but they don't seem to come with the cooling fins. Do they work well as supplied?
    I've used Uberbike non-finned and have not noticed any difference in performance.

    The Uberbike finned pads look like a good solution (the fins are removable so you only need to buy new pads - not pads + fins) but not yet available for Ultegra like david7m says.

  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,176
    rwoofer said:

    david7m said:
    These look interesting, but they don't seem to come with the cooling fins. Do they work well as supplied?
    you only really need cooling fins on long alpine descents not commuting in olde London Towne or wherever.
    FCN = 4
  • billycoolbillycool Posts: 833
    Cooling fins are a bit of a gimmick and not essential. The only time I saw a tangible benefit was a day at BPW when I was using the brakes more than usual (new brakes had come with finned pads so I kept them in but I've never bought any and buy standard pads). I've been down Afan and the Peaks with standard pads and never run out of brakes.

    I have used Uberbike, Gorilla, and Clarkes - all sintered and all work very much the same.

    Usually about £5 or £6 a pair. You don't need to buy Shimano or finned versions.
    "Ride, crash, replace"
  • rwooferrwoofer Posts: 106
    I asked Uber bike and the finned versions are coming out in a week or so, so I'll wait for them.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,002
    edited 9 March
    I've just ordered some Gorilla pads for my 505 calipers. Just found out today that I was almost down to the backing metal! These were Shimano ones that I fit last spring so not even a year. I blame my very hilly commute and a mile long hill with traffic. I'll see how the cheap ones perform given that the Shimano ones are £17.99 a pop!

    Edit: Found receipt. It was End of April last year I fit new pads to the front and they are worn already.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,002


    Hmmm.... loads of life left :o
  • skeetamskeetam Posts: 136
    Mine seem to get contaminated rather easily from the road. Might be oil from cars but I don't use any sprays near them and keep the rotors clean with alcohol. Each time they got noisy I replaced them and kept the contaminated ones to one side as they had loads of life still left on them. I tired all sort of tricks such as sanding, scrubbing with alcohol, etc. but nothing worked until this method...

    • Remove pads from the calliper.
    • Scrub with a strong bush and washing up liquid. Do this a very thoroughly so you remove all the dirt. Do the same with the rotors.
    • Put pads in a cup of fresh, boiling water, with a drop of washing up liquid for 10 minutes.
    • Rinse and dry off with paper towel
    • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 170-200 degrees.
    • Wait for them to cool and put back into the calliper.
    • No more noise and power has returned.


  • joeyhalloranjoeyhalloran Posts: 542
    Might not work for the finned ones, is the plastic design to go in an oven? I guess they get pretty hot in use but still, 20 minutes at 170 might harm them.
  • skeetamskeetam Posts: 136
    edited 9 March

    Might not work for the finned ones, is the plastic design to go in an oven? I guess they get pretty hot in use but still, 20 minutes at 170 might harm them.


    The fins are aluminium. I've done it with plenty of finned pads and it's works fine.
  • david7mdavid7m Posts: 635
    rwoofer said:

    I asked Uber bike and the finned versions are coming out in a week or so, so I'll wait for them.

    Uberbike have the race matrix finned in now, just ordered some.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,002
    Fitted my Gorilla pads 12 days ago. They are a little bit noiser and not quite as refined as the Shimano equivalent but they work well enough. Only changed fronts. Will do rears after 1 month. Had a small "brown pad" moment when first fitted on the first decline from my house when nothing much happened for a second or two when I applied the brakes!
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