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How long should brake pads last?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by PrettyboyTim, 26 Sep 2007.

  1. PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    Location:
    Brighton
    I seem to be going through mine pretty quickly - I've had the bike almost 3 months, already had one set replaced after about six weeks, and now I seem to have lost all braking power on my rear brakes, so I'm assuming those are worn through now as well*... Is this normal?

    * to be fair I haven't had a really good look at the back brakes yet - they look fairly worn down, but I couldn't tell in the light of the office garage whether they had hit 'the line' yet. I adjusted the cable so that the brakes don't hit the rim when the lever is not pulled (the rear wheel spins freely), but hit the rim quite quickly when I pull the brake lever. Problem is, I can then pull the lever hard, and it still doesn't provide much stopping power. I know rear brakes don't stop as well as front brakes, but it used to be better than this, and it's actually quite difficult to get it to slow me down enough when I'm signalling to turn right, for instance.
     
  2. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    that sounds way too quick for a change unless you're doing some serious riding and braking and if they're properly adjusted you should be able to pull on the brakes and get hard contact with the rim with plenty of pull left in hand

    is your bike shop a reputable one and is the bike a decent one?

    it doesn't sound right to me, what sort of brakes are they?

    v pull?

    obviously they should be as close to the rims as they can without touching the rims when the wheel spins
     
  3. OP
    OP
    PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    Location:
    Brighton
    Well, further investigation showed that the brake pads were completely depleted, and I was just grinding my back rim the metal base of the pads xx(

    Pads now replaced with new ones.

    I'm guessing I go through them pretty quickly due in part to the hills on my commute, which I often have to do some braking on while I descend (especially on my street, as it's a 20mph zone, and with a children's park and a school on it, I don't like to belt down it too quick). It'll be interesting to see how the new pads fare, they're a bit longer than the stock ones, so thay may last longer as well...

    Figure I'm going to have to start buying pads in bulk! :sad:
     
  4. scm

    scm New Member

    Location:
    Chandler's Ford
    Sounds like you should be investing in a fixed! What make are the brakes?
     
  5. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    blimey

    cheap pads are shoot relatively, chat with LBS man and for a few quid more you'll get pads that last longer and give much better performance, especially in the wet

    apologies if you know that already
     
  6. Blonde

    Blonde New Member

    Location:
    Bury, Lancashire
    Agree with above - it may be down to poor pads. You can buy more expensive ones which should be better - 'Kool stop' brand are a particularly good make. (but not cheap). Of course, if your pads are wearing down quickly, this means your rims are not! Pads are cheaper to replace than rims, so you're probably best off to find a compromise of some that are a bit more hard wearing but are not going to wear out the rims too quickly either.

    It's possible to prolong the life of pads by braking less often and less aggressively; by looking ahead, trying to predict lights changing, cars pulling out etc and slowing down/freewheeling much, much earlier, so you'll use the brakes less often and less aggressively. Obviously this doesn't apply in an emergency stop!

    Like any other component, pads will wear down more quickly if you're doing a lot of commuting and three months isn't far from what I was getting from mine on my commute bike until I swapped to fixed. Commuting really wears pads out because it tends to be in all weathers, with winter grit and flints in the road, as well as you slowing or stopping a lot more often and a lot more aggressively, in urban areas, due to lights, junctions and sometimes the poor road skills of other road users.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    Location:
    Brighton
    New pads are a lot cheaper than a new bike - also, I don't really fancy pulling the child trailer up a hill on a fixed... xx(
     
  8. OP
    OP
    PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    Location:
    Brighton
    They were the stock ones that came with the bike (Claud Butler Urban 100), but as it was only £200, I'm guessing the pads weren't exactly high-end. I'll see how these new ones fare.

    It hadn't really occurred to me that they would wear out so fast, as I've never had them wear out that quick before. However, I'm probably doing an order of magnitude more cycling now than I've ever done at any other time in my life, so I guess it makes sense.
     
  9. walker

    walker New Member

    Location:
    Bromley, Kent
    Even if you get some cheaper shimano one's these will last a lot longer.

    Just by chance, you haven't had fitted Carbon Brake Pads instead of alu ones have you? Or using Carbon Rims with Alu pads?
     
  10. slow down

    slow down New Member

    Location:
    Walsall
    If it's got carbon rims on a bike for £200, I'll have one. :sad:xx(
     
  11. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    Location:
    South Manchester
    3 months sounds not too bad - mine are wearing at a fast rate with all this wet weather
     
  12. walker

    walker New Member

    Location:
    Bromley, Kent
    I was thinking a personal upgrade rather than factory built.
    but if so I'd be buying 4
     
  13. PatrickPending

    PatrickPending Veteran

    Location:
    Leicester
    I had a pair of tyres on a claud butler go in 3 weeks and 6 weeks front and rear respectively. Wheels went after 3 and 6 months bike scrapped after less than a year - so I guess they must use really cheap components on the £200 bikes (mine was 219). I guess better brake blocks than the stock ones supplied should last longer.
     
  14. Blonde

    Blonde New Member

    Location:
    Bury, Lancashire
    You mention pulling a child trailer - have you always done this, or is it new? It's just that stopping a bike with loaded trailer attached takes a lot more braking force than stopping only the bike and will definitely wear the pads out faster. I actually don't think three months heavy/daily use on an urban commute, and with a loaded trailer is too bad at all!