How Do I Know if My Bike’s Disc Brakes Are Worn Out?

How Do I Know if My Bike’s Disc Brakes Are Worn Out?

September 10, 2020

Most bicycle owners understand some of the simple maintenance tasks they need to perform on their bikes, including pumping up the tires, cleaning the frame and lubricating the chain. But it’s also important to check your bike’s brakes so you can bring your bike to a steady, safe stop. Bike brake repair in Naples, FL isn’t quite as easy as some of the other standard maintenance tasks for bicycles, so we’re going to focus a bit on that task today.

One of the most common questions bike owners have about brake maintenance is how they can tell when brake maintenance is necessary. This depends on the kind of brakes you have: rim brakes or disc brakes.

About disc brakes

For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on disc brakes, which are more common in most road bicycles and especially those that are used by serious cyclists.

Disc brakes’ popularity are due to some inherent advantages they provide over rim brakes, including better performance during bad weather and more precise brake application. However, they are heavier than rim brakes and will wear out faster.

You’ll find disc brake pads in varying thicknesses. When new, they’re usually around 4 mm thick, and will provide less play in the brake lever. As they wear down over time, you’ll need to squeeze the lever much more to get the same amount of stopping power. When they wear down really far, you might begin to hear the sound of the pad rubbing directly on the metal disc. So generally speaking, you’re going to want to change the brakes when it is noticeably and significantly more difficult to apply them, but before you hear those awful noises.

Disc brake wear and tear factors

In general, you can expect to check your bike disc brakes in Naples, FL once a month or so, and determine when you will change your brake pads by feel when you’re riding. The frequency with which you need to change your pads may be influenced in part by the weather conditions in which you ride. If you do a lot of riding in rain and other wet conditions, it’s more likely you’ll have dirt and grime that gets stuck to your discs, which will result in faster wear through your pads. You can extend the life of your pads by cleaning debris off of them when you return home, but ultimately you can expect wet conditions to shorten your disc pad life.

Your riding style will also be a factor in the frequency with which you need to replace your brake pads. Do you tend to brake a lot, especially if you’re riding in hilly areas? If so, this will put more wear and tear on your bike. In addition, heavier bikers will typically need to replace their brake pads more frequently due to the extra stress the weight places on the brakes.

For more information about when to repair your bike brakes and pads in Naples, FL, contact the team at Big Momma’s Bicycles today.

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