Disc brakes have pads that wear down over time due to normal use. This can lead to slower brake response times, and it can require more effort from you to engage your brakes.
Look to see if your brake pads are glazed or significantly worn. Check the pads by removing the wheel and looking into the space where the rotor spins. If the pads are glazed, remove them from the calipers and lightly scuff them on a piece of sandpaper laid on a flat surface. If the pads are less than 3mm thick, including their metal holder, they need to be replaced.
Squealing disc brakes are often caused by pad contamination. Disc brake pads can be ruined by even the tiniest amount of oil, including the oil from your skin, so whenever you handle them try to minimize contact of the braking surface with your bare skin. If you do touch the pads, clean them with rubbing alcohol or a product designed specifically for cleaning disc brake pads. Then rough the pads lightly with sandpaper.
Inspect the brake rotors (discs) for dirt and debris. Also look to make sure the rotors are straight and that they don’t rub on the brake pads.
If the rotors are especially dirty, clean them with rubbing alcohol and then rough them lightly with sandpaper.
While you’re looking at the rotors, check to make sure all the bolts that attach the rotors to the wheels are tight . Loose parts vibrate and cause noise while braking.
I’ve just had a husband and wife team bring in the worst worn pads I’ve ever come across.
Have a look at the photos to see what a little check every ride can avoid..
This is the husbands prize rear brake pad (no brake pad , just the backing plate left )
Pad number two ( braking material almost gone)
Mrs worn pads (starting to show metal backing plate )
Disc caliper with pads removed (right piston is almost ready to fall out)
Winter is a hard time for pads as they have mud and grit to contend with. Make sure to change pads before they go too far and wear the rotor costing you extra.
Need a brake check? Drop your bike in and we’ll check them out and have you back on the trails asap.