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Maintaining Road Bike Disc Brakes

Road Bike Disc Brakes are a (relatively!) new addition to the world of road bike cycling, and they provide massive benefits compared to using traditional rim brakes. Most new road bikes are now designed and manufactured with disc brakes, which provide excellent braking performance in all weather conditions. In this post, we look at some of the things that you can do to look after your road bike disc brakes, to keep them in working condition - and you stop correctly, and in good time.

Bedding in Road Bike Brakes

One of the first things you should do with any new road bike braking systems, or when you get a new road bike - is to bed in the brakes. Bedding in the brakes refers to getting some heat running through the brakes, so they stick better when they are needed. Bedding in brakes is pretty easy, and between 15-20 hard stops using the brakes is enough to get them operating well.

Protect The Disc Brakes

When doing routine cleaning and maintenance on the bike, make sure you do not contaminate your disc brakes with any form of oil or non-specialist cleaning solution. Over-spraying lube on your chain and hitting your disc brakes with them, can mean that your brakes do not perform when required.

Use Disc Brake Cleaner

Specialist Disc Brake Cleaner is available to use on disc brake rotors, cleaning disc brakes is pretty easy - spray them and wipe down with a clean cloth, removing any dirt and grime from the rotor. Giving the brakes a quick clean can also prevent or cure any annoying squealing that you can hear whilst out riding.

Inspect Brake Pads

Although the disc brake rotor is the biggest part of the braking system to look at, your pads are equally important. Regularly look at the pads and make sure that they are not too worn down - also make sure they are clean, especially after winter riding. Running dirty or worn down brake pads, not only limits braking performance, but also can damage disc brake rotors.

Choose the Right Brake Pads

There are a number of different brake pad materials, which you can choose to use depending on your exact requirements. The three main types of brake pad material are sintered brake pads, organic brake pads and semi-metal brake pads.

Sintered brake pads are the hardest weathering, will last the longest and stand up to higher temperature when braking on long descents. Organic brake pads are quick to bed in, providing the best performance in the shortest time frame, and semi metal pads are a combination of the above two - coming in at a higher price point.

Protect During Transport

Disc Brake Rotors and brake systems are vulnerable to damage when travelling, if they are damaged they can perform poorly or not perform at all. If travelling on a plane with your bike, it’s recommended that you remove the disc brakes and carry them separately.

Road Bike Disc Brakes Rubbing

Rubbing Brake Discs are one of the most common faults with braking systems, but it’s also a problem which is very easy to fix. To stop bike brakes rubbing, loosen the brake caliper bolts and pull the brake lever. Brake pistons will then be operated and the caliper will re-align with the rotor, you can then re-tighten the bolts and stop the rubbing.

Bleeding Bike Brakes

If your brakes begin to feel spongy, then it’s a sign that your braking system needs bleeding - there are different ways to bleed brakes, depending upon the brake system that you are using, so always consult manufacturer recommendations, or take your bike into a local bike workshop to ensure the job is done properly.

Road Bike Brakes Online

At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply a complete range of road bike disc brakes, as well as associated parts and brake maintenance equipment. You can view the complete range across the site, and just get in touch if you have any questions about the range, or which product you need.