5 Disc Brake Maintenance Tips For Your Road Bike

5 Disc Brake Maintenance Tips For Your Road Bike


(exciting music) – Disc brakes on road bikes
and now coming on virtually all different manufactures
of bikes and why? Well, they provide fantastic braking in all different weather conditions. However, they do require
different maintenance methods compared to rim breaks. So let’s look at five ways on how you should be maintaining yours. (upbeat music) Stop, do not brake at
least not without a rotor inside of the caliper of the bike. But why exactly? While you’ve actually risked
the pistons popping out of the caliper and that is
a messy old job believe me. But why would that happen you may ask. Well, the pads are actually self-centering inside the caliper and
that’s because the rotor is doing the job of fooling
the pads into the thinking they’re in the center. If there’s no rotor in there
the pads they just keep moving further inwards until eventually
they fall out possibly which like I say is a messy job. So if you have found yourself
squeezing that brake lever without a rotor in there don’t worry, just don’t keep on doing it. Instead get yourself possibly a tire lever so something like this or maybe
even a flathead screwdriver. Although you do run the risk
of scoring the pads slightly. Pop it in between the pads
and just push them back into place. It might take a little bit of effort but it’s more than worth it. Because once you refit
the wheel, tighten it up then you simply pull
that lever a few times and those pads are back centered again. So for traveling I would advise
actually putting something in between the pads or in
between the pistons here inside of the calipers to
prevent a lever from possibly being accidentally squeezed
or levered inside of your bag or case. You can buy special plastic box for that. Or in fact people do
make their own versions. A little hack or a bodge goes a long way. With a traditional cable set up of brakes we’d normally replace the
inner and outer cables to either rejuvenate or bring back to life the braking performance. But what would we do then
on a hydraulic set up? We bleed the system. But how do you know when you
need to bleed your brakes? Well, it’s either when the
braking becomes squishy or spongy and you don’t quite have that same braking performance. But why does that happen exactly? It’s very likely that your
brakes have actually had some air find its way into the system. Which means that the
brake fluid isn’t doing its usual really good job of
basically compressing the pads onto your rotors. In order to bleed the brakes,
essentially what you’re doing is flushing out that
contaminated brake fluid and replacing it with
clean fresh, good stuff. Importantly, air bubble free because that’s what gives
you that squishy feeling. Just a like a rim or
standard pad your disc brake rotors and pads do need taking care of. Contamination can often
be detected firstly, by a really loud screeching braking sound when you’re pulling on those levers or alternatively, just
really poor braking. In the worst case
scenario you could in fact have total brake failure
which is never good, is it, let’s face it. Ways to avoid this then. Well, first of all you wanna
make sure that your rotors and pads don’t get covered from anything from an aerosol can. So believe it or not, tiny
little particles could float through the air and
land on them giving you that contamination that
you really don’t want. So when you are using anything
from a can I would always cover up the rotors and calipers using either a bit of plastic some
shop towel or an old T-shirt anything like that. My preferred method actually
when applying anything onto the bike is always out
of a bottle, I just prefer it. It’s a little bit more precise. But when it comes to cleaning, go ahead and use your traditional
bike cleaning products they’re absolutely fine for disc brakes. And in fact get yourself
some disc brake cleaner it does work wonders. Now if you do find yourself
with some contaminated components you need to remove
that as soon as possible, don’t we? So use some isopropyl
alcohol on a clean rag just to remove it. Or you could in fact use some emery cloth and whilst doing so make sure you use some disposable gloves too
because the natural oils from your hands can in fact
get on those components and cause further contamination. Now there isn’t much room
for error when it comes to disc brake rotors and
their spacing around the pads because those tolerances
are pretty fine indeed. So they do need a little
bit of taking care of when removing and transporting,
because a little knock can in fact warp or bend
that rotor slightly. You can in fact bend them
back into shape very carefully using special tools. But if it’s too far gone,
well, you are gonna need to put a new one on there because that’s gonna give
you the best braking. Alternatively, your
brake rotor could in fact be rubbing because the
caliper is just slightly out of line on the mount. How we gonna solve that then? Well, you’re gonna undo
the bolts a fraction and then pull on the brake in question. And then tighten those
bolts back up to torque. By doing so you’re actually
going to be realigning that caliper into the correct place. So give it a go, spin it
and it should be now spot on providing of course that rotor
is not warped in any way. Now disc brake pads
just like rim brake pads don’t work to their full
effect when they’re brand new because they have a very
slight glaze or slight shiny layer to them and in fact
that needs to be scrubbed off. So the best way of doing
this from my own experience is to ride along between
10 and 15 miles per hour then pull the brake in
question enough to pull you to quite a sharp stop, but
not enough you’re gonna pull a skid or go over the
bars, anything like that. And also, not enough
that you’re gonna come to a complete stand still. You wanna be, I guess a
very slow walking pace. And then repeat that
process about 15 times and then you’re not quite done just yet because you wanna do it again
at a slightly higher speed. This time about 20 miles per hour. Again repeating that same
process about 15 times. What you’re doing there is
actually bedding the pads into the rotor and vice
versa as well to give you that better braking performance. So there we are five ways of
maintaining your disc brakes so you still get peak performance. But as of that let me know
how you maintain yours down there in the comments section below. I’m keen to find out. And remember too to like
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