Tips For New Disc Brakes

Rotor Bike Components
29th July 2020

You may be using a brand new bike for the first time or you may have changed brake pads, discs or both. If so, at ROTOR we want to give you a few basic tips for your brake system to achieve maximum power and performance from the first use.

The first time using the brakes is perhaps the most important of all. Brand new disc brakes, means that you must follow a few simple steps, so that the brakes start to act with maximum precision from the first moment. By following these steps, regardless of the type of disc brakes you have or the brand you use (including ROTOR brakes developed in conjunction with Magura), you can avoid future braking problems and, from the outset, have maximum power.

1.Once you have checked that the brake caliper is tight, the pads do not rub on the disc and the disc is not bent and therefore touching the pads at some point, you should get on the bike in a flat area and if possible in a clean area of ​​asphalt or similar, and pedaling at a constant speed, you should gradually apply the brakes until the bike stops without putting pressure on them. You can repeat this process about 10 times per brake (10 times the front and 10 times the rear). Get up a little speed and apply the brake little by little until the bike stops. This way you will ensure that the pads adapt to the disc, and that there is a first bedding in on both the surface of the pads and the disc, so that the braking begins to improve. If you do not do this process and start riding the bike, in the first strong braking you have, you will see how the brakes lack the necessary power, which could cause a fall or accident.

2.Even after having carried out this process, it may take time for the brakes to reach their maximum power, so we recommend that you brake progressively during the first ride and not all at once. Braking suddenly with new brakes, in addition to not offering you the necessary power, can cause the pads to be marked or with some uneven wear.

3.Once you have checked that the brakes work properly and give you the necessary power (sometimes you may need a single ride or sometimes more  depending on the type of pads you use) you can regulate the reach of the brake lever and if the brakes have the option, the contact point of the brake pads.

These tips are also totally valid, when you change brake pads, change the discs for wear or both at the same time. If you change brake pads, do not forget before inserting the new pads in the caliper, that you must open the pistons to their original position with the appropriate tool (if you use a screwdriver or similar you can damage the pistons), and once the new pads are installed, apply the brake lever several times, so that the pads reach the appropriate pressure point. Once this is done and after checking that the pads do not touch the disc, you can do the progressive braking process as we have mentioned above.

Also, it is important that when you install new pads, you also clean the surface of the disc. Many disc cleaners are available on the market and is very important as it prevents new pads from absorbing dirt particles from the disc. Whenever you clean the disc, check that the width is within the manufacturer’s recommended values, since the discs wear slower than the pads, but exceeding that recommended wear can cause them to fail during braking or even break.

The same goes for the brake pads. Check their wear from time to time and replace them when you see that they are close to reaching the pad backing. Braking with the metallic support of the pad would affect the braking, in addition to wearing out, and even breaking the disc and causing an accident or fall.

Finally, if you have followed all the steps and the braking still has not reached the maximum power or you notice that the lever has a lot of travel or hardens when braking, you may have to bleed the system in case there are any air bubbles inside. Similarly, braking cannot be 100% perfect if the oil in the circuit is badly degraded and you have not changed it in a long time. Do not hesitate to go to a professional mechanic if you can not get your braking to work perfectly.

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