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Brake Pad Breakdown(7 posts)

Brake Pad Breakdownpitt83
May 9, 2003 10:15 AM
I just installed Ultegra brakes on my new frame. I had 105 before and the same wheels on the old bike. These things are filthy! They spew out black crap everywhere! I don't dare touch the wheels lest I get dirt everywhere.

Are my OEM pads lousy? Are there good replacements which aren't as ablative?
re: Brake Pad BreakdownSpoiler
May 9, 2003 11:30 AM
If the new pads are installed correctly, parallel or slightly toed in, the black crap should only be temporary. One or two 20 mile rides. You could try climbing a long steep hill and riding the brakes on the way down. Then clean the rims and all should be good. Replacement pads info can be found here.
Thanks, but not thatpitt83
May 9, 2003 12:09 PM
I have about 500 miles on them. They were fine until the bike got it's first rain ride :-(

Then all the shedding started. I've never seen this much dust; even V-brake MTB dirt isn't this bad.

Bad batch of pads? I could try the Kool-stops you suggest.
Aah, rain.jw25
May 9, 2003 12:55 PM
Sounds like there's some grit and/or rim particles embedded in the pads. It's a fairly common thing, and the stock Ultegra pads aren't too great anyway.
You can get most of the gunk out by removing the pads and sanding them down on some fine sandpaper. This removes any glazing that may have formed, as well. Anything that's left can be picked out with a safety pin or dental pick.
Personally, I really like Kool-Stop pads, and use them on all 4 bikes (2 mountain, 2 road). The salmon, while marketed as a wet weather compound, works almost as well as the black in dry conditions, and will remove black marks from your old pads. They don't seem to pick up grit, either. The blacks work pretty well in the wet, great in the dry, and last pretty long, too.
For $20 or so total, I think it's a very worthwhile upgrade, both for safety and for longer rim life.
Right you are about rim lifepitt83
May 9, 2003 4:46 PM
Thanks, good advice. I'm killing my nice Cinelli Gel bar tape because everything is so dirty.

I scored the crap out of my first pair of MTB wheels. I'm a true clydesdale (240) and it takes a lot to stop that much momentum. The MTB wheels were shot after a season with a huge gouge from something in the pads.

Strange I never had trouble with the 105 pads. They would last ~2 seasons. Don't get that: Unless Ultegra pads are a different compound and meant to be more ablative for less glaze potential?

I'll try the Kool Stops. The are OK on the V-brake hardtail; the FS is disc now.
Right you are about rim lifeSpoiler
May 9, 2003 6:21 PM
I'm about to change pads myself. My campy pads had a piece of a staple or a piece of steel belt from a truck tire imbedded in the pad. It only takes one ride to scrape the sh!t out of a rim. In rain rides, small bits of gravel get suspended on the water and make their way onto the rim and brake pads. Mix the small chips of asphault with water as a lubricant and abrade it on the rim and you get the dark grey sludge. I don't think the sludge has anything to do with the pads disintegrating.
The problem comes when you have to dig the sharp rock or whatever out of the pad. Now the pad has a divot or small crator in it. The small crator creates a space where more crap can collect and the whole cycle starts over again.
So, these pads shoudl be replaced now?pitt83
May 10, 2003 4:13 PM
You've got a likely culprit. Since you're over-braking in rainy weather and since small bits will be attracted to the surface tension of water and get carried up, I likely have pads with abrasives imbedded in them. Possibly sanding will help, but since when do $15 brake pads saved equal a $200 wheel replacement?

I'll try the salmon Kool Stops.