(New) Instantly worn brake pads...
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  1. #1

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    (New) Instantly worn brake pads...

    Hey, im new here and seeking some advice. I'm also pretty "green" to cycling maintenance so bear with me

    I acquired an 80's peugeot "carbolite 103" road bike recently. It wasnt usable, so Ive oiled it all, put new brake cables on (the old ones had seized inside the housing) and replaced the brake pads on the calipers.

    Took it out for a spin and after going down one shortish hill with the brakes engaged, the new pads (front wheel) have worn down to an unusable level!

    Theres a few reasons i can think of;

    1.The rim is old and rusted, extra abrasion to the pads i guess.
    2.The pads were dirt cheap.
    3. The brakes are set up wrong?

    I'm guessing its the third. The way i had them set up didnt look like what you would get on a new, off the shelf road bike. There is quite large gap between the pad and the rim. And different size gap on each side of the rim.

    I will be purchasing a new front wheel as its not really acceptable with the rust. Should i go ahead and order some caliper brakes as well? OR can i make some adjustments?

    Cheers,

    Andy.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmuGGums
    Theres a few reasons i can think of;

    1.The rim is old and rusted, extra abrasion to the pads i guess.
    2.The pads were dirt cheap.
    3. The brakes are set up wrong?

    I'm guessing its the third. The way i had them set up didnt look like what you would get on a new, off the shelf road bike. There is quite large gap between the pad and the rim. And different size gap on each side of the rim.
    Try to adjust things first - unless your pads are literally gone. Remove some slack from the cable since there's that big gap + center the calipers. Make sure you toe-in the pads, although regardless I can't imagine how your brakes would've turned out to be useless after one ride...just "grabby".

    Anyway, what pads did you buy? And a picture of the rim wouldn't hurt at all.

  3. #3

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    Hey. THanks. I will try some adjustments tomorrow and get a few pics if i can. Taking up the slack sounds like a good idea! Oh, im not sure what brand the pads were. Just some 2.50 ones off ebay. What do you mean by Toe-in though?

  4. #4
    What the what???
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventruck
    Try to adjust things first - unless your pads are literally gone. Remove some slack from the cable since there's that big gap + center the calipers. Make sure you toe-in the pads, although regardless I can't imagine how your brakes would've turned out to be useless after one ride...just "grabby".

    Anyway, what pads did you buy? And a picture of the rim wouldn't hurt at all.
    I agree that you should try centering the calipers and bringing them a bit closer to the rim first before tossing them. These are minor adjustments that you can easily do yourself.

    Are you sure the pads weren't rubbing the rim while you rode? I would check the spring mechanism that releases the pads once you release the brake levers. If it sticks, you might have been riding for a while with the pads grinding against the rims before they finally released. That would account for some of the wear. Cheap pads will wear faster than more expensive compounds, but with only one ride, there must be something else going on.

    Others here might be able to offer suggestions for trying to remove rust from the rims. Otherwise, I think your notion of replacing them is in order.

    Keep us posted with your progress and kudos for trying to bring an older bike back from the dead.
    Given his penchant for nicknames, and his aversion to reading, I've decided to shorten Donald J. Trump to it's essence: Dump*

    I was "social distancing" before it was cool.

  5. #5
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmuGGums
    Hey. THanks. I will try some adjustments tomorrow and get a few pics if i can. Taking up the slack sounds like a good idea! Oh, im not sure what brand the pads were. Just some 2.50 ones off ebay. What do you mean by Toe-in though?
    Toe-in simply means that you adjust the pads so that the front makes contact with the rim before the middle/ rear as the brakes are applied.

    I'm not guaranteeing this'll work, but you might want to take a Scotch Brite no scratch pad and denatured alcohol to those rims. You'll know fairly quickly if that's effective in removing the rust. If not, the next step would be to try 'sanding' them with fine emery cloth, but use light pressure. If that's successful, use the pads/ alcohol to clean the rims.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmuGGums
    Just some 2.50 ones off ebay.
    Probably not the right thing to be buying from e-bay. The could have been made with eraser dust and Elmers glue for all you know.

  7. #7

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    Hehe. Sounds about right. I wasn't working when i bought them. Now that i'm earning a crust i can at least afford something semi-decent.

    But semi-decent is as far as i want to go really. I kind of feel like im trying to polish a turd renovating this bike. I dont want to end up spending more than i would on a new one :-\

    Pics on the way soon. Just got to set up a hosting account.

  8. #8

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    Ok.

    heres the bike;

    https://i179.photobucket.com/albums/...r/100_0979.jpg

    Front wheel+brake;

    https://i179.photobucket.com/albums/...r/100_0980.jpg

    Brake close-up;

    https://i179.photobucket.com/albums/...r/100_0981.jpg

    side brake;

    https://i179.photobucket.com/albums/...r/100_0982.jpg

    The damage;

    https://i179.photobucket.com/albums/...r/100_0983.jpg

    I'm just about to go have a poke around trying to adjust the cable length to get the pads closer to the rim.

  9. #9

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    Ok, i have pulled the brake wire through so that the pads are a lot closer to the rims. I've been riding it some more and the pads have worn down even more!

    Whereas before it was only one side that had really worn- now both are. I'm starting to think its more a factor of the cheap pads and the rusted rims?

  10. #10
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    Rusted rims

    Quote Originally Posted by SmuGGums
    Ok, i have pulled the brake wire through so that the pads are a lot closer to the rims. I've been riding it some more and the pads have worn down even more!

    Whereas before it was only one side that had really worn- now both are. I'm starting to think its more a factor of the cheap pads and the rusted rims?
    Presuming you have chromed steel rims, if you're showing rust, that means that the rust has broken through the chrome, leaving lots of hard, sharp edges. It's about like running a file on your brake pads. Functionally, your rims are likely shot, but if you want to continue using them and not have them eat your brake pads, then go after the braking surfaces with fine sandpaper to remove all the sharp edges from that peeling chrome.

    And as is always the case, don't expect to have any braking power at all if it rains!

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