Tune Up Guide - MTB: Disc Brakes

06/24/2019
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They say slower is smoother and smoother is faster. Getting the most out of a descent can begin with slowing your bike down at exactly the right time, but that may not be possible if your brakes need service. 

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Disc Brake Pads

Brake pads wear as you use them, unlike rim brakes, disc brake pads don't have a convenient wear line on them. If the disc brake pad material wears thinner than 0.5mm, the metal spring holding pads will contact the rotor and damage it. Disc brake pads should be replaced before they are worn this thin.

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Braking erodes material off the rotor depending on the riding conditions, rotors will typically last through two or more sets of brake pads. When a SHIMANO rotor measures 1.5mm thick or less, it's time to replace it. A new rotor should awlays be accompanied by new brake pads. 

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An ICE TECHNOLOGIES rotor can reduce surface temperatures up to 100 C, which gives the user increased control of the braking system.

Hydraulic Disc Brake Fluid

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Hydraulic disc brakes have brake lines filled with fluid* that connect the lever to the caliper. 

This fluid translates a finger pull of the brake lever to the enormous squeezing force at the brake caliper, slowing your bike down.

 

As you use your brakes, dirt and brake dust sneak past the piston seals and dirty the brake fluid.

 

*Always repair/flush SHIMANO disc brake systems with SHIMANO genuine mineral oil. 

Dirty brake fluid decreases the brake's performance and can damage seals, leading to leaks and even complete failure over time. This is why it is very important to have your brakes bled and the fluid flushed regularly. Anytime the brakes are bled or the brake pads are changed, it's important to clean and lubricate the pistons inside the caliper. This ensures the seals are clean and the pistions are moving evenly for maximum performance. 

 

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Have your local bike shop service your brake system so you can have confidence in your bike all season long.

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SHIMANO recommends that you get your bike worked on by a professional mechanic at your local bike shop. Mechanics at our SHIMANO SERVICE CENTERS are up to date on all our latest technologies and can provide the highest quality service.