Rotor Maintenance on bikes with disc brakes

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September 28, 2011 by Rohan Kini

13-bicycle_disc_brake_rotor-l

Check out the recent post up on Pinkbike’s Tech Tuesday – Rotor Straightening

There are a couple of things we can do regularly to ensure sharp, snappy and spot-on braking.

Tools required
  • Isopropyl Alcohol (maybe ask for Spirit if you get blank stares) or Isopropyl Alcohol swabs – all available at your local chemist
  • Cotton swabs
  • Allen keys – mostly size 4 and 5
  • a Rotor Truing Fork from any brand (or use your hands as shown in the Pinkbike tutorial. We recommend using proper tools and NOT your hands)
Procedure

Step 1: Service the housing

Step 2: Check for wear n tear of the brake pads. If the braking surface is less than an mm thick, replace it.

If the braking surface on the pads is uneven use water proof sandpaper or a fine file to take a thin layer off the brake pads. You could also clean out the pads with the alcohol swabs. This should increase your braking power too.

Check the post on Bike Radar to remore/replace disc brake pads

Step 3: Replace brake cables if you see signs of fraying or rusting. They are cheap to replace and worth it!

Step 4: Clean the Rotors with isopropyl alcohol. Clean out the caliper while you are at it. Get all the gunk out!

Step 5: Insert the brake pads and setup the disc brakes. True the rotor if required – this will not only reduce squealing and ensure better braking but should also increase the life of your brake pads.

If you have a hydraulic system on your bike, you can skip Step 1 and replace it with a hydraulic system bleed the braking feels spongy.

All this should hardly take any time. Especially if done regularly! But it should make a massive difference to your ride and the confidence while braking.


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