Excessive brake pad wear on aluminum rims

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Kevin, Apr 23, 2003.

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  1. Kevin

    Kevin Guest

    I wonder if aluminum rims should ever be used for mountain biking!

    I bought a new Cannondale with Aluminum rims. I rode three times in wet conditions, in Douthat State
    Park, Virginia. I wore out my brake pads and scraped a gouge in both the front and rear rims. At the
    end of each day I fully adjusted the pads and cable to fully aim and seat the pads correctly. I was
    amazed at how quickly the pads went.

    I talked to my local bike shop(where I purchased the bike) and the salesperson (I bet we wasn't a
    mechanic or he was and he was blowing me off) said that when I get more ride experiance I won't use
    the brakes as much and they will last longer. Inside I was pissed as hell since I'm a fairly decent
    rider with 25+ years of riding experiance. I held my toung and purchased the best pads they had.

    Everything is back together. The rims feel a bit rough and you can hear the brakes scrub the rims
    lightly when applied.

    I can't stand these rims. I bought the bike on sale and I think they put on the least expensive rims
    and brake pads. I intend to upgrade both my wheels (from another shop or online). I don't think I
    ever want to get aluminum rims. I've had steel rims and have had excellent pad life. I think I'll be
    upgrading to ceramic rims and the associated pads.

    Anyone else have similar problems with aluminum rims and break wear?

    Kevin
     
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  2. Paul J Pharr

    Paul J Pharr Guest

    > I can't stand these rims. I bought the bike on sale and I think they put
    on
    > the least expensive rims and brake pads. I intend to upgrade both my
    wheels
    > (from another shop or online). I don't think I ever want to get aluminum rims. I've had steel rims
    > and have had excellent pad life. I think I'll
    be
    > upgrading to ceramic rims and the associated pads.
    >
    > Anyone else have similar problems with aluminum rims and break wear?
    >
    > Kevin

    Yep, I didn't like the grinding and goughing, so I started using Kool-Stop Salmon pads for wet
    conditions. I bought mine from http://harriscyclery.com but they are available in most places.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/brakeshoes.html

    Cheers

    Paul J Pharr
     
  3. Phil Brown

    Phil Brown Guest

    >I bought a new Cannondale with Aluminum rims. I rode three times in wet conditions, in Douthat
    >State Park, Virginia. I wore out my brake pads and scraped a gouge in both the front and rear rims.

    It wasn't the rims. Ride offroad in wet conditions and the brakes will pick up crud (that's a
    technical term) and the crud will gouge your rims. Phil Brown
     
  4. "Phil Brown" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > >I bought a new Cannondale with Aluminum rims. I rode three times in wet conditions, in Douthat
    > >State Park, Virginia. I wore out my brake pads
    and
    > >scraped a gouge in both the front and rear rims.
    >
    > It wasn't the rims. Ride offroad in wet conditions and the brakes will
    pick up
    > crud (that's a technical term) and the crud will gouge your rims. Phil Brown

    Agreed, its just the conditions, Douthat has pretty gritty soil and will wear out a set of pads
    quickly if it is muddy. You've got miles of downhills to grind the grit into the pads. I've gone
    halfway through a set of pads in a local (not douthat) 1 hour race during the muddy Virginia winter.
    I have one set of CHEAP aluminum rims that I've had for over a year with many muddy trips and they
    still have plenty of wear left. Just clean the pads and rims after each ride and replace pads as you
    need them, I do like the coolstops myself.

    Vaughn
     
  5. In article <[email protected]>, Kevin <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I wonder if aluminum rims should ever be used for mountain biking!
    >
    >I bought a new Cannondale with Aluminum rims. I rode three times in wet conditions, in Douthat
    >State Park, Virginia. I wore out my brake pads and scraped a gouge in both the front and rear rims.
    >At the end of each day I fully adjusted the pads and cable to fully aim and seat the pads
    >correctly. I was amazed at how quickly the pads went.

    For those conditions the typical black Shimano brake pad is going to get devoured really fast. You
    are about to receive dozens of recommendations for using Kool Stop Salmon colored pads. They are
    made for those conditions.

    >I talked to my local bike shop(where I purchased the bike) and the salesperson (I bet we wasn't a
    >mechanic or he was and he was blowing me off) said that when I get more ride experiance I won't use
    >the brakes as much and they will last longer. Inside I was pissed as hell since I'm a fairly decent
    >rider with 25+ years of riding experiance. I held my toung and purchased the best pads they had.

    I don't know why you held your tongue, he deserved to be flogged with it.

    >Everything is back together. The rims feel a bit rough and you can hear the brakes scrub the rims
    >lightly when applied.

    Your rims are probably not worn out yet. Get the right pads and ride on them until they're done. Get
    a spare set of pads for your tool box so you never go out with excessively worn pads.

    >I can't stand these rims. I bought the bike on sale and I think they put on the least expensive
    >rims and brake pads.

    That may be true but isn't really the problem.

    > I intend to upgrade both my wheels (from another shop or online). I don't think I ever want to
    > get aluminum rims. I've had steel rims and have had excellent pad life. I think I'll be upgrading
    > to ceramic rims and the associated pads.

    It's your money.

    --Paul
     
  6. Matt J

    Matt J Guest

    "Kevin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I wonder if aluminum rims should ever be used for mountain biking!
    >
    > Everything is back together. The rims feel a bit rough and you can hear the brakes scrub the rims
    > lightly when applied.
    >

    > Anyone else have similar problems with aluminum rims and break wear?

    That's part of life when riding in mud with rim brakes. I've never gone through pads that quick
    but... I guess it's possible. After I get back from a nasty ride, I always clean the pads and rims
    with alcohol, sometimes sand down the pads a bit. Otherwise, they're grinding and grinding away and
    it's bad news. You could also switch to disc brakes if you're going for new wheels anyway, that'll
    do the trick and shouldn't be too much more than ceramic stuff. Also, aluminum rims work much better
    than steel ones (what else is there, carbon? not on a muddy mtb, I hope...). Steeel rims have very
    little stopping power, I believe. Best of luck, though. Matt
     
  7. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Kevin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I wonder if aluminum rims should ever be used for mountain biking!
    >
    > I bought a new Cannondale with Aluminum rims. I rode three times in wet conditions, in Douthat
    > State Park, Virginia. I wore out my brake pads and scraped a gouge in both the front and rear
    > rims. At the end of each day I fully adjusted the pads and cable to fully aim and seat the pads
    correctly.
    > I was amazed at how quickly the pads went.
    >
    Those Shimano pads wear out very quickly when you're riding in the nasties. Look at the size of the
    pad now versus what they were a few years ago... I have some Ritchey (Kool Stop) pads for my cantis
    that are HUGE compared to the v-brake pads they have out now! If you're comparing brake pad life now
    to cantis, you're going to be very dissapointed at all of the options.

    I'm going to second the recomendation to go discs if you're planning on spending a lot of time out
    in the mud, dirt, etc. The nicest thing about disc brakes is that they stop the same wet or dry, and
    you don't grind down the sidewalls of your rims every time you apply the brakes. Shop around for a
    pair of Avid cable-actuated discs and a disc compatible wheelset. Since the Avids are
    cable-actuated, you won't need to change out as much stuff to upgrade.

    > I talked to my local bike shop(where I purchased the bike) and the salesperson (I bet we wasn't a
    > mechanic or he was and he was blowing me
    off)
    > said that when I get more ride experiance I won't use the brakes as much
    and
    > they will last longer. Inside I was pissed as hell since I'm a fairly decent rider with 25+ years
    > of riding experiance. I held my toung and purchased the best pads they had.
    >
    > Everything is back together. The rims feel a bit rough and you can hear
    the
    > brakes scrub the rims lightly when applied.
    >
    > I can't stand these rims. I bought the bike on sale and I think they put
    on
    > the least expensive rims and brake pads. I intend to upgrade both my
    wheels
    > (from another shop or online). I don't think I ever want to get aluminum rims. I've had steel rims
    > and have had excellent pad life. I think I'll
    be
    > upgrading to ceramic rims and the associated pads.
    >
    > Anyone else have similar problems with aluminum rims and break wear?
    >
    I "grew up" riding in NoVA, Blacksburg, and etc. The nasty scraping noise that rim brakes make
    sounds a lot worse than it actually is. A good AL rim is going to last many seasons if it is taken
    care of between rides. EVERY muddy/wet ride means at the minimum clean the wheels (rims, hubs,
    spokes, etc.), check the bearings in the hubs, and clean/lube everything else applicable. My rule of
    thumb when riding in those conditions was that if the hubs and BB went under water, it was time to
    pull them apart and re-grease them.

    Ceramic rims are good, but they eat pads even quicker than the AL rims you have now. The ceramic
    coating looks a lot like sandpaper under a microscope... ...and one good rock, and there goes your
    $100 rim. Mtn biking in the rocks, roots, and logs of VA is tough enough on equipment that I never
    could see spending more than was necessary to get the job done. Stick with the Mavic 517s, Salmon
    Kool Stops, and keep riding!

    Mike
     
  8. Kevin

    Kevin Guest

    Thanks for all the comments. I'm going to keep using my aluminum rims, use recommended brake pads
    when the time comes and clean them after each wet ride.

    Kevin

    "Kevin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I wonder if aluminum rims should ever be used for mountain biking!
    >
    > I bought a new Cannondale with Aluminum rims. I rode three times in wet conditions, in Douthat
    > State Park, Virginia. I wore out my brake pads and scraped a gouge in both the front and rear
    > rims. At the end of each day I fully adjusted the pads and cable to fully aim and seat the pads
    correctly.
    > I was amazed at how quickly the pads went.
    >
    > I talked to my local bike shop(where I purchased the bike) and the salesperson (I bet we wasn't a
    > mechanic or he was and he was blowing me
    off)
    > said that when I get more ride experiance I won't use the brakes as much
    and
    > they will last longer. Inside I was pissed as hell since I'm a fairly decent rider with 25+ years
    > of riding experiance. I held my toung and purchased the best pads they had.
    >
    > Everything is back together. The rims feel a bit rough and you can hear
    the
    > brakes scrub the rims lightly when applied.
    >
    > I can't stand these rims. I bought the bike on sale and I think they put
    on
    > the least expensive rims and brake pads. I intend to upgrade both my
    wheels
    > (from another shop or online). I don't think I ever want to get aluminum rims. I've had steel rims
    > and have had excellent pad life. I think I'll
    be
    > upgrading to ceramic rims and the associated pads.
    >
    > Anyone else have similar problems with aluminum rims and break wear?
    >
    > Kevin
     
  9. [email protected] (Kevin) wrote:

    "I wonder if aluminum rims should ever be used for mountain biking!

    I bought a new Cannondale with Aluminum rims. I rode three times in wet conditions, in Douthat State
    Park, Virginia. I wore out my brake pads and scraped a gouge in both the front and rear rims. At the
    end of each day I fully adjusted the pads and cable to fully aim and seat the pads correctly. I was
    amazed at how quickly the pads went. "

    I havent MTB'd in VA tet, but you're not too far from Carolina.

    One question, was the mud red (clay)? I believe even steel would have trouble maintaining itself in
    this stuff. It's like natural rouge!

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  10. If you're still getting grinding sounds out of your new pads, your rims may have been ground to
    slivers, literally.

    There may be shavings of ground metal left on the rim, and as soon as you grip them with the new
    pads, those slivers get embedded into the pads. ANY pads, even the salmon colored ones.

    Take of the pads and look at them. Are their shiny spots? If so, take a fine (400 grit or finer)
    automotive sandpaper and run it around the braking surface of the rim. Follow up with some
    ScotchBrite to buff it smooth.

    Then buy some new pads (again). You'll never succeed in getting all the bits of aluminum out of
    the old ones.

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  11. Robin Hubert

    Robin Hubert Guest

    "Chris Zacho "The Wheelman"" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > If you're still getting grinding sounds out of your new pads, your rims may have been ground to
    > slivers, literally.
    >
    > There may be shavings of ground metal left on the rim, and as soon as you grip them with the new
    > pads, those slivers get embedded into the pads. ANY pads, even the salmon colored ones.
    >
    > Take of the pads and look at them. Are their shiny spots? If so, take a fine (400 grit or finer)
    > automotive sandpaper and run it around the braking surface of the rim. Follow up with some
    > ScotchBrite to buff it smooth.
    >
    > Then buy some new pads (again). You'll never succeed in getting all the bits of aluminum out of
    > the old ones.

    Make sure the pads aren't the awful Shimano ones. Aztec and Koolstop make some good ones.
    FWIW, after reading Jobst's posts on assymetric pads, I'd probably opt for the Aztec threaded
    for Vee brakes.

    >
    > May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris
    >
    > Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
    >

    --
    Robin Hubert <[email protected]
     
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