How long do mountain bike brake pads last?

Whether you ride a road bike or your mountain bike, it is a joy to have a good cycling day. Yet, for all to go well, you need to keep your bicycle maintained. The central part requiring regular inspection is the brakes. Great, now you wonder how long the brakes will last? We are going to answer the question for you right here.

Brakes Life Expectancy

You can expect about 700 miles if your bicycle has resin disc brakes. But if you have sintered metal disc brakes, you can expect up to 1,250 miles of use. Still, it all comes down to the weather condition you ride in, plus your braking practices and the terrain. So if you want the disc pads to last longer, it needs regular checking and replacing.

Factors That Can Affect the Lifespan of  Disc Brakes

While the average lifespan of new brake pads ranges from 500 to 1,250 miles, you need to consider the type you want to use.

The Pad Type

You can find three types of brake pads an organic, sintered, or semi-metallic. The organic brake pads have a rubber, silica, and Kevlar resin design. Using them on your bicycle leaves a noiseless brake and is referred to as resin pads.

You can get sharper stopping power as it needs no warm-up to work well, and the resin insulates it from the caliper keeping the heat in the rotor. But it is prone to wear out fast. So if you are a mountain biker, these brake pads are not for you. But then you have your sintered pads that work well in wet and muddy conditions.

The product also goes by the name metallic pads as it is a mixture of metals pressed together. Compared to the organic ones, they last longer as they can handle dampness and dirt. It also works well in high temperatures, but it can transfer heat to the brake fluid found in the caliper.

Further, it needs warming up before you can use them to work their best. However, if you do mountain biking, these disc blocks are great to use. Lastly, you have the semi-metallic ones offering you outstanding stopping power with durability.

These pads are both organic and sintered and work well for long rides that need a fast warm-up. They are an expensive option and prone to glazing but are an excellent all-around product for mountain bikers.

mtb brake pads

Pad Wear in Different Conditions

When it comes to the disc brake pads on your bike, you also need to consider other conditions as well:

Regular Riding

When cycling on the road, how is your braking habits as it can affect your brakes and your bike ride with your riding style? If you constantly brake, then you need to change the rear pads or the front ones regularly. So help it last longer, avoid leaning forward when you brake, and shift your weight to a vertical position leaning back. When slowing down to turn, you can lower your hands and body to reduce the speed and only brake when needed. While cycling in rainy conditions only needs a small press of brakes.

Wet Conditions

Further, the weather also plays a part when cycling outdoors. Some mechanical disc brakes function better than others. So for the temperature of -15° F your will find that hydraulic brakes will perform better. While in -30° F having mechanical or organic ones is more efficient to use. While in high temperatures, you find that heat friction can arise, causing more damage.

Rought Terrain Use

Okay, the rougher the terrain you cycle, the fast your brake pads wear out as it takes a lot of strain. So your mountain and gravel bike tends to need a brake pad replacement often compared to your other bicycles.

Difference Between Rear and Front Wear?

Another critical thing to know when needing to replace the disc brake pads is to determine if they are universal. They are primarily universal, but the only difference is the compound it is made of, as mentioned previously.

Further, they vary in size and diameter but are not a huge difference. So there is no considerable difference between the front and rear ones, only that the rear ones need not be as powerful as the front ones. For this reason, you mostly the rotors on the brakes in different sizes.

The rear rotor is smaller, but some use identical ones. Still, the front one wears out faster than the back disc brake pads. The reason is that it handles more stopping power.

Different Types of Brakes

Further, it also helps to know what type of brakes your bicycle has. There are three types your rim brake pads, disc, and drum brakes. The rim pads apply force to the rim and slow the bike down, activated by a lever you find on the handlebar.

Another brake is the disc one, a rotor comprising a metal disc found on the wheel hub. The caliper comes with two brake pads that squeeze the rotor to bring you to a halt. It is incredible to use in all weather conditions and provides no rim wear. You find them mostly on hybrid, off-road, and touring bikes.

How Often Should You Replace?

A brake caliper only needs replacing after ten years as it might reach its end. The problem is the rubber seals wear out with age and causes leaking of the brake fluid. While you can rebuild it having them replaced with new ones are better. So check the slides, bushings, and pins. Inspect if it has rust, cracks, or damage. When replacing it, use new bushings, slides, and mounting hardware and grease it well.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the wear on mountain bikes brakes can vary from the rider weight, weather, terrain to how often you use your brakes. We hope the information helps you to know when it is time to have those brake pads replaced.

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