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Replacing Worn Brakes

posted Jul 21, 2015, 10:57 AM by PJ Im   [ updated Jul 22, 2015, 3:15 PM ]
Both brakes on my Lynskey 650b Ridgeline started squealing. The noise was clearly a metal on metal grinding noise. When I pulled out the Shimano F03C metal pads, it was in rough shape. I decided to order G01A resin pads as replacements to save money and to try a different material. Plus, I don't do heavy enough braking to warrant a finned brake. I actually like the feel of modulation that comes with resin pads. Instead of spending $20+ per set of pads, I ended spending under $9 per set of pads. 
Considering that I rode more than 1,700 miles, I'm pretty impressed with the performance and durability of XT brake and the pad that came with it.

So, I watched couple of YouTube videos to refresh my mind about replacing pads and bleeding brakes. It had been few years since I last did these on Giant Anthem which has Avid Elixicir CR. Steps are similar, but I needed to order Shimano bleed kits. I found the video from Performance bike to be most thorough. Be sure to watch all of it.

I ran into a bit of snag when one of the pistons in the rear brake caliper stubbornly refuse to reset. After battling it for it bit, I tried using a metal plier. Bad. What was I thinking? Using a hard metal on a ceramic piston is a bad idea. I ended up cracking a ceramic piston, and it still didn't budge. Promptly went online to order a new XT brake caliper. Bringing out caveman rage to wrenching a bike ended costing additional money to buy a new rear brake caliper and a "look" from my wife. 
Bedding a Brake
Be sure to "bed" in the pad after the replacement to make sure that newly installed brake pad is working properly. I didn't properly bed in the brakes, and also got my self in trouble couple times in trail this morning. Not all YouTube videos teaching you brake pad replacement mentions bedding.

How to bed a brake. Find yourself a safe area. Accelerate your bike to moderate speed. Then, brake to a very slow walking speed. Repeat several times. Then, accelerate your bike to somewhat fast speed. Then, brake to a very slow walking speed. Repeat several times. At this point, your brake should perform as it should.