BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘wear’

#365daysofbiking Don’t stop me now


March 4th – The front brake was feeling funny again, it had some initial resistance – like a click – when applied. I’d had it before but couldn’t recall the cause.

Turned out I discovered it riding to work when I lost braking power on the same brake. The pads were so worn, the return leaf spring was being pushed out of place by the disc surface.causing the click.

The pistons were opened back out with a wedge tool for the purpose and new pads dropped in. Braking harmony restored!

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#365daysofbiking You picked a fine time to leave me

January 20th – One of the few hard frosts of the season so far greeted me as I left on my bike for work.

I was very, very glad on the cycleways of Telford particularly for the studded winter tyres: Surefooted and grippy as ever. There was a lot of black ice, and I never once felt unstable.

Sadly what did cause me problems was my back brake losing all bite: For some reason my pads chose this morning to wear completely out to the point at which they were just about useless. The crossover point between ‘These are OK’ and ‘Where’s my stopping power gone?’ was one braking action on a downhill.

The one set of conditions when you really need to leave the front brake alone and only use the back… Oh dear.

Luckily, there were no spills.

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#365daysofbiking A grim toll

November 15th – The bikes are suffering in the bad weather.

A continual spray of road water containing grit, balsam, leaf litter and road salt is getting into the brakes, frame and drivetrain. The pads and brake discs are wearing fast.

I need to get on with some TLC and show my steeds some love.

But while the bad weather persists, anything other than essential work seems like a losing battle.

It’s not just the rider that needs some dry weather….

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#365daysofbiking Groovy, man


June 26th – Weeks of commuting in rain and grim weather are taking their toll on my brakes. Thinking I’d be in for a decent spell, I replaced the brake discs and pads on this bike in early spring.

Now it’s the end of June and they’re groovier than a 1970s Parisian jazz club.

The bikes are suffering: Corrosion, road grime, grit. This weather is eating my bikes.

A bit of sun and dryness isn’t too much to ask, is it?

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#365daysofbiking Feeling groovy

March 27th – The front brake has been quite noisy in recent days, and is juddering a little, yet the pads are fine.

A quick inspection in the bike shed at my destination showed the reason: The front disc it now severely worn and is starting top ripple on hard barking. The wear surface itself is about 60% of its original width.

A new disc will be about £25. Time to get one ordered I think. It’s seen some life, that one.

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#365daysofbiking Brake spring broke

February 5th – I have absolutely no idea at all what’s happened here at all.

It started at the weekend – a rubbing on the front disc brake on my current bike of choice. A light rub, no more that a tickle.

As the days progressed it got worse, and defied my attempts to adjust it away.

In exasperation, I removed the brake pads, which were OK at about 60% remaining.

The leaf spring that keeps them off the disc however, was broken. This was allowing on pad to rub.

An easy, 30 second replacement. But I’ve never had a spring fail like that that hasn’t been worn on the disc as the pad ran down.

This is most peculiar. I shall keep my eye on things in case it’s something significant.

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#365daysofbiking The daily grind:

25th November – A mechanical job that should have been easy was far from it. Replacing brake discs resulted in a struggle with seized fasteners, the failure of a brake calliper and the discovery that the parts I thought I had in the spares box brand new for this eventually were in fact the wrong ones.

The front disc was so badly worn it was starting to warp.

For a job I thought would take 15 minutes and leave me bags of time to get out turned into hours and I was lucky to get time for tea…

Perhaps I shouldn’t leave it so long next time.

March 19th – The thaw was thankfully quick, and the day felt positively warm and sunny as aI zipped about the Black Country on errands.

I was only when I got back to work and the bike started to dry out did I realise the toll the snow had taken.

That bottom bracket won’t be long for the world now with all that grit. My bikes will need some real TLC when the better days arrive.

December 13th – The snow, ice and road grit is destroying the brakes on two bikes at the moment. This rear disc is now wearing considerably, and is about 0.3mm thinner than it was new, and the front, 0.7mm. That doesn’t sound much, but once you get to about 1mm worn off, the discs get so thin they buckle and become useless. 

One thing about cycling through the winter: It isn’t cheap!

November 21st – In a familiar bike shed at a client’s premises, a neat illustration that the common or garden bicycle, whilst being a marvel of engineering in many ways, is still riddled with design conflicts and the whiff of mechanical compromise.

Here, a well-used and muddy mountain bike, not a cheap one by any stretch. The lack of mud and water shielding means and mud and detritus carried on the back tyre ends up not just as a skunk-stripe on the rider’s back, but also on the front gear mechanism and transmission.

In areas of hard grit like the Peak District, this continual spray works like grinding paste, gradually eating your wearing surfaces.

All for the want of some shielding.

Still, if you were a designer today, and proposed the derailleur system of gears – relying on forcing a flimsy roller chain between gears using side play as a conformal drag factor – you’d be laughed out of industry.

Except there’s nothing much better.