How to bed in your new disc brake pads and rotors

All new disc brake pads and rotors need to be put through a bedding in procedure before your first ride. Once bedded in correctly, your brakes will perform with consistent and powerful braking, and offer silent operation in most riding conditions. The bedding in process heats up the disc pads and rotor which deposits an even layer of transfer material from the disc pad onto the disc rotor. Without this transfer layer, it is not possible for your brake to perform to it's full potential. 

We recommend that you bed in your disc brakes pads with a series of short firm stops at reasonable speed, before use out on the trail. You will feel your brakes performance increase each time you run through this cycle. Following this procedure will correctly and evenly transfer the pad material on the braking surface of the rotors. Do not attempt fit new disc brake pads and drag your brakes around the trail in an attempt to bed your pads in, or overheat the pads on a long descent, as this method will almost guarantee brake noise/squeal. See ' How to stop brake squeal' in our faq's for more information on this.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, and shows the step by step procedure for bedding your disc brake pads and rotors.

Well set up disc brakes provide powerful, consistent stopping. But when you fit new pads or rotors, it's essential that you wear off surface glaze and contamination before hitting the trails. Here's how to do it...

1 Clean your rotors

One of the biggest mistakes riders make is putting new pads into a system where the rotors are dirty with oils or other contaminants. Use disc brake cleaner to remove residue from the rotor before bedding in new pads.

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2 Check new pads

Ensure that you use clean and undamaged new pads, as anything else won’t bed in. Pads that have seen any use at all will have been through braking cycles. While they will work to a degree, you won’t get the full benefit.

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3 Find a safe place

With your new pads fitted to your calliper, you need to find a long, gradual road descent with a smooth surface. Something that allows a 20mph roll with enough space and safety to perform some hard stops will be ideal.

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4 Drag and stop

Everyone has their own method of getting new pads to bite. We build up speed, drag the brake for five or six seconds to build heat and then increase lever pressure until the bike stops. Six or seven runs will have the brakes working perfectly.

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5 Think about water

Some people like to douse the calliper and rotor in clean, cold water after each stop cycle. We’re split 50/50 on this practice. None of our brakes feel different, so it’s up to you whether you douse or not.

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6 Ignore early pulls

Early stops will feel poor, but the response should build with each cycle. The heating of the pad causes it to transfer some of the material to the rotor, keying the pad and rotor together and giving your brakes bite and immediacy.

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7 Adjust the lever

You might want to tweak your brake lever so that it adapts to the feel of the newly bedded brake pads. Some brakes adjust automatically, but those with lever bite-point adjusters can also be fettled manually.

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8 Dirt test

Now that you’ve bedded in your new pads on the road, it’s time to hit the dirt and see whether or not they’re allowing you to hit turns harder and more deeply. And remember, it’s brakes that help racers go faster!

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Which disc brake compound?

We offer 4 different compounds in our disc brake pads, each offering different levels of brake performance. Are you looking for performance or long life from your disc pads? Which compound is best suited for you? Below is a description of each compound to help you select the right pad for your riding style and conditions.

Semi Metallic - This compound provides high power, consistent performance, quick bedding in time, and a strong initial bite. Good value all purpose pad for a wide vareity of riding styles.

Kevlar - Race spec compound with high strength Kevlar fibres to reinforce the pad compound for longer pad life. Suitable for riders who prefer the feel of organic pads, but require improved brake performance and extended pad life.

Sintered - This compound provied powerful braking, especially in abrasive weather conditions, and offers the highest level of longevity. Use when extended pad life and durability under the most demanding conditions is required.

Race Matrix- Custom compound with a unique blend of metals and friction material, which is higher friction coefficient than our other pads, offering increased durability over our Semi Metallic and Kevlar pads, whilst boasting the highest level of stopping power in our range

How to stop brake squeal

The common misconception is to blame the disc pads for a squealing brake setup, but contamination, poor bedding in, misaligned caliper, loose bolts, or worn rotors are more likely causes as to why brake noise occurs . Here's a useful article published by pinkbike that explains the causes and shows you how to rid your brakes of this unwanted noise for good - click here to view

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