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What's your disc brake pad mileage?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

What's your disc brake pad mileage?

Old 08-01-22, 08:08 AM
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TakingMyTime
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What's your disc brake pad mileage?

I'm new to hydraulic discs. I've read several things here and there stating a wide range of mileage that one gets from their pads. I was just wondering how often you're replacing yours? I know it can be quite dependent on the environment your ride in. I'll be riding in dry weather on flat roads and probably never encounter rain.

Sorry if this is a rather N00b question but I'm starting from ground zero as far a disc experience goes. I guess I was just wondering if I should start to load up on pads when I see a sale on them.
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Old 08-01-22, 09:03 AM
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5000 plus and counting. Still on my first set. I bought pads at about 3000 just to be ready.

Wide range of values you are seeing are likely because some people are in areas with high demands for braking and others are in areas where you can just let the hammer down for the entire ride.

I also suspect some ride the brakes more on turns and others are more confident of their line and speed through the turn.
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Old 08-01-22, 09:08 AM
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Polaris OBark
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Low. Under 1K. I ride lots of hills and abrasive dirt.
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Old 08-01-22, 09:12 AM
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I recently had to put new pads on the front of my Orbea Avant with Shimano mechanical disc brakes. I am estimating at least 6000 miles, max of 8,000. I have a new set for the rear, just have not done it yet. I live in flatland and do a lot of rural, small town riding, so braking is minimum, all pads last a long time.
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Old 08-01-22, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
5000 plus and counting. Still on my first set. I bought pads at about 3000 just to be ready.
Thanks. I'm nowhere near needing any yet but trying to source different parts being what it is nowadays I thought it would be good just to prepare and have them in my drawer.
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Old 08-01-22, 10:49 AM
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I probably go through a set of rear pads once per year, so about 6,000 miles or so. I live in a fairly flattish metro area, so it's a lot of stop & go but not a lot of hard braking for descents or the like.
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Old 08-01-22, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
I'm new to hydraulic discs. I've read several things here and there stating a wide range of mileage that one gets from their pads. I was just wondering how often you're replacing yours? I know it can be quite dependent on the environment your ride in. I'll be riding in dry weather on flat roads and probably never encounter rain.

Sorry if this is a rather N00b question but I'm starting from ground zero as far a disc experience goes. I guess I was just wondering if I should start to load up on pads when I see a sale on them.
It's sooo dependent on individual circumstances: terrain, weather, riding style, etc. Impossible to make a prediction. As brake pads are still very expensive right now (a holdover from the pandemic-induced supply chain issues), I recommend you just keep an eye on them and purchase spares when you see a decent price.
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Old 08-01-22, 04:43 PM
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Anywhere between 5,000 and 6,000km. But I ride up (and down) a LOT of hills.
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Old 08-01-22, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
. As brake pads are still very expensive right now (a holdover from the pandemic-induced supply chain issues), I recommend you just keep an eye on them and purchase spares when you see a decent price.
That's kind of my dilemma right now. I just purchased a 12 speed Di2 bike and would like to slowly put together a drawer of spares i.e. chain, cassette, brake pads etc. I guess the hard part is trying to decide if a 12 speed cassette is going to be $111 like it is now or drop to $80 a year from now.

BTW... thanks for all the replies

Last edited by TakingMyTime; 08-01-22 at 04:48 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-01-22, 05:02 PM
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Old 08-01-22, 07:59 PM
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4k+ at the moment on the original set. However, I do not have hills or mountains so, I expect to have 6K at a minimum
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Old 08-02-22, 01:12 PM
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Just changed my brakes at 3.5k miles. Im also curious about how often people change the disk.
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Old 08-02-22, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by sshakari View Post
Just changed my brakes at 3.5k miles. Im also curious about how often people change the disk.
I have an MTB with 10+ years of use and I have never changed the rotor. They can last forever.
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Old 08-02-22, 04:44 PM
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I have a 2015 road bike with probably 22000+ miles and just changed rotors this year at 1.4mm thickness, (1.5 mm spec min on rotor), I've propbably changed my front brake pad 3-4 times and my rear twice (I mostly use my front brake). I replace the pads by measurement (<1mm).
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Old 08-02-22, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by sshakari View Post
Just changed my brakes at 3.5k miles. Im also curious about how often people change the disk.
I swapped one recently, a Shimano IceTech, Ultegra-level, 160mm jobber. I think that it had about 16,000 - 18,000 miles on it. This was, again, on the rear, which I tend to wear out more quickly than the front.
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Old 08-02-22, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I swapped one recently, a Shimano IceTech, Ultegra-level, 160mm jobber. I think that it had about 16,000 - 18,000 miles on it. This was, again, on the rear, which I tend to wear out more quickly than the front.
Just goes to show the individual nature of it. I just replaced the front rotor on my gravel bike after 10k miles -- it was measuring less than 1.5mm thick with my caliper. Rear rotor is still at 1.6mm or so.
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Old 08-02-22, 04:54 PM
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I tend to go through rotors about once a year or so. I find the center-lock ones (which also have better cooling fins) seem to last longer.
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Old 08-02-22, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I swapped one recently, a Shimano IceTech, Ultegra-level, 160mm jobber. I think that it had about 16,000 - 18,000 miles on it. This was, again, on the rear, which I tend to wear out more quickly than the front.
wonder if you sand them down every so often? Just replaced both front and back as my rear had deep grooves in it from lack of care and worn-out back brakes.
Also, changed the front caliper as I was too frustrated with its performance of it and sticky pistons - no matter what I did. Was very frustrated with it and decided to just get a new one. Only realized that there is a rebuild kit for them and its quite easy to rebuild them. Truth be told, I also snapped a mounting bolt on it with my f***up torque wrench. Lots of lessons were learned in this work.
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Old 08-02-22, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Just goes to show the individual nature of it. I just replaced the front rotor on my gravel bike after 10k miles -- it was measuring less than 1.5mm thick with my caliper. Rear rotor is still at 1.6mm or so.
Definitely. Braking habits, topography, community - lots of reasons for mileage to vary.

Originally Posted by sshakari View Post
wonder if you sand them down every so often? Just replaced both front and back as my rear had deep grooves in it from lack of care and worn-out back brakes.
Also, changed the front caliper as I was too frustrated with its performance of it and sticky pistons - no matter what I did. Was very frustrated with it and decided to just get a new one. Only realized that there is a rebuild kit for them and its quite easy to rebuild them. Truth be told, I also snapped a mounting bolt on it with my f***up torque wrench. Lots of lessons were learned in this work.
I've never sanded down my rotors, though I've sanded down my pads once in a while, when they've been contaminated.
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Old 08-03-22, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Wide range of values you are seeing are likely because some people are in areas with high demands for braking and others are in areas where you can just let the hammer down for the entire ride.
I also suspect some ride the brakes more on turns and others are more confident of their line and speed through the turn.
One of the most amusing posts I ever saw on my cycle club's message board came from a member who -- in all seriousness -- wrote "I prefer to ride solo rather than in groups because that way I get more life out of my brake pads."
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Old 08-03-22, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I've never sanded down my rotors, though I've sanded down my pads once in a while, when they've been contaminated.
I tried it. I had a new rotor damaged by a pad that was beyond end-of-life (kid was on the bike, we were in an active wildfire zone, and no time and nowhere to stop and deal with the problem). I wanted to see if I could salvage it, as it looked a bit pitted but otherwise ok. It only made it worse.
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Old 08-03-22, 04:13 PM
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Still good? Having trouble finding replacement GRX brake pads for the gravel bike. I am so used to auto brake pads. These bike pads look done to me but they are not to what I assume is the warning track.




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Old 08-03-22, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
Still good? Having trouble finding replacement GRX brake pads for the gravel bike. I am so used to auto brake pads. These bike pads look done to me but they are not to what I assume is the warning track.
In general, if the spring clip isn't rubbing the rotor, I'm fine with it, but Shimano does have a min thickness spec out there - should be easy enough to find.

Shimano pads were nowhere to be found (other than price-gougers) earlier in the year and I wouldn't be surprised if that was still the case. I was in dire need and ended up going with some compatible pads from Kool Stop.
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Old 08-03-22, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
In general, if the spring clip isn't rubbing the rotor, I'm fine with it, but Shimano does have a min thickness spec out there - should be easy enough to find.

Shimano pads were nowhere to be found (other than price-gougers) earlier in the year and I wouldn't be surprised if that was still the case. I was in dire need and ended up going with some compatible pads from Kool Stop.
thanks
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Old 08-03-22, 06:10 PM
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I’m at 10,000 miles currently on the original set of pads.
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