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RedRider3141

Metallic vs organic/fiber brake pads

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I got tired of my poor brake performance on my rear SLX brakes compared to my fronts. With 180mm rotors I could not lock up the rear and it squealed terribly. It's possible that they got contaminated but they've never been good as long as I can remember. I noticed the rears were metallic and fronts were organic so I decided to buy new rear pads to match the front. After throughly cleaning the rear rotor and installing the pads it's night and day how much better it is. 

What brake compound do you guys/gals run? 

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Full metallic. Once there is any and I mean any contamination on the pads, throw them away.

 

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19 minutes ago, ATXZJ said:

Full metallic. Once there is any and I mean any contamination on the pads, throw them away.

This defeats the best benefit of metal pads. If you get them contaminated, you can blow torch them clean. Just clamp them in a vice and heat them up. Heat them until they glow--they're good to go.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Barry said:

This defeats the best benefit of metal pads. If you get them contaminated, you can blow torch them clean. Just clamp them in a vice and heat them up. Heat them until they glow--they're good to go.

Man I've never had any luck burning contaminates off pads. Must not be getting them hot enough.

How well are they working after you torch them?

Edited by ATXZJ

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I’ve always run metallic pads. I’ve even brought some back to life after minor contamination with brake cleaner and steel wool followed by heating them up. If I had to do it again I’d use a torch as well.

I’m usually very ocd when it comes to protecting my disks and pads from contamination. It always makes me cringe when I see people touch the brake surface on service and build videos.


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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Teamsloan said:



I’m usually very ocd when it comes to protecting my disks and pads from contamination. It always makes me cringe when I see people touch the brake surface on service and build videos.


 

Same

I pull the pads and put them as far away from me as possible any time and grease or oil is being used on the bike. Stopped using brakleen on my discs and switched to WD40 electric contact cleaner and that helped with a lot of the brake noise issues I was running into. Use that stuff to clean everything that I service on the bike.  I also used to have squealing issues after washing the bikes. No soap or cleaner of any kind. The next time I took it out the brakes would squeal like mad. Discovered when after washing a quick ride around the block, pedaling with the brakes applied until they were good and warm, the squealing stopped.

 

At this point, shimano metallic pads can be had for under $20 so I'd rather just replace than go through all the trouble.

Edited by ATXZJ
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Yeah, when you can replace them for $20 it gets a little harder to justify the effort...but then again I'm kinda cheap.

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I either do a blow torch, or put into the oven at 400 for an hour to bake shit off. Then sand with 200 grit to "reset" the wear pattern. Works about 75% of the time.

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I did try brake clean and sanding on top of a granite tile to keep the surface flat and that helped some but not enough. I didn't get rid of them so maybe I'll try the torch. 

Why do y'all prefer metallic? 

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Depends on which bike.  I run both metallic and organic.  Organic has better modulation which is more important to me with the Shimano brakes.  On my bike with Hope brakes I run metallic and they are easy to modulate, and I don't know if anyone makes a better self-cleaning disk than Hope.  I love the chirp they make but some people don't like that.

Bedding is key for both the pad and the disk.

I had thought torching would be bad, but I read up on it a bit more on that.  At least one automotive brake company recommends torching or grinding to clean contamination, but as Barry says, these are ceramic/metallic pads, not organic.

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Only metallic for me, less modulation, but more power. Organics feel great but hard to beat the bite of metallic especially if your rotor gets wet.  Had good luck with drywall sandpaper on contaminated pads.

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23 hours ago, ATXZJ said:

Man I've never had any luck burning contaminates off pads. Must not be getting them hot enough.

How well are they working after you torch them?

Back when Shimano released their first set of Saint breaks, they shipped with some pretty low quality seals in the calipers. It wasn't a problem for the vast majority of users, but if you rode with them in temperatures below about 25 degrees, the calipers would leak and push mineral oil all over the pads. I tried baking them, and that didn't do anything. So I just put their little metal tab in a vice and heated them for a couple of minutes with a propane torch, until they would stop smoking and glow bright orange. Then a little more still. I had those brakes for about 3 or 4 years, and got myself into and out of that situation several times per year. I never bothered sanding them or anything. I just reinstalled them and they performed exactly like new pads, in that they needed a short break-in period. After that, they were back to normal. 

 

The only risk, other than it not working, is that conceivably you could heat the pad enough to delaminate from the backing. But I never had that problem. 

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