How powerful should my brakes feel?

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  • How powerful should my brakes feel?
  • chadlad

    hi there,
    I would say that over the bars should be easily doable and definitely lock the rear with one finger.
    I would do the pads and a bleed first.
    also worth checking to see if the pistons in the calipers are moving properly.
    hope that helps

    Also check that the pads are evenly spaced from the rotor. If one pad is rubbing against the rotor all the time they will feel rubbish.


    I’m 82kg + kit and a 180mm rotor stops me up front. Can do little front-wheel skids.

    Back 160mm can lock up if I go “light” on the back wheel. Sitting down it does stop me with a bit of effort.

    (SS Kevlar pads and Formula Brakes)


    Something is clearly up. I’d start with looking at the pads; there is a good chance the’re either glazed, contaminated or otherwise worn out:

    Take them out of the caliper and attack the face of the pad with some rough sandpaper or similar (to remove the glaze that can build up of they’ve been overheated). Then reinstall and see if they’re any better. If not, then they could be contaminated with lubricant or similar, so replace them.

    If all of the above fails, then perhaps there is a more significant problem.


    The caliper will also need to be dead centre over the rotor. By eye not my squeezing the lever then tightening

    I’m noticing a serious lack of power from my brakes lately-I cannot bring the bike to a stop even when hauling them on as hard as possible so clearly there’s a problem, but realistically how should they be working? Should I be able to lock back wheel with one finger and pitch myself over the bars with a handful of front or iss that not attainable?

    At 90kg am I too fat for 160mm rotors or is it likely to just be new pads and a bleed needed?


    Sounds like contaminated pads to me.

    +1 for contamination, maybe fork oil or brake fluid.

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