Mechanical disc brake maintenance

Hey Lee,
Quick question: I recently got my first disc-brake mountain bike and it rocks. I’m using cable brakes instead of hydraulic. Is there any special maintenance I have to do with disc brakes that I don’t do with rim brakes.

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Hey Alex,

Disc brakes — especially mechanical ones — are actually easier to deal with than rim brakes. They require less adjustment, the pads are less likely to glaze over, and dirt has less of an effect on stopping power.

– Keep your rotors and calipers clean. Soap and water are fine. Rinse thoroughly!

– Keep your brake cables clean and lubed. Just like with rim brakes.

– Adjust the cable tension as the pads wear. Just like with rim brakes.

That’s about it. Disc brakes are a HUGE improvement over rim brakes.

As you brake, move down and back so the force drives into your bottom bracket — NOT your handlebars!

To get the most from your brakes, dial in your technique and practice braking as hard as possible. This will give you the confidence to ride faster — and spend less time dragging the brakes.

For braking tips, read: I feel sketchy and I want better brakes