Brake Pad questions

How long, on average, do brake pads last?

Hadn't rode for over a week since the WRT bike event, mostly due to work & bad weather. Went out today and the pads felt different. They had accumulated a bit of dust from the bike event. I don't brake much 'cept at traffic stops & horrible sidewalk entrances mostly.

Did notice on the way home they were needing tightened a bit more as the locking brakes did not keep the trike from moving when settling back in. Had to adjust the lights in the back to night-time mode on the ride home this evening.

How thick are these brake pads anyhow? Am used to cantilever brakes and those would last years. Most cantilever brakes I had that needed replaced were from material breakdown, or when a newer version came out that provided better braking. Red vs. anything else.



  • last a long time. Changed mine at 7000km and really weren't worn that badly. Dirt accumulation and perhaps cables get sticky. Adjust from scratch following protocol here:
  • So, the cables might fail before the brake pads do?
  • several times, probably. the cable can also act as a saw and damage the housing if it gets frayed. i usually change out cable and housing at the same time.
  • Three years and no significant wear and no issues.
  • When I had the standard handle bars, the gear cable failed within the first few months. I would hit it on my leg with every pedal stroke.
  • So what is the lifespan of a cable?
    3-4 seasons? Is there a solid 1piece
    option? Copper wire is used in salmon
    fishing. Don't know if it is multi stranded. My right side is not releasing
    well after being squeezed. Lube for
    brake cables?
  • I replaced the pads on the original Zoom calipers, and, at the same time, replaced both brake cables and housings, (put in brake noodles to prevent my thighs from bending the housings as they came out of the brake handles). But, I really didn't notice a lot of difference in stopping power. I kept having to adjust both the fixed pad and the movable ones... basically, I didn't have any confidence that the brakes could stop me on a steep downhill ride. (I ride in Portland/Beaverton - it's all up and down....)

    So, recently, replaced both calipers with BB7's... WOW! What a difference! Though it's taking a bit of 'break-in' adjustments, I have a lot of confidence that they will stop me! Plus, adjusting the pads is something that can be done with fingers only, no need to pull out an allen-wrench.

    BTW, (though the weight is dropping), I weigh in at 300lbs... and I bought the Rover used. The person I purchased it from stated he really didn't ride a lot of hills.
  • How difficult was the BB7 installation?

    ¬ ITL
  • Actually, pretty easy... Have to remove the wheel from the hub and pull the original rotors... then, basically reverse process to mount the new calipers. Did have one issue mounting the left side. Had the wrong bracket (purchased the BB7's for MTB's... where they came with the brackets for the front & back tires...), but, came up with spacers to make it work.

    I found that with the original Zoom calipers, when braking hard, would get a sort-of grab-release-grab-release... basically I think, due to the rotor design. With the BB7's, the rotors have more metal, plus the pads are much larger. So, when braking hard, there's none of that grab-release-grab-release...

    A friend took a short video of me with my DIY canopy, but right at the end you can hear the BB7's grab...

  • My right side is not releasing well after being squeezed. Lube for brake cables?

    - cables are stranded stainless, aircraft stuff. screw your brake adjuster all the way in, free the cable at the clamp on the brake housing, manually move the actuator arm to check for grunge fouling the works.

    if all seems ok there, time to pull the housing and check cable condition. any fray or kink you want new cable, probably new housing as well.

    light wipe of the cable with wd-40 might help if it looks in good shape.
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