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Advice please: Best Replacement Disc Pads for Shimano LX/XTR?

hawkeye's picture

By hawkeye - Posted on 19 May 2008

Hi Guys,

My rear brakes were misbehavin' on the weekend through the Southern Sojourn section of the Dam, and it turns out I need to replace the pads. They were making a racket and not providing a lot of power - the only time they locked was on the boards with a death grip on the lever. Replacing the fluid and giving the pads a clean with some brake cleaner and a rag stopped the noise, but the power has only marginally improved - still can't lock 'em on the road.

What do you guys reckon are the best options for replacement pads? They're Shimano LX brakes.

lorrie's picture

I've found that the sintered ones work well in our conditions. I bought 4 pairs a year or two ago and they are lasting really well, I generally take some with me whenever I ride.
Nice and cheap too!

Semi-metallic Disc Pads :
• All round semi-metallic (organic) pad
• Ideally suited to leisure and light competition riding
• Excellent modulation
• Long lasting
• Low heat generation
Semi-metallic PLUS Disc Pads:
• High performance semi-metallic (organic) pad
• Ideal for most types of riding especially where extra
durability is needed
• Super long life
• Good braking performance in wet or dry conditions
• Good modulation
• Low heat generation
Sintered Disc Pads:
• Sintered high performance pad
• Ideal for use in endurance riding
• Excellent braking even in dirty conditions
• Longest life
• Solid lever feel
• Higher heat generation

hawkeye's picture

Thanks for the suggestion, I've ordered 4 pairs - if they got into Andy Bloot's CRC order in time!

Justin's picture

If you aren't getting power, it could be a sign of air in the brake lines... are they 'squishy' and you have to pull the lever all the way back to the bars?

hawkeye's picture

Thanks, Justin. That was on the checklist. I've replaced the fluid and bled them, and cleaned the pads with brake cleaner. There was no air but some crap floating in the old fluid, so it will bear disassembly and a thorough flushing at some stage in the near future.

The action's nice and smooth again, but it gave only a marginal power improvement. It's more likely I've cooked the pads or contaminated them riding in the wet. The stock resin pads are known for dramatic wear and/or susceptibility to damage in the wet.

Justin's picture

White lightning!

Try a degreaser (engine degreaser will do) and a little sandpaper on the pads.

lorrie's picture

pads for this weekend? if so give me a PM.


Brian's picture

I have been told that assuming everything is ok and there is no air etc. If you find the pads have worn and the lever is travelling too far then remove the wheel and carefully pull the lever to push the pistons out a bit, refit the wheel and you should have a firmer brake with not as much travel.

I have never done this so I am not saying it works but this is what I have been told. I would be extremely careful to not to push your pistons all the way out.

In saying this I experienced the opposite the other day, I replaced my rear pads and didn't push the pistons back enough and when I fitted the wheel the brake lever was rock solid. I then removed the wheel pushed them back further and now they are good.

Hope this makes sense Smiling

hawkeye's picture

Andrew, that's a very kind offer. I should be right for this weekend - undemanding terrain at Old Bar. I may take you up on it for the following weekend, though. Will PM you if I need them.

Brian, thanks for the pointer. For my Hayes and LX brakes (different bikes) you can do this without actually taking the wheel out.

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