Did I overheat my disc brake?

I recently went to the Alpes. In preparation for the Alpes I put on semi-metallic swiss stop brake pads with cooling fins. Today my rear brake sounded bad and this is how one of the pads and clips looked

Something happened…did a pebble or something get sucked in? Any rotor damage? Usually you would see discoloration on the rotor if you overheated the brakes.

Looks like you just ran out of pad material.

The pad broke off

I’d contact the manufacturer or reseller. If the pad just broke off it might be a manufacturing defect. Hard to tell form behind PC monitor :man_shrugging:

It looks like something wasn’t in place correctly if I had to guess. What do your rotors look like? Are they discolored at all?

Also, what material were your last pads made out of? If you were using resin on those rotors, they likely won’t perform as well as they should since you switch pad materials without also switching rotors.

Much of the “bite” of your brakes comes from the material of your pads catching on the same material that has been bedded into your rotors. If your rotors are impregnated with one material and your pads are another, they won’t perform at 100%.

Also, certain rotors are designed for specific materials, so I’d double-check what you’ve got over there. :eyes:

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How long had these pads been on the bike?

One possibility is that you wore the pads down to the point that the spacer clip started contacting the rotor, then kept using them till the backing plate did the same. Basically you should’ve changed them sooner. If your Alps trip included lots of very long braking-heavy descents that could’ve worn them quite quickly.

If they were pretty new, as your original post suggests, this seems likely to be a manufacturing defect wherein the pad material separated from the backing plate. FWIW I’ve always had better success with brand-correct brake pads than 3rd party. I generally don’t think cooling is a big enough issue on the road to require finned pads, given relatively high speeds and less hard/continuous braking (relative to say DH MTB).

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2-3 weeks…

I always really like swiss stop, especially the yellow resin pads, very nice soft feel, good stopping power and quiet

These looked fine, though I didn’t inspect them thoroughly. Though after installing the new pads the front brake was very mushy and required my first ever bleeding attampt…

When you say “Mushy” do you mean your lever was traveling further than normal, or do you mean the brake was less effective than normal (with the same lever feel)? If it’s the former, that’s odd. If it’s the latter, that’s normal, and indicative you need to bed the pads in.

For what it’s worth, I’ve twice this season killed a new pair of pads in one day (wet, gritty gravel races) and finished the races with bare/worn pad backing scraping on my rotors. Both times, I thought my rotor was probably done for, but after cleaning the rotors and bedding in new brake pads my stopping power returned to normal. So don’t count your rotor out just for it having contacted a worn/damaged pad.

How does the other pad look like? If you look at the brake now, do the pistons move evenly? Maybe you had some sort of sticky piston, and only one side moved properly and one side took the brunt of the braking.

With regards to the initial question - even if you did heat them up a bit much, they should return to normal once cooled down. As long as the lever feels right (ie not mushy or with excessive travel), and the pads/rotors look ok (after changing the back, obviously), I don’t think there is much else you need to do.

Did you clean / resurface the rotors, and then bed in the new pads? Especially if you’re switching compounds, you’re not supposed to just throw on new pads and call it good…

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