My rear brake never locks the rear wheel even with full pull on the lever, especially going down hill or fast. I can even pedal a bit with the brake depressed.

This is a recent issue and sometime in a ride the full braking force returns for a couple of minutes.

My pads are in a very bad condition and I've have new ones on order. My question is if they can be the reason for my problem? The bike was bought used so I don't know its history.

Rear pads: enter image description here

Front pads: front

Front, no flash: front pads

And the disc, which looks ok: rotor

  • 1
    They looked more glazed than contaminated. Give them a sand with fine sand paper to remove the shiny bits to see if it makes any difference. Bed the new pads in as per the instructions.
    – DWGKNZ
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 19:16
  • I cleaned them with alcohol as i found no sand paper lying around. Now they do have the shiny metal bits and i think this is how it should look (even though you said to remove just that) - but no change whatsoever to stopping power unfortunately...
    – PIXP
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 20:16
  • Shiny metal bits yes, but the glassy black stuff needs to be made dull.
    – DWGKNZ
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 20:22
  • That was taken off indeed. I couldn't heat them on open fire or in an oven right? because they're resin based.
    – PIXP
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 20:28
  • 1
    If you fell the lever tight, and if it has the same feeling as the front one, air bobbles should not be the problem. Those pads look in fairly bad condition, I would replace them anyway and I am pretty sure you will have a much better feel on the brakes. And if with new pads you have the same problem, at least you're sure the problem is not from there :) (P.S.: Make sure to clean the disc with a degreaser or with alcohol before installing the new ones.)
    – super
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 22:19

1 Answer 1


These look pretty far gone, as suggested. Lucky the rotor isn't scored, or that would cost more than a set of pads.

  • Can it be the reason for the poor stopping action?
    – PIXP
    Commented May 30, 2015 at 4:57
  • @PIXP: of course. Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 6:35
  • 1
    Replaced. Works great now as expected
    – PIXP
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 6:43
  • 1
    @pixp Good work - thank you for posting an update.
    – Criggie
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 8:37

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