I have a CUBE Attain road bike with a Shimano Claris setup. I've had the bike for nearly a year and tracked 1300 miles on Strava. I first changed the original brakes in November at about 900 miles ridden. Since then, I have gone through about 5-6 sets of different brakes. Just last week I changed the whole back brake unit cable and gave the rims a thorough clean. It seemed to work, but now today on inspection the brake pads are worn down and I can see the residue building up. My commute is 3 miles twice a day but only 4 times a week. I'm starting to suspect it's the rims, but I'm not sure.

What could be causing my brake pads to erode so quickly?

  • I wonder if you are using some sort of petroleum to clean your brakes. This would cause them to deteriorate rapidly. Poor adjustment can also cause rapid deterioration. Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 18:07
  • Did you buy cork brake pads intended for Carbon rims ?
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 18:59
  • Hi for cleaning I have just wiped them down and regards to adjustment I've tweaked that and got the brakes tight and all lined up but still the problem occurs, I think I've determined it is the rims after 1300 miles I guess it's time my commute is a lot of down hills so braking has occurred more than usual, now I can't make head or tails of the tyre I need these are what's fitted now Rims: CUBE RA 0.8 Aero, QR/QR Front Tyre: Conti Ultra Sport 2, 25-622 Rear Tyre: Conti Ultra Sport 2, 25-622
    – Aron j
    Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 19:00
  • Hi just bought standard Clarks road brakes
    – Aron j
    Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 19:01
  • Several years ago, in a particularly bad winter weather and road conditions I managed to wear out a fresh pair of rim brake pads after, well, 60 kilometers… The same thing happened then at least a couple of times. So if nothing else, it is not only you who manages to wear through them quickly sometimes. Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 19:40

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you are buying unusually quickly wearing pads. 900 miles is a short distance from a set of brake pads, but 5-6 sets over 400 miles is really excessive.

Personally, I have had very good mileage and all weather performance with Kool Stop Salmon pads. The original pads from Shimano are not particularly good, but not the worst either. There are some other brands that have good reputation, but I haven't tried all of them.

  • Thanks for reply yeah they are just bog standard Clarks £5 brakes but still I expected them to last longer than a week could you shine any light on what wheel I would need the wheel size is 28inch I believe
    – Aron j
    Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 19:23
  • 2
    If your problem is brake pads, why are asking about wheel? And yes, I'd expect brake pads to last longer too, but after 5 sets I would conclude that either Clarks is rubbish or your retailer has an unusually bad batch they're selling.
    – ojs
    Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 19:43
  • Hi sorry I was originally asking about brake pads yes but on inspection of the rim I guess there worn down and thus causing the wear down thanks
    – Aron j
    Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 19:54
  • 1
    It is a separate question, and it is not going to solve your problem but if you want to waste your money, sure go ahead.
    – ojs
    Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 20:08
  • @ojs might be even both, low quality brake pads that are over their shelf life. Clarks pads are terrible from the start, and might not sell all that well. With parts that have no grip it, one has to control speed by letting the brake drag continuously.
    – gschenk
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 10:46

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