I'm fairly new to mountain biking and I was able to put in around 900 miles on my first set of brake pads on my Giant Anthem X2. At that point they started grinding metal on metal. I went and bought new Shimano pads (I have Shimano brakes) and after only 100 or so miles one of the front ones has already worn out.

The last time I rode the bike was in rain and mud so I'm not sure if that contributed to it.

How long do the brake pads typically last? Is there something else going on?

  • 3
    Well, once you've gone metal-to-metal for any length of time you've wrecked the surface of the rotor and it needs replacing. – Daniel R Hicks Apr 8 '12 at 19:37
  • Several things can effect pad life.How hard you ride,conditions you ride in,pad material and how they were installed.I ride 50-75miles a week for our 8 month season.I show about 50 percent wear after a season.Did you replace the rotor that was damaged.If not that will cause premature wear.When you replace the pads make sure the caliper is centered over the rotor.Look for an air gap between the pad and rotor.If one side is rubbing loosen the caliper mounting bolts center it and retorque.Spin the wheel and look to see if the gap shifts or stays constant.If it moves from side to side the rotor ma – mikes Apr 8 '12 at 23:52
  • Does this answer the question asked? It seems more comment than answer, to me. – zenbike Apr 9 '12 at 2:45

There are different types of pads, even to fit the same model of brakes.

Sintered metal pads last longest, but are noisiest, often to the point of not being worth the better durability.

Resin pads are softer, and will last less mileage, particularly in wetter weather, but still should last far longer than 100 miles.

I would say that the rotors are damaged from being ridden metal on metal before, and need to be replaced, along with new brake pads.

Your mileage will vary based on weather, braking habits, pad type, riding style and terrain. But you should normally get 500-700miles from a resin pad, and 1000-1250 miles from a sintered metal pad.

  • I had no idea that disk pads wore out so quickly. I just this spring replaced the pads on my cantis for the first time -- something like 20K miles. (And they were only maybe 2/3rds worn.) – Daniel R Hicks Apr 9 '12 at 11:21
  • 1
    I agree that this is on the low side. I've also had pads last 2 to 3 years, but it depends a lot on trail conditions and on your braking habits and riding style. I tend to replace mine conservatively early. But if you got 20k miles out of canti pads, kudos. That is 4-5 years of riding? What's your weather usually like? You know that the rubber pads harden and lose a lot of their effectiveness after 2-3 years? – zenbike Apr 9 '12 at 13:44
  • That's actually closer to 10 years of riding, I'm guessing. And, though the pads were getting hard, they weren't as hard as the original ones I changed out right after I got the bike. (I really need to go back through my records and find out how many miles I've put on the bike. I've been through several cyclometers, but I wrote down the last mileage on each.) – Daniel R Hicks Apr 9 '12 at 17:22
  • @DanielRHicks What kind of pads are you using? That sounds insanely long. Although I guess it depends what kind of miles you are putting on the bike. If you do lots of long rides in the country where there's very little braking, then I could see this happening. I bike in the city mostly, so I tend to brake every 300 meters or so. – Kibbee Mar 11 '13 at 12:31
  • @Kibbee - Mostly road miles. Don't remember the brand of the pads, but I did replace the original pads right off, because the originals were too "grabby" – Daniel R Hicks Mar 11 '13 at 15:29

The Strathpuffer race ( a 24 hour MTB race in Scotland in January) is famous for grinding down brake pads in one night. The year I did it, I replaced the brake pads twice during the 24 hour period. Its something to do with the mud at Strathpeffer turning into a grinding paste that just eats the brake pads.

Saying that though, in everyday use, a set of brake pads last me a season.


I've made 1700 km before I changed my pads (just rear - front pads are still OK, at about 50%). I had resin pads and now I have switched to sintered metal - so far not too loud, but braking force is better.

I have Shimano BR-M395 hydraulic brakes, and IMHO they are great (not perfect, but in city - more than enough for me).


I have Promax Decipher Hydraulic brakes and I have sintered metal brake pads. I have roughly done about 1000 miles in last 6 months. My brake pads are still fine. It seems like they will probably do another 800 miles without a problem. I had these other mechanical disc brakes and their brake pads finished under 100 miles. I changed the rotor and the calliper and after that no problems. I would suggest you to do the same. Hope that helps.

  • > I have Promax Luckily, it's not contagious and there is a cure. – Kaz Aug 7 '17 at 1:43

I'm fairly new to mountain biking. However, I have been riding using my Avid Elixir 3's since August last year and have only had to change the pads this week having done 25-40 miles every week. So I think in such short time you have not done so well with your pads. I hope I helped.

  • 1
    25-40 miles per week since last August comes out to 700-1120 miles on your pads. 900 miles would be right in the middle of that. So I'm not sure why you think the OP has "not done so well." – jimchristie Mar 10 '13 at 23:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.