Recently I was having problems with my front brake grinding when I applied braking pressure. Upon closer inspection, the brakes were nearing the end of their life span and needed to be replaced soon. That's what prompted today ride, new brakes.
The cause of the grinding is from small pieces of aluminum that get embedded into the brake pad. Rather than having a pad of rubber pressing against the aluminum rim of the wheel, it becomes two pieces of aluminum rubbing together. That leads to poor braking performance, excessive wear on the rim, and an awful noise. The bits of aluminum come from the rim over time with normal wear and tear.
So now I needed to go to the bike shop. I would have gone either Saturday or Sunday, but I was just too busy with too much going on. I would have preferred to go when it was warmer out, but I was prepared regardless. I wore all the warm weather gear I had, and it was enough.
When I bought my bike, I also bought a service plan for it. The service plan covers occasional drive train cleaning, bike tune ups, flat fixes, etc. Today, I used the plan to have the drive train completely cleaned and have the whole bike tuned. This was also an opportunity to have the new brakes I purchased while there installed by a professional.
|My bike at the shop after the derailleurs, wheels, brakes, chain, front gears, and crank arms removed for cleaning.|
When I left and braved the cold again, the brakes were incredibly responsive, the pedaling smooth, and everything felt great. It's so nice to have a bike that's riding like it was brand new! I didn't realize how much the bike had worn down over the months, especially the brakes, until everything was like new today.