It is just over two years that I have been riding reasonably regularly with the Moles and for me one of the big plus points, apart from the camaraderie, is how much I have learned. Not just new all the new routes, but especially my riding technique.
One thing that comes to mind today is what Colin has been telling me about braking with the focus very much on using the front brake. Since he mentioned this I have worked at changing my habits from “back dragging” to strong, progressive use of the front brake.
So what has this got to do with a short term review of Hope brake pads? Well, on our slushy trip to Reigate last week I noticed that the rear brake on my new Orange Five was getting noisy. Changing the pads on the Hope Tech X2s turned out to be a doddle, almost a pleasure in fact, if the state of the rear pads wasn’t such a shock.
I now see the rear brake had been steel on steel – the pad had absolutely no friction compound left and was worn entirely smooth.
The interesting thing here is that with travel commitments since I got the new Five, I have only ridden it about 300 miles since new. Is 300 miles all I should expect from a set of brake pads? Hence the title for this review – short term is the only review I can do for these Hope brake pads.
I checked the front pads expecting to find a similar story, but was surprised to find they looked only half worn, with at least a couple of months of life remaining. So why had my rear pads worn out while my front pads are lasting well?
As I replaced the maxle on the front wheel, another pleasure, I could think of only two options. Either I am not applying Colin’s advice as well as I had though, and am still dragging my rear brake on downhills. Or, that when I was bedding in the pads on the new bike, I generated enough heat in the front brakes but not the rear brakes.
Of course there could be other reasons, and any suggestions would be gratefully received.
On Matt’s recommendation I have now fitted a set of Superstar Red (Kevlar) pads to the rear, and will see how well they last. I did a few stops from high speed using only the rear brake to try to get them up to temperature but I suspect that will not be enough to get them fully bedded in, so I must remember to do it properly on the first downhill on Sunday—and temporarily ignore what I hoped I had learned from Colin.