On Trail Rotor Resurfacing – BikeCo Tips & Tricks

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BikeCo Tips & Tricks On Trail Rotor Resurface Blog Title Image

On Trail Rotor Resurfacing – BikeCo Tips & Tricks


In a pinch, you can correct some rotor contamination or heat saturation issues on trail.  This BikeCo Tips & Tricks video illustrates how On Trail Rotor Resurfacing works.

Rotors that are heat saturated will show excessive black along the pad contact area. This is typical when riders are in steep terrain or aggressively braking repeatedly.

Contaminated rotors will “honk” when the brakes are applied. As opposed to a “squeal” from overheating a brake.

Both of these situations are noisy (annoying) and decrease the brake’s power. With a couple steps you can improve the brake’s performance to get you through your ride.

OK, disclaimer time. Brakes are critical to your safety. If you aren’t sure of your brakes walk it back and take it to a professional. You do you – we’re just showing you some ideas to add to your mental tool kit…


On Trail Rotor Resurfacing

First determine if it is a rotor interface issue. Are the pads both in the caliper? Are both pistons functioning? Is there enough pad material to work, etc.

Next take your water bottle and make a small mud puddle. Try to work a minimum of a few inches from any vegetation to avoid contaminating your rotors with natural plant oil.

Wipe your hands in the dirt, to minimize any oils on your skin, and work your mud puddle’s consistency.

Your mud should be just wet enough to tack together. You want it to still be gritty, not a sloppy mess.

Take your grit and sand the rotor with your fingers. Work around the rotor a couple times.

Then apply the brakes to clean the excess mud grit from the rotor. In the video I do this by lifting the wheel (was shooting by myself). It’s much easier just to pedal the bike to do it.

It might take a couple revolutions for the brake system to grab. Don’t go dropping into your steep descent until you know the brake has stopping power.

While your brakes clear the excess the system may make some chunky noises. Remember you’re working with .01mm gaps. It doesn’t take much to have noise and the occasional thump feeling!


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