Originally Posted by Emmbeedee
I wore out a set of pads on my bike and put in a replacement set and they felt terrible. No stopping power at all, until about 500 miles later when they had fully bedded in, and now they feel great. If your rotor is not new, then any replacement pad might feel weak for a while.
I think that's why you're cautioned to not brake hard for a while after replacing pads. You have to try to ease them into service...
Well, I've never read such a warning to not stop hard, or I've never paid attention to it.
I think you hit your 'cure' on the head and didn't realize it when you wrote about "bedding in." Why wouldn't anyone bed-in their new brake pads on their bikes like we all do (or should be doing) with our cars and trucks?
In a controlled environment, go through a brake pad bed-in process (there are different combinations of speeds and slowings, but they all work out to be the same), and be sure to then let the brakes cool down without stopping.
Heading out for any road riding without a bedding in having been done is crazy. Your instructions may be telling you to not stop hard, but what it's really telling you is to not expect to stop hard or well - reality means accidents don't cater to your calendar, and if an approaching 'accident' happens in your way while you're riding along at mile 10 of what turned out to be a 500-mile bed-in... what then?
Do brakes the right way - bed them in on the first use of the vehicle even if it means you have to head out at 1 or 3 AM in the morning to avoid traffic on your local roads and avoid having to come to a complete stop.
This isn't a secret of race teams; it's just the right way to finish a brake pad or rotor installation.