Do all carbon wheels brake tracks wear out?
Carbon wheels have become increasingly popular among cyclists due to their lightweight and aerodynamic properties. However, one question that often arises is whether the brake tracks on carbon wheels wear out over time.
To understand this, it is important to first know what brake tracks are and how they function. Brake tracks are the part of the wheel where the brake pads make contact to slow down or stop the bike. On carbon wheels, these tracks are usually made of a specialized resin or carbon fiber composite that is designed to withstand the heat generated during braking.
Contrary to popular belief, not all carbon wheel brake tracks wear out. The lifespan of a carbon wheel’s brake track depends on various factors, such as the type of carbon used, the quality of the resin, the rider’s weight, and the braking technique employed.
Lower quality carbon wheels may have less durable brake tracks that wear out faster. These wheels might be more susceptible to overheating and developing glazing or delamination issues. On the other hand, high-quality carbon wheels with advanced manufacturing techniques and materials tend to have more resilient brake tracks that are less prone to wear and tear.
Rider weight can also play a role in the wear and tear of carbon wheel brake tracks. Heavier riders, especially those who frequently engage in aggressive braking, may experience faster wear on the brake tracks compared to lighter riders. Additionally, riders who apply excessive force on the brakes or drag their brakes for extended periods can accelerate the wear of the brake tracks.
Braking technique is another crucial factor in determining the longevity of carbon wheel brake tracks. Proper braking technique involves utilizing both brakes evenly and avoiding sudden or excessive braking, which can generate excessive heat and cause the brake tracks to wear out more quickly. It is also important to regularly inspect the brake pads for wear and replace them when necessary to prevent them from damaging the brake tracks.
To prolong the lifespan of carbon wheel brake tracks, it is recommended to follow manufacturer guidelines and maintenance procedures. This includes using the recommended brake pads, avoiding prolonged braking on descents, and regularly inspecting the brake tracks for any signs of wear or damage. It is also advisable to periodically clean the brake tracks to remove any debris or residue that may affect braking performance.
In conclusion, not all carbon wheel brake tracks wear out. The lifespan of a carbon wheel’s brake track depends on various factors, including the quality of the carbon, the rider’s weight, and the braking technique employed. By using high-quality carbon wheels, maintaining proper braking technique, and following manufacturer guidelines, cyclists can enjoy the benefits of carbon wheels without worrying about premature wear on the brake tracks.