They get very hot
Don’t touch them to see how hot they are, get your mates to touch them instead,
it’s much safer!
Use all three pad types
Gold, green and red. It only takes 10 minutes to swap them over. Golds for
mid winter, reds for mid summer, and greens for the rest.
Make sure you have enough adjustment at the
lever. Gold pads especially can generate a lot of heat, and the fluid expands.
I you ride a dry, tarmac descent with gold pads in, you could find the brakes
locked on at the bottom, with no more adjustment. Let a bit of fluid out
to make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Also some Hope pads seem to be
thicker than others, and I’ve had to let fluid out to get new pads in.
Red pads are incredible
They don’t much like water, and only last one summer, but they have power
and modulation like nothing else. They also transmit very little heat to
the fluid. Spoil yourself and use them in the dry months (if we get any).
Heat can be a problem
It is worst on steep Tarmac, as there are no bumps to slow you down. My
worst experience was at the bottom of the tarmac bit of Walna Scar, where
both myself and a mate had purple-blue glowing discs, a burning smell, and
significant fade. If you are going to the Alps to do 2000m descents then
use red pads and the biggest heaviest disc you can find, the heavier the
disc, the cooler it will run (check your physics). I have an ancient 185mm
200g disc for such Alpine forays.
Oil is your enemy
Oil or WD40 on the disc means no brakes. The worst offenders are shock oil
from leaky forks, and the WD40 spray can. The mags say throw your pads out
if this happens, but they cost £14 don’t they. Try cleaning disc and pads
with meths or similar, if this doesn’t help put the pads in the oven for
an hour or so.
Brakes a little weak?
Apply generous quantities of mud to disc, find big hill, brake hard a few
times. Brakes will be fine again.