Dodgy disc brakes

I decided to upgrade the front brake on my GT with a brand new Magura Louise disc system. I fitted everything to my bike a new wheel complete with disc, the caliper and lever. I expected to be blown away by the new braking power, but I wasn’t. Maybe my expectations were too high, but the braking doesn’t seem to be any better than my old XT V brake set-up. The lever seems to be working fine, it stops about halfway back from the bar but the bike just kind of slows down. Are disc brakes overrated?

James, Penzance, Cornwall

You have to run discs in. Performance is always disappointing straight out of the box. Start by riding round the block a few times with the front brake on, count it as part of your training programme. This’ll take the first scrub off the brakes and they should start to work. Then you’ll need to brake from faster speeds. Magura recommend braking down from 30kph, 30 times, to fully bed them in.

You obviously need to find yourself a bit of clear space to do this. The brake will become increasingly powerful and progressive as you go. It’s well worth doing this before you need the brakes in anger. When you come to fit new pads you’ll need to run them in as well, if not as much.


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