An REI Novara Ponderosa 29’er mountain bicycle with Tektro Auriga Pro hydraulic disc brakes had braking problems ever since it was purchased new from REI. The problem started out with excessive brake noise when the brakes were engaged. Eventually the rear brake stopped working, and were unable to lock up the rear wheel.
I assumed correctly the brake pads were contaminated with something that caused the brake noise and brake fade. I wasn’t sure what was on the brake pads, but it was probably brake fluid when the bicycle was assembled and prepped at REI. I disassembled and cleaned the rotor with acetone, which is the main ingredient is a can of brake cleaner I had sitting on the shelf. You can also use Isopropyl Alcohol, but using a can a brake cleaner is easier and faster. I also sanded the brake pad material with a sheet of Emory paper, removing the outer layer. I reassembled everything, but the bicycle still had excessive brake fade, so I decided to replace the pads.
Brake pads are available with organic brake pad material or semi-metallic. Some brake rotors will specify using a brake pad made of a specific type of material. If the wrong brake pad material is used, it will cause excessive brake rotor wear. However, not all rotors are like this, and the rotors used on this bicycle did not specify using a particular brake pad material. I decided to go with OEM brake pads made by Tektro. The package did not specify what material was used to make the pads, but I assume it was the same material used in the pads being replaced. I went ahead and replaced the brake pads and made sure the brake rotor was clean and free of anything that would contaminate the new pads. This fixed the problem! The brakes are now quiet, and there is no brake fade.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.“