Brake hack for wet conditions

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Does your bike look like this post ride? – then be concerned for your brakes. (Photo by Kate Ankofski)

In the 2017 season – everything was wet and muddy. At several races like, LandRun, Berry Roubaix and the EPIC the conditions was with onging rain and in each event I went through a set of fresh brakepads with no brakeing power mid race.
Last season I was on my Salsa Cutthroat which is equiped with SRAM Force1 hydralic brakes. Something had to change. I soon found that the root cause was that the first thing to go in the abrasive environment with sand, gravel, mud and plenty of water is the small clip (spring) that holds the two pads apart. I tried a few different things and ended up with the simple step of taping the top opening (I guess it is for inspection and cooling) with a small piece of aluminum duct tape.
I tested this setup at the 2017 Almanzo which for me, with a detour, was almost 130 miles of ongoing rain (and cold) – as you see below it passed with perfect braking power all day.
I have showed my hack to various SRAM representatives over the past year, they acknowledge that it works, but can not officially endorse it.

On my warbird I have mechanical brakes and I can not fit the tape in the same way. I have no experience with Shimano, however I am told that Shimano brakes are less sensitive to failure due to a diffrent clip design – so this is a hack mainly suited for SRAM brakes.
Enjoy and spread the word. I look forward to seeing lots of duct tape at LandRun 2019 – which I expect to be wet, two dry years would not be normal.

See my step guide below.

This was my brake pads post the EPIC in the spring of 2017.

As the clip breaks – the pads are not kept apart and the braking surface is gone in no time.

I prefer – after test of a few alternatives the 3M standard duct tape. It has a good adhesive and it is thin. You will have tape for all the brakes miles around – share with your friends and donate it to your local bike shop post use – you will be a true hero.

Step one, ensure that you have a good clean surface .

Step 2, apply a patch of tape. – same side as your clip (there is only one possible side to mount) Test your brake function – ensure it is clear and is working.

Cut excess tape with a sharp knife (I use a razor blade)

My brakes post Almanzo 2017

My brakes post Almanzo 2017 – you see a lot of build up.

Proof – My brake pads post Almanzo 2017, hardly no wear despite 130 miles in rainy conditions.