Mountain bike brakes have enormous stopping power. The hydraulic brake disc systems fitted to most mountain bikes will confidently slow down even the largest (100kg+) riders on the steepest descents. Or rein them in from the highest speeds on long downhill jeep tracks.
But each hydraulic disc brake system has a consumable item that wears out and requires replacing: its pads. And although brakes are designed to make pad replacement seamless and easy, many riders do it wrong.
Once your brakes are screeching all the time, or that brake lever starts pulling with little effect, it’s probably time for new brake pads. But the mistake most riders make is ruining the benefit of new pads before they’ve even been used on the trail.