How Hot Do Mountain Bike Brakes Get?

Mountain biking is an extremely fun activity that can be enjoyed by anyone, but if you’re not careful, it can also be dangerous.

One of the most important parts of your mountain bike is its brakes, without them, you would go speeding down steep mountains and into busy roads.

Mountain bike brakes get hot, very hot, so hot they could cause a third-degree burn in just five seconds!

If you’ve ever wondered how hot do mountain bike brakes get? read on to find out more about this topic.

How Hot Do Mountain Bike Brakes Get?

How Hot Do Mountain Bike Brakes Get?

If your mountain bike has disc brakes, know that it can get well above 750 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is because of the physics behind what makes a brake work, kinetic energy which is dissipated as heat when you press on your brakes.

Also, know that mountain bike brakes get extremely hot during repeated use, so every time you brake your brakes are getting hotter and hotter.

Although this does not cause any serious safety problems, it can shorten the life of your brakes and cause some mild discomfort.

When your mountain bike disc brake is braking, heat builds up in between the two pads which presses against the rotor (the round metal thing that actually slows down the wheel).

When you press on your brake levers, this creates friction against these two pads and brings you to a stop.

Can mountain bike brakes overheat?

Yes, they can, if you are descending a steep mountain for an extended period of time. This is not a life-threatening situation, but it could cause you some discomfort as I said above.

An easy solution to avoid overheating would be to press on your brake lever less and simply ride slower.

If this does not work, then the best thing to do is wait until your brakes cool off.

But the best thing you can possibly do is to avoid getting yourself in such situations where you have to be descending a very

Can mountain bike brakes catch on fire?

Mountain bike brakes can catch on fire if you mistreat them, but this would be caused by one or both of the brake pads being extremely worn out and not holding back enough pad material against the rotor.

Also, overheating can cause a brake fire, but that is extremely unlikely to happen.

How hot do rim brakes get?

Rim brakes, unlike disc brakes which work with friction, rely on direct contact between the wheel rim and brake pads to slow down the bike.

With this in mind, think that it would be much easier for rim brakes to overheat than disc brakes because of all the extra surfaces involved in slowing you down.

For this reason, if you have a rim brake, be extra careful when descending a steep mountain because it could get very hot and cause a burn.

What is the difference between disc and rim brakes?

This difference lies in the fact that disc brakes rely on direct contact with the braking surfaces for friction while rim brakes rely on the wheel rim and brake pads.

Disc brakes are much more efficient because they do not experience almost any loss of efficiency, but this is countered by the fact that mountain bike disc breaks get hot very fast.

Rim brakes, on the other hand, are less efficient and take a much longer time to heat up. Also, they can get extremely hot during repeated descents.

What must I never do on my mountain bike brakes?

1) Never touch your brakes while they are still hot from braking.

Like I mentioned before, your brakes can cause you a third-degree burn in just five seconds.

So in order to stay on the safe side of things, you must never touch your brakes while they are still hot.

2) Never use your fingers to stop a rotating wheel.

Mountain bike disc breaks get extremely hot after just one or two uses so it can be easy to forget how bad they can burn you if you use your fingers to stop a rotating wheel.

3) Never apply any harsh chemicals to your brake pads.

Don’t ever use harsh chemicals on your brakes because all sorts of bad things could happen.

First of all, the chemicals can seep into the rubber braking surface and cause it to harden or swell up.

Also, these chemicals might reduce the grip that your brake pads have on the rotor, so they will wear much more quickly.

Can I change my brake pads to make them less hot?

Changing your brake pads will not change the amount of heat they produce when you use them.

The only reason to change your brake pads is that they are worn out and need replacing.

So if your brakes are hot, this means that they are old and desperately in need of replacement so it’s probably time for new ones.

Another reason for changing them is when they no longer do their job efficiently.

My final thoughts.

Mountain bike brakes can get extremely hot, but this can be problematic if they are not cooled enough.

Just make sure to ride slower, wait until your brakes cool down, or change them if needed.

Additionally, you can never go wrong with just taking more precautions such as wearing gloves or avoiding steep mountains.

If this does not work, then the best thing to do is wait until your brakes cool off.

For those of you who want my opinion on whether mountain bike brakes catch fire, I will say that it is extremely unlikely for them to do so, but they can still get hot enough to cause a burn.

Also, do not touch them if they are too hot, and remember that you must replace them when they wear out.