Disc Brakes Have No Stopping Power: What Should You Do?

A disc brake system can provide superior stopping power for your vehicles, ensuring safety for other vehicles, but disc brakes have no stopping power.

With consistent performance and high durability, many people consider disc brakes a companion on the long route. This braking system is a must-have component of modern bikes. 

So, what should you do when tackling this problem? 

Keep reading for more information!

disc brakes have no stopping power

What Are Disc Brakes?

Disc brakes typically refer to a braking system in vehicles. This type of brake uses two friction pads to generate friction.

The brake pad and disc friction will slow the vehicles’ movements. Depending on the friction intensity, disc brakes can gradually decelerate or instantly stop the vehicle.

A standard disc brake has three main parts: brake disc (rotor), brake caliper, and brake pads. Two brake pads are attached to the caliper from both sides.

When stepping on the brake pedal, the cyclist causes the servo system to amplify the stopping power and convert it into hydraulic pressure on the disc brake.

This pressure forces the piston to squeeze the brake pads from both sides of the brake disc to create friction. Over time, the fiction can stop the vehicles.  

The convenience and stable performance of disc brakes go beyond its standard feature in passenger cars. This device has become popular in the commercial vehicle segment. 

Why My Disc Brakes Have No Stopping Power 

Worn-out Brake Pads

It’s unpleasant to hear squeaking noises due to the friction between worn-out brake pads and tires. The friction between brake pads and the tire will erode the rubber during cycling. 

As a result, the stopping power will decrease over time, leading to some safety issues when the cyclists pedal at high speed.

When you press power to the braking system, the exposed metal of brake pads directly grinds against the disc brakes. This is a reason for the squeaking noises that they usually hear.

Suppose cyclists encounter objects or pedestrians. Worn-out brake pads don’t allow them to stop the vehicle as quickly as possible, resulting in unwanted accidents. 

Cable Problems

The cable system plays a critical role in force transmission. Even in modern bikes, cable systems transmit stopping force to control the vehicles’ movements.

Cable problems are a common reason that deteriorates your braking system power. A frayed cable is a clear sign indicating that your braking system needs maintenance.

Lubrication Issues

Excessive or insufficient lubricant can be one of the reasons disc brakes have non-stopping power. Excessive lube prevents the brake pads from gripping the disc, wasting your money on lubricant.

Meanwhile, insufficient lubricant can significantly increase the friction between the braking system. Over time, this detrimental friction can sabotage the moving parts.

Due to these lubrication issues, many cyclists must replace their entire disc brake system. Therefore, proper lubrication is the key factor that helps cyclists save time and money.

Debris Getting Stuck

Even though not many people find debris a threat to disc brake mechanisms. The accumulation of dust and debris increases the friction, which can erode the rubber faster. 

Increased temperature, ineffective colling, and annoyed noises are some signs that can help cyclists promptly determine whether debris is getting stuck in their bikes. 

Caliper Gets Stuck

As I previously mentioned, the caliper is one of three critical components of the disc brake system. Cyclists might need a proper caliper to move the bike.

Moreover, a stuck caliper affects a cyclist’s performance since the consistent resistance of the caliper requires cyclists to use more force to pedal.

This will destroy their physical strength during a competition, making maintaining consistent speed in the long route challenging. 

Wheel Alignment And Spongy Brakes

Improper alignment of wheels might cause disc brakes to have no stopping power. In most cases, cyclists might feel their bikes’ brakes are slightly spongy during cycling. 

The Improper wheel doesn’t stop at reducing stopping power; it also develops bulges due to the excessive forces imposed on it. This is a safety concern that everyone should consider.

bike disc brakes have no stopping power

How To Fix It

Pull And Hold The Brake Lever

Pulling and holding the brake lever is the quickest way to adjust the disc brake system. Cyclers should loosen the fixing bolts to allow the brake body to move more freely. 

Then pull the brake lever while alternatively tightening the screws on the disc brake. You have to tighten the screws on one side and repeat this process on the other side carefully.

It allows cyclers to adjust the brake lever gradually, reducing the risk of improper position. 

If cyclers adjust the brake lever correctly, the breaker lever will lie at the center of the disc brake rotor. After these steps, don’t hesitate to release the brake lever and spin the wheels.

An ideal disc brake adjustment allows the wheel to move smoothly and stop when you use the brake.

Optical Alignment Of The Brake Caliper

Usually, the first solution will help cyclists deal with many different situations. However, this one might be useful if you want to add another key to your repair manual.

Start by loosening the caliper screws to allow you to adjust the brake caliper more easily. Hold the caliper and adapt it with your eyes.

During this, remember to pay attention to the lubrication issues. This allows cyclers to handle the disc brake promptly. 

Depending on the caliper situation, cyclers can add lubricant or clean the lubricant with water and a clean cloth to increase the stopping power. 

Reset The Brake Piston

Resetting the brake piston can work well in case the brake piston is located behind the brake pads. It would be ideal to use a tire lever to adjust the brake piston back to its proper position.

Especially pay attention to high-end brakes (typically come with ceramic pistons). Excessive force can cost you a lot of money. 

Once you have finished this process, the disc brake can re-take its efficient gripping power.


To sum up, the reasons why disc brakes have no stopping power mainly lie in the mental disc and caliper. The friction between them directly affects the performance of the banking system.

Therefore, regular maintenance on these components can help prevent many unwanted issues related to gripping power. Keeping your tires inflated is also a key to effective braking.

Thank you for reading!

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