The rear brake on the pug had lost all power and I couldn't even lock-up the back wheel on gravel. Not really a problem as the back brake doesn't get used much anyway, but I wanted this bike in tip top shape for my upcoming race so I decided to get it fixed.
The lever travel was good and it didn't feel spongy, so I cleaned the rotor and sanded the pads' surfaces in case they had got contaminated somehow. Still no power. Time to talk to the guys at Bikesmith - my new LBS.
Well you learn something new every day. This is my first bike with discs and I was informed the pads were probably contaminated and the oil soaks in, so you can't just clean-up the top surface. Clark said I could try burning it off with a flame (and I might still try that as an experiment) but I stumped up for a new set of pads and bought a Camelbak for the race while I was there.
Now the pain started. $32 US Dollars for something I can buy in the USA online for $14.95 at Speedgoat (and I'm sure you could buy cheaper). I don't begrudge the bike shop their profit. These guys have got families to feed and are not driving around in Bentleys. They shift a lot less product than the American shops would and are probably marking consumables like this up 100%. That's OK, they gotta make a buck somehow, but someone else in the chain is getting greedy.
People tell me "it's the transport costs, New Zealand is a long way away from anywhere". If that's the case how come I can buy a Chinese made sofa for $199 or a dining room table and six chairs for $99? You could fit a lot of brake pads in a furniture container.
Rant over... I can stop on a dime now, or at least a half dollar.