If you’ve ever had one of those long rides in the rain or on some sandy trail where it sounded like your brakes were rubbing the entire time, only to stop and find your pads worn away, Brake Protec may have the perfect widget for you. Essentially a tiny 3D printed carrier holding brush bristles, it mounts to your disc brake caliper and wipes rotors clean before they spin back into the brake pads.

Brake Protec disc brake rotor cleaning brush system

Leave it up to the Dutch, the same people who brought you marathon beach races. We all know how sand can wreak havoc on your bike, but especially the fin grit can stick to disc brake rotors, spin around into your brake pads, plus both prematurely wear pads & rotors and increase resistance.

Brake Protec disc brake rotor cleaning brushes – Tech Details

Brake Protec disc brake rotor cleaning brush system

The Brake Protec is beautifully simple – a 3D printed nylon carrier holds two sets of soft, fine brass bristles that constantly brush mud, sand & other contaminants off your rotors before they come back in contact with the brake pads. Sure, the bristles themselves must add a tiny amount of drag to the system (apparently just for the first 50-150km until they match your rotors’ width), but it is much less than the constant grinding of wet sand & grit, and quieter too! Also since your pads won’t wear down faster in poor conditions, brake power and pad bite will last longer and be more consistent.

Brake Protec disc brake rotor cleaning brush system

The Brake Protec brushes are simply installed by removing the rearward caliper bolt on IS mount disc brakes, and retightening with the brush in place. If you are careful, the brush will even self-align when you slide it over the top of the rotor. Brake Protec says their brushes last for +/- 10,000km (6200mi) and result in lower operating costs due to longer brake pad life.

Brake Protec disc brake rotor cleaning brush system

Brake Protec brushes sell for 22€ for a single Solo brake setup or 36€ for a Duo pair for both front & rear brakes, and come in a number of colors. (Today only, if you buy a complete set you can get a free set of replacement brushes to double their longevity.) The are compatible with most Post mount (or IS with adapter) disc brake setups, but not flat mount. Brake Protec ships their rotor brushes worldwide, consumer direct, and offers a 30 day money-back guarantee.

BrakeProtec.com

27 COMMENTS

  1. Any engineers want to weigh in on inserting a plastic spacer between the bolt head and caliper?
    At the very least I imagine that you’d need a longer bolt to maintain 6mm+ thread engagement.

    • Yeah, seems like an invitation for torque variability, especially since the plastic is likely to have more thermodynamic variation from temp changes (when compared to the other metal parts in particular).

      Also, does it really need to say ‘BRAKE’ on the side? Are we going to install it in the wrong place, the the wheel or derailleur? :/

      Interesting concept, but seems like an opening to create a new problem along the way. Not to

      • Thermodynamic variation? Well… you’re an expert.

        It’s thermal expansion. And that’s not the problem, the problem is that it introduces compliance, meaning the loads are shifted into areas that weren’t meant to take them.

    • Not an engineer, but wondered about that too. The only real force the plastic should see is from the torque on the bolt, so if it is strong enough to handle the recommended torque spec then I think it won’t be a problem.

    • You’re correct in your assumption. In my tests I couldn’t torque the bolt enough with that plastic thing underneath that the caliper stayed in its position. But I don’t live in the Netherlands, where you’re rather modulating speed, and I have to brake quite hard often.

      • You must be able to fix the bolts of calipers by 6-8 Nm, which is the standard tightening torque for brake calipers on bicycles. If that does not work with the Brake Protec in between, you have to lodge a complaint.

  2. I will weigh in. It’s totally stupid to sell 3d printed parts, especially FDM parts. They are usually partially hollow and cannot handle the compression of the brake bolt or any twisting forces on the bolt. This will break quickly or eventually and leave you with your caliper floating on a loose bolt.

    It’s still a good concept, and you could test the 3D printed version on a light trail, but you should NOT sell it that way. You could make it safe by pressing a steel insert into the 3D printed plastic body. That way if the plastic breaks away you’re left with a non compressible spacer. However it’s difficult to press inserts into FDM parts without breaking them, so again just use a real manufacturing method, literally anything else you can think of would be better than this.

    As a reference frame, FDM parts are about as strong as stale bread or breakfast cereal.

    • 3D printed parts are not “usually partially hollow”. Depending on the printer and purpose of the part, they can be printed with a variety of fill techniques, including solid. Saying FDM parts in general are not strong is just plain wrong. Your hobbyist level desktop 3D printers aren’t making structurally noteworthy parts, but there are plenty of industrial 3D printers that make parts perfectly usable for fixtures.

    • The text says they are made from Nylon which is usually a very tough material, even being “partially hollow”. Your experience in working with FDM seems to be limited to PLA and the default slicer settings. By tweaking the type of infill (and all of the settings), the used material, postprocessing (i.e. annealing) and geometry you can alter the properties to make FDM parts very capable. Do a search yourself and you will find out that there is a whole lot of different materials that can be printed and offer the needed properties for different tasks.
      Nevertheless, I agree in using a spacer as the interface between the bolt and the caliper to transfer the torque, but more to make it foolproof. For the rest of the design, FDM printing seems to be a perfect fit as this part would be quite intricate to machine because of the long slots for the brushes or would need additional fasteners to fix the brushes if they used a more production-optimized geometry.

      • You probably wouldn’t make the nylon hollow at all. Rather it would be 100% infill since nylon is usually sintered and any space not filled with sintered nylon would just have nylon powder unless you made a hole for it to drain out.

        Re: this is best for FDM. No, not really. Yeah, 3D printing is adequate for it, but it could be made much more cheaply and efficiently with injection molding. There wouldn’t even need to be any side pulls besides for the cosmetic printing on that one side. Put it on a different surface and you might not need the side pull. It would be a straight forward two part mold with the only mildly complicated feature being a bump off to help retain the brushes. Yes, there would need to be a bit of draft for the brush grooves, but the brushes could also be made with mating draft.

        I’m assuming this was 3D printed just to get something to display at the show, and they’ll make an injection mold (hopefully with a metal insert- non circular so it won’t rotate) for actual production.

        • It does seem that Brake Protec are using 3D printing as a way to deliver the first phase of the product to consumers. They do intend to go to injection molded parts in the future, once sufficient funds are raised through early sales. The 3D printed parts are 100% functional in the meantime.

  3. Cool idea. One of those, “why hasn’t anyone thought of this before” things. Could be a good solution to those stories of people burning through whole sets of pads in wet and gritty CX or gravel races. Seems ideally suited to beach racing, but I’d like to see how they work in soupy or peanut buttery mud, where it seems like the brushes might load up. Even still, it might be an improvement in those conditions if it gets the bulk of crap off, unless the brushes start redistributing mud to the rotor surface that the pads have just scraped with a bout of braking. It would be interesting to see if they tested the brushes vs flat scraper blade designs.

  4. This is wrong. Completely wrong. The caliper will get loose.

    Plastic has creep which means it deforms under constant pressure Which means it will deform under the tightened bolt, untightening it in the process. A steel insert would do the trick. And this will happen without heat as well, but heat will help immensely.

    Also wear of of the brushes, how will the thing then function once the rotors wears even more and a gap is created between the brushes and the rotor?

    • Not necessarily. Brake caliper manufacturers include some “safety” clips with the brake caliper bolts. Some are metal with bent tabs, some are plastic with knurls that click. I think TRP, or Shimano had them. They don’t deform significantly at the correct torque.

    • Thanks guys! Please allow me to introduce myself. I have invented the Brake Protec System and I am very proud of the positive responses we have received regarding the Brake Protec.

      We have launched the Brake Protec in 2016. Due to our innovative way of production in 3D printing, we have been able to continuously improve our product. We carefully looked for the best materials for our application, which resulted in a water, heat and sunlight resistant product. We can even recycle a used Brake Protec system at a discount on a new set.

      The material itself is not indestructible, and it is not supposed to be. It functions fantastically well and is produced with the intention to break off in the event of a collision. This should prevent the Brake Protec from bending and possibly running against the disc, causing unnecessary friction. Nor should it further damage the other parts of the brakes.

      We have also chosen a first class material for the brushes. These are made of brass, which is a softer material than the hard brake disc and brass does not rust. When desired, we are also able to produce custom-made Brake Protec sets, in either Aluminum, Steel, Titanium or even Gold. All which are 3D-printed. Furthermore, we provide the Brake Protec with a 3-month warranty and a 30-days refund whenever unsatisfied, even on breakages. There is only one condition which has to be fulfilled. The original bolts of the calipers must be long enough to absorb 4 mm. Our experience is that the original bolts are usually long enough to absorb this.

      We believe in our philosophy and the distinctiveness of our product. Brake Protec saves your brakes!

    • I was thinking the exact same think – just in case your brake were silent, we put a brush on them. Still may be worth in horrible sand conditions, but I race 2-3 mud/ice fests every year and hard sintered pads last a couple of years including dirt rides, light MTB, etc.

  5. This product is a must buy. I brought a pair last year and they extended the life in my pads and discs significantly just by keeping the discs rid of dirt and rust! Mine lasted 6-7 months of hard riding on trails, beaches and roads and In the long run they also save you money on brake pads and discs. They also mean you get less rolling resistance because you haven’t got all the dirt that you would otherwise have rubbing on the pads!

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