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Bonas Labs Disc-O-Matic automatically beds in disc brakes

bonas labs discomatic disc brake bedding machine for bike shops
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While jokingly aimed at helping bike shops avoid those extended “test rides” that pull mechanics out of the service bay for too long, the Bonas Labs Disc-O-Matic’s real purpose is to quickly and properly bed in disc brakes before a new bike is sent out to shred.

Founder Jonas Mikolayunas says that, too often, bikes are assembled and then turned over to the rider without having the brakes fully bedded and burnished, if at all. The result are underperforming brakes, especially when the rider doesn’t know how to (or even know that they should) spend a few minutes to bed in new pads and rotors.

bonas labs discomatic disc brake bedding machine for bike shops

“The goal of the bedding & burnishing process,” according to Mikolayunas, “is to create a tribolfilm on the pad and rotor surfaces which, unfortunately, can only be detected with expensive laboratory spectroscopy equipment.”

In laymen’s terms, that means embedding pad material into the rotor’s surface to maximize surface contact area, then heat it until it creates a film to maximize friction during braking, and there’s an art and science to the process. Too much speed or pressure can do a poor job of transferring enough material, or prematurely glaze the pads slightly and diminish braking power. Geek out on the process with their Explainer article.

bonas labs discomatic disc brake bedding machine for bike shops

Mikolayunas: “While the final test for the tribofilm presence still relies on the mechanic’s experience and touch to feel for the “before and after” bedding comparison, we’ve given them a consistent platform upon which to operate. The amp load display lets the user know how hard they’re working the motor and the green “pressure” light defines the boundary between the “Bedding” and “Burnishing ” stages. At lower amps the green light is OFF and the user can lightly transfer pad material to the rotor without heating the system up too much. Once that is complete then the user can apply more pressure in short bursts to increase the heat and change the chemical composition of the mixed materials into a triboflim. Both wheels can be bedded and burnished in three minutes.”

The Disc-O-Matic can bed and burnish both wheels in about three minutes, much quicker (and, likely, safer) than doing it in the parking lot outside the shop, with more consistent (and not weather dependent) results.

bonas labs discomatic disc brake bedding machine for bike shops

The production version shown here currently retails for $3,495 and is aimed at high-volume shops (they have a labor-versus-this-device cost comparison on their website), but say they are trying to bring the price down.

It’s made to industrial equipment standards, yet is easy to assemble, service, and repair. And it’s built as sustainably as possible thanks to the use of a Baltic Birch frame and a hardwood drum for the tires to roll on. A Brushless motor lasts longer, and a kick-panel switch quickly adjusts speed/on/off while you keep both hands on the bike.

BonasLabs.com

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14 Comments
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Charles
Charles
20 days ago

When does the fat bike version come out??

BikeHoarder6
BikeHoarder6
20 days ago

Why can’t the disc brake manufacturers do this as part of the post-production process?

mud
mud
20 days ago
Reply to  BikeHoarder6

Bedding disc pads is akin to setting toe-in on rim calipers – can’t be done til it’s mounted on the bike.

mud
mud
20 days ago

Couldn’t you just use a trainer? Way cheaper, lots of used ones on craigslist.

Jaap
Jaap
20 days ago
Reply to  mud

A trainer for your front wheel?

SNK
SNK
19 days ago
Reply to  Jaap

Rollers

Matthew Webster
Matthew Webster
18 days ago
Reply to  Jaap

Treadmill

Dockboy
Dockboy
19 days ago
Reply to  mud

Sort of. You could use it to bed in your rear brake, but there’s no way to spin up the front wheel on one. Rollers seems like a disastrous option.

This is a high-volume shop tool, not a fix for home mechanics that may only replace a few sets of pads a year. If a shop has a full-time building staff, this could be a big money saver while also keeping liability down.

Robbo
Robbo
19 days ago

Pretty ingenious, and probably sensible for high volume sales. But I’d have thought it’ll be a lot more cost effective for most shops to have a member of staff spend a few minutes manually bedding the brakes in – it doesn’t take long!!

Robin
Robin
19 days ago
Reply to  Robbo

Easy calculation: multiply the hourly wage of an employee by the time required to bed-in pads on a ride, and then divide the cost of this device by that product. That quotient will be the number of bedding-in rides necessary to pay for this device. If an LBS owner thinks that number is too many, then he or she won’t purchase this. If the LBS owner thinks that number is comfortably small, they can buy it. I don’t otherwise see how anyone besides the LBS owner can make that call or how anyone that’s not an LBS owner can make such a judgment call. I’d say punters in internet comment sections fall into that latter category.

Destroyer666
Destroyer666
18 days ago
Reply to  Robin

No, it’s our job to make that call! P.S. Your math is too difficult.

Robin
Robin
17 days ago
Reply to  Destroyer666

It is the shop’s call. That’s why no one is forced to buy these. Sure, you can be upset this exists, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t shops that won’t do that calculus and find that these payoff.

You’ll note I only described how that calculus would be done. I did not say everyone had to do it. Granted, the math is super hard.

Logic Analyzer
Logic Analyzer
17 days ago

“a tribolfilm on the pad and rotor surfaces which, unfortunately, can only be detected with expensive laboratory spectroscopy equipment.”
“While the final test for the tribofilm presence still relies on the mechanic’s experience and touch to feel”

Thanks for revealing that the bike industry ist just a markting gang that, apart from having low engineering standards, is also imcapable of basic logic.

Benji
Benji
17 days ago

Cyclone have been making a bedding in tool for a few years now.

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