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  1. #1
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    Upset 2012 Epic Carbon 29er - brakes suck

    Has anyone else had this problem? The shop told me last Friday they have to break in. Fine. So the squealing is getting worse and worse. Yesterday was so embarrassing I had to walk it in some places to now scare the shee shee out of people -
    Today I may wear ear plugs.
    Again, mechanic at shop said, "that's the way they are" ??? Are you serious? With price tag of 5800.00, after upgrades 7K - the response is "they are all like that" -

    I have several mountain bikes and ridden for years and, yes, I have had issues here and there, but usually the bike shop at least tries to look at it and do something?
    Should I try organic pads? Should I get new brakes? If that's the case, I should have just bought the S-Works.


  2. #2
    davidcarson48
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    If SwissStop makes pads for your brakes, go for them. They fixed my Avid squeal.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidcarson48 View Post
    If SwissStop makes pads for your brakes, go for them. They fixed my Avid squeal.
    SwissStop pads Worked wonders for my avid brakes too. They're expensive, but worth it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by stenogrl View Post
    Has anyone else had this problem? The shop told me last Friday they have to break in. Fine. So the squealing is getting worse and worse. Yesterday was so embarrassing I had to walk it in some places to now scare the shee shee out of people -
    Today I may wear ear plugs.
    Again, mechanic at shop said, "that's the way they are" ??? Are you serious? With price tag of 5800.00, after upgrades 7K - the response is "they are all like that" -

    I have several mountain bikes and ridden for years and, yes, I have had issues here and there, but usually the bike shop at least tries to look at it and do something?
    Should I try organic pads? Should I get new brakes? If that's the case, I should have just bought the S-Works.

    If you spent $7 after upgrades on an expert... you really should have just gotten the S-works. You should have been able to get one for not a whole lot more than that and it would have been a good bit lighter.

    Anyway... on the the brakes. They shouldn't make an excessive amount of noise. Have you tried clearning the rotors with rubbing alcohol or brake parts cleaner (much better)? Do that and see if it improves anything. Also, take the pads out and sand/file them a bit, then clean them with the brakes parts cleaner as well. They might be glazed up a bit on you, contributing the the noise.

    Organic pads should quite things down a bit.... always an option. But, I'd try the other fixes first.

    Oh... and find a new LBS

  5. #5
    g3h6o3
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    Bloody hell you are quick at jumping to conclusions...

    The Formula brakes are not known for squealing but all brakes can. Try centering the rotor in the caliper, this is the usual/most common solution.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  6. #6
    transmitter~receiver
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    align then toe-in your calipers a hair.
    clean your rotors with alcohol.
    take your pads out and bake them at 250 for 15 minutes.
    if all that doesn't help, organic pads are your next step.
    if you're not happy with the bike, lean harder on the shop you bought it from. they should know all these tricks and more. "they are all like that" should not be acceptable. ask for a manager if you get that response again. be courteous and polite and calm.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  7. #7
    Compelling, and rich.
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    Could be contaminated pads.

    Also, did you properly bed-in the brakes before you took your bike out on the trails?

  8. #8
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    thanks - the bike was 5800 and 1100 for the Roval wheels - out the door it was 6860 with upgrades to XX - still the sworks was 10,500 - holy cow -
    I am sort of still the girl in a man's world as far as mt biking... ;-) lol - so i need to find another LBS to try these suggestions. If I had someone to sit in my garage and watch me play by play sand my brake pads, i would be in heaven - but on my own, that would be scary - so i do count on the LBS - i have to. guys with whom i ride are pretty busy, so i hate to ask them. - maybe easier to get the swiss pads and have new LBS change them.
    Otherwise my 4th ride was yesterday and i nailed a climb i have been trying to make for three years!
    Have a lot to get used to from 26 to 29 - but i am kicking it so far and going out now!!! my office is wondering "what happened to our boss?" - "ahh she got a 29er" and she is gone!
    i love you all for your suggestions, believe me, i need your help.

  9. #9
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    If you aren't ready to take the pads out and sand them, then just try the brake parts cleaner. Spray it on a rag and wipe the rotors down really well (both sides). Then spray a little in the caliper at the pads. If there is some surface junk on them it could help take it off.

    If it still does it... then take it back to the shop and be more insistent that it isn't right and that you aren't happy with their service after dropping $7k in their business.

  10. #10
    g3h6o3
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    You love me???

    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  11. #11
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    I got a set of Avid Elixir 5s for my old Trek 6000 which came with metallic pads. They're pretty noisy but they do stop really well.

    My 2011 Specialized Camber Expert came with Elixir 5s with the same rotors I have on my Trek, but with the organic pads; They are nearly silent. A little noise on occasion but nothing like the ones on my Trek. I'm pretty sure everything is aligned on both since I'm pretty anal about centering so the rotor doesn't get hit by either pad first and they're straight. I can only assume the organic pads are quieter.

    -Eric

  12. #12
    g3h6o3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rccardude04 View Post
    I got a set of Avid Elixir 5s for my old Trek 6000 which came with metallic pads. They're pretty noisy but they do stop really well.

    My 2011 Specialized Camber Expert came with Elixir 5s with the same rotors I have on my Trek, but with the organic pads; They are nearly silent. A little noise on occasion but nothing like the ones on my Trek. I'm pretty sure everything is aligned on both since I'm pretty anal about centering so the rotor doesn't get hit by either pad first and they're straight. I can only assume the organic pads are quieter.

    -Eric
    Avid brakes are reputable for their noisiness.
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  13. #13
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    Being a 2012 should have the new HS rotor...that was supposed to be the fix. I'm on a 2011 and was looking to upgrade to the HS rotor but it looks like they still haven't ironed out the problem. My LBS said there is a lot of heat being put on avid right now about the squealing so hopefully there will be a solution soon.
    Here's a paddle...looks like we're in the same boat. The only temporary solution I've had was a good cleaning with simple green degreaser...seems to lessen the squeal for a ride or two.

  14. #14
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    You have to bed them in before riding!!! Try and bed them, if they don't get better you'll have to clean the rotors then bed them.

    6860 for the Expert with carbon rovals, WOW.
    Was your shop not willing to budge from MSRP on the bike?

  15. #15
    g3h6o3
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    To the OP, did you get decent power from the brakes after following people's advice?
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  16. #16
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    Your brake pads are not aligned or evenly spaced around your rotor or you have a sticky piston. I have owned Juicy 5 (i.e. J5), J7, Elixir 3 SL (i.e. E3) and BB7s and all of the Avid hydraulic brakes I have used developed a sticky piston after about 2 months of service. A sticky/frozen piston does not extend out when you pull down on the brake lever so what happens is the opposing piston's brake pad pushes the rotor across the wide gap to the frozen piston's brake pad. Instead of the rotor being squeezed-clamped evenly on both sides by the brake pads it is pushed from one side and clamped against the stationary pad. The one sided push causes the rotor to deflect or bow slightly where the edges of the pushing brake pad protrude into the rotors slots causing the rear end to vibrate, which manifests into the dreaded turkey gobbler noise. Case and point I purchased a 2011 Specialized Camber Elite 29er about two and a half months ago and last weekend I repaired a sticky piston in the rear E3 caliper, which was starting to gobble. Generally, LBS mechanics are not schooled in hydraulic brake repair so they don't know what to look for or how to repair brakes.

    Caliper pistons will start to stick when dirt and brake dust works its way in-between the piston and seal. Since all bicycle disc brake that are currently on the market do not protect their piston seals from dirt with dust shields, they all will all develop sticky pistons. Riding on trails with dry loose dirt or gravel roads with dusty road base will accelerate this process--especially on the rear brake where a lot of dust and dirt is kicked up by both tires. Sanding the sharp outer edges off your brake pads or installing non-slotted rotors will decrease some of the vibration; however it will not fix the root problem. Note; automotive and motorcycle disc brake manufacturer's all went through this same learning curve with sticky pistons until they incorporated dust shields into their calipers. For example, a modern automotive disc brakes are very durable and can operate for hundreds of thousands of miles before their hydraulic circuits need to be rebuilt. If a piston in an automotive caliper seizes it is usually caused by a torn dust shield or an old routed-out dust shield, which exposed the seal to dirt and brake pad dust.

    I can get two seasons of service out my brakes before the pistons start to stick by applying silicone brake prep grease to the seals before I press the pistons back into their cylinders. The excess grease that is squeezed-out in-front of the seal, blocks the dirt from entering the seal directly. Eventually, the dust will work its way through the layer of grease and get lodged between the seal and piston.

  17. #17
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    I have used four different avid models over the past 8 years - BB7, Juicy 7, Elixir 5 and Elixir CR. It was a painful lesson - the Avids are just not worth it. IMHO - ditch the Avids (sell on e-bay or CL) and get a set of the new Shimano XT or XTR trail brakes + ICE rotors. I have both sets on two different bikes - night and day difference from any Avid. Save yourself the pain and anguish (and money) that the Avids bring all of us. I'm sure you have read all the negative comments about Avid here in the forums.

  18. #18
    g3h6o3
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    Quote Originally Posted by moediff View Post
    I have used four different avid models over the past 8 years - BB7, Juicy 7, Elixir 5 and Elixir CR. It was a painful lesson - the Avids are just not worth it. IMHO - ditch the Avids (sell on e-bay or CL) and get a set of the new Shimano XT or XTR trail brakes + ICE rotors. I have both sets on two different bikes - night and day difference from any Avid. Save yourself the pain and anguish (and money) that the Avids bring all of us. I'm sure you have read all the negative comments about Avid here in the forums.
    The OP has Formula brakes...
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  19. #19
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    my bad...

  20. #20
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    I would have to say you have some kind of contaminants on the rotor/pads. Clean them both with brake cleaner and re-bed the brakes. Make sure calipers are centered, rotors and calipers are properly torqued and spend the time to properly bed them.

    Now, if you had Shimano's you don;t have to do anything. Just ride the crap out of them

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil View Post
    The OP has Formula brakes...
    Are you sure? The 12 Epic comp carbon 29er comes with Elixir 7 SL's with the new HS-1 rotor which was supposed to be the fix to the Avid brake howling and shuttering problems they've been having. My LBS bedded in a set on a brand new test bike according to Avid's instructions and it shutters badly too.

    The problem is with Avid, their pads and their rotors or a combination of them all.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by brandonrol View Post
    Are you sure? The 12 Epic comp carbon 29er comes with Elixir 7 SL's with the new HS-1 rotor which was supposed to be the fix to the Avid brake howling and shuttering problems they've been having.
    OP specified that he purchased an EPIC Carbon 29er that MSRP'd for $5800. This means he has an Expert which came with Formula brakes per Specialized spec sheet.

  23. #23
    g3h6o3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebnash View Post
    OP specified that he purchased an EPIC Carbon 29er that MSRP'd for $5800. This means he has an Expert which came with Formula brakes per Specialized spec sheet.
    Exactly, except "he" is a "she" I believe...
    Check out my SportTracks plugins for some training aid software.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil View Post
    Exactly, except "he" is a "she" I believe...
    10-4 Didn't realize it was an expert...my bad.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by moediff View Post
    I have used four different avid models over the past 8 years - BB7, Juicy 7, Elixir 5 and Elixir CR. It was a painful lesson - the Avids are just not worth it..
    exactly, avids just plain suck. On my beautifull sworks stumpy the xx brakes didn't last more than a month before the pistons began to stick.

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