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  1. #1
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    brakes not working!

    Well, i was downhilling yestarday. and my brakes suddenyl wouldnt work!

    i thought i was screwed, what can i check to see whats wrong?


    im running the Shimano LX deore hydrolic system.

    my pads seem to be fine. my rotor looks normal and looks like the front, which i hardly use.

    could it just be needing new pads?
    could it just be needing new rotors?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Is it working now, or before this? You may need to bleed it. What kind of riding do you do where you hardly use the front brake.

    Check your pad that can be it too. I don't know your post is vague not much info there to go on.

  3. #3
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    my brakes dont work too well. there are times where it shines and will work, but sometimes they wont stop at all.

    well, apparently your supposed to use the front barely for uphill..

    alright, since my post is vague, what other information will you need?

  4. #4
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    I don't use my brake on uphill , if you only used your rear brake on the descend it's going to be hard to stop, even front only it's difficult([I tried it).

    If your brake already have problems then I'd check it before your next ride. Go thru the list,
    Pad
    Rotor
    Bleed
    I would take it to your LBS and have them take a look. It's always a good practice to use both brake

  5. #5
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    I think you need to provide a little more information. What does not working mean? The levers slammed to the handle bar? The brakes felt normal but did not slow you down? They spontaneously combusted?

  6. #6
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    OK for example, if you brake is working at the beginning of the ride and fail on the descend, it could be from rotor and caliper are overheating and the brake fade or fail. Especially, when you are only use the rear brake.

    Btw, the only time the rear brake would be useful is on the uphill as you weight mostly rest on the rear

  7. #7
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    Wow. Sounds like you have an on going issue with the brakes. Stop riding your bike. As mentioned, pads, rotors, bleed. And check for leaks and connections. If you can't do this, take it to a shop that can. Just drive there.

  8. #8
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    Brake fade? if you are only using your rear brake you are going get some wicked brake fade and turn your pads to glass

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    I don't use my brake on uphill , if you only used your rear brake on the descend it's going to be hard to stop, even front only it's difficult([I tried it).

    If your brake already have problems then I'd check it before your next ride. Go thru the list,
    Pad
    Rotor
    Bleed
    I would take it to your LBS and have them take a look. It's always a good practice to use both brake
    oh okay. thanks, but ive brought it to my LBS, and they said it was too early to do a bleed, having the bike for 4 months, and riding for about 50-70hours already. they said i should bleed it every 6 months..

  10. #10
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    I think you need to provide a little more information.
    What does not working mean?
    Well, the brakes themselves would not give enough stopping power in my opinion, and felt like they werent working and out of order.
    The levers slammed to the handle bar?
    Yes.

    The brakes felt normal but did not slow you down?
    yea, the amount of pressure that was needed to stop was applied and did not slow me down.
    They spontaneously combusted?
    what do you mean?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    OK for example, if you brake is working at the beginning of the ride and fail on the descend, it could be from rotor and caliper are overheating and the brake fade or fail. Especially, when you are only use the rear brake.

    Btw, the only time the rear brake would be useful is on the uphill as you weight mostly rest on the rear
    oh, then your right i think. the brakes where working wonders at the beginning. do you think i should swap to metallic pads and metallic compatible rotors?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by knl2stl
    Wow. Sounds like you have an on going issue with the brakes. Stop riding your bike. As mentioned, pads, rotors, bleed. And check for leaks and connections. If you can't do this, take it to a shop that can. Just drive there.
    i have taken it to my LBS a few times, all they say is, that i shouldnt bleed it yet since ive only had the bike for 4 months, and they prefer 6 months.

    i think ill invest in metallic compatible rotors and pads

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyler243
    Brake fade? if you are only using your rear brake you are going get some wicked brake fade and turn your pads to glass
    is it possible to rub off the pad for more grip?

  14. #14
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    hmm, ive been thinking..


    is it okay to dremel notches in the pad to allow air to ventalate and have the notches grip on the rotor more??

  15. #15
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    Glazed pads can often be sanded on fine grit, and then re-bed. Has anyone asked: Have your brakes always been like this? If brake sometimes working sometimes not, sounds like some air hiding and then moving about. Do brakes work when going slow on flat? Maybe pads got glazed on the downhill. But still, sounds like something is wrong and your LBS should not have you wait two more months. Good luck.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattlikestobike


    im running the Shimano LX deore hydrolic system.
    I'd upgrade to either a cable or hydraulic actuated system.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by knl2stl
    Glazed pads can often be sanded on fine grit, and then re-bed. Has anyone asked: Have your brakes always been like this? If brake sometimes working sometimes not, sounds like some air hiding and then moving about. Do brakes work when going slow on flat? Maybe pads got glazed on the downhill. But still, sounds like something is wrong and your LBS should not have you wait two more months. Good luck.
    sounds easy.

    yes my brakes have been acting up. sometimes its strong, sometimes it isnt. but down the hill there was no power at all

    you may be right, air may be trapped.. ill get it bleed ASAP>

    thanks

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    I'd upgrade to either a cable or hydraulic actuated system.
    not sure what the hydraulic actuated system is, but i believe its what i have.

    mines hydraulic, disc brake. Shimano Deore LX.

  19. #19
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    I think your brake pads may need some reconditioning, but your problem may be the braking technique. If you are only using the rear brake it would be like driving a car and only use emergency brake, soon after you overheat the brake it's useless.

    You can ride much faster and better if you know how to brake, it's also easy on the equipment as well. Do a search on braking technique.

  20. #20
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    ooh okay will do that

    thanks

  21. #21
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    In all this one thing glares out to me- the lever going to the bar. This is a result of air in the system (likely trapped in teh master cylinder reservoir and then getting drawn into the master cylinder bore) or potential damage to the master cylinder piston or hose.
    Easy check. Grab a pad spacer and insert it between the pads. Check the lever feel. if it bites firm, bingo, there's air in them there masters. This test just pushes the air out of the bore & into the reservoir, allowing the brake to engage properly. A short bleed, more or less topping off the reservoir, will remedy the problem. If the lever doesn't firm up with the pad spacer in between the pads, well, you may have one of the other problems. Unlikely, but cross that bridge if/when ya get to it.
    You are not what you own.

  22. #22
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    You must have the laziest LBS ever!

    They won't bleed your brakes for you b/c its under 6 months?!? BLLSHT

  23. #23
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    Sounds like you over tax your existing brake system. With the ride down hill with a large amount of brake fade, its one of 2 things.

    One, you are not using the brakes properly - front AND rear together to provide optimal braking power

    Two, you over heated the pads/rotors. You might just need to replace the pads and upgrade the front rotor to the next larger size.

    However, if the brake system overheated, then the fluid needs to be changed.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by juancancook
    Easy check. Grab a pad spacer and insert it between the pads. Check the lever feel. if it bites firm, bingo, there's air in them there masters. This test just pushes the air out of the bore & into the reservoir, allowing the brake to engage properly..
    i think you hit the jackpot, but im still uncertain.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainlane
    You must have the laziest LBS ever!

    They won't bleed your brakes for you b/c its under 6 months?!? BLLSHT
    you said it man.

    Lol no joke, they said its "too early too bleed, i would rather reccomend you to come in after riding every 6 months"

    im not sure what i should really do since this is my first bike with the hydrolic system in it. would you reccomend me to bleed the brakes myself? or is it difficult?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by frdfandc
    Sounds like you over tax your existing brake system. With the ride down hill with a large amount of brake fade, its one of 2 things.

    One, you are not using the brakes properly - front AND rear together to provide optimal braking power

    Two, you over heated the pads/rotors. You might just need to replace the pads and upgrade the front rotor to the next larger size.

    However, if the brake system overheated, then the fluid needs to be changed.
    darn, ill learn, but my learning curve for the front and rear is still going.

    Wait, about the oil, i thought the oil could withstand at least 400F without needing to get replaced. last time i went downhill, i felt my brakes just in case. they were hot, but not hot enough to take your fingers off before 3 seconds.

  27. #27
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    Shop won't bleed the brakes because they're not 6 months old, you've got to be bloody kidding! No mechanic worth a #$% would send you back out on the trail with the problems your having. If your brakes heat up and fade on a downhill, the lever pulls to the bar (if I read correctly) and braking power is inconsistant then you NEED a bleed, period!

    If your shop continues like this I would find another shop or get a bleed kit and do it myself.

    As mentioned before it sounds like technique may also be a contributing factor. About 75% of your braking power comes from the front wheel, more when the bike is pointed downhill. Learn to use the front brake and you will have fewer fade issues, and will spend less time sanding the shiny glaze coating off your rear brake

    happy trails...

    squish
    Get out and ride!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by squish
    Shop won't bleed the brakes because they're not 6 months old, you've got to be bloody kidding! No mechanic worth a #$% would send you back out on the trail with the problems your having. If your brakes heat up and fade on a downhill, the lever pulls to the bar (if I read correctly) and braking power is inconsistant then you NEED a bleed, period!

    If your shop continues like this I would find another shop or get a bleed kit and do it myself.

    As mentioned before it sounds like technique may also be a contributing factor. About 75% of your braking power comes from the front wheel, more when the bike is pointed downhill. Learn to use the front brake and you will have fewer fade issues, and will spend less time sanding the shiny glaze coating off your rear brake

    happy trails...

    squish
    i was thinking of actually gettting a bleed kit, but my shop says its incredibly hard for people.

    Is it really hard? IMO it looks pretty simple, but i havent opened anything yet.. so i cant really say.

  29. #29
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    It doesn't sound to me that you know enough about your machine to manage this problem. This is a safety issue. Take it to the shop and get them to assess the problem.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    It doesn't sound to me that you know enough about your machine to manage this problem. This is a safety issue. Take it to the shop and get them to assess the problem.
    alright, i guess this may be my only route then. will go to the LBS and make them replace the fluid. BTW, before getting it bleed, is it possible to just open the resoviour and then try to let the air bubbles float out by it self by leaving it over night?

  31. #31
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    No. Take it to the shop and stay off of it until it is fixed.

  32. #32
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    ^^^X a million...unless your on a fixie... if that's the case, pick me up a pack of pall malls
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  33. #33
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    I think frdfandc hit it the first time about you have cooked your brake fluid and need to replace it. Gotta learn not to tax your rear brake to prevent this from happening again. There's nothing wrong with using front brake together with rear, cover the front with one finger.

  34. #34
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    got it. ah now is a new learning process.

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