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  1. #1
    Reputation: Map204's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Brakes Not Working When Wet

    I've got Avid Elixer 1's (I know, I know) that are perfectly fine for my riding. I'm not doing anything that I would need all that much better brakes for, though the front could be a little stronger. My big issue is when they're wet.

    There are several streams with crossing points I could just ride through. Most people I see riding in the park just go right through it, no problem. When I've done that it doesn't work out well. Immediately after exiting the water you can hear the grit on the rotors and pads. Once I go to brake, they feel the same but they've lost all their power. Oh, and the noise! Forget turkey worble. It's like 10 turkeys being slowly killed. It's loud as hell.

    I replaced the ineffective organic pads for semi-metallic a few months ago. This helped with the power quite a lot, though they make a tiny bit of noise when dry. The major issue is the major lack of power for about 10-15 minutes after being wet until I can get some heat back in the rotors. Is there something I can do other than riding along with the brakes engaged hoping to get the rotors a little hot? I don't have money for new brakes. It's just not there right now.

    This would help me a lot as I'll be going in the water much more often. The bridges in my favorite park were just torn down by the county. If you're in south jersey near Ceres Park, you know what I'm talking about.

    2013 Chromag Rootdown
    2010 SC Chameleon
    2001 Specalized Rockhopper FSR

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Your situation sounds bad. I've had cheap Shimano mechs and two versions of the Shimano SLX hydraulics. They all lose power when wet but still work (the best being the M666s with scintered pads). All of them 'honk' loudly when wet and don't take too long to return to normal braking.

    Maybe you can do a good cleaning, including a light sanding of the brake pads and rotors followed by a thorough cleaning with isopropyl alcohol (90% or higher). Then do a pad "break-in" if necessary. See if that helps? Or maybe try different brand rotors?

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