It was totally my fault and I did it when pushing the piston back in the caliper with something other than the box end of a 10mm wrench. This is the second time I've done it too.
The first time I did it I took it to a LBS and was given a smoking deal on a take off set of XT breaks and was suckered easily into a purchace. This time I did it on a different bike and don't have any cash so I decided to fix it myself.
It was crazy easy, and I have zero experience doing this kind of work.
Hayes sent me the piston kit for free too after a quick call. Excellent CS from the guy I talked with. He recommended the following method which didn't even require me taking the caliper apart. This is not exactly what he said, but it was something like it.
1. Take the brake off the bike
2. Put an old pad in the unbroken piston side.
3. Pump the brake lever until the broken one comes out of the bore. Keep the broken side facing up so you do not get fluid all over everything when it comes out. It took a few minutes of pumping.
4. Push the unbroken side back in a bit to keep it from coming out during the process
5. Take the piston out with needle nose pliers slowly to keep from making a mess
6. Push the unbroken side all the way back in and slide the new piston (well coated in DOT 3 or 4) into the caliper and push it all the way back in place.
7. Drink a beer, you just saved a bunch of money.
The CS guy said this this method could be done in a way to not need bleeding after the new piston goes it. I could see how that would happen, but it did'nt work that way for me. I was rushing the process a bit and knew it had been about 2 years and heavy riding since the last bleed so I was going to do it anyway. If I were more careful and slow I think I could have pulled it off.
I know it is popular to hate on Hayes Stroker brakes, but the only problems I've had with them is me setting them up poorly in the past, and beaking the post off from foolishness. Great CS from Hayes and I'm stoaked to have done this with out spending a dime>
I think I spent $175 for the set 3 years ago. Excellent value!
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