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  1. #1
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    Hope M4 setup help needed

    I bought 2012 Hope M4 203F/183R with new floating rotors. I am having a hard time keeping the pads from rubbing the rotors.

    I have trued the rotors to within +/- 1mm.

    I watched the videos on centering the pistons by pushing them back into the caliper, but whenever I adjust the pistons, they just end up back where they were.

    The main problem seems to be that there is less than 1mm TOTAL clearance from rotor to pads after I seat the pistons. Like 0.5 mm on each side. There is just not enough room for a perfect adjustment. It seems like there is too much fluid in it or something.

    I have the calipers centered and flush to the rotors as best I can. I have moved the calipers around attempting to stop the rub but can't get it.

    I have taken them for 10 miles of singletrack in their not-so-good state of adjustment, and they were quiet, powerful, and I really like them. I just want them adjusted perfectly, not close.

    Somebody explain this Hope centralizing the pads deal to me. I can't figure it out.

    Would a bleed help? They sure don't feel like they need it.

    Any Hope setup gurus out there?

  2. #2
    human dehumidifier
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    I just got my Hopes and am no guru for sure, but I went so far as measuring the gap between the pistons, finding the center, and marking the caliper so I have a line to centralize to. I also measured to find the gap between pads and tried using feeler gauges to get it right. My front brake still rubs. I saw some comments recommending to use this Hayes tool to stop the guess work

    Hayes Brake Pad & Rotor Alignment Tool in Tree Fort Bikes Brake (cat288)
    When you get older, much of your hate comes from knowledge and experience, which is why really old people hate everyone

  3. #3
    007
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    It takes practice, no doubt . . . the centralizing the pads part was the one thing that took me the longest to get right, however, its one of the essential steps.

    What I would do is start over . . . remove the pads, reset the pistons and ensure that the caliper is PERFECTLY aligned with the rotor using feeler gauges. Then drop the pads back in and give the lever a SLOW squeeze. Pay VERY close attention to the pistons/pads as you squeeze to see whats happening. Give them a few pumps until they are set. Once they are in place, spin the wheel to see what kind of rub you are getting . . . you are right though, that there is WAY less than 1mm between the pad and rotor so +/-1mm ain't going to cut it . . . not even close.

    See if you can bend the rotor true. You want to put gloves on for this and use your hands, NOT a tool as that creates too much leverage. Place your thumb on the carrier and push or pull on the brake track using 3 fingers spread out as far as you can comfortably get them. Be very gentle! A little force goes a LONG way. This part takes insane amounts of patience and trial/error. Once you get it as true as you can, its time to look at what the pads are doing. Do they hit the rotor at the same time? The goal is to fully depress the lever without any flex in the rotor.

    This is the tricky part, and I'm sure there are people who will be able to explain it better than I can, but essentially what you need to do is determine which pad is hitting first, push that one back in all the way and push the other one in only part way so that it starts out a little further. Then, as you squeeze the lever, you want to HOLD the pad that was touching first in place while you squeeze, let go and then let it move freely. This also takes trial/error and MUCH PATIENCE. This is for sure the hardest part about setting these things up . . .

    Hopefully someone can give you better directions than me . . . .
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  4. #4
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob View Post
    I just got my Hopes and am no guru for sure, but I went so far as measuring the gap between the pistons, finding the center, and marking the caliper so I have a line to centralize to. I also measured to find the gap between pads and tried using feeler gauges to get it right. My front brake still rubs. I saw some comments recommending to use this Hayes tool to stop the guess work

    Hayes Brake Pad & Rotor Alignment Tool in Tree Fort Bikes Brake (cat288)
    Hope's have a center line already CNC'd into the caliper, don't they? Mine do . . . .
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  5. #5
    human dehumidifier
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    The center line is only on one side of my X2s
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  6. #6
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    Thank you for the help on this, I will obtain some feeler gauges. It's nice knowing I am not completely inept at setting these up.

  7. #7
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    i can hardly see any space between the rotor and pads when i look at it straight down. since i cant really see any space between the rotor and pads, i cant see any point to trying to overthink it and do their centering thing.
    occasionally mine rub a bit, but usually they quit once i pump the brakes a few times. sorry i cant help more

  8. #8
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    Strange, I had no issues aligning the calipers on my m4s. I have plenty of gap to get them aligned, with my new pads I replaced. Did you get the floating rotors or fixed rotors? When I received a new rotor fixed, it was bent. I had to return it. I ended up going back to floating rotors.

  9. #9
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    If you cant centralize the pads, you might try bleeding them. Its super simple, and you will need to learn how to do it anyways. Just need a bottle to catch the fluid, 8mm wrench, torex wrench, clear hose, and dot 5.1 fluid. If you need to shorten your brake hoses now would be a good opportunity.

  10. #10
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    Thanks stumpy, the hoses are too long, so I will give it a shot.

  11. #11
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    When you shorten the hoses, you dont need any special tools just a good pair of cutters, pliers, and 8mm wrench. Its best to measure before you cut, and when pulling the barb out of the hose be super careful so you dont damage it with your pliers. Hope has some good videos for hose shortening, & bleeding.

  12. #12
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooner518 View Post
    i can hardly see any space between the rotor and pads when i look at it straight down. since i cant really see any space between the rotor and pads, i cant see any point to trying to overthink it and do their centering thing.
    occasionally mine rub a bit, but usually they quit once i pump the brakes a few times. sorry i cant help more
    It makes a BIG difference if the pads aren't centered. I speak from experience on this. If your rotor flexes when the brakes are applied, its a pretty noticeable loss of power.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  13. #13
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    What I have always done with Hopes is center the caliper. Some brakes are not good at this and some people are not good at this, but I loosen the calipers to finger tight, clamp the brakes with the lever and gently tighten each screw and then release and really look at the disk where the pads are and squeeze the lever and see if the disk is flexing. If it is, I tag the caliper a bit so there is zero flex in the rotor and walla. It normally works perfect for me every time because the hope pads will self adjust a bit as well.

  14. #14
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    This might be a complete aside, but what rotors are you using? Some are significantly thicker than others and can lead to some of the centring issues you are describing...

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