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  1. #1
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    Issues With Hydraulic Brakes

    Hello, i've been having problems with my brakes for a while now. When I first bought the bike used off of someone almost 2 years ago the brakes were fine, I left my bike out during the summer with my dog and she bit the hydraulics so I ended up having to replace them. After replacing the brake hose and bleeding the brakes I realized that the braking was very weak from both front and rear, I later went to the bike shop and had them bleed the brakes for me since they are better with bikes than I am. I go ride my bike and the brakes are still very weak, after a while of leaving it out in the heat and humidity the disc was rusty so I later ended up replacing the front and rear disc with a 180 mm shimano disc and I also bought new metal pads, at first when I tried it out the brakes were very strong, I would be able to brake so hard that I would launch myself over the bars, it was insane. Now this previous summer I went outside of the country and never got a chance to take my bike with me because the airline didn't let me, my bike stayed in a box all summer and now that i'm back and assembled it, I realized that the brakes were very weak and I also noted that the brakes were very dirty somehow. I cleaned the brakes with alcohol and I thought that would do the trick but the brakes are still weak. I don't know whether it's because there is air in the system or what so I came on here looking for help since I don't want to have to replace my whole brake system.

  2. #2
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    I think the brakes (what brand?) are suffering from neglect, mostly. With how little you seem to use the bike, you may be a good candidate for mechanical disc brakes such as BB7's.

    Nothing will work well if you alternately feed it to the dog - keep it in a box for months - and/or let it accumulate rust.

    You may need a different sport.

  3. #3
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    Well I do use the bike and I did bring my other specialized bike to Panama over the summer I just wasn't able to bring that one which I really like. I just don't understand what's wrong with the brakes because now I have new pads and new discs but they also aren't as powerful as they were when I first installed them. I actually rode my specialized bike every day in Panama but now that i'm back in the US i'm not even able to use my bike since it also all of a sudden had a problem with the rear derailleur.

  4. #4
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    Also they are shimano brakes, not exactly sure which ones but I like to stick with my hydraulics. My other specialized has BB7's and I don't really like the feel of mechanical disc brakes to be honest.

  5. #5
    since 4/10/2009
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    without any more detail, I doubt none of us can really give you anything to go on.

    Standard maintenance for Shimano hydros is to bleed them and replace the pads and/or rotors when worn or excessively contaminated. Shimanos aren't really very maintainable beyond that. Hose replacement is something you'd do in the event of a failure (which you certainly had).

    I'm going to venture that with fresh (dry) hydro lines, any bleed procedure is going to have to take extra steps to ensure there are absolutely no bubbles trapped in there. Shimano's bleed procedure is pretty clear about doing that, and it's something you just have to keep doing until the bubbles are gone. That may or may not be your problem. But it's not something anyone here can verify because you're the one with the bike.

    If there's another problem like leaky seals somewhere, then sadly the best solution is to replace them.

  6. #6
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    Make friends with your bike shop, since they are better with bikes than you. If you don't service things they will fail, that's all there is to it.

  7. #7
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    Not saying this is the problem, but with my bikes I have 2 with discs, same model XT 785's. I ride my FS bike more often and my HT will often sit unused for extended periods of time. When I do get it out the brakes are terrible, after a coupdl of long decents they will come back but next ride be back to no good (especially the rear for some reason), but if I then keep using it regulalry they will come back and stay good. But then if I ride the HT a lot and the road bike (and other non disc bikes) and the FS bike isn't used, it has the same problem (but so far not as bad as I don't usually leave it unused as long).
    I was freaking out as the brakes were fine for 3-4 years then suddenly were crap, bleeding, changing pads onlyhelped short term. But it was the lack of use.
    Don't ask me why and it's not some scientific proof, but it seems how it works for my 2 bikes.
    All the gear and no idea.

  8. #8
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    How was the box with your bike in it stored? Was the bike upright? Was it in heat?
    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Make friends with your bike shop, since they are better with bikes than you. If you don't service things they will fail, that's all there is to it.

    Or...you spend around $70-200 and get a pre-bled, plug and play brake set with calipers, pads, and rotors that takes 20-30 minutes to install. This is an easy fix if he has the money.

    If you are on a budget: SHIMANO M315 Hydraulic Disc Brake Set Front 800mm and Rear 1400mm - Euro Model $70

    Deore is still a good choice for average hydraulic brakes, definitely worth the money:
    Shimano Deore BL-M615 Pre-Bled Disc Brake Assembled Set $72 front, $70 rear, $142 total. I have them on the rear, just changed the pads, they also accept SLX/XT pads too, same caliper clearance for them. Cannot go wrong with Shimano brakes. Easy to work on and stop fine (for a normal-weight bike).
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  10. #10
    Sneaker man
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    Or...you spend around $70-200 and get a pre-bled, plug and play brake set with calipers, pads, and rotors that takes 20-30 minutes to install. This is an easy fix if he has the money.

    If you are on a budget: SHIMANO M315 Hydraulic Disc Brake Set Front 800mm and Rear 1400mm - Euro Model $70

    Deore is still a good choice for average hydraulic brakes, definitely worth the money:
    Shimano Deore BL-M615 Pre-Bled Disc Brake Assembled Set $72 front, $70 rear, $142 total. I have them on the rear, just changed the pads, they also accept SLX/XT pads too, same caliper clearance for them. Cannot go wrong with Shimano brakes. Easy to work on and stop fine (for a normal-weight bike).
    clearly you didn't read the thread as it's shimano brakes he has.

    Also yes could be he needs new brakes, but more likely he just needs a bleed and new pads and then to just maintain them properly
    All the gear and no idea.

  11. #11
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    I don't understand why I would need new pads if I just got new pads not too long ago and were barely used. These are the pads I have https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-M06TI-Metal-Pad

  12. #12
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    Issues With Hydraulic Brakes-img_20180906_175246704.jpgIssues With Hydraulic Brakes-img_20180906_175301352.jpgIssues With Hydraulic Brakes-img_20180906_175314938.jpgIssues With Hydraulic Brakes-img_20180906_175327563.jpg

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athlon View Post
    I don't understand why I would need new pads if I just got new pads not too long ago and were barely used.
    You may not. The problem is that without checking the bike in person none of us can tell you what is wrong. It could be a bad bleed or it could be contamination of the pads/disks. Without seeing the bike we can't tell.

  14. #14
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    The only thing this is relatively old are the actual calipers, everything else is new.

  15. #15
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    Now I did realize that when cleaning the front brake pads and rotor that a bunch of black contaminants came off of it, which I thought was strange because I had only used the bike with those new brakes maybe like 4 times and not for too long. I'm not sure how it could of gotten contaminated when it was in a box unmoved the whole summer. Maybe a brake cleaner would do the trick?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athlon View Post
    The only thing this is relatively old are the actual calipers, everything else is new.
    Again, we'd need to actually see them Shimano brakes tend to be very reliable but if they've been neglected they may need new fluid but it could be some other issue. We don't know. Take the bike to a shop.

  17. #17
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    Also, how could this be the result of a bad bleed if when I first changed the rotors and the pads the braking performance was flawless.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Again, we'd need to actually see them Shimano brakes tend to be very reliable but if they've been neglected they may need new fluid but it could be some other issue. We don't know. Take the bike to a shop.
    I posted some pictures, not sure if that helps.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    How was the box with your bike in it stored? Was the bike upright? Was it in heat?
    The bike was kept in a garage all summer, so being in Florida, yes I am pretty certain that it was kept in the heat for the entire summer. Yet I don't know if it was upright or not.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athlon View Post
    I posted some pictures, not sure if that helps.
    No.

    There is nothing more we can do. You need to take it to a shop.

  21. #21
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    Do the levers still feel normal, just low on power?

    IF the levers still feel like normal you might just want to try and ride them & work them in. For some reason shimano brakes will lack stopping power after not being used for an extended amount of time. Getting them hot and running them hard usually fixes the issue.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    Do the levers still feel normal, just low on power?

    IF the levers still feel like normal you might just want to try and ride them & work them in. For some reason shimano brakes will lack stopping power after not being used for an extended amount of time. Getting them hot and running them hard usually fixes the issue.
    They feel pretty normal so yeah I could try that.

  23. #23
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    Try to brake them in (again).
    Ride around the block with your rear brake slightly pulled.
    It may make some noise in the beginning, but if everything is OK, things get quiet and you'll notice an increase in braking power.
    Do the same with the front brake.
    This 'll cost you nothing, just 10 minutes.
    Maybe this helps, maybe you are not using your bike (and your brakes) enough.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by thasingletrackmastah View Post
    Try to brake them in (again).
    Ride around the block with your rear brake slightly pulled.
    It may make some noise in the beginning, but if everything is OK, things get quiet and you'll notice an increase in braking power.
    Do the same with the front brake.
    This 'll cost you nothing, just 10 minutes.
    Maybe this helps, maybe you are not using your bike (and your brakes) enough.
    Thanks! I'll go try it out.

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