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  1. #1
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    Large vibration with rear braking

    I recently purchased (two days ago) a 2013 Felt Nine 50 Bike, I enjoy the Bike and I've already put about 50 miles on it. But I have noticed one problem when braking from speeds over 10 miles an hour I get a fairly large vibration when braking from the rear end. I switched out the rear brake pads and still nothing. Brought it back to the LBS where I bought it they made some minor adjustments (basically tightening everything down) didn't help much. They've mentioned they've seen the same problem a few years ago with another brand name bicycle manufacture, they mentioned the fix was replacing the rotor, as the braking system was SRAM and the rotor was Shimano, same thing on this bike (Avid Elixr 1 hydraulic disc brakes, SM- RT64 180mm rotor front/ 160mm rear 6 bolt rotors).

    The LBS is going to contact the manufacture (Felt) to see if they are aware of this problem and it there is a fix. They mentioned it could take a few days to get an answer and possibly an additional few days to get parts if needed. Of course I'm inpatient, If it's just the rotor I have no problems replacing it, but I noticed the rotor is Shimano proprietary ďcenter locked rotorĒ. Before I go buying an adapter and another rotor has anyone experience this problemÖ Is there a quick fix (shim)?

    My last two bikes had Avid brakes but the rotors were also the same manufacture (SRAM), so I've never experienced this problem before. Is this just an incompatibility issue or is it bigger?

  2. #2
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    It is not an incompatibility issue. Ive run Centerlock with Avid Codes and no problem. When it is the rotor, its usually just a 'bad' rotor. One that resonates at a frequency that it shouldnt. I was recently in whistler and tried a bunch of different things, like new pads etc. In the end I bought a new rotor (at $90!!) and that fixed it instantly and permanently.
    The easiest fix is to have the shop put the rotor from another bike (preferably from another Felt 50 with a working brake) on your bike. If that doesn't fix the problem, then you know it is the brake alignment/setup on your bike and nothing with the hardware (rotor). If it works, you know it was the rotor.
    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
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  3. #3
    El CicloPath!!!!!!!
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    How heavy are you?

    Some rear vibration issues atem from flex in the rear triangle, sometimes when the rear quick release is not able to clamp the rear wheel enough to prevent flex. Check the tightness of teh quick release and make sure it is tight.

    Also, a misaligned caliper can cause issues. The caliper should be centered over the the disc as much as possible. Not the pads, the caliper. If not, reset the pistons, center the caliper with out the pads installed, then put the pads in.

    A warped disc can also cause vibrations.

    Improperly bedded pads or imperfections int he disc surface can cause vibrations.

  4. #4
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    I'm fairly technical; I never bring my bike to a local shop unless there is a tool I don't have. But this massive vibration was something I never experienced; I spent most of yesterday trying to fix the problemÖ but nothing. The bike is rideable, just use more front brake. So yesterday during my daily bike ride I went back to the LBS where I bought my bike, hoping they may have heard something back from the manufacturer. A different technician was there and I mentioned my problem, he took my bike for a test ride (first technician didn't), he agreed it was a massive vibration that was felt through the seatpost and into the handlebars, Heís stated he never seen this before Ö minor vibration yes, but nothing like this. He and I both agreed most likely it's a rotor issue, but unfortunately they didn't have another bike with a center lock rotor to swap or even one in stock. To verify the rotor was the problem they put on a different wheelÖ problem solved.

    So a new rotor has been ordered.

    Thank you everyone for your reply

  5. #5
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    Another way to do a quick check if its the rotor is to take it off and lay it on a flat surface if it does not lay completely flat you know 100% thats the problem

  6. #6
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    I have the same problem going on right now too. Its been pissing me off, well will have to try a new rotor.

  7. #7
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    Aloha, I had the same kind of problem years ago. I found that running the Ashima rotor worked great. They're not too expensive, not too heavy and work great. Have been using it for years now.



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  8. #8
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    gmats, thanks for the recommendation. Am working with an avid G3 style Rotor. Neither one will STHU. Noise non-stop while braking. 18 miles on it is enough for me today. If i had a 100 miles on it fine, but 3X 15 mi rides makes me want to say F it

  9. #9
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    So I purchased a new rotor and installed it today, unfortunately my problem is still thereÖ massive vibration throughout the whole bicycle. Iím now starting to think itís the caliper. So while trying to diagnose the problem I noticed a few things, when inspecting the brake pads I noticed only the center of each brake pad (right and left) was worn. Iíve never seen this before, normally its fairly even on either brake pad. When inspecting the caliper I noticed one piston moving significantly more than the other, the other piston was barely movingÖ it at all.

    So now itís back at the LBS where I bought it, letís see what they come back with.

  10. #10
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    if it's a full suspension bike there is a good chance you have a bad pivot bearing or a wheel bearing that only shows it's ugly self under the breaking and the vibrations resonate throughout the frame. also check that your headset is tight.
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  11. #11
    Now, THAT'S gonna hurt!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjwil9488 View Post
    So I purchased a new rotor and installed it today, unfortunately my problem is still thereÖ massive vibration throughout the whole bicycle. Iím now starting to think itís the caliper. So while trying to diagnose the problem I noticed a few things, when inspecting the brake pads I noticed only the center of each brake pad (right and left) was worn. Iíve never seen this before, normally its fairly even on either brake pad. When inspecting the caliper I noticed one piston moving significantly more than the other, the other piston was barely movingÖ it at all.

    So now itís back at the LBS where I bought it, letís see what they come back with.
    You've got a stuck piston. Just went through the same on a set of older Elixer CR's. I rebuilt both calipers with new seals and o-rings and bled the system and all is good. Both pistons move equally where before, one piston pushed the rotor and deformed it ever so slightly during breaking it would just scream.

  12. #12
    Trail Tire TV on blogger
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjwil9488 View Post
    ....... If it's just the rotor I have no problems replacing it, but I noticed the rotor is Shimano proprietary ďcenter locked rotorĒ. Before I go buying an adapter and another rotor has anyone experience this problemÖ Is there a quick fix (shim)?
    .....
    soo it's a center lock.. errr hate them to be honest. guessing it's a Shimano wheel/hub?

    After checking for bent rotor,...
    my first guess, the hub bearings are too loose or you have a bad bearing or slightly bent axle. both of these I've seen with Shimano's cup and cone hubs. If it is a shimano slightly tighten the bearings.

    if you have a buddy with a wheel you can slap on your bike for a test run I would do that (or get the shop to do it) try anything with a standard sealed bearing hub and standard 6 bolt rotor. see if it goes away with a diff wheel/hub/rotor.

    if it does you have that as an answer, if it doesn't you probably have a frame/suspension bearing issue.
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  13. #13
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    oh,.. and just did a quick look ,... the 2013 Felt nine series all come with 6 bolt hubs....

    Thou Manufactures have been know to switch things out mid yr production and not update web info, I've never heard of them using 2 diff manufacturer rotor and brake system (not that it couldn't have happened, but it's odd)


    also center lock is kinda old and not really anything any manufacturer is installing stock that I know of.. ?

    honestly, I'd try contacting Felt directly and ask a few questions... Not saying the shop played games, but there's enough going on there that it's do a little investigation
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
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    Experiment time: Go out for a spin down the block and hit the rear brake. Once the vibration kicks in, carefully reach behind you and grab hold of the seat stay. If the vibration stops or decreases significantly, the brake ain't the issue, but a symptom of something else.
    You are not what you own.

  15. #15
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    I got my bike back from the LBS, they worked with SRAM and they overnighted a whole new brake system, 2014 Elixir 9 Trail Hydraulic Disc Brake (four piston), Nice upgrade from the original Avid Elixr 1Ö For my type of riding thatís a huge upgradeÖthank you SRAM!!! Iíve always been impressed with SRAM products and customer service.

    So I went for a 25 mile bike ride tonight (mostly bikepath, crushed limestone, and some off-roading), For the first 20 miles, flawless not a single vibrationÖ but for the last 5 miles the vibration slowly started coming back, but not nearly as bad as it originally was. Iím going to put some more miles on the bike tomorrow; I hope the problem doesnít come back in full force. Of course before then Iím going to make sure everything is tightened down. So after inspect everything tomorrow and if the problem comes back Iím definitely going to start thinking itís the Shimano
    rotor is not compatible with SRAM. So regardless Iím going to be shopping tonight for a new SRAM rotor and Centerlock adapter.

  16. #16
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    I have heard of similar issue and have experianced this myself.

    Problem was that the rotor's edge was tiny bit higher thank the top edge of the pads.

    Shimming the whole caliper with two washers solved the problem - pads contacted the rotor fully.

    Chris.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by krzysiekmz View Post
    I have heard of similar issue and have experianced this myself.

    Problem was that the rotor's edge was tiny bit higher thank the top edge of the pads.

    Shimming the whole caliper with two washers solved the problem - pads contacted the rotor fully.

    Chris.
    umm the rotor should be a tiny bit higher.. there is a pad contact point which should leave a bit of the rotor face above and below the pad... thou I think the Avid pads are a bit larger contact face than the Shimano pads and could be contacting the arm of the rotor instead of the brake face section...?

    or are you saying the rotor's edge is actually hitting the caliper's arch over the pads?
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  18. #18
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    So I have virtually changed and upgraded every component (brakes, wheels and rotors) on this bike, and still massive vibration during braking. And braking it speeds over 25 the vibration is so intense itíll actually shift gears. So the problem has to be the frameÖ again what else can it be, Iíve virtually changed every component. So of course my next step will be contacting the manufacture ďFELTĒ

    Iím fairly knowledgeable when it comes to working on bicycles, throughout college I worked part-time at the local bike store, I seen many problems but nothing like this.

  19. #19
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    I doubt it is the frame, you would notice the play.
    Did you check the hub? My Chris King hub was loose, and when tightened it helped stop those vibrations. If your hub allows you to preload the bearings in the hub, this could be loose.

    I don't think it is a bent rotor, like some people are saying. You seem knowledgeable enough to notice a bent rotor.

    When you wiggle the rear tire/wheel is there any play. If there is, it is most likely the hub, or suspension pivots. (check all the pivots)
    Regional Race Manager, Knolly Bikes
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomllama View Post
    also center lock is kinda old and not really anything any manufacturer is installing stock that I know of.. ?
    Trek uses centerlock rotors on many new MTBs.

    Centerlock is actually superior to 6 bolt because you have a spider that holds and centers the rotor. It's stronger and everyone that does their own maintenance already has the tools to install & remove centerlock rotors-- it's the same as a Shimano or SRAM cassette. It is even torqued to the same value, 40 nm.

    I'm going to wildly guess than 6 bolt is more popular than centerlock because something is cheaper somewhere. It isn't the rotors because those cost the same. Must be the hub.

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