The history: Brakes were bought new this past winter, they are 2011 models. Installed on my Stumpy with stock pads and 185f 160r Formula rotors. I gave them a quick parking lot break in going from light to hard braking in ~15 stops. They started to grab decently by end. My normal trails do not have long braking periods what-so-ever.
My initial impression were so-so. I felt the rear was way too weak so I put a 185mm rotor on that also, it helped, but did not solve.The front has been ok, but again not great. Both were very noisy!
Over the past 500 miles they have gotten weaker up to the point a week ago the rear wouldn't even lock the tire up! I bought some Formula organic w/alloy backing pads for the rear. I sanded the rotor lightly to give a nice fresh braking surface. When I went to install the rear wheel the rotor would not fit between the pads...no biggie, put old pads in and used a big straight screw driver to push the pistons back in....PROBLEM: the pistons will come right back to their starting point every time. I can see the piston retract, then come right back out. Took the pads out, pulled the lever completely and clean around the pistons with alcohol. Still didn't work. I asked my LBS and they were a little puzzled, said to let a little fluid out of the MC. That helped but the piston is still not retracting and rear rotor still drags.
I broke in the pads very lightly with constant light braking for 5 minutes per Formula's instructions. Slowly gave more pressure until I felt the bite coming on. 2nd PROBLEM: now the brakes have so much initial bite they are basically unusable! The moment I touch the lever the rear tire locks up. I let even more fluid out on my ride last night and it helped, but not much.
3rd PROBLEM: My front brake is not grabbing at all. It has gotten so weak it doesn't even stop me on the trails. I think I will sand that rotor down and hit the pads lightly too?????
I am looking for suggestions without buying some XT's!!!!
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