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  1. #1
    bt
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    Question on how to create a larger pad gap on Formula R1's

    I have some R1's and they have the FCS adjusters on them as well. What I want to accomplish is to have a larger gap between the pads and I was wondering if there are any tricks or inner pieces I could buy to accomplish this?
    Last edited by bt; 02-16-2012 at 06:28 PM.

  2. #2
    bt
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    anyone?

    got a long ride, need help

  3. #3
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    I ended up getting XTR brakes and selling my R1's for that reason. Formula Ones have the same issue. When I talked to the Formula guys, it was mainly due to the oversized piston. Not much you can do.

  4. #4
    bt
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    I was a fraid of that. I have a set of the older style "the ones" and they have a nice gap.

    Glad you warned me a bout the newer style "ones" having the same tight gap issue.


    How are the new xtr brakes in the gap department??

    thanks

  5. #5
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    I have 2 sets of older Ones and both have the same tight pad gap issue. The calipers didn't change between the new and older Ones as far as I know. A little bit of pad rub doesn't matter so much on DH bikes. But on a trail bike, I felt like it affected my climbing.

    It has to do with oversized pistons. When the pistons are larger, they don't move as much. Simple physics. And when you put new pads in (re-bleed, pushing the pistons in, and after other tricks), you will get a lot of rubbing until the pads wear in.

    My advice is to true the rotors as much as you can, and drag your brakes until you get some pad wear.

    XTR brakes are awesome. Nice gap, easy to bleed, and great modulation. A little heavier. Best levers that I have tried so far. Better than R1's fo sho.

  6. #6
    bt
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    cool. if you ever sell your older ones, let me know.

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    could you reduce a bit of the oil in the reservoir o the brakes don't expand that much in "idle mode"?

  8. #8
    FM
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    I recently went to an older set of Ones, so this may not apply but....the brakes came with very tight spacing, and after my first bleed the spacing was still too tight- I could hardly wrestle the rotor in, and when I did, it woudn't spin.

    I did another bleed axactly per formulas directions, and it completely solved the issue.
    Seems like the trick is to do the bleed with the pads installed, and a rotor in between the pads. With the MC end open, wiggle the rotor to press the pistons back into the caliper. By doing that, I was able to get a perfect bleed, with the pistons flush with the calipers. Also found that hanging the brakes vertically overnight, then pulling air/pushing oil in from the top (mc) (as described in their directions) was the trick to getting a perfect bleed.

    Link to download their bleed directions

    By the way- I had asked formula guys about over/under filling the MC to fine-tune the feel & clearance- they DO NOT suggest this.

    I've also got 3 sets of elixirs, including XO's, and so far I'm liking the formulas MUCH better!

  9. #9
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    FM, I tried all that. Even used caliper grease on the seals. I also sent in mine to Formula to have them work their magic. But eventually as the pads wear down, the pistons like to go back to their "natural" spot, which has the rotors rubbing when pads are new.

    Like I said earlier, not much of a problem on DH bikes. If anything helps my slow $ss. But on trail bikes, it is a pain in the behind.

  10. #10
    bt
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    i just tried a good bleed and still there is a tight gap.

    ordered up some xtr's.

    hoping the gap is better.

    Last edited by bt; 02-17-2012 at 02:16 PM.

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    very good choice!

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    Do those brakes use seal retracted pistons? If so use the softest pad you can use for your riding. I trail ride and the pistons would creep closer as they were used. They were cycled back and forth without using pad up. Over time I found the seal would slip or work itself up on the piston. When I use soft pads they reset much more often and keep the clearance.
    lean forward

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bt View Post
    ordered up some xtr's.
    The picture you linked is the XTR "Race" brakes. The "Trail" version has finned pads, and has more power (Servo-wave). The Trail version also has longer levers and is a bit heavier too. I am using the Trail ones with organic pads for better feel.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bt View Post
    i just tried a good bleed and still there is a tight gap.

    ordered up some xtr's.

    hoping the gap is better.
    This picture shows the pad / rotor gap on my Shimano XTR M988 Trail brakes.

    Love the new 2012 XT brakes

    If having a reasonable pad / rotor gap is important then Hope or Shimano brakes seem to have the largest gaps.

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    Don't know if you ever solved your problem or even have the brakes still, but hopefully I can help someone who is having the same problem by posting here. Just got done fiddling with mine and talking to a Formula rep over the phone for an extensive amount of time.

    It is my understanding that the 2013+ model year Formula brakes now have more piston "rollback" to create this larger gap you desire. Word was that they would sell the kit to retrofit to older models so you can get the same pad gap as current model Formula brakes. Also, they work best with Formula rotors as they are ass-hair thinner than most offerings. So using any rotor that is not Formula will cause more pad rub than normal. I am guessing they realized alot of riders reuse their rotors from a previous braking system and that more piston "rollback" would solve it.

    I have 2011 Formula The One's, being ran with Avid rotors. Almost impossible to get no pad rub. I can't hear it when I ride though, and when my bike is on the stand my wheels spin more freely than most of my riding buddies so I am not worried about it. The only chronic issue's with Formula, in my opinion, is that they can be tricky to bleed and that the bleed port o-ring falls out for alot of people. The bleed issue I believe is design related, but with some patience a good bleed can be achieved fairly easily. The o-ring is more of a user error so all in all I would say they are on par with the best in the industry. If pad gap is an issue, buy some Formula rotors, or call them up and see about getting a rollback kit to retrofit to them.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by csermonet View Post
    Don't know if you ever solved your problem or even have the brakes still, but hopefully I can help someone who is having the same problem by posting here. Just got done fiddling with mine and talking to a Formula rep over the phone for an extensive amount of time.

    It is my understanding that the 2013+ model year Formula brakes now have more piston "rollback" to create this larger gap you desire. Word was that they would sell the kit to retrofit to older models so you can get the same pad gap as current model Formula brakes. Also, they work best with Formula rotors as they are ass-hair thinner than most offerings. So using any rotor that is not Formula will cause more pad rub than normal. I am guessing they realized alot of riders reuse their rotors from a previous braking system and that more piston "rollback" would solve it.

    I have 2011 Formula The One's, being ran with Avid rotors. Almost impossible to get no pad rub. I can't hear it when I ride though, and when my bike is on the stand my wheels spin more freely than most of my riding buddies so I am not worried about it. The only chronic issue's with Formula, in my opinion, is that they can be tricky to bleed and that the bleed port o-ring falls out for alot of people. The bleed issue I believe is design related, but with some patience a good bleed can be achieved fairly easily. The o-ring is more of a user error so all in all I would say they are on par with the best in the industry. If pad gap is an issue, buy some Formula rotors, or call them up and see about getting a rollback kit to retrofit to them.
    Thanks for that by the way, I didn't know the formula rotors are thinner. My buddy has a set of ones (begging him to get rid of them) and he did buy the retract kit early this year and still the same problems. It didn't seem to work, but will let him know about the rotors. Thinner rotors are a stop gap to a much bigger problem that they can't seem to get a grasp of, and the fact that you might warp a thin rotor would be a concern to me, maybe or maybe not, I don't know but I am tired of riding with him with those brakes that make more noise than our conversations. Thanks for the update.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    Thanks for that by the way, I didn't know the formula rotors are thinner. My buddy has a set of ones (begging him to get rid of them) and he did buy the retract kit early this year and still the same problems. It didn't seem to work, but will let him know about the rotors. Thinner rotors are a stop gap to a much bigger problem that they can't seem to get a grasp of, and the fact that you might warp a thin rotor would be a concern to me, maybe or maybe not, I don't know but I am tired of riding with him with those brakes that make more noise than our conversations. Thanks for the update.
    I just read a thread from ~2009 that had conflicting information, with many people claiming the Formula rotors are actually thicker than most? I don't know what to believe now in regards to that, I have some digital calipers but don't have several brands to test. Which year The Ones does your buddy have? I have 2011, which I put Goodridge lines on. I also use Avid rotors, and I have never been able to get zero brake drag. I don't really mind that much as it is a DH bike after all, but it is very minimal. When my bike is in the stand you can hear that the pads are making contact with the rotor, but the wheels still spin very freely. Virtually has no effect, and when riding I can't hear it or notice it. I have also owned Hayes and Avid brakes and none of my systems ever had zero drag, and also did not have much of an effect. So in that respect I don't really have a complaint. That being said, if the rollback kit gave me REAL drag free brakes, I might spring on that since its a luxury I have never had haha

  18. #18
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    The last Formula rotors I worked on were 2mm with a minimum thickness of 1.75 stamped on the side. 2012 bike.

    Car brake systems use the flexibility of the sealing ring to facilitate retraction. That way there is negligible friction and the only theoretical retraction resistance is hydraulic drag. Otherwise, the rubber would get worn out pretty quickly. Car brakes have no return spring other than the rubber seal.

    Obviously, given enough force, the pistons will retract all the way as long as there is somewhere for the fluid to go. But the force to do that is far greater than the puny little return spring. I consider that to be there to keep the pads from rattling and to hold them against the piston; if they were going to retract the piston they would need to be a lot stiffer.

    Maybe bike brakes differ; but my guess is that the amount the brakes retract is limited by the seal design which may be why they tried to fix it with a different seal. I'll admit that getting a Formula brake to not drag is tricky but quite doable. There just isn't any room for error.

    I've had no problems getting zero drag from Hayes and Avid systems so it's just a matter of having straight rotors, good bearings, clean pistons and careful and successful alignment. There's only one straight but an infinite variation of crooked.

  19. #19
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    i was getting drag too, this is what i did maybe it can help?

    took the pads out and spread the calipers apart careful not to scratch or damage anything. then once the calipers were farther apart i re-installed the pads i used two business cards on each side as spacers between the rotor and pads, then i gently squeezed the brakes back into position and with the spacers now the pads are set with no drag!

    three notes:
    1) the first time i unscrewed the high fill point screw (or whatever you call it?) and then pushed the calipers apart while letting the fluid purge back out the screw then tightened it (careful not to let it get any air).
    2) the second time i just simply pressed the calipers apart without letting any fluid out (not sure if thats bad or not???) but this worked fine.
    3) the most important thing i noticed was that even though i was "centering" the pads/assembly while squeezing the brakes and then slowly tightening the housing down, i was still getting slight drag and the culprit was when i tightened the housing down it was getting VERY SLIGHTLY misaligned...so for me i just made sure i could see daylight between the pad and rotor with brake lever un-engaged as i tightened it.

    results are awesome now i havent had pad rub since.

    hope this helps

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparxlee View Post
    i was getting drag too, this is what i did maybe it can help?

    took the pads out and spread the calipers apart careful not to scratch or damage anything. then once the calipers were farther apart i re-installed the pads i used two business cards on each side as spacers between the rotor and pads, then i gently squeezed the brakes back into position and with the spacers now the pads are set with no drag!

    three notes:
    1) the first time i unscrewed the high fill point screw (or whatever you call it?) and then pushed the calipers apart while letting the fluid purge back out the screw then tightened it (careful not to let it get any air).
    2) the second time i just simply pressed the calipers apart without letting any fluid out (not sure if thats bad or not???) but this worked fine.
    3) the most important thing i noticed was that even though i was "centering" the pads/assembly while squeezing the brakes and then slowly tightening the housing down, i was still getting slight drag and the culprit was when i tightened the housing down it was getting VERY SLIGHTLY misaligned...so for me i just made sure i could see daylight between the pad and rotor with brake lever un-engaged as i tightened it.

    results are awesome now i havent had pad rub since.

    hope this helps
    This is an old Hayes brake trick too, the business cards being needed because the early generation Hayes Disk Brakes didn't retract ever I swear. They also popped out if you squeezed the caliper without a disc in it requiring you to rebled the damn things and scrap your ride for the day. Oh and the pads would fallout when you took your bike off the roof rack or when you were changing a flat, without you noticing and then you reassembled your bike, got on rode off, hit the brakes and it would rip your piston out of the brake.

    Glad the business card thing still works and glad brakes have evolved!
    Try this: HTFU

  21. #21
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    what i found in my experience was that it didnt matter if i bled them...it has to do with space you "set" the pads at when bleeding. so thats why i used a business card (only thing i had to use at the time) as spacers between the pad and rotor and this gave the pads something to "set" themselves against and then when i took the cards out i was left with a sliver of daylight...no rub

    my point is i dont think it has anything to do with what brakes you have but rather the (width of the rotor)+(spacer tool/"business cards" anything to achieve the "gap" you desire)= "DAYLIGHT" or no drag

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    This is an old Hayes brake trick too, the business cards being needed because the early generation Hayes Disk Brakes didn't retract ever I swear. They also popped out if you squeezed the caliper without a disc in it requiring you to rebled the damn things and scrap your ride for the day. Oh and the pads would fallout when you took your bike off the roof rack or when you were changing a flat, without you noticing and then you reassembled your bike, got on rode off, hit the brakes and it would rip your piston out of the brake.

    Glad the business card thing still works and glad brakes have evolved!
    I have read of that technique before, never tried it. I'll give it a go and see what happens. I was under the impression that the system worked in such a way that when you remove the cards and pull the brake lever, the pistons would just reset themselves again for the new "pad width". Thus going back to square one.

  23. #23
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    it worked two different times for me, so i hope it works for you. personally this is something that needs to be explained better or stickied.

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