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  1. #1
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    Straightening Rotors - Do I push or pull?

    Hi guys,

    I'm trying to straightening my rotors. How do i know which direction the rotors are warped so I know whether to push in or pull out on the rotors with my fingers?

  2. #2
    Anytime. Anywhere.
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    Look in the top of the caliper to see which side it is rubbing. Pull the opposite way. Do it gently at first so you don' go too far. Use a clean cloth to hold the rotor so you don't contaminate it.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Look in the top of the caliper to see which side it is rubbing. Pull the opposite way. Do it gently at first so you don' go too far. Use a clean cloth to hold the rotor so you don't contaminate it.
    There's barely any gap between the rotor and the pads for me to see which side is rubbing though. I tried eyeballing it but it's just impossible...

  4. #4
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    Put your ear near the rotor while slowly spinning the wheel. Listen for when the rotor rubs. That will tell you roughly where the rotor needs to be tweaked back straight. If you can't see which direction you need bend the rotor, try one way 1st and re-listen for rub. If that direction didn't work, bend the rotor the other way. BobaX, did you purchase your bike new, used or online. I ask because you seem to be having numerous setup issues all at one time. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you also start a thread about derailleur issues? I commend you for wanting to fix your bike yourself, but you may want to have a shop take a look at it.

  5. #5
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    Yep, i bought the bike online, assembled it and now having trouble adjusting it.

    Most of the problems are going away, and I've learned A LOT from the members here as well as Park Tool guides. Although frustrating that the adjustments couldn't have been easier right out of the box, the knowledge gained is immense.

    I'll try to listen to the loudness of the rotor rubbing as I tweak the rotor... Needs lots of patience, and patience is something I need to work on lol.

  6. #6
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    Re: Straightening Rotors - Do I push or pull?

    Put a piece of white paper on the floor so you can see the gap, or shine a flashlight. Spin the wheel slowly and straighten gently from the center with a rotor tool or adjustable wrench. When you adjust from the outside you're more likely to over do it.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

  7. #7
    El CicloPath!!!!!!!
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    Yes, use a flashlight. Did you install the brake calipers yourself?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fachiro1 View Post
    Yes, use a flashlight. Did you install the brake calipers yourself?
    Yes I did. I used flashlight, white paper, etc, but there is barely any gap, really impossible to see...

  9. #9
    El CicloPath!!!!!!!
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    Remove the calipers. remove the pads, carefully push the pistons in with a plastic tire lever. idesally, insert the proper bleed block to reset the pistons to the optimal position. mount the caliper so that the disc is centered. reinstall the pads, squeeze and sustain the brakes firmly several times. check the gaps



    or


    remove caliper and pads. using the tire lever, push the pistons back slightly so that they are evenly spaced left and right. reassemble, center the caliper, reset the pads to the disc, check the gaps. you can also do this with the resevoir screw cracked open a little to see if the system has too much fluid in it.

  10. #10
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    ^^^ This will do absolutely nothing to true a rotor.

    What kind of brakes do you have? Admittedly, some are quite hard to sight (e.g., Juicy's, Magura's). There are lots and lots of threads on truing a rotor (I've written about it at least once). The trick is to make small changes each time.

    Also note that unless you've got OCD (like me), you'll likely never get a rotor perfectly true.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    ^^^ This will do absolutely nothing to true a rotor.

    What kind of brakes do you have? Admittedly, some are quite hard to sight (e.g., Juicy's, Magura's). There are lots and lots of threads on truing a rotor (I've written about it at least once). The trick is to make small changes each time.

    Also note that unless you've got OCD (like me), you'll likely never get a rotor perfectly true.
    I have Avid Elixir 3, and they've been constantly giving me problems, and the bike is brand new.

    And yes I have OCD... I can't stand the rotor rubbing the pads at all... I need it to be quiet all the time

    Does truing a rotor seriously take this long? I swear I've been at it for well over 20 mins using the finger method and I'm getting nowhere.

    There is not even enough clearance for light to pass through for me to tell which side is rubbing. It's very frustrating... Are there tools that can help true a rotor to make the job easier?

  12. #12
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    Re: Straightening Rotors - Do I push or pull?

    If you have a wheel truing stand you can get a rotor truing attachment. Caliper works better in my opinion. If you truly can't see a gap on either side of the rotor you probably need to reset the pistons first. The truing tool from park works well for the actual truing as opposed to using your hands. Adjustable wrench works well too as stated previously. Either way, 20 mins is nothing if you don't have the right tools and you've never done this before. Keep at it and good luck.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRtahoe View Post
    If you have a wheel truing stand you can get a rotor truing attachment. Caliper works better in my opinion. If you truly can't see a gap on either side of the rotor you probably need to reset the pistons first. The truing tool from park works well for the actual truing as opposed to using your hands. Adjustable wrench works well too as stated previously. Either way, 20 mins is nothing if you don't have the right tools and you've never done this before. Keep at it and good luck.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2


    Thanks for the encouragement!

    From doing a search, it seems like a lot of people have the same rubbing issues with their Avid Elixir 3s.

    I just bought a Park Tool DT 2 (DT 3 was too expensive). We'll see how that goes

  14. #14
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    the hardest thing to figure is where the actual bend is.

    More often than not it's closer to the hub than most people realize and the tweak the thing up on the arm closer to the brake surface and actually end up making it worse.. This is why I highly recommend NOT using a regular wrench as they don't get down to the hub. Seen to many rotors turned into mushroom looking things. And I'm guessing here but a shipped bike the place the bends are most likely to be a right at the hub

    the Park tool you have is nice and will help.

    If you can't see between the pads they are probably too tight (thou as stated above a few brands are super snug) You can spin the wheel slow till you hear/feel it drag then just use a piece of paper or thin sheet metal or what ever and just check both sides (old plug or point gaping tool work great) bend away from the side that you can't get it thru.

    If you have a stand already but don't want to waste $$ on the DT-3 just use a cheapo squeeze clamp and a pencil with the eraser end at the rotor.. kinda a pain but it'll work.


    And yes, if the calipers are that tight to the rotor then it can take some time to get the rotor 100% true

    you can just remove the rotor and check it on a super flat surface..

    also note that if there is even a tiny spec of dirt between the rotor and the hub mount it'll twist the rotor causing an almost UN-straightenable tweak.
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    ^^^ This will do absolutely nothing to true a rotor.
    007, I believe what Fachiro1 was saying is that Bobax should try that to see if a gap can be obtained, and thusly could possibly better assess how to true his rotor. Agreed some are harder than others to sight, but not impossible.



    Bobax, you probably already know this, but make sure that you don't pull the levers when the wheel (ie. rotor) isn't in the caliper. It causes the pads (pistons) to over extend and they don't retract all the way back in. Resetting them is achieved doing as Fachiro1 offered.
    Stay aware of those who hide in plain sight.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobaX View Post
    Does truing a rotor seriously take this long?
    i use a gauge and a cheap wheel truing stand because i get frustrated too easily with disc brakes and they have to be perfect, i had avids for a month and that drove me nuts.


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