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  1. #1
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    Stupid Newbie Mistake on Hydraulic Brakes

    So, I wanted to figure out how my brakes worked, and have read that sanding the pads and cleaning the rotors with rubbing alcohol helped with performance and sometimes took away the Avid Juicy squeal. So, I tried it. In the process, I took the screws out of the housing caliper, squeezed the brake lever, and heard a slight "squish" sound.....that sound was hydraulic fluid, of course. So, I tried to put it all back together, and now, no power in the brake. I assume that the only way to fix this is to have a complete bleed done on the front brake, correct? If there's another way to fix it, please let me know. I know I should have just left them alone, but figured I'd never know how to fix them, if I don't take the time to see how they work. I hope I haven't really screwed something up in the process.

  2. #2
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    Yeah, You need to bleed Your brake now and clean all the fluid from the caliper and other parts.. That screw is removed normally when You are bleeding the brake. I highly recommend to read bleeding instruction. Personally I don't like to read them so I prefer bleeding instruction videos (YouTube). If You think You are going to bleed more than 1 time, then buy bleeding kit. Another option is to take Your bike to local bike shop to re-bleed it.

    I assume You got some fluid on the rotor and pads as well? Now I give You my personal action in that case: I wash thoroughly my oil-dirty rotor with dishwashing detergent and then I use "Muc-Off Disc Brake Cleaner". Then I wash my pads with detergent and after that I put my pads into oven and cook them- then any oil that's inside the pads, will come out (I don't recommend oven that is in daily use). I have tried also cooking pads on frying pan. After "cooking" them I wash them with detergent again and slighty work them with fine sanding paper.

    I mention again, that is just my humble opinion.
    Hope that helps

  3. #3
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    i did that once on a set of hayes . after all was said and done i ended up having to replace the pads . i could never get the fluid completely out of them. but i never tried baking them in the oven . hope you get it working

  4. #4
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    One of the important methodologies of learning is via hands on experience and I'll add to that making mistakes and correcting them. You are on the right track. Another important step in that learning process is to ask for help and this and other forums are an ideal source of expert advice more or less. Once you've corrected your brakes working through this process there is lots of satisfaction. Nothing wrong with being new at this - just don't be stupid and make the same error twice. Learn and then go on to enjoy bigger and better learning mistakes.
    Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save

  5. #5
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    That's what I thought...thanks. One more question...I have Juicy Ultimate's on my bike. What brake pads would you recommend? The stock pads squeal like crazy on the front, which is what led me to taking them apart to begin with. Could a new type of pad still give me the great stopping power the stock pads have, coupled with being a little more quiet?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayberry32 View Post
    That's what I thought...thanks. One more question...I have Juicy Ultimate's on my bike. What brake pads would you recommend? The stock pads squeal like crazy on the front, which is what led me to taking them apart to begin with. Could a new type of pad still give me the great stopping power the stock pads have, coupled with being a little more quiet?
    alot of people replace them with an organic pad to help reduce the noise, there is a thread in the brake section with a post about someone using one metallic pad and one organic pad per caliper , not sure of the results though.

  7. #7
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    Took the bike into an LBS, and had the front brakes bled. I told him up front what I did and told him that the pads may be shot....just to let me know. He said they were fine, and that he cleaned them and put some no-squeak on them. Immediately after, they had less stopping power than they had before I took the bike in. They guy who bled them said that was normal, and that they would need to bed in again. I rode 5-6 miles around the neighborhood last night, much of the time, riding on the brakes while granny gearing it. Today, I did 10 miles of trail, and the front brakes still aren't at full power. In order to stop, I have to use the back brake. They will stop the bike eventually, but not with any force. I even tried to slam them on and do an endo, but just slowed and stopped. After this much time, riding (15 miles or so), the brakes should work normally, correct? Is the problem more than likely bad pads, or did he just do a poor job setting up the brakes?

  8. #8
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    the pads are definitely soiled with fluid. need new ones
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  9. #9
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    Yea your bike shop guy ripped you off.

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