I've had a set of original Hope Minis for almost 3 years now. They've been trouble free up until a few months ago. I started having problems where at the beginning of the ride the brake levers were not generating much pressure on the pads, but then after a while pressure would build and everything would work pretty well. This has continued on to this day.
In the mean time I've replaced the pads twice, first with some EBC pads. But even when the pressure was back on I was getting poor braking performance. So I ordered a set of pads and new resevoir diaphrams from Hope directly. I thought that maybe the pressure problem was due to a leak somewhere, and indeed there was a small leak in the front brake's resevoir diaphragm. So after replacing the pads, and fixing both resevoirs, I bled both the front and rears once again. After bleeding I had good brake lever pressures both front and rear (this was last weekend). I pulled the bike out to ride yesterday morning after it had sat for a week, and sure enough the front brake lever went all the way to the handle bar. So I pumped it up and it built up pressure, and I went for a ride.
On yesterday's ride even though I had good pressure in the levers, I still had pretty poor braking performance. I realize that I had to wait for the pads to bed in and they eventually did start to build up more friction. But even after they had bedded in I still was having to squeeze the levers much harder than what I consider normal to come to a stop.
After replacing the pads twice, installing new diaphragms, using the mud treatment on the rotors, and bleeding the brakes at least 4 or 5 times through all this I'm at a loss as to what else could be wrong.
1. Why am I still having to pump up the brakes before I start my ride?
2. Why am I having to squeeze so much harder to come to a stop? Currently I am just unable to go on any really challenging rides, because I could quite literally fly off the edge of a cliff like this.
I've always hung my bike upside down in the garage, could this be contributing to the problems? Is there anything else in the calipers that can wear out that I should be replacing? Do the brake hoses get old and begin to expand maybe? I'm totally at a loss.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Thread: Troubleshooting Hope Minis