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Thread: Wavy Rotors?

  1. #1
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    Wavy Rotors?

    So, I have had my Hifi Deluxe for a month now and have ridden maybe 30 miles on it total. I have had multiple problems with the brakes and still am not satisfied with them (but learning to live with them) but today I took it in to the LBS with a rubbing rotor and they told me it is wavy. Is this something I could have created or is it a defective rotor? They attempted to straighten.

    Regardless, I cant wait to pay this bike off so I can save money to buy XT's. I just hope this brakes dont kill me first.

  2. #2
    ballbuster
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    What problems are you having with brakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by msouthall669
    So, I have had my Hifi Deluxe for a month now and have ridden maybe 30 miles on it total. I have had multiple problems with the brakes and still am not satisfied with them (but learning to live with them) but today I took it in to the LBS with a rubbing rotor and they told me it is wavy. Is this something I could have created or is it a defective rotor? They attempted to straighten.

    Regardless, I cant wait to pay this bike off so I can save money to buy XT's. I just hope this brakes dont kill me first.
    And I wonder what they mean by 'wavy' brakes? If they mean the rotor is out of true, just true it. Disc brake rotors get out of true, especially if you lean the bike up against something and put weight sideways on the rotor. It's (usually) not a defect. The only exception I can think of is if you have a floating rotor and the inner aluminum spider is misaligned from the factory.

    Read the brake FAQs. I think they cover rotor truing. In a nutshell, you eyeball the rotor from the edge, find the out of true segments, and gently bend them back with a clean crescent wrench. Also, be sure your wheels are seated in the dropouts all the way and QRs are snug to spec before adjusting anything in the brakes.

    This is all part of basic disc brake ownership. Buying XT brakes is not going to suddenly relieve you of taking care of your bike. Bike brakes aren't like car brakes where you set and forget them.

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    I appreciate the reply. They told me that a wavy rotor is harder to true than a bent rotor which I can understand. I haven't ridden it yet but wanted to find out if it was something that I did so I don't make the same mistake. Once again, I appreciate the reply but I do respectfully disagree (and I do realize that you aren't familiar with the problems i have had). My rim brakes on my specialized were great! No repairs were ever needed and they stopped fast and responsively. I wish that I were more mechanically minded. I am trying but its a fine line between trying to work on my bike myself and not messing anything up that may cost me money to repair. I know mtn bkg is an expensive sport, I just try to minimize that cost. Thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by msouthall669
    I appreciate the reply. They told me that a wavy rotor is harder to true than a bent rotor which I can understand. I haven't ridden it yet but wanted to find out if it was something that I did so I don't make the same mistake. Once again, I appreciate the reply but I do respectfully disagree (and I do realize that you aren't familiar with the problems i have had). My rim brakes on my specialized were great! No repairs were ever needed and they stopped fast and responsively. I wish that I were more mechanically minded. I am trying but its a fine line between trying to work on my bike myself and not messing anything up that may cost me money to repair. I know mtn bkg is an expensive sport, I just try to minimize that cost. Thanks for the reply.
    I have been able to true any rotor I used, whether you can it wavy or bent.

    You can not compare rim and disc brakes, though both need maintenance, just different types.

    What pb is saying is you have no guaranty that changing the brakes will solve your issues. Even new rotors can need truing. Few rotors will remain true forever (like wheels, your rim brake "rotor"). The FAQ tells you how to true rotors and it will cost your nothing but a little time.
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    I get it and I hope I didnt come off rude. I have had nothing but problems with these brakes. I dont know if you have read any of my other post but they grind (all of the time), and very spongy (have been bled 4 times in a month), and there is no adjustment for the brake lever. I've talked to the local bike shop about it and they said that the brakes dont feel right but that is just how these Elixirs are. From the negative post that I have read, Avids seem to be at the top of the list. It seems that Shimano makes the better product from the reviews and minimal negative reponses I have seen. I think what I am looking for is a brake that I can count on be responsive when I go into corners fast, a brake that doesnt embarass me and my Trek with the LOUD grinding, and something that doesnt require me to go beyond preventive maintenance and the occasional rotor trueing. Shimano seems to meet those.

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    Since it's still considered new (1 month ownership), the shop should set it up right for you. Part and parcel of after sales service, yes?

    Truing your own rotors is possible, albeit takes some time, which usually what the shops don't have. Atleast most of the ones I've been to.

  7. #7
    DGB
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    If you're not happy with your current brakes (and the bike is relatively new) talk to the LBS, and inform them of your unhappiness. If they cannot resolve your spongy brake issues, they should IMO be offering you some alternative.

    I think the LBS's comment about "that's how these Elixirs are" is a bit of a kop-out. They should be trying to sort your issues out; either by getting you a replacement set of brakes if these ones are defective or spending some time, bleeding them properly and resolving the problems.
    After all, there was nothing wrong with the money you handed over!

    As for the rotor truing, that's something you can do yourself and I wouldn't ask the LBS, given their comments, to do it.

    Then, personally, I'd be looking either for a new LBS or doing my own wrenching.

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    I would love to do my own wrenching. I will be the first to admit that my mechanical knowledge is not up to par with a lot or even most of the guys on this forum. I am trying to learn as much as I can. It would be great to do this work myself. Thank you all for the replys.

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