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  1. #1
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    Sooo Frustrated – 2013 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Evo 29er

    Picked up a new Stumpjumper a couple months back and was ecstatic with my purchase until the first ride. Climbed great to the top of the mountain then started the downhill only to have the noisiest brakes on the mountain. First five rides were the same way. Yes the noise was super annoying but what really got me was the vibration through the whole bike when using the back brake. Took it to the shop where I purchased it and they put new pads / rotors on (no cost) and did the bed in process. Took it out and was great for about half the ride and then it came back. Tried it a couple more rides and back to the shop I went. The shop basically told me I needed to rip of the Avid Trail XO brakes and replace them with Shimano XT (roughly $550)!! Not wanting to drop any more money on the bike (as I broke the bank purchasing it) I settled with the second best option the shop had which was to replace the rotors with Icetechs and organic pads ($130). Same results vibration through the whole bike and super loud squealing / turkey gobble sound. Tried this setup a couple more rides then back to the shop I went. This time the shop got Sram to warranty both brakes but they were on back order till mid July. Not wanting to wait, I opted to replace the Trail XOs with Shimano XTs (figured I would sell the Avids when they came in as the shop assured me this would fix my problem). Took the bike out and the first 3 rides were amazing! I had brakes that actually worked no noise or vibration! Today was ride number four on the new XTs and guess what…. The squealing and vibration is back!!

    This is my forth (and most expensive) Specialized bike, and I must say I am very unhappy with the whole experience…..

    To anyone thinking of purchasing a Stumpjumper with Avid XO Trails beware… This bike has been a huge headache and at this point I’m wishing I would have never purchased it.

    Sorry for the rant but needed to vent my frustrations….

    Sooo Frustrated – 2013 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Evo 29er-stumpy.jpeg

  2. #2
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    I have seen this issue before, try a new wheel (not another specialized, or if it is make it one of the cheaper ones with normal 3 cross build and J bend spokes) and see if it solves the problem.

  3. #3
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    I have the same problem as OP. Haven't bothered changing my brakes. Have been riding the stock setup for some weeks and the brakes are not as noisy now as in the start. Must be said that the XO brakes are known to make a lot of noise.

  4. #4
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    I did serfas brake pad with alligator rotor for about half a year. Took the vibration out completely.

    However these avid sucks. I would loose all modulaion after longer dh runs. Switched to slx with the expensive 1700 mm cable upgrade and honestly i am pretty happy now.

    This is a well covered subject. Do a seach. Its a well known problem along with the specialized hub

  5. #5
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    Our shop has now seen two of these exact bikes with this problem. That resonance can be a problem with the chain stay. Have your shop call Spec. About it and ask them to replace it with a carbon stay. If this does not work the resonance problem has also been stopped by filling the chain stay with expanding insulation foam. Good luck.
    Last edited by krandrus; 06-27-2013 at 11:21 PM.

  6. #6
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    Sorry to hear about your bike troubles. I have had issues with avid products even back in the day when they made rim brakes. Dont know why avid is still in business and many different bike brands come stock with their brakes. My friend just dropped a ton of cash on a cannondale scapel and is having the same issues with his brakes. So I wouldnt bash specialized.

    Anything avid should be off your bike including the brake adapters. Thats just my opinion.

    Is the noise and vibration coming from the rear, front or both? If its coming from the rear it could be a rear hub issue. The bike is still under warranty and the shop will upgrade your hub to an SRAM X9. Its a known problem. After the hub is upgraded I would recommend changing your pads since they could be worn unevenly from a bad hub.

    I have a set of Hope brakes on my stumpy and have been running hopes for years. Super quite, no issues with vibration, and excellent modulation. The shimanos are great brakes as well.

  7. #7
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    I went with Hope brakes after exhausting lbs. No more problems. When wet they will sometimes gobble for a few grabs and then quiet again but no vibes. Put my Avids back after a couple of years to sell the bike and vibation is back at all times ....dry, wet, snow.
    Disclaimer: Always get a second opinion cause I'm just guessing

  8. #8
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    I have a 2013 SJ FSR Comp Carbon 29er that came with Avid Elixir 5s. In addition to the squealing that is apparently standard fare, my brakes would violently shake the front fork on grippy surfaces (pavement) even with light pressure on the lever.

    I had negotiated $100 off the cost of the bike with my LBS when they said they would not credit new take-offs towards purchase of a replacement set. Removed and sold the Avid 5s after 50mi and replaced with Shimano XT brakes and rotors.

    Problem solved, brake feel vastly improved.
    I have a black belt in MS Paint.

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  9. #9
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    The OEM XO Trail brakes suck! The aftermarket ones are great though. My bike came with XO Trail brakes and I sold them right away and bought Shimano Zee brakes.

    I found the problem with Avid brakes is the pistons are prone to sticking. You get uneven pressure on the rotor and it causes horrible noises. It seems to happen on everything from Juicy 3s to XO Trail brakes. I pretty much refuse to run Avid brakes anymore and have Shimano on all my bikes.

    On my 2011 Rockhopper I had juicy 3 and horrible noises. My 2011 Stumpjumper had Elixir R brakes and those too sounded horrible. I kept the stock rotors but put Deore brakes on the Rockhopper and XT brakes on the Stumpjumper and all the noise and vibrations disappeared.
    13 SJ Evo, 14 Aurum, 14 Fatboy, 15 P.3

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by krandrus View Post
    Our shop has now seen two of these exact bores with this problem. That resonance can be a problem with the chain stay. Have your shop call Spec. About it and ask them to replace it with a carbon stay. If this does not work the resonance problem has also been stopped by filling the chain stay with expanding insulation foam. Good luck.
    Thanks Krandrus for the insight. Has your shop had success with Specialized replacing the chain stay with a carbon one?

  11. #11
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    Clearly the issue is NOT with the brakes as you have the same symptoms with Avid & Shimano. As someone else said there has been a lot of coverage on this board on this issue which suggests that the resonance is in the chain stay, seat stay or hub. One of the "fixes" reported here was putting a damper weight on the chain stay near the rear rotor.

    Oh, and I have Avid brakes on my bikes without any squealing.

  12. #12
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    I have Elixir 5's on my bike as well. I've had my Stumpy since October and the brakes are still as silent and work as well as the day I built it. As skiwi said, the issue is not the brakes. OP has noise with XT brakes as well.

    The rear hub is easy to check. Go to the shop you bought it from and see if they have a wheel they can put on the bike. If the noise goes away...the wheel/hub is the problem. If the noise is still there after changing the brakes and swapping a different wheel on, I would have the shop call Specialized and see what's up.

  13. #13
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    Yes, in one case that solved the problem completely.

  14. #14
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    Hold your shop's feet to the fire on this one. Specialized is aware of this problem and imo it is a warranty issue. I tried a rotor, pads and now am switching out for xtr's with icetech rotors. My shop has covered all expenses except for the new icetechs. This is a high end bike and it is unacceptable that I would be expected to pay for new brakes. If my new car had the same issue you can bet I wouldn't be expected to pay for it. Raise hell. If your shop won't help call Specialized direct, then Sram if needed.

  15. #15
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    You can raise hell with the bike shop however it might not be worth your time, plus the fact not being without a bike for weeks while the warranty stuff goes through.

    If you have the mechanical skills its better to fix things on your own and do it right the first time.

  16. #16
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    Specialized is aware of this as a problem which, apparently, is a resonant frequency issue with the frame(s). That's what has been passed around as one of the reasons for the noise.

    The FIX:
    change the mass of the frame so that it doesn't match that of the brakes. We have been using a small amount of silicone squirted into the seatstay. Once it firms up it acts like a vibration damper and has enough mass to change the resonant frequency of the seatstay... and it sticks in place.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialWarr View Post
    Specialized is aware of this as a problem which, apparently, is a resonant frequency issue with the frame(s). That's what has been passed around as one of the reasons for the noise.

    The FIX:
    change the mass of the frame so that it doesn't match that of the brakes. We have been using a small amount of silicone squirted into the seatstay. Once it firms up it acts like a vibration damper and has enough mass to change the resonant frequency of the seatstay... and it sticks in place.
    Silicone Implants! They really can do anything!

  18. #18
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    I just picked up a 2014 Stumpy Expert EVO 29 and I have the same issue. I'm going to swap my XT's over from my Nomad. All in all the bike is so awesome and such a performance upgrade that I can live with it. At least the hikers will hear me coming because when I'm not on the brakes it's dead quiet and ridiculously fast

  19. #19
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    Hi guys. My 2014 Rockhopper rear brakes did the same thing. Super bad vibration/ turkey call sounds. I don't have avids just cheap Tektro Draco 2. I changed out the rear disk for a magura disk I found on Jensons. I looked for a beefier disk, that had more surface area, less holes and more steel in the supports areas.

    Magura Storm Rotor > Components > Brakes > Disc Brake rotors | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

    Anyway it fixed the problem, so it might be worth a try to change out the rear rotor for one that looks heavier and stronger.

  20. #20
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    I had the same problem. My LBS sent in my frame to Specialized and they replaced the seat stays with the S-Works carbon version. Problem solved.

  21. #21
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    Thanks everyone for the feedback. My shop ended up getting me an S-Works carbon seat stay which fixed my problem. Now if I could purchase the matching chain stay I'd be set.

  22. #22
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  23. #23
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    Sorry to hear, my Avid brakes do not squeal unless they have some spray/water on them otherwise they are quiet and solid

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by beshannon View Post
    Sorry to hear, my Avid brakes do not squeal unless they have some spray/water on them otherwise they are quiet and solid
    Funny to hear, great for you

    I ride a 3 months old SJ FSR Evo Expert Carbon 29er with Avid XO Trail and have the same problems like squealing and vibriation with the breakes like the thread starter has If I trust in what my new local dealer has said, the only way to fix this problem is to replace the brakes and take for example some Shimano XT brakes....
    He changed in a similar case the brakes with the exact same bike and the other rider is happy again. But I don´t like the Shimano brakes.

    Try to solve the problem with trikstuff components

  25. #25
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    Stumpjumper FSR 29er Elite, Avid 5 switch to Shimano XT

    Quote Originally Posted by SManZ View Post
    I have a 2013 SJ FSR Comp Carbon 29er that came with Avid Elixir 5s. In addition to the squealing that is apparently standard fare, my brakes would violently shake the front fork on grippy surfaces (pavement) even with light pressure on the lever.

    I had negotiated $100 off the cost of the bike with my LBS when they said they would not credit new take-offs towards purchase of a replacement set. Removed and sold the Avid 5s after 50mi and replaced with Shimano XT brakes and rotors.

    Problem solved, brake feel vastly improved.
    I'm having a similar issue (2013 Stumpy FSR 29er Elite) where my FRONT brake is the culprit and can be unpredictable. I had really bad shaking in the front shock when braking, but much of that was due to the headset not being properly tightened by the shop. Now with that cleared up, there is still a general lack of stopping power in the front and they are noisy as hell. I've been through 3 sets of pads, following the break-in instructions. I haven't been told anything about a "known issue" with resonance and I'm quite surprised to be told I need to spend $400 on Shimano brakes after dropping $4k on this bike! The bike felt awesome at the start, except for the brakes, but in 8 months I've been through a cassette and two chains, a new large chain ring after tearing two teeth off, and it looks like the only cure for the lack of stopping power is to spend $400 on Shimano XT brakes. Meanwhile I'm told I need the pivots and a headset rebuild...NONE of which has been covered by the shop. I can only hope the Shimano XTs will fix the brake problem, but how many cassettes, chain rings, and pivots do I need to replace each year?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sws1967 View Post
    I'm having a similar issue (2013 Stumpy FSR 29er Elite) where my FRONT brake is the culprit and can be unpredictable. I had really bad shaking in the front shock when braking, but much of that was due to the headset not being properly tightened by the shop. Now with that cleared up, there is still a general lack of stopping power in the front and they are noisy as hell. I've been through 3 sets of pads, following the break-in instructions. I haven't been told anything about a "known issue" with resonance and I'm quite surprised to be told I need to spend $400 on Shimano brakes after dropping $4k on this bike! The bike felt awesome at the start, except for the brakes, but in 8 months I've been through a cassette and two chains, a new large chain ring after tearing two teeth off, and it looks like the only cure for the lack of stopping power is to spend $400 on Shimano XT brakes. Meanwhile I'm told I need the pivots and a headset rebuild...NONE of which has been covered by the shop. I can only hope the Shimano XTs will fix the brake problem, but how many cassettes, chain rings, and pivots do I need to replace each year?
    You could easily have the same issue with Shimano brakes as well. Squealing brakes (as opposed to the resonance issue covered in this and other threads), are separate issues that can sometimes be related. There is pretty clear "proof" on this board and others that certain Stumpy frames get a resonance in the chainstays that can be produced by the rear calliper (not only Avid), or brake hose that produces a loud squeal - from the rear. Your issue is very different, front the front, and is most likely to do with pads, backing plates or similar.

    Take you bike back to the LBS and ask them to fix it. If you don't want to do that, replace the front pads and when you do, clean the brake dust and gundge from the calliper and report back.

    With regards to your other questions on longevity - it depends on the use and care and attention you give to components as to how long they will last. if you don't clean and lube your chain, you can get less than 500kms. If you don't understand the interaction between a worn chain and a cassette, you will get only 500kms on a cassette. Also a factor clearly, is the conditions you ride in - wet and muddy wear a chain faster than dry and dusty. Both will wear faster without cleaning and lube.

    Normally you should replace chains at the "wear limit" (you will require a chain length measurement tool) and then you should get 2-3 chains before your cassette requires replacement. Chain rings should be replaced with the cassette - at least the highest-use ring (usually the small or middle ring).

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiwi View Post
    You could easily have the same issue with Shimano brakes as well. Squealing brakes (as opposed to the resonance issue covered in this and other threads), are separate issues that can sometimes be related. There is pretty clear "proof" on this board and others that certain Stumpy frames get a resonance in the chainstays that can be produced by the rear calliper (not only Avid), or brake hose that produces a loud squeal - from the rear. Your issue is very different, front the front, and is most likely to do with pads, backing plates or similar.

    Take you bike back to the LBS and ask them to fix it. If you don't want to do that, replace the front pads and when you do, clean the brake dust and gundge from the calliper and report back.

    With regards to your other questions on longevity - it depends on the use and care and attention you give to components as to how long they will last. if you don't clean and lube your chain, you can get less than 500kms. If you don't understand the interaction between a worn chain and a cassette, you will get only 500kms on a cassette. Also a factor clearly, is the conditions you ride in - wet and muddy wear a chain faster than dry and dusty. Both will wear faster without cleaning and lube.

    Normally you should replace chains at the "wear limit" (you will require a chain length measurement tool) and then you should get 2-3 chains before your cassette requires replacement. Chain rings should be replaced with the cassette - at least the highest-use ring (usually the small or middle ring).
    What I'm most concerned about is how hard these issues are to address - I don't really care about the brake sound so long as they stop consistently and effectively. Before my headset had the spacer added and was correctly tightened, you would never have known it was slightly lose...it was such a small amount of movement, yet it had a huge effect on the chatter in the front fork.

    Meanwhile, I've had so much trouble with the front that I haven't even considered what might be going on in the back and how that might affect the overall capability of the bike. The main issue I'm having with these brakes is the font simply seems like it doesn't have enough leverage to stop the bike. Coming down fire roads it's really noticeable and the front tire will just keep on rolling no matter how hard I'm into the brake. That's the biggest problem and a "stronger" brake seems like the best move.

    This thread does have me wondering though if the Shimano XT change will really be the solution, and it's frustrating to have spent so much money on a bike and need to swap the whole brake system. This IS what the LBS is recommending by the way...all of them are saying just to move to the Shimano XT so I will and see how that affects the issues.

  28. #28
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    Change the pads to see if that improves your braking performance. Organic pads will give you better dry performance than sintered, but won't be great in the wet.

    If no improvement then you require more "leverage" which generally means you need a larger rotor. Many people run a 180mm rotor on the front for "all mountain" type riding, whereas XC riders make do with a 160mm rotor.

  29. #29
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    Sooo Frustrated – 2013 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Evo 29er

    I had the same noise issues with my '12 STJ 29er FSR. The Formula R1 brakes squealed horribly. Several shop visits later, new pads of all varieties, resurfaced rotors etc....produced zero improvements. I found new XTR Brakes at decent price on-line. These along with Shimano 'ICE' rotors solved the issue. Flash forward nearly 2 years later, best upgrade EVER.


    Ebenke - Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk, which really sucks.

  30. #30
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    wrong thread

  31. #31
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    Have a friend that recommended the the alligator rotors to me after finally getting tired of hearing me use my brakes when we ride. Miracles do occur, my Avids are quite for the very first time. Wish I had done it sooner. Perfect? No. Quieter 99 % of the time, yes.
    2016 Cannondale Scalpel Si Carbon 3 (27.5)
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  32. #32
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    have seen this same issue on number of brands including Specialized, Trek, Devinici and Giant

    not limited to Specialized by any means...

    seems to be a a particular combination of frame set, disc brake and rotor size, nothing any sane designer could have ever foreseen!

  33. #33
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    Don't fret or debate. Just buy the XT's and icetechs like the forums suggest and you'll be a happy camper. I didn't have the cash to change over my 2012 FSR 29, but after tooling for 6 months with the Elixirs I was flat out done with it and cut my losses. It sucks buying anything Specialized, knowing you need to drop $400 on a brake conversion....and I've told them that repeatedly. I bought this bike used, so it didn't hurt too badly but I am shopping again this spring. $400 is a lot of money when considering a $3K bike. Its unfortunate, but they keep making stupid decisions despite everyone in the world, including their dealers knowing is bogus.
    2014 Devinci Troy Carbon XP

  34. #34
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    There is not, IMO a generic issue with Avid Elixr brakes. We have 3 sets running in my family without issues on 3 different frames and 3 different Exlir setups.

    My Avids (XX's) have been quiet for years with one exception, they started to squeal big time and after chasing it for a while I realised that my XX rotors had worn out, I replaced the rotors and been fine since.

  35. #35
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    How does one fill the chainstay? Thanks

  36. #36
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    Had the same problem with my camber, organic pads really help, 100% happy with the bike.
    2012 Specialized Camber Comp 29er
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  37. #37
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    Seeing this post rather late, but wondering what if any satisfactory resolution was obtained. I have a 13' Stumpy Carbon and I upgraded to the Avid XO trails along with Mavic Cross-Trail wheelset (same weight way stronger), and have NEVER any instance of noise, vibration. I love my XO's. I love that they allow one finger braking at any speed. Now, I do have a buddy who has an S-works Enduro with XO Trails and he had noise/vibrations, but I felt his issue was bad braking application on his part (he was a brake dragger) and also contamination.
    Jeff

  38. #38
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    It sounds like a replacement seat stay was generally the solution. This resonance should be easy enough to solve at home if you're reasonably handy. I would suggest simply buying a small square of carbon fabric (or fiberglass it doesn't matter) and some epoxy, wet out the fabric and wrap the seat stay. Probably a single wrap would do it. You're really just changing the resonance of the stay a little bit. It should only cost $15-20 and could be done in an hour or so. My '15 nor my '12 sj FSR 29 had any problems, but I never used anything but shimano brakes on either one, so I never tried the avids.

    Something as simple as just different rotor size should solve it as well. I've had 180 rear rotors on both, so maybe the small size frames with 160mm rotors were more prone to issues?

  39. #39
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    yea I just want to add my experience to the fray - I have a 2013 Stumpy Comp alloy hardtail. It came with OEM Maguras and alloy Rovals - this specific combo set up a horrible resonance noise / howling with the rear brake that entirely went away when I swapped in the Stan's Arch wheelset from my other 29er.

    Both my husband and I have had multiple sets of Avid brakes (Juicy, Elixir, Trail) over the years, none of which have had noise issues. Sticky pistons, yes, a few times, but no howling.

    If your brakes are howling loudly / warbling, most of the time this is a *resonance* issue, not a problem specific to the brakes themselves. Resonance is easily fixed by any of the damping methods listed in this thread or the linked stories.

    Additionally pinkbike had an epic tech thread recently about how to silence howling brakes that can be essentially summed up as: once you have exhausted all other methods, then it's time to quit riding like a cowardly roadie/XC type (meaning: a brake dragger). Being that I actually *am* a cowardly roadie/XC type, I took this advice to heart, sanded all my rotors, re-bedded the brakes, learned how to stop correctly on a disc bike, and now the only time I ever hear brake noise is maybe a tiny squeak on a wet day the first time a dry pad hits the wet disc.

    Good luck y'all.

  40. #40
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    I have a 2013 Stumpy FSR Evo Expert that I bought used. It came with Roval Carbon wheels and had a really bad rear brake vibration from my first ride. I was bad enough to make the brake feel bad, like wood. Since I wasn't the original purchaser my local shop, BCS, wouldn't get me a nice carbon replacement rear end. They recommended changing the brake pads and I bought them but never put them on. The stock pads had plenty of life left!
    I started reading various threads on brake noise and this bike specifically. I found lots of fixes to try and that my bike was like a musical instrument. There was a vibration that created noise and I had to change the frequency.
    The first thing I tried was sanding the pads and cleaning the disc. That helped a little but not much. Then I tried taping a weight to the drive side seat stay. It solved the vibration for me so the brakes now worked and the noise changed but it didn't make the noise go away. I have OE Trail XO brakes on another bike and like them so I wasn't running out to buy XT's. I tried moving the brake line around and took off one of the mounting clips but that didn't do anything. I also tried putting aluminum tape on the back of the pads as that was supposed to stop the pads from vibrating. It helped but only slightly.
    Next tried spraying expanding insulating foam into my seat stay. It got rid of 85% of the noise. I used the normal tube plus an extra straw to get the foam all the way to the drop out. I tried to only fill 6" but it's hard to gauge. You have to disconnect the seat stay from the link to get the hose in. That fix cost me about $5.
    The insulating foam fix had me mostly satisfied. I still hadn't changed the pads because I didn't think they were the culprit.

    Next I started having problems with the rear carbon Roval rim causing me tubeless pinch flats on right by the bead of the tire sidewalls. This happened several times with both a Specialized Ground Control 2.3 and a Maxxis Ikon Evo 2.35. This was frustrating but it made me better at patching tires! From the start the Roval hookless rims wouldn't let me run really low 16f 20r tire presure that I like either so I was planning to buy wider carbon wheels nest year. I bit the bullet, sold the wheels and put on some cheap specialized wheels I found used locally to get by. To my surprise all my remaining brake noise went away! I took the weight I had taped on the chainstay off and it made no difference. The rear brake was quiet 99% of the time when it was dry.
    I should have suspected the wheel more because even the rear shifting was a little loud. The shift would echo slightly with the tight straight pull spokes on the drive side of the carbon wheel.
    So for me the wheel was the #1 culprit of the brake noise. My other best fixes were a weight on the seat stay followed buy insulating foam in the seat stay. At some point if I hadn't replaced the wheel I may have tried alligator rotors as my next solution.
    Good luck solving your noise problem and remember where there is a will there is a way.
    2 wheels

  41. #41
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    Carbon seat stay fixed my problem. Specialized replaced the aluminum one with carbon at no cost.

  42. #42
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    Hi, my Update after months. My LocalTalk Dealer changed the breaks completly from XO Trail WC to Shimano Saint which have the better brake power.
    No Vibration anymore and nearly 100% Noise free, only sometimes- don't no why - it is squealing.
    But no need to change the seatstay I guess - keep You posted

    Speci74

  43. #43
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    Very good to hear, I have a '13 Stumperjumper Comp which had the same issue with the Formula breaks, the lbs contacted their Specialized warrantee rep who offered me $120 per end credit, so last week I got XT breaks installed on my bike for a grand total of $80 installed and OTD. If you have this break issue, push your bike shop for some sort of resolution. The fact that Speciallized gave me credit on a bike which was out of warrantee, and my lbs worked for the replacement makes me a happy costumer!
    And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver. A. Senna

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