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  1. #1
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    Apr 2016

    little rubbing with new brakes and rotors normal?

    So i just installed some brand new shimano slx brakes and ice tec rotors and there is a light consistent rubbing as the wheel spins. I pushed the pads apart, installed the wheel and left the caliper bolt lose, grabbed the brake and tightened the bolt and after they still rub? Is that normal, do I just need to brake them in. Also should I trim the hoses and bleed the brakes before doing this or after?
    any help would be great, Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: MSU Alum's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    It's certainly not unusual. Give it a few miles and it should improve, though it may need another slight adjustment. Make sure the pistons move freely and close to equally, also. If one is sticking, it could cause this.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2018
    Ok, a couple of things.

    Make sure return spring is installed correctly. This spring makes sure the pads get pushed back away from the rotor disc.

    When aligning new pads, the squeeze the brake lever and tighten bolt trick is good it is still not 100%. I like to do mine visually. I start with the brake lever engaged then tighten, and then loosen to fine adjust from there. Thick card stock can also help with this, put some business card paper in between the pad and rotor on both sides and then use (squeeze brake and tighten trick).

    properly bedding brakes in is another issue to address. A couple of hard stops coasting down a decline, then resume regular use should do it.

    Cutting hoses should be avoided if all possible. Yes, there will come a time when you need to bleed the brakes but getting air completely out of the brake system can be a real hassle, so only do it if necessary. Air in your lines/caliper/levers will severely degrade your brake performance and you also risk rotor/pad contamination which is another big hassle.

    hope all this helps!

  4. #4
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    Reputation: targnik's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    When you tighten bolts, watch the bracket shift ever so slightly...

    There are a few tricks out there, to get the spacing just right.

    I tighten a 1/4 turn, starting with the rear/lower bolt & go forwards & backwards between the two.

    Even then I still may get some slight rubbing.

    Then I'll loosen off the front/top bolt 65-70% then loosen rear maybe 25% (or enough, so I can manually push/shift forward/top of bracket with my hand.

    I'll then tighten the loosest one i.e. top/forward bolt... then crank the rear bolt down.

    After a few rides they'll start rubbing again & I repeat the process.

    All up takes 5 mins ^^

    Rubbing brakes drive me crazy too o_0

    'Born to ride!'
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  5. #5
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    Reputation: nauc's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    i try and n squeeze the brake lever and tighten brake mounting bolts to center the calipers to the rotors, but it never seems to work

    so i loosen up the mounting bolts just enough so that i can move the caliper side to side, by hand. then center one end of the caliper by hand and tighten the bolt, then center the other end of the caliper, and tighten the 2nd bolt


    ps, does the rotor look straight when you spin the wheel ?

  6. #6
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    Reputation: Mr Pig's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    I try and squeeze the brake lever and tighten brake mounting bolts to center the calipers to the rotors, but it never seems to work.
    No, I've never found it effective either, especially with Shimano brakes which always seem to exert uneven piston pressure.

    First, make sure the rotor is straight. You're wasting your time if it isn't.

    Then center the calipers by eye. NOTE: It's REALLY easy to hurt your fingers in the rotor if you're moving the calipers and turning the wheel at the same time. Be warned.

    Center my eye and you'll be fine.

  7. #7
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    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    Tightening the caliper while squeezing the lever has always worked fine fort me, a drop of oil between the bolt head and the caliper helps to keep the caliper from creeping while tightening the bolt.

    Sometimes they'll rub a bit at first but one ride will generally cure that, Shimano brakes fix themselves IME.

    Also I'm no expert but I don't think it would matter much whether you trimmed the hoses before or after adjusting the caliper.
    I brake for stinkbugs

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